11 celebrities who dropped out and 11 who have multiple degrees

I was years old today when I found out that Jake Gyllenhaal dropped out of Columbia.


Brad Pitt studied to be a journalist at the University of Missouri, but dropped out TWO WEEKS before graduation.

Pool / Getty Images

Brad explained: “It was just about time for graduation and everyone – all my friends committed to work – and I realized I was not ready for it yet. I packed my car. I did not finish – I had two weeks back – and I moved out to LA. ”

He decided not to end the two weeks because “I just felt like I was done, I was done with it. I knew where I wanted to go. I had a direction. I always liked those moments of revelation when you has the next destination. “


Shaquille O’Neal holds a BA in General Studies from Louisiana University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a PhD in Education from Barry University.

Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

Originally, Shaq left Louisiana University to play in the NBA, but said he returned because: “The one I promised my parents I would [follow my passion for education]. Secondly, I wanted to continue my education, and thirdly, I wanted to challenge myself. “


Mila Kunis went to UCLA shortly after, transferred to Loyola Marymount University and then dropped out.

Gotham / GC Images / Getty Images

Mila was already stuck in the series on both The 70s show and Family guy during his time in college. She said, “I went to college because I felt I was supposed to. I graduated from elementary school and I did all the things I had to do.”

She added: “I did not fail. I dropped out. I did not fail. I was actually a pretty good student. My problem was that I did not know what I wanted to study. What should I go in? Indecisive? I took a class about Zionist theory. I took classes that interested me that were not necessarily to a certain degree. Then I realized and talked to my parents and I said, ‘I love what I do and I want to pursue it.’ They said, ‘Oh, why don’t you just drop out?’


Ken Jeong holds a BS from Duke University and earned his MD at the UNC School of Medicine.

Fox / FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Ken practiced medicine for several years while performing stand-up at comedy clubs when he was not working. After his role in Made pregnant, he was able to go over to being a full-time entertainer.


Kristen Bell went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to study musical theater, but dropped a few points out of her degree to play a role in the Broadway musical version of Tom Sawyer’s fairy tale.

Phillip Faraone / FilmMagic / Getty Images


Jessica Biel was enrolled at Tufts University in Massachusetts for two years, but dropped out to play a role in The chainsaw massacre in Texas (2003).

Rachel Luna / WireImage / Getty Images

She said she wished she did not leave school. “I wish I would have had the time that my girlfriends all had. I wish I would have lived in the shitty, ugly rut that they all lived in. If I had to do it again, I would have kept fixed and finished. “


Spike Lee holds a BA in Mass Communication from Morehouse and an MFA in Film from NYU Tisch.

Lionel Hahn / Getty Images


Tom Hanks studied theater at Chabot College and moved to California State University, Sacramento after two years before dropping out to take an internship at the Great Lakes Theater Festival.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images


Eva Longoria received a BS in kinesiology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a master’s degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge.

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images


Madonna received a scholarship to the University of Michigan and studied there for two years before dropping out and moving to New York City to pursue her music career.

Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images for MTV / ViacomCBS


Mayim Bialik holds a BS in Neuroscience and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Mayim married and had her first son during high school. She has said that her studies helped her play Amy, a neuroscientist, further Big Bang theories.


Jake Gyllenhaal went to Columbia for about two years to study Eastern religions and philosophy and then dropped out to concentrate on acting.

Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Getty Imges

His sister, Maggie, was a senior in Columbia when he started, and she completed her education. Their mother also graduated from Columbia. Jake has said he eventually wants to return to his studies and get his degree.


Bridgit Mendler holds a degree in anthropology from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mindy Best / Getty Images

She is currently working on her PhD at MIT’s Center for Constructive Communications and Social Machines group.


John Mayer enrolled at Berklee College of Music, left after two semesters, moved to Atlanta and started a band called the LoFi Masters with his friend, Clay Cook.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Rodemode Inc


Rebel Wilson went to the University of New South Wales and graduated with a BA in Theater and Performance Studies and also a Bachelor of Laws degree.

Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Rebel said she decided not to become a politician or lawyer since she had malaria and hallucinated that she won an Oscar.


Lady Gaga got early admission to Collaborative Art Projects 21, a music school at NYU Tisch. She dropped out in the second semester of her sophomore year to pursue her music career.

David Livingston / Getty Images for Fashion Media


David Duchovny holds a BA in English Literature from Princeton University and an MA in English Literature from Yale.

Matthew Eisman / Getty Images

David started working on his PhD, but did not finish it.


Ashton Kutcher attended the University of Iowa and majored in biochemical engineering. During that time, he was approached by a model scout at a bar, won the modeling competition “Fresh Faces of Iowa” and then eventually dropped out and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

Allen Berezovsky / FilmMagic / Getty Images


Lupita Nyong’o holds a degree in film and theater studies from Hampshire College and a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum / Vogue


Alicia Keys had a scholarship to Columbia, but dropped out after a month to focus on her music full time.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Met Museum / Vogue


And Angela Basset holds a BA in African American Studies from Yale and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Phillip Pharaoh / Getty Images

Who are other celebrities who dropped out of college or have multiple degrees? Tell us in the comments!

BuzzFeed daily

Stay up to date with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily Newsletter!

Leave a Comment