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Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees

Updated June 14, 2019 5.1k votes 560 voters 15.2k views24 items

List RulesVote up the celebrities with the most surprising degrees.

Not every celebrity knew from the get-go they wanted to perform. Many future stars arrive at college without their sights set on studying performing arts. In fact, they often go in a completely different direction, resulting in plenty of celebrities with weird college degrees. The choices may not make much sense now, but these celebrities once considered jobs that didn't involve the limelight. 

The weirdest celebrity college degrees include an adult film star with a master's in education, a rock icon who's also an astrophysicist, and a comedy legend who studied electrical engineering. While their careers worked out a little differently than originally planned, it's doubtful any of them mind - especially the celebrities who worked weird jobs before getting famous. Regardless, not a single one needs to worry about repaying student loans for degrees they'll never use.

  • Christy Turlington Burns Has A is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees
    Photo: John Lamparski/Contributor / WireImage

    Christy Turlington Burns earned a Master of Public Health from Columbia University. She started college well after becoming a supermodel. After losing two pints of blood during pregnancy complications in 2003, Burns decided she wanted to help women with similar issues who lacked access to health care.

    "Now I’m 40 and getting this degree, I might be on the cusp of the career that I always wanted," she told Vogue in 2009.

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  • Brian May Has A PhD In Astroph is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees
    Photo: Matthew Baker / Getty Images

    Queen's Brian May earned a Bachelor of Science in physics, with honors, in the '70s. In 2007, he returned to finish his PhD in astrophysics at the same university, Imperial College London. His doctoral thesis tackled the motions of interplanetary dust.

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  • Gene Simmons Has A Bachelor&#3 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees
    Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Contributor / Getty Images Entertainment

    KISS frontman Gene Simmons wasn't always the scary, tongue-wagging character he plays onstage. Simmons holds an associate degree from Sullivan County Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in education from Richmond College. He even taught sixth grade at one point. In 1970, just after completing his degree, he formed KISS.

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  • Rooney Mara Has A Bachelor&#39 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Celebrities With Surprising College Degrees
    Photo: Michael Tran/Contributor / Getty Images Entertainment

    Rooney Mara graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. While there, she formulated her own Bachelor of Arts degree in a variety of subjects. She focused on psychology, international social policy, and the formation of nonprofit organizations. Mara graduated in 2010

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