Celebs Who Somehow Found Time To Earn Impressive Degrees

Entertainment | 5/22/20

It’s easy to think of celebrities as mindless drones of entertainment, but it might surprise you to learn that a number of them have actually earned high level degrees. Celebrities aren’t as dumb as they look, apaprently. That was a bit harsh. Basically, these faous folks deserve some more credit.

Read on to find out which of your favorite celebrities are also doctors.

Rowan Atkinson Is Smarter Than Mr. Bean

Rowan Atkinson’s most famous character is something of a bafoon, but in real life, Atkinson is actually quite brilliant.

Atkinson originally earned a bachelor’s of electrical engineering while studying at Newcastle University. After he graduated, he enrolled in an electrical engineering master’s program at The Queen’s College Oxford in 1975. While completing his master’s, he started to take acting more seriously. He participated in a bunch of small theatre productions before taking his talent to the big screen.

Brian May Is A Brainiac

Brian May rose to fame as the guitarist of the elgendary band Queen. Brian May is sort of a quiet type. Freddy was always attracting attention and May sort of faded into the background. It might surprise you to learn that May holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics of all things. The musician earned his degree from the Imperial College in Londo and today is a Visiting Researcher at the school.

You could say that May is an expert in all kinds of stars.

Ken Jeong Is A Real Doctor

He may play a doctor on television now, but don’t be mistaken, actor Ken Jeong is qualified to actually be a real doctor. Before he was making us laugh on The Hangover and Community, Jeong was a licensed physician in California. He earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina and was completing his residency in internal medicine at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans when he began performing stand-up on the side.

He was noticed by television producers who urged him to move out West. He followed suit and while he regularly performed stand-up at various Los Angeles comedy clubs, he practiced medicine at a Kaiser Permanente before hitting it big.

Dr. Phil Is Actually A Psychologist

Dr. Phil has given out some questionable advice on his daytime television show, but he still has the most watched show on daytime television, so we were sure hoping that he was a qualified psychologiest. In 1975, Dr. Philip McGraw earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Midwestern State University.

Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage/Getty Images
Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage/Getty Images

He then went on to the University of North Texas where he earned both his master’s in experimental psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Mayim Bialik Has A PhD In Neuroscience

She plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but what’s awesome about actress Mayim Bialik is that she is actually a doctor in real life as well. Although she was a child actress, most notable for the titular role in the sitcom Blossom, Bialik decided to attend UCLA when Blossom wrapped up.

She originally earned a Bachelors of Science in neuroscience and subsequently went on to earn her Masters and Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007. With all that effort put into her schooling, you would think Bialik would want to utilize her degrees, but it all came full circle for the actress since she plays a neuroscientist on The Big Bang Theory.

Michael Crichton Might As Well Be A Doctor

Michael Crichton is the author of books such as Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain and Travels. A man this involved in science fiction must have some kind of scientific background, right? Crichton obtained his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1969 before he became a famous writer.

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images

He was originally studying English literature at Harvard, but switched paths after an unpleasant encounter with a nasty professor. Crichton never ended up practicing medicine. He never got his medical liscence.

James Franco Keeps Getting Degrees

James Franco has made a name for himself as an actor, staring in films such as Pineapple Express, Milk, Spring Breakers and This is the End. In addition to being a great actor, Franco is also a great scholar. While pursuing acting he moved to New York City to simultaneously earn three graduate degrees from Columbia, NYU, and Brooklyn College.

On top of that, he participated in an MFA poetry program at Warren Wilson College. He is now working on his PhD at Yale.

Eva Longoria Has A Masters

Eva Longoria is most famous for playing Gabrielle on the hit soap opera Desperate Housewives. She’s appeared in a bunch of other TV and movie productions over the years.

Before she got her big break, Eva attended Texas A&M University at Kingsville where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. After Desperate Housewives ended, Eva went back to school and earned her Master’s Degree in Chicano Studies from California State University. She saw her college experience as a mind expanding opportunity.

Art Garfunkel Is Highly Educated

Art Garfunkel is one half of the folk music duo Simon and Garfunkle. Simon may have attracted more attention for his songwriting abilities, but Garfunkle is just as thoughtful and intelligent.

