Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Celebrities with PhDs or MDs

Which celebrity earned a Ph.D. or a M.D.? (The list below does not include undergraduate degrees, master degrees, or honorary doctor titles).
  • The heavyweight boxer, Vitali Klitschko, holds a Ph.D. from the Ukraine and his brother, another heavyweight boxer, Wladimir Klitschko, holds a Ph.D. from Kiev National University.
  • Brian May, Guitarist of Queen (Astronomy Ph.D.): He wrote his thesis on zodiacal dust clouds
  • Greg Graffin (Singer, Bad Religion) has a PhD from Cornell University. The PhD dissertation was entitledMonism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.
  • Dexter Holland (singer & guitarist: The Offspring) was a PhD candidate in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Southern California.
  • Dan Snaith (records as Caribou) has a Ph.D. in Mathematics
  • Mayim Bialik (Blossom, Big Bang Theory) has a Ph.D. in 2008 from U.C.L.A. in neurobiology. She did her dissertation on Prader-Willi syndrome.
  • Milo Aukerman (Punk band "The Descendents") got a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Dissertation title: "Analysis of Opaque-2 Function in Maize".
  • Miuccia Prada (Head of the Prada fashion house) has a P.D. in political science.
  • Condoleezza Rice has her PhD in political science from the Graduate School of International Studies at University of Denver, USA.
  • Gordon Brown has his PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • Martin Luther King Junior received a PhD in systematic theology from Boston University, USA
  • General David Petraeus has a PhD from Princeton.
  • German chancellor Angela Merkel has a doctorate degree in physical chemistry.
  • Robert Vaughn (The man from U.N.C.L.E): Vaughn earned a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Southern California, in 1970. In 1972, he published his dissertation as the book, Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting.
  • The only president of the United States with a Doctorate was Woodrow Wilson, who received his in History and Poli Sci from Johns Hopkins in 1886.
  • Dan Grimaldi (Patsy Parisi) on The Sopranos has a PhD in Data Processing from City University of New York.
  • Peter Weller. In 2013, Weller successfully defended his Ph.D. at UCLA in Italian Renaissance art history titled Alberti Before Florence: Sources Informing “De Pictura".
  • Shaquille O’Neal: In 2012, the former NBA basketball star defended his Ph.D. in leadership and education from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Title: How Leaders Utilize Humor or Aggression in Leadership Styles.
  • Tennis player Mikhail Youzhny completed his Ph.D. in philosophy from Moscow University in 2010.
  • Former Major League pitcher “Iron Mike” Marshall obtained his Ph.D. in kinesiology from Michigan State University in 1978. His dissertation was entitled, A Comparison of an Estimate of Skeletal Age With Chronological Age When Classifying Adolescent Males for Motor Proficiency Norms.
  • Former quarterback Frank Ryan completed his Ph.D. in mathematics from Rice University in 1964.
  • Rachel Maddow received her Ph.D. in 2001. Maddow’s dissertation focused on AIDS health care reform in prisons.
  • Miuccia Prada (Prada Fashion House) earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Milan in 1973.
  • Former US secretary of defense Robert Gates obtained his Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet history at Georgetown University in 1974.
Actors working on a PhD:
  • James Franco is a Ph.D. student in English at Yale University. He also received his MFA from Columbia University in 2010. 
Actors with Medical Doctor Degrees (M.D.):
  • Ken Jeong (Community, The Hangover), M.D.
  • Graham Chapman (Monty Python), M.D.
  • Jonathan LaPaglia ("Cold Case"), M.D.
  • Jonathan Miller ("Beyond the Fringe"), M.D. As reported in IMDB, "As well as being a qualified doctor, he is a satirist, sculptor, photographer, author, television presenter, performer, and theatre, opera & film director."
  • George Miller ("Mad Max", "Babe", "Happy Feet" ), M.D. (Director)
Actors with an Doctor of Education (Ed.D)
  • In 1976, Bill Cosby earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree from the University of Massachusetts. For his doctoral research, he wrote a dissertation entitled, "An Integration of the Visual Media Via 'Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids' Into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning".
See more here:

Here is a list of celebrities with academic degrees (mostly B.A.s).

Here is a list of comedians with academic degrees (mostly B.A.s and M.A.s).

Here is a list of professional wrestlers with academic degrees (mostly B.A.s).


  1. I never knew that Dan Snaith has a Ph.D. in Mathematics, I am his die heart fan. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  2. Awesome collection of information,Thank you for your time and effort to summarize everything for the audience..

  3. Also Jonathan LaPaglia ("Cold Case")has an MD. According to IMDB, he was an ER doctor in Australia. He tried out for "ER" (1994), but was turned down. He wasn't convincing enough.

  4. Jonathan Miller ("Beyond the Fringe") is a physician. As reported in IMDB, "As well as being a qualified doctor, he is a satirist, sculptor, photographer, author, television presenter, performer, and theatre, opera & film director."

  5. Finally (I think), the director George Miller ("Mad Max", "Babe", "Happy Feet" ) "was a practicing physician until, after a film course at Melbourne University he teamed up with Byron Kennedy to make Violence in the Cinema, Part 1 (1971)."

  6. Thank you for your additions, Norman.

  7. William Fawcett had a Ph. D in Elizabethan Drama from U of NE. He is know to most as a western TV actor who played grizzled old men. For example, the TV show Fury.

  8. Great post. I think it is good for visitors. I like this kind of website where has a lot of real information, It proved to be very helpful. Thanks for admin, His creativity, Presentation, Information and all is good.