College Credentials: 27 Smart Stars Who Have Degrees

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Some celebrities have an impressive amount of skill, talent, and charm. Many stars have the brains to back it all up, with college degrees to prove it! Hollywood is rich in talented, beautiful, and intelligent celebrities. We have curated a list of 27 stars with degrees — just in case they need something to fall back on.

1. Eva Longoria

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After completing her coursework at California State University, Eva Longoria earned her master's degree in Chicano studies in 2013. 

2. Emma Watson

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In 2014, Emma Watson earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Brown University. In 2023, she began studying for her master's degree at Oxford University. 

3. Gerard Butler

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The incredibly handsome and charming Scottish actor is an attorney at law. He earned a degree in law from the University of Glasgow but moved to London at 25. Imagine him in a sharp black suit and tie arguing in a court! We’re not drooling, you are!

4. Rebel Wilson

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Rebel Wilson recently amazed everyone with her shocking transformation. The famed comedy star is also a law graduate from the University of New South Wales which, according to her, is an Australian equivalent of Harvard. Impressive!

5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

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The most electrifying man in entertainment has an impressive academic record, too. The megastar has not one but two degrees in criminology and physiology from the University of Miami.

6. Kourtney Kardashian

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In a turn of dramatic events, the eldest Kardashian sibling earned a degree in theatre in 2002. Kourtney is the only Kardashian with a degree at the moment, while Kim is out pursuing her law career through an apprenticeship.

7. Arnold Schwarzenegger

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After entering the limelight as a globally recognized bodybuilder, Arnold put education first by graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in International business and economics. But life had other plans and he returned to the world of fame with an extraordinary acting career ahead of him.

8. Angela Bassett

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Bassett holds a bachelor’s in African-American studies, plus a master’s in fine arts. The term “beauty with brains” seems like it was coined for her!

9. Will Ferrell

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Will Ferrell graduated in 1990 from the University of Southern California. He majored in arts of sports information, a subject that was discontinued just eight years after he graduated. Slow claps, Will!

10. Natalie Portman

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The Black Swan star takes her education seriously. She attended the esteemed Harvard University and graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology. You can even find her published work in scientific journals.

11. Chris Martin

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The Coldplay lead singer went to the University College London to earn a bachelor’s in Greek and Latin. According to him, he went to London with just his baggage but met his three future bandmates there — and the rest is history!

12. Carrie Underwood

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The music sensation wasn’t always set on being a singer. She graduated from Northeastern University in 2016 with a degree in mass communications. She would have been a news anchor if American Idol didn’t bring her massive success.

13. Rowan Atkinson

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Although Rowan Atkinson is famous for playing dumb in his evergreen comical series Mr. Bean, he is an electrical engineer in real life. The actor graduated with a master’s in electrical engineering from Oxford. However, during his education, he participated in writing and performance-based activities and realized his priorities career-wise.

14. Lisa Kudrow

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Lisa Kudrow stepped into the limelight with her world-renowned role as Phoebe in the super-hit sitcom Friends. But acting wasn’t always her career choice. Initially, she graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and planned to help her physician father in his research work.

15. Ken Jeong

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Ken Jeong is a licensed physician with an M.D. from the University of North Carolina. However, he later decided that being a doctor was not for him and left his practice to pursue a comedy career.

16. Eva Longoria

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Gorgeous Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is more than just good looks. Apart from being insanely talented on-screen, she is an alumnus of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She graduated with a bachelor’s in kinesiology — a subject dealing with body motion mechanics.

17. John Legend

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The esteemed music star studied English as his primary subject at the University of Pennsylvania. He even started a job at a consulting firm but soon realized his passion for music and never looked back. Well, we’re glad he didn’t!

18. James Franco

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Acting is not the only art form James Franco has mastered. He earned an MFA from the University of Columbia and even went to Yale for a Ph.D. in English. He has authored several short stories, poems, and writings published in various magazines.

19. Jodie Foster

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Jodie Foster graduated in 1985 from Yale University. Her primary subject was literature and she even wrote her thesis on the writer Toni Morrison. Foster has “fostered” several other talents, too; one includes fluency in French!

20. David Spade

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You may know David Spade as the funniest stand-up comedy guy, but his educational background will likely surprise you. The comedian graduated with a bachelor’s in business from Arizona State University. But while pursuing his degree, he took part in stand-up, leading him to his future career path.

21. Gabrielle Union

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The insanely talented and beautiful movie star Gabrielle Union has a bachelor’s in sociology. After graduating from the University of California, she planned on studying law. However, before graduating, she got an offer from a modeling company where she interned during her senior year.

22. Ashton Kutcher

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Comedic actor Ashton Kutcher has a rather emotional educational background. He studied biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa, where he hoped to develop a cure for his brother who has a heart condition.

23. Mayim Bialik

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Talk about accurate casting! The actress played a genius in the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory and has a Ph.D. in real life. Her Ph.D. subjects include a major in neuroscience with minor studies in Jewish and Hebrew. Wow, brainy!

24. Freddie Highmore

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Not all child stars crash and burn. Freddie Highmore, for example, went on to pursue a bachelor’s in Spanish and Arabic in 2014 from Emmanuel College, Oxford. Freddie completed his education after experiencing major success as a child actor. Bravo!

25. Riz Ahmed

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Good looks, brains, and extreme charisma — Riz Ahmed is a gift to humanity. The actor graduated with a degree in philosophy, economics, and politics from Oxford University in 2003.

26. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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As if the 500 Days of Summer star needed anything else to impress the ladies. Joseph graduated with majors in French poetry and history. Le parfait!

27. Brooke Shields

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Just like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, supermodel and actress Brooke Shields also was into French. She went to Princeton and graduated with a bachelor’s in French literature.

Author: Michael Dinich

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Side Hustles, Passive Income, Investing


Michael Dinich is a journalist, personal finance expert, and a true geek at heart. Michael founded Wealth of Geeks in 2017, and he's the executive producer of the Wealth of Geeks podcast. He's known for his relatable financial advice and passionate discussions about all things geek.