Garfunkel initially studied achitecture at Columbia University in Manhattan. He liked to keep busy by participating in many extracurricular activities including tennis, performing with an acapella group, fencing and bowling. The star earned his B.A. in art history in 1965 and went on to earn his master’s in mathematics education from Teacher College, Columbia University.

Mad Max Director George Miller Is A Medical Doctor

We know George Miller as the mad genius behind Mad Max, but before he tried his hand at directing, he worked as a medical doctor. George Miller studied medicine at the University of New South Wales.

He developed Mad Max while still practicing medicine, telling Toronto’s Metro News, “I worked for two-and-a-half years in a big city hospital. I stayed registered right up past Mad Max 2: Road Warrior. I never even thought there’d be a career. I stayed as a doctor on the first Mad Max because we kept running out of money in postproduction.”

Gerard Butler Was Almost A Lawyer

Gerard Butler is an actor best known for his roles in The Ugly Truth, 300, and How to Train Your Dragon. Before he got his big break in Hollywood, Gerard attended the University of Glasgow School of Law. He started acting more seriously while he was in university and his career kind of took off from there.

He never finished his final year of law school, but he did work. ina law firm for a little while.

Comedian Demetri Martin Went To Law School

Demetri Martin combines his drawing talents with his aptitude for one liners on stage to create a hillariously deadpan act that audiences absolutely love. It comes as no surprise to his fans that he is one smart cookie. After high school, Demetri first attended Yale University in 1995.

He continued to pursue his education and was admitted to both Harvard Law and NYU School of Law, although he chose to attend the former on a full scholarship. He never ended up finisheing law school, chosing to pusue comedy instead.

Dr. Shaq

Before he was drafted into the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal played basketball at Louisiana State University, where he was studying business. But since he left LSU early to pursue his basketball career, he promised himself, his mother, and his former LSU coach that he would one day return to school to get his degree. However, he not only returned to LSU many years later and earned a Bachelor of Science in General Studies, but O’Neal subsequently enrolled at the University of Phoenix to work on his MBA degree online.

After getting his MBA, he became “Dr. Shaq” in 2012 when he graduated from Barry University with a Doctorate in Education. But Shaq isn’t the only NBA star who’s got brains as you’ll soon find out.

Phoebe Isn’t So Ditzy In Real Life

Before she was Phoebe Buffay on Friends, Lisa Kudrow’s foray into acting came rather suddenly. She had attended Vassar College, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and afterward, returned home to work with her father, Dr. Lee Kudrow, who was a headache specialist.

But while researching with her father, Kudrow found herself thinking about how she would act things out on television better than how she saw them and decided one day to try acting. Her acting career didn’t take off from the start, but following her instinct certainly paid off!

Kim Zolciak Was A Nurse

You probably wouldn’t have expected this, but The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak is qualified to be a nurse. Before her marriage to Atlanta Falcons linebacker Kroy Biermann and launching her Kashmere Kollection skincare line, Zolciak actually attended the University of Connecticut, where she studied nursing.

She was a Licensed Practical Nurse throughout the early 2000s, before making a name for herself on the Bravo television network. In an Instagram post from early 2017, Zolciak listed some unknown fun facts about herself, including the fact that she “went to nursing school and graduated. Practiced for a few years and loved it.”

This NBA Player Almost Became A Doctor

Spanish NBA player Pau Gasol has played for the Lakers, the Bulls, and now the Spurs, but takes quite an interest in the medical field in his free time. He actually comes from a medical background, as he was born in a Barcelona hospital where both of his parents worked. Despite his athletic ability early on in his life, Gasol decided that he wanted to be a doctor after news of Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis went public.

Gasol was enrolled in medical school at the University of Barcelona but dropped out when his basketball career took off. However, he devotes much of his free time to charitable hospital visits and sit-ins on medical surgeries. There is also another athlete on this list who actually practices medicine to this very day!

The Punk Rocker Doctor

Dexter Holland of The Offspring may be a punk rocker by day, but he actually has quite an education to fall back on. In his early years, the musician found mathematics “just as exciting as punk rock,” subsequently earning a B.S. in Biology, then an M.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California.

He was in the middle of earning his Ph.D. in molecular biology before his band The Offspring began to take off. Despite his success as a punk rocker, Holland eventually returned to school and finally completed his Ph.D. at USC in May 2017.

