7 Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees

Most celebrities graduated from prestigious art schools or worked odd jobs until their big break. But some actually had a less standard route to success and maybe even pursued careers far from the spotlight. And while you might assume celebrities are merely focused on entertainment, some of their college degrees might surprise you. With a little digging, you’ll discover the shocking industries some film stars were involved in before they got famous. So read on to see what your favorite stars were doing before they made it big. 

Lisa Kudrow

While famous for playing the eccentric (and sometimes ditzy) Phoebe Buffay on the acclaimed television show, Friends, Kudrow is actually incredibly smart and earned a biology degree from Vassar College in 1985. She even gave an inspiring commencement address at her school in 2010 that went viral. The moving speech discussed dealing with failure, which anyone can relate to. 

Aziz Ansari

Before breaking into comedy, Ansari wanted to become an entrepreneur and earned a degree in marketing from New York University. But the Wall Street culture turned him off from pursuing that career. The star has even used his marketing knowledge in his comedy. Ansari, along with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg, wrote a Modern Romance: An Investigation, based on their findings on communication in romance. Their research focuses on the link between the marketing world and the dating scene. 

Mayim Bialik

Just like her character from Big Bang Theory, Bialik is also a neuroscientist. The actress got her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research at UCLA focused on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder within people who have Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare condition where the hypothalamus malfunctions. Her research on this subject helped her better understand the biological mechanisms behind parenting. The hypothalamus releases the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin. In 2012, Bialik published a book on parenting with a specific focus on the hormonal science in parent-child bonding. 

Ken Jeong

The comedy star didn’t just play a doctor in Dr. Ken on ABC, he actually is one. He graduated from Duke University and then earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1995. While happy working as a general practitioner, Jeong had a real urge to perform. When not working at the hospital, he was doing stand-up. Eventually, the aspiring comedian landed his iconic role in The Hangover, which helped kickstart his film career. Jeong then gave up his practice for acting. 

“Weird Al” Yankovic 

Alfred Matthew Yankovic, or more commonly known as “Weird Al,” wasn’t always making quirky parodies of famous tunes. The comedian studied architecture at the California Polytechnic State University, yet after college, he decided that path wasn’t for him

Brian May 

The lead guitarist of Queen wasn’t always just rocking out on stage. May obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Imperial College in London and then received a Ph.D. from his alma mater in 2007. 

Rooney Mara

Before receiving awards for her brilliant performances in Carol and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mara earned a multidisciplinary degree in psychology, international social policy, and non-profits from the NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2010. The starlet went to George Washington University first before transferring to NYU.

This list just goes to show you that anyone can change careers at any point in their life and still be extremely successful. So while you might have an online psychology degree, you could end up taking home an Oscar in the future! If you’re curious about more celebrity background information, you can check out celebrity news on GoLookUp for more revealing entertainment content. You may be surprised by what you find.