Five Celebrities Who Hold Doctoral Degrees

By Catherine Groux
Posted October 30, 2012 02:00 PM

These five celebrities all hold doctorate degrees.
These five celebrities all hold doctorate degrees.
Although their schedules are packed with making movies, playing professional sports, performing music and designing clothing, some celebrities have made the time to go back to school and pursue a college degree. These five stars have demonstrated a particularly strongly passion for higher education, as they not only earned a bachelor's degree, but a doctorate as well.

Shaquille O'Neal

In May, four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal earned a doctoral degree in education from Barry University. The basketball superstar originally left Louisiana State University to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA, but since he promised his parents he would eventually finish college, he later went back to school and earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree and then a doctorate.

James Franco

Actor James Franco has consistently proven how much he values higher education. The "Spider-Man" star first earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, then moved on to earn two writing master's degrees from Columbia University and Brooklyn College and an additional Master's in Directing from New York University. Then, last year, Franco announced that on top of pursuing a PhD in English from Yale University, he had also been accepted to the doctoral program in creative writing and literature at the University of Houston, TIME magazine reports.

Bill Cosby

Throughout the 1960s and '70s, actor, comedian and author Bill Cosby put much of his energy toward higher education, eventually earning a master's degree in education in 1972. Only six years later, Cosby completed a Doctorate in Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since then, the star has used his knowledge to promote education changes across the nation, encouraging children and teens to better themselves by staying in school. 

Brian May

As a guitarist and songwriter with the legendary rock group Queen, Brian May has proven his dedication to music. However, he also showed his passion for education by earning a Doctoral degree in Astrophysics at Imperial College London in 2007. Then, only months later, May was named the chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

"In this age of celebrity culture, it is rare to find someone who has fame, fortune and universal acclaim and yet who remains true to his core values of learning and enlightenment," LJMU vice-chancellor Michael Brown told The Guardian in 2007.

Miuccia Prada

On top of being a world-renowned fashion designer and entrepreneur, Miuccia Prada -  granddaughter of Mario Prada, founder of the Prada fashion empire - also holds a Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Milan. Prior to earning her doctorate, Prada earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the university. 

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