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20 Celebrities Who Have Ivy League Educations

20 Celebrities Who Have Ivy League Educations

4,911,977 January 18th, 2013
Posted in Entertainment By
  • The Hollywood Reporter's "Power 100: Women In Entertainment" Breakfast - Red Carpet

    Funnygal Mindy Kaling graduated from Dartmouth in 2001, and in her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? she joked that she went to the Ivy League school to "pursue [her] love of white people and North Face parkas." With her theater degree, she continued on to TV fame (and racked up two million followers on Twitter). 

    Photo: Getty Images / Alexandra Wyman
  • 39th Annual People's Choice Awards - Portraits

    Emma Watson's decision to attend Brown University caused quite the stir in 2009. Since then, she took a brief leave of absence to focus on her acting career, but will be returning to finish her degree this year. We can't even imagine how many "Hermione" jokes that she was faced with in class.

    Photo: Getty Images / Christopher Polk
  • 2013 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant And Spirit Award Nominees Brunch - Red Carpet

    Rashida Jones is another female comedian with brains: In 1997, the actress graduated from Harvard (a celebrity favorite, it seems). Although she pursued a degree in acting, she also demonstrated her musical abilities by writing scores for the university's illustrious Hasty Pudding Club.

    Photo: Getty Images / Imeh Akpanudosen
  • OFA-Nevada Women Vote 2012 Summit

    Natalie Portman has a reputation in the industry for being brainy, and with good reason. The actress attended Harvard University and emerged with a degree in Psychology in 2003. A former professor commented on her academic performance, stating that "she is a very determined person and capable of focused effort over a sustained period. She is now demonstrating the results of that determination and focus." She also speaks Hebrew, French, Arabic, German and Japanese. Not too shabby.

    Photo: Getty Images / Isaac Brekken
  • The Art Of Elysium's 6th Annual Black-tie Gala "Heaven" - Arrivals

    John Legend attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving scholarship offers from Harvard, Georgetown and Morehouse before settling into his alma mater. In 1998 (a year before his graduation), a college friend introduced him to Lauryn Hill, who recruited him to play piano on her track "Everything is Everything," and in 2001, another college friend introduced him to Kanye West, who later worked with him. 

    Photo: Getty Images / David Livingston
  • 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Arrivals

    John Krasinski is known for his role as lovable Jim on "The Office," though he's also quite intelligent, too. He graduated from Brown University in 2001, starting out with an interest in English Literature, before eventually pursuing theater. He spent the first half of his freshman year in Costa Rica teaching English to students, to boot.

    Photo: Getty Images / Jason Merritt
  • 2012 GLAMOUR Women Of The Year Awards

    Tyra Banks caused quite a stir when the "America's Next Top Model" host announced she was heading to Harvard Business School. Banks has indeed attended business classes at Harvard, but did not receive a degree from the graduate school because she was enrolled in a special syllabus, called the "Owner/President Management Program," which is basically a certificate program rather than an actual M.B.A. degree.

    Photo: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy
  • YouTube 2012 Upfronts Presentation

    Julia Stiles graduated from Columbia University in 2005 with a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. Not unlike her bookwormish "10 Things I Hate About You" character, who was always reading Sylvia Plath. 

    Photo: Getty Images / Jason Kempin
  • "Dead Accounts" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals And Curtain

    After starring in the racy movie "The Blue Lagoon," Brooke Shields decamped to Princeton University to pursue her bachelor's degree in French Literature. She graduated in 1987.

    Photo: Getty Images / Andrew H. Walker
  • "Won't Back Down" New York Screening

    Maggie Gyllenhaal earned a B.A. in English literature from Columbia University in 1995. While there, she took a class with Uma Thurman's father, Professor Robert Thurman. Her brother, Jake Gyllenhaal, also attended Columbia University, but later dropped out.

