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7 Surprising Celebrities You Didn’t Know Have STEM Degrees


You probably spend more time Googling your favorite celebs’ film credits than their educational credentials, but it’s time to give some recognition to celebrities with STEM degrees. The seven celebrities on this list do more than just provide us with mindless entertainment – each of the famous names listed below have earned a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math subject.

Mike Judge

You may know him as the mastermind who created hilarious TV shows such as Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill, and Silicon Valley. But before he was making hit TV shows, Judge earned his degree in physics from the University of California in San Diego in 1986. His first job out of college was as a computer programmer, but he left for the entertainment industry in 1989 and his career took off.

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Danica McKellar

Go back to the year 1988 and you might recall Winnie Cooper, aka Kevin Arnold’s ongoing love interest from the TV show The Wonder Years. Danica played the role of Winnie from 1988-1993 before getting accepted at UCLA where she earned her Bachelor of Science in mathematics with top honors in 1998. Danica has since written a number of books aimed at inspiring young girls to pursue math and other STEM subjects, including Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing your Mind or Breaking a Nail.

Montel Williams

Better known for his role as a talk show host on The Montel Williams Show and as a radio personality, Montel enlisted as a Marine upon graduating high school. He later went on to earn his degree in general engineering with a minor in international security affairs. After he graduated, he became the first African American-enlisted Marine to complete and graduate both the Naval Academy Prep School and United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Mayim Bialik

You might recognize her as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler from the hit show Big Bang Theory. But before Mayim was playing a neurobiologist on television, she was practicing her trade in real life. After her early role on the TV show Blossom was over, Mayim was accepted to several prestigious colleges, including Harvard and Yale, but chose UCLA and earned her BS and, in 2007, her doctorate in neuroscience. In 2010 she began acting full-time once again.

Brian May

The crazy-haired lead guitarist of Queen is living proof that even the most bohemian musicians can be science geeks at heart. Before achieving international success with his bandmates during the 1970s, May studied physics and mathematics at the Imperial College of London, where he graduated with honors. May also helped found Asteroid Day, an annual global awareness movement to help protect the Earth from asteroids.

Lisa Kudrow

Kudrow, aka Phoebe Buffay, aka your favorite guitar-strumming masseuse from the hit show Friends, may have played the ditziest character on one of the top sitcoms of the nineties, but in real life she proved herself one smart cookie. Growing up, Kudrow’s father had worked in the medical field, focused on researching headaches. Because of this, Kudrow followed her father’s footsteps at Vassar College where she earned her Bachelor of Science in biology. After that, she worked on her father’s staff for eight years before finally breaking into the acting world.

Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland is a living legend in entertainment with a film career spanning over 50 years and including roles in everything from the original version of The Italian Job to recent hits like The Hunger Games. Before that, Sutherland studied at the University of Toronto, where he double majored in engineering and drama. After graduating, Sutherland decided he didn’t want to be an engineer and left Canada for England to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1957. The rest is cinematic history.

(Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

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