This R&B Singer Went To Medical School

British singer Jay Sean was a 2009 sensation with his song “Down,” but before he was a successful musical artist, the Punjabi crooner was a “straight-A student” who enrolled in Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. He studied medicine for over two years before eventually dropping out to pursue a musical career.

Luckily, dropping out proved to be quite successful since he found success across the pond and was eventually signed to Cash Money Records among the likes of Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj.

Tina Turner Wanted To Be A Nurse

Before she was questioning “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and becoming one of the best-selling artists of all time, divalicious singer Tina Turner had aspirations of becoming a nurse. Born Anna Mae Bullock and raised in Tennessee, Turner graduated from Sumner High School in 1958.

After completing high school, Turner forged her nursing career by taking up work as a nurses aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. However, her nursing aspirations were left behind after she began frequenting nightclubs in the St. Louis area, where she eventually met her soon-to-be husband Ike Turner. The rest, as they say, is history.

She Has Brawn And Brains

She is one of the most decorated Olympians in history with twelve Olympic medals—eight of which are gold—but Jenny Thompson also has the brains to complement her brawn. The talented swimmer attended Stanford University while a member of the U.S. national team, but in 2001 decided she wanted to return to school, enrolling at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Al Bello/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

She received her M.D. in 2006 and completed her residency in anesthesiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Thompson currently works as an anesthesiologist for the Spectrum medical group at Maine Medical Center.

Not A Fake Doctor

He is a famous television personality for being a plastic surgeon, so it’s no surprise that Terry Dubrow is an actual doctor. Dubrow is the co-host of Botched and has appeared on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but before his rise to fame in Hollywood, Dubrow was hard at work earning his medical degree at Yale and the UCLA School of Medicine.

Mike Pont/WireImage/Getty Images
Mike Pont/WireImage/Getty Images

There, he completed his residency in general surgery and his fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Don’t be mistaken by the glitz and glamour of his television persona, because Dubrow is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a certified expert for the California Medical Board.

This Is Why Sherlock Holmes Is So Detailed

Before he gifted the literary world with Sherlock Holmes, author Arthur Conan Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School in the late 19th century. He subsequently became a maritime doctor and earned his M.D. degree on the subject of tabes dorsalis by 1885. Doyle eventually set up his own medical practice in the English town of Southsea.

Universal History Archive/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Getty Images

He had dabbled in writing fiction throughout his medical schooling and because his practice wasn’t as successful as he hoped, he had more time to work on his stories while he waited for patients to come through. This might explain why the DNA analysis in Sherlock Holmes is so detailed and credible.

From Nursing To Playboy

She rose to prominence in the early ’90s as a model for Playboy, eventually becoming Playmate of the Year in 1993, but Jenny McCarthy’s foray into adult “literature” probably didn’t happen because she wanted it to. After graduating from high school, McCarthy was enrolled at Southern Illinois University where she was studying nursing and psychology.

Jenny McCarthy

She only attended for two years before eventually dropping out due to lack of funds. You could say that her “big break” finally came when she was offered $20,000 to pose for Playboy.

This Is What Made Him A Strong Political Figure

Ron Paul was the U.S. Representative for Texas and has unsuccessfully run for president on three different occasions, but before his political career, he had a career in medicine. Paul obtained his M.D. from Duke University’s School of Medicine in 1961 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Afterward, he became a flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force for a couple years before transferring to the U.S. Air National Guard. By 1968, he opened a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Texas. All this experience gave him the clout to pursue his interests in politics.

The Kite Runner Author Is A Doctor

Khaled Hosseini is the author of The Kite Runner, but before his success as an author, Hosseini has practiced medicine for over ten years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Santa Clara University in 1988 and subsequently enrolled at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, earning his M.D. in 1993.

Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images
Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

Of his medical and writing pursuits, Hosseini told Loveland Magazine in 2013, “Medicine was an arranged marriage, writing is my mistress.” It can be assumed that the success from The Kite Runner has encouraged him to pursue his passion in writing.

A Popular Purveyor Of Alternative Medicine

Before he became a world-renowned author and advocate for alternative medicine, Deepak Chopra was encouraged to pursue a career in medicine by his father, who was a prominent cardiologist in New Delhi. Thus, Chopra graduated from the All India Insititute of Medical Sciences in 1969 and spent his first years as a doctor working in rural India.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

He eventually relocated to the United States where he completed various residencies and became board certified in internal medicine, with a specialization in endocrinology. In the present day, Chopra’s ideas about alternative medicine have been criticized by other doctors as pseudoscience.

