11 Celebs Who Were Also College Professors

By Rose Wythe

July 25, 2018

Many of your favorite celebrities are extremely smart. Not only did they go to college and/or receive a college degree — they taught in college! That’s right. There are many stars out there who have been college professors at one time or another. 

Imagine enrolling in a class taught by Oprah Winfrey?! Or Angelina Jolie?! Throughout the years, there have been some college students who have actually got to experience this! Talk about FOMO, we would gladly take a syllabus and a copious amount of notes. 

Keep scrolling below to find out which of your favorite celebrities have been college professors.

1. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey taught a 110 person lecture at Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Her class, Dynamics of Leadership, required students to use over half of their yearly credits to enroll in her course. Her class was one of the most competitive courses to enroll in at Northwestern University and everyone who took it said it had a real impact on their lives. 

2. Alec Baldwin

In 2002, Alec Baldwin taught a Master Class in theater at the Southampton College of Long Island University. During his lectures, he focused on the relationship between artists and public policy.  

3. Angelina Jolie

Aside from being an amazing actress, Angelina Jolie taught a master class at the London School of Economics on Women, Peace, and Security. The course lasted 9-months and ended in May 2018. This is her second year teaching a course at LSE focused on women’s rights. The Master Class is designed to provide students with an understanding of how gender equality is affected in an unfriendly environment.  

4. Matthew McConaughey

The University of Texas alumni returned to give a lecture at the UT film studies school. Matthew McConaughey was also joined by Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games, and a Film studies professor, Scott Rice, to help teach their joint class, “Advanced Producing: Anatomy of a Motion Picture.”  

5. James Franco

In addition to being an actor, published author, director, and producer, James Franco can add professor to his lengthy list of achievements. Franco has been teaching since 2012 at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. His film classes are known to be engaging and easy A’s for all students. Franco has also taught film classes at NYU and USC to aspiring film students. He has even earned a red hot chili on ratemyprofessor.com

6. Spike Lee

Professor Lee started teaching in 1991 at a small liberal arts school in Massachusetts called Harvard University. No big deal... A few years later he switched to teach in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and still teaches filmmaking there today. In fact, on February 8, 2018, Spike Lee was presented with the NYU Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian. This award is given to people in the NYU community who embody and illustrate the characteristics promoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. 

7. Kal Penn

It only makes sense that Professor Penn taught at Film Class at the University of Pennsylvania. The class was about 250 students, but 50 dropped the course in the first week because Penn told them there would be pop quizzes every week and he was a tough grader. He also taught a politics class at UCLA.  

8. Kanye West

In 2014, Kanye West was sentenced to do 250 hours of community service for attacking a photographer outside of LAX. He avoided doing any dirty work for community service and instead taught a Fashion class at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. West talked to students about his experiences in the fashion world along with the business side of fashion.  

9. Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou taught one class per semester at Wake Forest University. Many students joined the class just to so they could be in her presence and learn about her life experiences. The first three weeks of her classes were spent learning each other's names and recognizing their presence as people and no longer an acquaintances.

10. Barack Obama

Before being President of the United States, Barack Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. At the University of Chicago Law School, Obama taught about rights, race, and gender. Many students who took his class said that the ideas he mentioned in the classroom became present during his presidential campaign.

11. Questlove

Besides being a drummer for The Roots on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon", Questlove has taught a "Classic Albums" course at NYU. The class was taught at the Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music, part of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  

PHOTOS: Getty Images 

Chat About 11 Celebs Who Were Also College Professors

For You