Not All Majors Define Careers: Surprising Majors of 12 Celebrities

By Maigen
05/29/2015
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You may recognize her as a former Hogwarts student, but the real life Hermione Granger, Emma Watson, is actually one of the newest graduates of Brown University, an Ivy League institution in Rhode Island. She donned her cap and gown this past May to receive a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Perhaps it was the Harry Potter book series that sparked her interest in literature, but she isn't the first major celebrity to hold a degree in something outside her career field. It's easy to think that all A-listers attended school at NYU or studied acting, but that's not necessarily the case. In fact, some celebrity alma maters and degrees might actually surprise you! So, while choosing your major is important, remember that this decision doesn't have to define you or your career path. Just take a look at some of these big names and their degrees to see for yourself.
Will Ferrell 2013The hilarious Will Ferrell is a Sports Broadcasting graduate of the University of Southern California. (Was this his inspiration for Ron Burgundy?)
Julia Stiles by David Shankbone croppedJulia Stiles of film and stage graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English.
Matthew McConaughey - Goldene Kamera 2014 - BerlinAcademy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey originally planned to become a lawyer. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied Pre-law for two years before switching his degree to Film Production.
Kenny Chesney 2013Country superstar Kenny Chesney graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in Advertising.
Mayim BialikMayim Bialik doesn't just portray a brainy scientist on "The Big Bang Theory." She also has the smarts to back it up! She holds a degree in Neuroscience from UCLA. (Bonus: She also minored in Hebrew and Jewish studies!)
SteveCarellFullPremiereSept2011The "world's best boss" of "The Office," Steve Carell, earned a degree in History from Denison University.
AlYankovicByKristineSlipsonParody singer and songwriter "Weird Al" Yankovic holds a degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic State University.
Stewart - USO-Metro Merit Awards 2"The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart graduated from The College of William and Mary and majored in Psychology.
Ken Jeong by Gage SkidmoreKen Jeong may be a strong believer in "laughter is the best medicine." After all, this comedian obtained his M.D. at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
O'Brien, Conan (crop)Conan O’Brien graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in History and American Literature.
Natalie Portman AA 2011Natalie Portman also graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Psychology.
Oprah Winfrey (2004)And where did Oprah Winfrey go to college? The most powerful woman in television attended Tennessee State University on a full scholarship by winning an oratory contest. She holds a degree in Speech and Performing Arts.

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