Bill Cosby Is Stripped of His Doctorate

In addition to a lengthy list of Emmy and Grammy, Bill Cosby has been awarded at least 57 honorary degrees since 1985, but many of them have been revoked following an onslaught of sex-assault accusations. Regarding the stripping of Cosby’s honors, the University of Missouri issued this statement: “Honorary degrees throughout the University of Missouri System are reserved for those who have ascended to the pinnacle of their fields while conducting themselves consistent with the university’s core values. The evidence presented during the recent criminal trial indicated that (Cosby) engaged in behavior that is in direct conflict with the core values of the University of Missouri.”

In June of 2018 the University of South Carolina also rescinded an honorary degree for Cosby. In a statement, board chair member John C. von Lehe Jr. said, “Let our message to the Carolina family be clear: sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault and will not be tolerated at the University of South Carolina.”

Education Is Fashionable

You may not know Miuccia Prada, but you definitely know her last name. The Italian designer is royalty in the fashion world is Miuccia is one of the grandchildren of Mario Prada, the label’s founder. Miuccia and her siblings have been in charge of the company since the late ‘70s, and although she was already worth a cool $4 billion, she didn’t let that stop her from getting an education.

Miuccia is passionate about political science and enrolled in the University of Milan while juggling her Prada responsibility, where she graduated with her doctorate.

Beauty and Brains

Christy Turlington is considered one of the original supermodel alongside the likes of Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell. The leggy star has been modeling since she was just 14, but still made education a priority. Turlington was accepted into New York University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy.

Although she had already found great success modeling, she continued her studies at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health when she was 40 years old, earning her master’s.

Medicine and Monty Python

Graham Chapman was best known for being one of the six members of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python But while fans know him for his leading roles as the Colonel in Holy Grail and Life of Brian, there was more to Chapman than meets the eye.

Born in Leicester, Chapman was a smart cookie from the start. He excelled in everything at school from science and sports to amateur dramatics. He studied medicine at Emmanuel College in Cambridge but deferred his medical studies for a year to pursue writing. After joining the Footlight shows Cambridge Circus, he toured New Zealand with the group. He continued his medical studies soon after and although he did obtain his degree, Chapman was always torn between acting and medicine!

Peter Weller Is A Smart Nerd

Actor Peter Weller has appeared in more than 70 movies including the likes of RoboCop, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and Star Trek Into the Darkness. But before he was lighting up the big screen, Weller was getting an education.

The actor enrolled at North Texas State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Theatre. Shortly after he began his acting career. Although Weller graduated from college before he pursued acting, it wasn’t until later in life when he returned to higher education. Weller went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Roman and Renaissance Art at Syracuse University and was awarded his doctorate in December 2014.

Rachel Maddow Has Her Ph.D.

Viewers only need to watch 30 seconds of MSNBC’s political show The Rachel Maddow Show to know that the host is brilliant. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the star has numerous degrees to her name—but many fans don’t realize just how many accolades the star has under her belt.

Maddow earned her degree in public policy from Stanford in 1994 and began her postgraduate studies the next year at Lincoln College, Oxford. In 2001, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in politics at the University of Oxford.

Hayden Panettiere’s Husband Has A PhD

Wladimir Klitschko may be best known as the huge Ukranian boxer who won the heart of actress Hayden Panettiere. But big muscles aside, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to Wladimir.

His Nashville-star fiancé has said she loves the fighter for his brilliant mind and it turns out the Wladimir has the credentials to back those claims. The boxer earned his doctorate in sports science from Kiev University and used to coach athletes and patients. On top of that, Dr. Klitschko speaks not one, not two, but three languages.

Kanye’s Honor

While Kanye West may not have hit the books like the rest of the celebs on our list, he still technically has his doctoral degree. The College Dropout rapper was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the Art Institute of Chicago.

In true Kanye fashion, he gave a long-winded and somewhat confusing speech where he talked about his nerves, his career, and a few other things. He ended with, “This honor is going to make your lives easier, for two reasons: You don’t have to defend me as much! And I’m going to make all of our lives easier”—but didn’t explain what any of this meant. Oh, Kanye.