    Photo: Getty Images / Michael Loccisano
  • International Women's Media Foundation Hosts 2012 Courage In Journalism Awards

    Aisha Tyler is another actress who can name-check Dartmouth as her alma mater. She graduated in 1992, though regrets her choice of a Government major. "I studied the arts all through high school and college, but I was not an arts major—I was a government major, and the arts were a hobby of mine, and I wish that in retrospect I spent more time embracing that aspect of my life." 

    Photo: Getty Images / Charley Gallay
  • "Spring Breakers" Premiere - Arrivals - 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

    James Franco is known to dabble in a ton of various professions and projects, and the man of many talents attended quite a few prestigious schools, as well. He holds a bachelor's degree from UCLA (where he graduated with a GPA above 3.5), received an MFA from Columbia, studied film at NYU, and is currently enrolled at Yale University but has yet to receive a degree.

    Photo: Getty Images / Alberto E. Rodriguez
  • March Of Dimes' Celebration Of Babies - Arrivals

    Elizabeth Banks graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. While in school, she was active in the Greek scene, as a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She met her husband, Max Handleman, on their first day of classes at the university.

    Photo: Getty Images / Paul A. Hebert
  • The Launch Of Tie The Knot, A Charity Benefitting Aarriage Equality Through The Sale Of Limited Edition Bowties - Red Carpet

    Red-carpet favorite and "Modern Family" star Julie Bowen went to Brown University and earned a diploma in 1991. While pursuing her degree, she acted in musicals such as "Guys and Dolls." 

    Photo: Getty Images / Alexandra Wyman
  • Conan O'Brien Hosts Ad Council's 59th Annual Public Service Award Dinner

    Conan O'Brien attended Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in U.S. History. While there, he edited the Harvard Lampoon for two years. 

    Photo: Getty Images / Donald Bowers
  • 5th Annual Hollywood Domino Gala - Arrivals

    Ed Norton graduated from Yale University in 1991. He rowed crew competitively while studying History at the Ivy League school, and took acting classes on the side. 

    Photo: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown
  • The Hollywood Reporter's "Power 100: Women In Entertainment" Breakfast - Red Carpet

    Ellie Kemper attended Princeton University as a field hockey player, earning her degree in 2002. "The Office" actress followed in the footsteps of her comedian mother, who was one of the first women to attend the prestigious university. 

    Photo: Getty Images / Alexandra Wyman
  • Gotham Magazine Celebrates Its November Issue With Actress Laura Linney, Star Of "The Details" And "Hyde Park On Hudson"

    Laura Linney attended Northwestern before transferring to Brown University. A senior lecturer in theater at the school commented, "As a student, she was bright and natural. She was delightful to work with, and she pushed herself. I don't think anyone's quite like Laura. She always had a clear focus and wonderful energy that touched everyone around her." 

    Photo: Getty Images / Eugene Gologursky
  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's A Magical Evening Gala - Arrivals

    Meryl Streep is widely considered one of the most distinguished actresses of all time, and she's also impressively smart: After attending Vassar College, she continued onto the Yale School of Drama to receive a Masters of Fine Arts in 1975. In the program, she reportedly felt immense pressure and harsh competition, but powered through and became, well, Meryl Streep. 

    Photo: Getty Images / Mike Coppola
  • 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Despite being a successful child star, Jodie Foster graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in literature in 1985. 

    Photo: Getty Images / Jason Merritt

This week, Karlie Kloss announced that she had plans of hopefully attending Harvard University when she tired of modeling. Of course, this was inspired by her fellow model Tyra Banks, who famously attended Harvard Business School (although there’s been a dispute regarding the validity of her degree).

This got us thinking about other celebrities who’ve headed to the Ivy League for their college degrees, whether it was before they were stars or after they got famous (we’re looking at you, James Franco!). The list is quite diverse, and some of the celebrities’ smarts will definitely surprise you. 

Click through the slideshow to discover which celebrities attended Ivy League schools!

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