We are used to thinking of celebrities as pretty faces, without much formal schooling. We might even feel better, thinking that celebs “just” act, and that a masters degree is out of reach for them. However, there are plenty of smart celebrities — even if they don’t have the degree to prove it. There, are, though, some celebrities that completed advanced degrees. And, even though some of them could probably have gotten scholarships, these celebs probably had enough money to pay tuition out of pocket. Here are 11 celebrities with masters degrees:

  1. James Franco: This hot heart throb is known for his soulful acting, especially in his role as James Dean. This summer, he is everywhere, thanks to his acting with Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. However, he is also big into education. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia university and is contemplating a PhD in English Literature from Yale. Franco is known for his ability to write and direct films, as well as for his acting chops.
  2. Dexter Holland: When you think of The Offspring, you don’t normally think “smart” (although many of the lyrics have pointed messages). But that doesn’t mean that the members of The Offspring are idiots. Quite the contrary. Indeed, Dexter Holland, the lead singer of the punk rock band, has a masters degree in molecular biology from USC. He started in on a doctorate, but decided that the band came first. Talented musician and scientist!
  3. Ron Jeremy: You don’t normally think of porn stars as educated folks. However, famous porn star Ron Jeremy has a masters degree in special education. He actually taught special education in New York City for a few years. But then his girlfriend submitted his photo to a special Playboy section and soon he had offers to take his career in a new direction. And, quite honestly, the world has never been the same, since he helped bring acceptance of porn into the mainstream.
  4. David Duchovny: Ever since the X-Files, David Duchovny has wanted to be taken seriously. With a little help from increasingly better film roles, and a turn on an acclaimed HBO series, Duchovny is seen as a serious (and seriously good) actor. However, he has had problems with his image, still, thanks to an admitted sex addiction. However, even with his checkered past, academics can take him seriously with a masters degree English Literature from Yale University.
  5. Dolph Lundgren: Sly Stallone fans know Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago, Rocky’s Russian opponent in Rocky IV. Lundgren has also been seen in a number of other films. An international karate champion, Lundgren is well known for his prowess in physical accomplishments. However, he is also known for his mental accomplishments. Lundgren has a masters degree in chemical engineering at the University of Sydney. He was even on his way to MIT as a Fulbright Scholar when he got sidetracked by the whole acting thing.
  6. Peter Weller: You know him as RoboCop. Students at Syracuse University known him as “professor.” Peter Weller, the actor that portrays the half human, half robot cop on the big screen has a masters degree in Renaissance Art History from Syracuse University. Now he teaches at his alma mater. Weller takes care of his educational side in between continuing to act and also directing. If you’re not careful, this RoboCop will read you information on Renaissance art and Roman architecture. And it’s probably not easy to get an A in his class.
  7. Sigourney Weaver: Acting has always been of interest to Sigourney Weaver. She was trained in classic dramatic tradition, and has always wanted to act. Her name was originally Susan, but she renamed herself after a minor character in The Great Gatsby. Weaver went on to study drama at Standford, and then receive a masters degree from Yale in fine arts. Weaver has appeared in experimental plays, and in a number of film roles, in addition to the Alien movie role that made her famous.
  8. Art Garfunkel: You expect someone like folk music artist Art Garfunkel to have a degree in Art History. And he does have a bachelors degree in that subject. However, his masters degree from Columbia University is in mathematics. Garfunkel is often known as the “other” guy — in addition to Paul Simon — in the duo Simon & Garfunkel. One of his most recognized accomplishments was singing the lead on the beautiful song “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” There are many that say that Garfunkel spent his time in Simon’s shadow, but his academic achievements say otherwise.
  9. Rich Franklin: One of the stars in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is Rich Franklin. He is known for his unique personality — and his unique fighting style. Franklin is known for his advanced Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) style — a style that he has not imitates (although many probably try to imitate him. But Franklin can school you in more than having your butt kicked. He has a masters in education and even taught high school math for a while.
  10. Tony La Russa: We don’t often hear of athletes who go on to get advanced degrees, but Tony La Russa is one of them. Currently manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, La Russa has a law degree, and advanced degree which is at least on par with a masters degree. La Russa was the first manager to win multiple pennants in both the American and National Leagues, and is in the top three for all time managerial wins. And he can defend his guys in court if they run into trouble.
  11. Brian May: Freddy Mercury may have had a planetary name, but the astrophysicist of the rock group Queen was Brian May. May received his BS from the Imperial College of London and went through additional schooling before dropping out to be a rock star. But, in the end, he returned to school and got his doctorate in astronomy after a 30 year hiatus. With a doctorate, one could certainly say May is a “master” of the subject.

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