He Plays A Doctor On TV And In Real LIfe

Born down under, Jonathan LaPaglia is an Australian actor best known for his roles in television series such as NCIS, Seven Days, and New York Undercover. But before he made women swoon on the silver screen, he was busy becoming a doctor. LaPaglia graduated from Rostrevor College with an undergraduate degree before earning his degree in medicine from the University of Adelaide. He spent the next three years working as a physician in an Adelaide emergency room but felt overwhelmed by the position. He left his white coat behind to pursue his first passion—acting—in 1994 and got his big break in 1996 with New York Undercover.

The Godfather of Anime Is Also a Doctor

You may not recognize his name, but you will likely recognize Osamu Tezuka’s art. Tezuka was a fan of comics from an early age and loved to draw—even selling and trading his own drawing of pin-up girls to soldiers stationed in his home country of Japan.


Tezuka graduated from Japan’s Medical University of Nara and while he was a bright student who surely would have gone on to have a brilliant medical career, he couldn’t put his creative passions aside. Now, he is an illustrious manga artist who sometimes draws 10 pages in a single day. His most iconic pieces are “Astro Boy,” “Buddha,” “Kimba the White Lion,” and “Metropolis.”

Doc Lundgren

Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, producer, and screenwriter best-known for his roles in Rocky IV, The Defender, and A View to a Kill. Although he has founder success in Hollywood, the star was successful in a completely different field prior to taking up acting. He received his degree in chemical engineering from the Royal Institue of Technology in the early ‘80s before completing his master’s degree at the University of Sydney in 1982.

In an interesting turn of events, he was spotted at the nightclub he worked in college by none other than Grace Jones. He became her bodyguard and then her lover. Lundgren has surely lived a unique life!

Bad Religion’s Frontman Is An Evolutionary Biologist

Greg Graffin is not only the frontman of punk rock band Bad Religion, he’s also an evolutionary biologist—who knew?! The musician-scientist’s Ph.D. dissertation was a zoology paper titled “Evolution, Monism, Atheism, and the Naturalist World-View: Perspectives from Evolutional Biology”—no big deal.

Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

On top of having released 16 full-length albums and two live albums, he gives 18 to 20 lectures each fall semester to students at Cornell University, and has written two books, including the well-received “Population Wars: A New Perspective on Competition and Coexistence.”

From The Stage To The Doctor’s Office

Remember the band Lifetime? Well, Dan Yemin serenaded us all with those sweet, sweet guitar riffs. This, of course, was in between the time he spent earning his doctorate. The New Jersey native is perhaps one of the smartest guys in the punk rock scene. In addition to playing for Lifetime, he also spent time working with musical acts Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black.

With all of that going on, we have to wonder how he was able to obtain his doctorate in psychology from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Drew Isn’t Faking It

We all know Dr. Drew from VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. But although he’s become synonymous with strung-out celebs, Dr. Drew Pinksy is highly educated and highly qualified in the medical field. Dr. Drew is a board-certified internist and specializes in treating addiction. He became engulfed in the world of pop culture when he was asked to co-host the Loveline program, while also maintaining his personal practice.

Regarding his career in the spotlight, Dr. Drew says, “My goal was always to be part of pop culture and relevant to young people, to interact with the people they hold in high esteem.”

The Descendents Rocker Who Is Also A Biochemist

Milo Aukerman is a vocalist and songwriter for the successful band the Descendents. He’s also a former biochemist. Before he was rocking out and touring the world with his internationally-successful band, Aukerman was playing guitar with his friends in his parent’s garage. The pals formed the Descendents when they were still teens attending Mira Costa High School.

Aukerman went on to study at UC San Diego, eventually earning his B.A., M.A., and a doctorate in biology. He conducted postdoctoral research in biochemistry at the University of Wisconson but decided to leave biochemistry behind to tour full time.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel has been referred to in our current political times as the “leader of the free world.” Angela has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and was recently re-elected to her powerful post. She was not always traveling down the route of politics, however, originally Angela got her start in science. She originally received her doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989.

The year 1989 was in the midst of the revolutions which ultimately brought an end to Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. Along with the political and social revolution, the Berlin Wall was brought down and Angela was inspired to enter politics.

Brian Cox

Although an actor shares the same name as physicist Brian Cox, he has gained notoriety in the public sphere not normally awarded to people within his field. Brian has actually made even more of a name for himself as a television presenter, although he normally presents programs having to do with science.

