By Dan Cormac

It’s sometimes easy to forget that celebrities have lives and existences beyond and before their public persona.

Like many who work in creative industries, the number of celebrities who studied for degrees relevant to their ultimate career is relatively low. Check out our take on this celebrity gossip:

Rowan Atkinson – Electrical Engineering

The actor and writer, best known to international audiences for his performances as both Mr. Bean and Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson was studying for his electrical engineering degree when he met co-writer Richard Curtis and the pair began working on Blackadder. Prior to this, Rowan Atkinson secured the highest marks in his year at Oxford University, where he attained an M.Sc. in electrical engineering.

Adam Sandler – Master’s In Fine Art

While Adam Sandler’s career has arguably taken a dive in recent years, he was part of the famous SNL resurgence in the early nineties and was one of the most consistently popular writers and actors on the show. Before landing his first role, Adam Sandler graduated from New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts.

Art Garfunkel – Bachelor’s in Art History, Master’s In Mathematics

Simon and Garfunkel were one of the defining artists of the 60’s, but prior to his career as a musician, Art Garfunkel began by majoring in architecture at Columbia University. However, he ultimately switched majors and gained a bachelor’s in art history in 1965, before completing his master’s in mathematics, again at Columbia, in 1967.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Bachelor’s in Business and Economics

Among his many varied jobs, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a bodybuilder, an actor (most famously as The Terminator), and governor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger barely spoke English when he first emigrated to the United States, but he ended up enrolling at the University of Wisconsin-Superior where he secured a bachelor’s in business and economics. Those looking for a similar degree with international applications might want to consider the online MPA degree offered by Norwich University. The online MPA program with a specialty track in International Development and Influence is a perfect option for those looking for an affordable and accessible degree with similar applications.

Conan O’Brien – Bachelor’s in American History and Literature

Conan O’Brien, the famous late night talk show host, and writer, on The Simpsons during its golden years, is a true titan of modern comedy. While he and his comedy clearly have an intelligence behind them, few people realize that Conan holds a bachelor’s in American history and literature from the prestigious Harvard University.

Dolph Lundgren – Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering

Before becoming the larger than life action hero he is today, Dolph Lundgren was pursuing his true passion; chemical engineering at Sweden’s Royal Institute Of Technology. Lundgren still publishes papers relative to the subject occasionally.

Natalie Portman – Bachelor’s in Psychology

Not only does renowned actress Natalie Portman hold a bachelor’s In psychology from Harvard University but she still regularly publishes papers on the subject in prestigious scientific journals, while keeping up with her acting career.

These are just some of the celebrities you regularly see on your screens who hold a surprising degree, proving that you can pursue your passions while studying academically.

Dan Cormac knows how to make his money go further. A freelance financial journalist, Dan is passionate about personal finance. Whether you hope to escape the chains of debt, to save for a house, or to retire within a decade, Dan explores the most effective ways you can achieve your financial goals.