I Have So Much Respect For These 19 Celebs Who Finished College After Becoming Famous

·5 min read

There's no one path to success, especially when it comes to getting your education. You don't need a college degree to be successful, but a lot of celebs who are already famous have made the decision to go back to school anyway.

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Here are 19 celebrities who earned their college degrees after becoming famous:

1.After iCarly wrapped, Miranda Cosgrove enrolled in a film studies course at University of Southern California.

actor who played Carly on "iCarly"

She switched her major to psychology during her final year.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Nickelodeon

2.When her music career began taking off, Megan Thee Stallion transferred to Texas Southern's online program in health administration so she could finish her degree.

"Savage" singer

She met her close friend Daren Kyle during her first year at Prairie A&M.

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images for iHeartMedia

3.While filming Desperate Housewives, Eva Longoria earned her master's degree in Chicano studies at California State University.

actor who played Gloria on "Desperate Housewives"

She previously attended Texas A&M University, where she got her bachelor's in kinesiology.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

4.Toward the end of her Harry Potter days, Emma Watson began attending Brown University to earn her English literature degree.

actor who played Meg March in "Little Women"

She took a short break to wrap the last Harry Potter film and spent her junior year at Oxford.

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5.Nick Cannon graduated from Howard University with his bachelor's degree in criminology/administration of justice in 2020.

host of "Wild N Out"

He also gave the commencement speech at his virtual graduation.

Andrew Toth / Getty Images for New Games Productions Inc.

6.During her 12-year break from acting, Blossom star Mayim Bialik earned both her bachelor's and her doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA.

actor who played Amy Farrah Fowler on "The Big Bang Theory"

She graduated in 2007.

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7.After his character Zack Martin graduated high school on The Suite Life on Deck, Dylan Sprouse entered New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and got a degree in video game design.

former Disney Channel star and current meadery owner

As an undergrad, he also got a job at a local restaurant "as a way to primarily feed [his] over bountiful video game addiction."

Jon Kopaloff / WireImage / Via Getty

8.Cole Sprouse attended NYU alongside his twin brother and earned a degree in archeology.

actor who plays Jughead Jones on "Riverdale"

His studies focused on Geographical Information Systems and Satellite Imaging, which he told Live with Kelly and Ryan is “basically like virtual cartography.” He went on multiple archeological expeditions as a student.

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9.After starring in Good Luck Charlie and Undateable, Bridgit Mendler studied anthropology at USC, pursued her PhD at the MIT Media Lab, and enrolled in Harvard Law School.

She's also worked as an artist ambassador for Save the Children. 

She's also worked as an artist ambassador for Save the Children.

Jason Laveris / FilmMagic

10.Shaquille O'Neal graduated with his doctorate in education from Barry University in 2012.

former pro basketball player and current actor and sports analyst

His capstone project explored business leaders' use of humor at work.

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11.Amanda Bynes pivoted from acting to fashion when she earned her associate's degree in merchandise product development from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

actor who starred on "The Amanda Show"

She's currently pursuing her bachelor's degree online with the aspiration of opening her own online store.

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12.Natalie Portman enrolled at Harvard to get her psychology degree after Star Wars: Episode 1 premiered.

In a commencement speech she gave 12 years after her own graduation, she said,

In a commencement speech she gave 12 years after her own graduation, she said, "I felt like there had been some mistake, that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company, and that every time I opened my mouth I would have to prove that I wasn’t just a dumb actress.”

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13.When Haley Joel Osment was 18, he moved from Hollywood to New York to study theater at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

actor who played Cole Sear in "The Sixth Sense"

He told the New York Times, "The irony is, all I was doing was acting — all day, every day. Just nobody could see it.”

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14.Yara Shahidi is currently enrolled at Harvard, where she's focusing on social studies.

actor who played 	Zoey Johnson on "Black-ish"

She told Glamour, "[Hollywood] has proved that it changes so often, so I’d rather spend the time on something [like social studies] that has personally been a passion of mine for so long. Hollywood isn’t moving anywhere. I’ll figure it out when I get back."

Christopher Polk / Getty Images for Turner Image

15.Brooke Shields put her modeling career on hold to study Romance languages with a concentration in French at Princeton.

actor who played Stevie in "Backstreet Dreams"

She wrote her senior thesis on the adolescent journey in French filmmaker Louis Malle's works.

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16.Swizz Beatz moved into student housing when he enrolled in Harvard Business School in 2014.

producer and rapper

When he graduated in 2017, he said, "This moment is special to me and my family, because many people look up to me and they use my drive to thrive."

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17.Ashley Judd left the University of Kentucky just one course short of graduating in 1990, but she returned to complete her French degree in 2007.

actor who played Natalie Prior in "Divergent"

The school's College of Arts and Sciences announced the creation of the Ashley T. Judd Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women in 2017.

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for Greenwich Film Festival

18.Dakota Fanning took time out of her acting career to study the portrayal of women in film at NYU.

actor who played Jane Volturi in the Twilight Saga

She told the Independent, "It's weird because my studies and my work totally correspond and connect, but it's almost like I use two separate parts of my brain...I think that sort of being informed by the history of women in film and studying that will only help with the choices I make."

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19.And finally, after leaving USC to star in Ugly Betty, America Ferrera returned 10 years later to complete her degree in international relations.

actor who played Amy Sosa on "Superstore"

America decided to prioritize her acting career when a professor told her about a young girl he'd been mentoring who told him that in order to understand her life, he needed to watch Real Women Have Curves — one of the only two films the actor had done before entering USC. She said, "What my professor really wanted me to understand was that my passion for acting and what I loved doing in the world had the power to be a tool."

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