Surprising College Majors of Celebrities

Some of the most celebrated entertainment icons of our time know the value of a good education. A select few Hollywood stars are in MENSA, and many have pursued higher educations at some of the country’s most prestigious institutions. It might be a knee-jerk reaction to think they all studied arts, drama or theater, but you would be sorely mistaken. Take a look at these celebrities who had no idea they were bound for Hollywood or professional sports when they selected their majors.gene simmons

Eva Longoria Parker – Maybe her studies will come in handy if husband Tony Parker has an injury. Eva pursued a degree in kinesiology at Texas A&M at Kingsville.

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The roles she has chosen in Hollywood don’t seem like a stretch from her deep-thinking studies of literature and East religions at Columbia.

Mira Sorvino – We’ve yet to see this Academy Award winning actress have a need for her fluency in Mandarin Chinese, a part of her degree in Asian studies at Harvard.

Gene Simmons – Can you imagine the front-man of Kiss teaching your elementary school class? Well, for some children, it was a reality, after he graduated with a degree in education from Richmond College.

John Cleese – His dry humor might have gone well in the courtroom had he pursued a career in law, which he studied at Cambridge in England.

Forest Whitaker – This Academy Award winning best actor had a different kind of stage presence in mind while studying opera at the music conservatory at USC.

Jay Leno – For someone who talks so much, maybe studying speech therapy at Emerson was a good move for the former late night talk show host.

Regis Philbin – Much of what Regis learned studying sociology at Notre Dame probably comes in handy for the broad range of entertainment roles he plays today.will ferrell talladega nights

Will Ferrell – This funny man might have made ESPN recaps a little more entertaining if he had become a sports broadcaster as planned. Ferrell attended USC.

Hugh Hefner – The Playboy tycoon must have had a concentration in human sexuality while he studied psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sean Penn – This two-time Academy Award winner clearly did not foresee a successful career in acting when he studied auto mechanics at Santa Monica College.

Steve Martin – This classic comedian actually has a more pensive side, as he studied philosophy at Long Beach College (now CSU – Long Beach) and UCLA.

Matt Groening– The infamous creator of The Simpsons, naming the cartoon’s heads of family after his own parents, studied philosophy at Evergreen State College.

Tiger Woods – Surely his studies in economics at Stanford have proven him well in his multi-million dollar golf and endorsement career.

Michael Jordan – Likely one of the best basketball players of all time, this star was headed far from the hardwood at University of North Carolina while studying cultural geography.

Eli Manning – This NFL star received his degree in marketing at the University of Mississippi, skills he’s likely putting to good use with all of those endorsement deals.








4 Responses to “Surprising College Majors of Celebrities”

  1. Brandi says:

    Hi Ladylily-

    Thanks for the feedback. All the resources we found showed that he left to join the Bulls in 1984 and didn’t complete his degree. A little further digging and we found that he did in fact complete his degree in 1986.

    This information has been corrected in the article.

  2. ladylily says:

    Michael Jordan actually graduated from Carolina in 1986. Like Rasheed Wallace and other Tar Heels who left early to go to the NBA, he came back for summer school and finished up his degree.


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