Currently, Brian has been working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which is a pretty big deal in the science world and has also been subject to a number of conspiracy theories involving black holes. Brian is British, like fellow physicist Stephen Hawking and the two once appeared, in true British fashion, they both appeared in a video singing “The Galaxy Song” from Monty Python.

Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson was known for being a bit of a wild cannon and even requested having his ashes literally shot out of a cannon when he died, which actor and friend Johnny Depp funded. Of course, Hunter is probably best known for writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which also marked the style of writing he founded Gonzo journalism. The novel was later turned into a film starring Johnny Depp.

However, not only was Hunter S. Thompson a successful and talented writer, he also had the education to back it up. Hunter held a Ph.D. in Journalism from Columbia University.

Greg Gaffin

Punk rock is probably not the first thing you think of when it comes to being highly educated. However, perhaps Greg Gaffin is proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The band Bad Religion is best-known for its politically charged punk rock songs, getting their start back in 1980. Greg has been the lead singer of the band since the beginning and later embarked on a solo career in the late 1990s. In between finding success as a punk rocker, Greg became inspired to continue pursuing his education. However, it might be in a different field than what you are expecting.

After high school, Greg went on to enroll at UCLA double-majoring in anthropology and geology. He stayed on at UCLA getting his master’s in geology. Later, he went for his Ph.D., enrolling at Cornell University in the field of Zoology. His dissertation was entitled “Evolution, Monism, Atheism, and the Naturalist World-View: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology”. Although still active in music, Greg has also stayed active in academia and even taught several courses at UCLA and Cornell in Life Sciences and Evolution.

Frank Ryan

Frank Ryan is probably best known for being a former NFL quarterback. However, unlike many athletes, he did not forgo his education in the pursuit of athletics. Rather, Frank is also known as the only man to ever play in the NFL that held a Ph.D. in Mathematics. While in college, he first pursued a degree in Physics at Rice University. He later continued his studies at both UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Frank also had a pretty successful football career playing for eleven seasons with several teams including the Los Angeles Rams, the Cleveland Browns, and the Washington Redskins. After his football career, Frank put his studies to good use and was the Director of Information Services for the U.S. House of Representatives. He kickstarted the first electronic voting system for the House.

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd grew up in a show business family in the shadow of an older sister, country singer Wynonna Judd. However, she has definitely been successful in her own right starring in many films and shows over the years. She has also been involved over the years in political activism and various humanitarian work. Ashley is emblematic of the phrase “brains and beauty”!

She holds a bachelor degree in French from the University of Kentucky and later a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Union College. Although, despite the honorary Ph.D., she is now earning one for real and is currently attending UC Berkeley pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy.

David Duchovny

David Duchovny, while a well-known actor, is probably best known for his role as Fox Mulder on the X-Files. However, David isn’t just an actor, he’s an educated one. More than that, David actually happens to be Ivy League-educated. David has a degree in English literature from Princeton University. He later received a Master’s in English literature from Yale University.

David has put his degrees to good work and has even authored several books in both fiction and non-fiction. The titles of David’s books are Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale and Bucky F*cking Dent, the second of which is about MLB baseball player and manager Bucky Dent.

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman was one of the legendary six members of the British comedy troupe Monty Python. He is probably best remembered for playing the lead in two of the Monty Python films, Holy Grail and the Life of Brian. Graham had quite an extraordinary life, and was known to be highly intelligent.

Before his success in entertainment, he had garnered quite an education. Graham originally attended Emmanuel College in Cambridge and later attended St. Bartholomew’s Medical College in order to become a medical doctor. However, he later forwent his medical career, focusing on bringing the laughs, instead.

Dan Grimaldi

Dan Grimaldi is an actor best known for his role on the mobster series, The Sopranos, as twins Philly and Patsy Parisi. Dan is commonly cast as a mobster or tough guy in films and TV shows. Although he is acted in a variety of roles, the Sopranos is without-a-doubt his best-known work. Well, when it comes to acting anyway. It turns out Dan has an entirely different career on the side.

Dan is very well-educated, holding a Bachelor’s of Mathematics from Fordham, a Master’s in Operations Research from NYU, and a Ph.D. in data processing from the City University. When he’s not pursuing acting gigs, he works as a professor. Most recently teaching in the Math and Computer Science department at Kingsborough Community College.

Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall is a former MLB pitcher who played for the Minnesota Twins. “Iron Mike” still has a stellar reputation and is remembered for having a legendary screwball pitch. He was also awarded the prestigious 1974 Cy Young Award. Mike, like several other athletes on the list, was not only interested in athletics and was quite academic minded.

While he was playing for the Minnesota Twins he actually finished his Ph.D. in kinesiology from Michigan State University. Mike has said, “I’m a researcher. People forget that about me. That’s where my heart is. I pitched baseball, really, as the lab experiment of my research to see if it worked. Turned out it did.” Mike has since come up with a pitching method to help reduce the numbers of arm injuries suffered by pitchers.

Robert Leonard

Sha Na Na was a band known for the golden age of hippie-dom and they even opened for Jimi Hendrix at the legendary Woodstock Music Festival. Robert Leonard was a singer in the band. However, not long after his brush with stardom, Robert chose to continue on a more serious route. He concentrated on pursuing the field of linguistics where he ultimately received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982.

Robert now works a professor of forensic linguistics at Hofstra University. In part of his work within the field he has also worked to train law enforcement. Despite the seriousness of the endeavor, Robert keeps a sense of humor about the matter saying, “I like to say I’m one of the very few people in the world who have worked with the FBI and the Grateful Dead.”

Sterling Morrison

The Velvet Underground was a psychedelic band from the 1960s. Lou Reed was certainly the most famous member of the band. However, another of the original members was guitarist Sterling Morrison. After his days with Velvet Underground, he went on to complete a Ph.D. in medieval studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Obviously, his music career was not bringing in a lot of money because he turned to working on tugboats during his time in school and even ended up becoming a captain. He also continued some involvement in music although mostly just around the Austin, Texas area and for his own personal pleasure. He passed away from cancer in 1995.

Karl Precoda

The Dream Syndicate was an alternative rock band that gained notoriety throughout the 1980s, although they reunited in 2012. Karl Precoda was the guitar player for the band. During the hiatus after their brush with fame throughout the 1980s, Karl decided to continue his education.

He went on to earn his Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia. Although the band has since reunited and still continues to play shows from time to time, Karl has also remained within his newfound career of academia. He can be found at Virginia Tech University where he teaches cinema and cultural studies.

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is best known as the Secretary of State, serving during the presidency of George W. Bush. She also previously served as the national security advisor of the United. As previously customary in the United States, Condoleezza had many years of experience in the realm of political science.

She first gained her Ph.D. from the University of Denver in 1981 and later went on to work as a professor at Stanford University. Condoleezza is known to be highly intelligent and also managed to garner her academic achievements at a young age. She graduated with a Bachelor degree at age nineteen and completed her Ph.D. at age twenty-six. Condoleezza also became the first woman and the first African American to serve as the provost at Stanford University.

Amy Chow

Amy Chow is a former gymnast and Olympian who was known for competing in both the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. Amy was a part of the Magnificent Seven, which also included Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes and Kerri Strug, among others.

The young women were the first United States team to win the gold at the Olympics. Amy is also particularly notable for being the first Asian-American woman to win an Olympic medal in gymnastics. Despite being so accomplished at a young age, Amy was not done with her goals and later went on to graduate from Stanford Medical School in 2007.

Edgar Buchanan

Actor Edgar Buchanan was best known for his role in a variety of Western films. Some of his notable works include Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies, to name a few. However, acting wasn’t the only thing Edgar did, before acting he also earned a DDS degree from North Pacific College.

He actually owned and operated his own dental practice alongside his wife Mildred who was also a practicing dentist. Edgar later decided to focus only on his acting career which he did for the rest of his life. The dental practice did remain open, although it was continued on by his wife Mildred.

Sofia Vergara

Colombian comedic actress Sofia Vergara has become a household name thanks to her role on the hit show Modern Family. She was discovered as a seventeen-year-old on the beach while still enrolled in high school. She was subsequently cast in a Pepsi commercial. However, she also ended up marrying young and having a son at only eighteen years old.

At the same time, she enrolled in dental school in her Bogotá, Colombia. Sofia said, “I went to dental school, but I didn’t finish because I started getting opportunities for work. You have to decide every day, ‘Do I go to class or do I make money?’ Your priorities start changing.” Ultimately, she chose to continue making money and moved to the United States. It seems as though it has paid off because Sofia has been listed as the highest paid actress on television.