15 Surprising Celebrities Who Have Honorary Doctorates

Leah Bourne
15 Surprising Celebrities Who Have Honorary Doctorates
15 Start slideshow

Kanye West is making headlines yet again, but this time it has nothing to do with a single Kardashian: The rapper just received an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Yes, that’s Dr. West, to you now.

“The nerves of humility and modesty when being honored,” he said in his speech. “A humanization, a reality of being recognized. And all I thought as I sit here, shaking a bit, is I need to get rid of that feeling.”

MORE: 50 Smart Celebrities Who Went to Ivy League Schools

West isn’t the first celebrity to pick up an honorary doctorate—actually far from it. For every Oprah Winfrey, there’s a Courtney Love, an Orlando Bloom, and—believe it or not—a Mike Tyson.

So, why exactly are so many famous folks awarded the prestigious degree when they have no affiliation with an academic institution? Usually, it’s because the star has made a significant contribution to a specific field or to society in general, and the school wants to recognize that.

Scroll through the gallery above from some seriously surprising celebrities who have picked up honorary doctorates over the years!

0 Thoughts?
1 of 15

Kanye West: From "college dropout" to Ph.D, West received an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kim Cattrall: The Sex & the City alum received an honorary doctorate from John Moores University in Liverpool, where she grew up.

Alexander Skarsgard: The Swedish star, best known for being the hottest vampire to have ever graced television, received an honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University, despite having dropped out after studying there for just six-months.

Ben Affleck: This actor, director, and screenwriter received a prestigious honorary doctorate from Brown University.

Sean P.Diddy Combs: P.Diddy may have dropped out of Howard University after just two years to pursue music, but he received an honorary doctorate from the school nonetheless years later.

Conan O'Brien: Funny man Conan O'Brien received an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth in 2011.

Alec Baldwin: This actor received an honorary doctorate from NYU in 2010.

LL Cool J: Just call him Dr. Cool J., LL Cool J got an honorary doctorate from Northeastern University.

John Legend: John Legend actually has several honorary doctorates to his name including one from Howard University and another from the University of Pennyslvania.

Mike Tyson: Talk about a surprise, Mike Tyson has an honorary doctorate from Central State University, a school that he attended but never graduated from.

Jon Bon Jovi: The singer and actor received an honorary doctorate from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Kerry Washington: The "Scandal" actress picked up a honorary doctorate from George Washington University, her alma mater.

Courtney Love: Bet you didn't see this one coming: Courtney Love received an honorary degree from Trinity College.

Kermit the Frog: Proof that colleges will hand out honorary degrees to just about anyone (or anything), Kermit the Frog took home an honorary doctorate from Southampton College in New York.

Orlando Bloom: The actor took home an honorary degree from the University of Kent in 2010.

Next slideshow starts in 10s

7 Surprisingly Healthy Fast Food Meals

7 Surprisingly Healthy Fast
Food Meals
share