Do You Know These Famous Non-Traditional Students?

Being a non-traditional student is more common than you may think. Did you know that there are a slew of well-known celebrities that have worked hard to finish up their education or to start new programs at different stages of their lives? Here’s a list of celebrities who ventured back to school to supplement their professional careers.

Sandra Bullock. The Oscar-award winning actress returned to East Carolina University to earn her bachelor's degree in drama.

James Franco. The actor went back to UCLA to get his honors degree in English. He then received a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia in 2010 and now is a Ph.D student at Yale.

Shaquille O'Neal. He promised his mother he would one day finish his education after he left school to join the NBA. So in 2000, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from Louisiana State University. In 2005, he received a master’s degree in business education from the University of Phoenix.

Brooke Shields.  After spending two decades modeling and acting, she graduated from Princeton in 1987 with a degree in French literature.

Steven Spielberg. At the age of 55, he went back to Cal State University for film school.

Shakira. The Colombian native and Grammy Award-winning singer went to University of California to study the History of Western Civilization. She reportedly changed her name to blend in with other students on campus.

Michael Jordan. The legendary all-star went back to school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he first attended school on scholarship during the 1980s. What did the former Chicago Bulls player study? Geography.

Ashley Judd. The movie and Broadway actress snagged a Master of Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government at the age of 41. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky in 1990.

Rivers Cuomo. The lead vocalist of Weezer went back to Harvard in 2006 to finish his undergraduate degree in English. He originally attended the school in 1995 and studied on and off while he went on tour with his rock band. He graduated with honors Phi Beta Kappa at the age of 36.

Brian May. The lead guitarist for Queen graduated from London's Imperial College with an honors in physics and mathematics. After spending 30 years as a rock star, May went back to London to earn his Ph.D in physics. His thesis was about Interplanetary Dust.