Natalie Portman reading a book, only her eyes and the top part of her head are visible behind the cover.
instagram | @natalieportman

Celebrities Who Are So Smart They Got Into Ivy Leagues

There's a lot more than just what meets the eye when it comes to our favorite celebrities. Many of them are multi-talented and highly intelligent individuals.

So much so, that some were even selected to study at some of the most esteemed schools America has to offer. Have a look below and check out this list of celebrities who are so smart that they got into Ivy League schools.

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks before the premiere of 'Call Jane' at the Cannes Film Festival.
instagram | @elizabethbanks

Elizabeth is a communications major and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania back in 1996. As fate would have it, she met her husband of 27 years, sportswriter Max Handelman, on her very first day of freshman year.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling wearing a tri-colored purple dress, standing in front of a tree.
instagram | @mindykaling

Mindy Kaling always knew that she wanted to pursue acting, so when it came time to go off to college, she decided that she would study theater at Dartmouth. She graduated with her degree in playwriting in 2001.

James Franco

James Franco looking confused in 'The Interview'.
Giphy |

James Franco epitomizes the idea of a true renaissance man. In 2010, James began pursuing a Master's degree from Columbia University. He also received two simultaneous degrees from NYU Tisch and Brooklyn College that very same year.

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes backstage, wearing a pink floral dress.
instagram | @shondarhimes

The Inventing Anna creator is also an alumnus of Dartmouth College. Shonda attended Dartmouth in the late '80s and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature — with a focus on creative writing. She completed her degree in 1991.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep reading  a newspaper in 'The Devil Wears Prada'.
Giphy | 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep bleeds Yale Blue. She completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1975, and five years later she was also awarded an honorary Doctorate degree. Meryl has also served as the honorary chair on several committees.

John Legend

Selfie of John Legend, standing in front of a drawn curtain, wearing a bowling shirt with palm trees on it.
instagram | @johnlegend

John Legend's brain intellect is equally as formidable as his musical ability. He graduated high school at just 16 years old and turned down an offer of acceptance from Harvard in order to study English at the University of Pennsylvania.

David Duchovny

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, rubbing his index fingers together in a "shame" motion in 'Californication'.
Giphy | HULU

David attended Princeton University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature in 1982. He would eventually go on to pursue a Ph.D. from Yale but dropped out in order to follow his dream of becoming an actor.

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields eating a Fudgey the Whale cake.
instagram | @brookeshields

Brooke Shields is a lover of languages, having studied romance languages at Princeton. In 1987, Brooke graduated with Honors. This is especially impressive, considering that Brooke was being stalked by paparazzi for the majority of the time that she was on campus.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster interviewing Hannibal Lecter in his cell in 'The Silence Of The Lambs'.
Giphy | Coolidge Corner Theatre

Jodie studied literature at Yale University. During her freshman year, Jodie was stalked repeatedly by a man named John Hinckley Jr. He would later make an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, just in order to impress her.

Rashida Jones

A selfie of Rashida Jones inside an airplane hanger. She's wearing large sunglasses, two tight braids, hoop earrings and red lipstick.
instagram | @rashidajones

Rashida Jones is an old soul at heart, and she has a Bachelor's degree in religion/philosophy to prove just that. Rashida received her degree in 1997 and her father, the legendary music producer Quincy Jones, spoke to her fellow graduates on class day.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon writing on the mirror in 'Good Will Hunting'.

The film Good Will Hunting truly was a case of art imitating life, as Matt Damon really did attend Harvard's hallowed halls. Matt studied English and wrote multiple screenplays while he was enrolled. After landing a lead part in Geronimo: An American Legend, he dropped out.

John Krasinski

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt taking a selfie, on their way to the SAG Awards
instagram | @johnkrasinski

Before attending Brown University, John dreamed of being an English teacher. While there, he auditioned for a sketch comedy troupe called Out Of Bounds, and his whole life changed. "It was through that group that I found my way into this community," John told News from Brown.

Conan O'Brien

Can you imagine walking into your high school history class and seeing Conan O'Brien sitting behind the desk? Had things gone a little differently, that very well could've been the case. The iconic comedian/late-night host attended Harvard and majored in History and Literature.

Ellie Kemper

Ellie kemper smiling while taking a selfie in her bedroom.
instagram | @elliekemper

If all you know of Ellie Kemper is her work in The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you might be under the presumption that she's not the brightest bulb. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Ellie is a Princeton graduate.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson presenting at the BAFTAs.
Giphy | BAFTA

Emma Watson is one bad witch. At the height of her Harry Potter success, she decided to go back to school and graduated with a degree in English Literature from Brown University in 2014. She really is just as smart as Hermione Granger, if not even more so.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt making the "rock on" hand signal, standing in front of a tree wrapped with twinkle lights.
instagram | @hitrecordjoe

Joseph Gordon-Levitt had grown tired of acting and decided to enroll in Columbia University in order to challenge himself. His favorite courses were French poetry, history, and literature. "I realized it doesn’t matter what classes you’re taking. It only matters who the teachers are," he told the New York Times.

Bill Nye

Bill Nye making the mind-blown motion with his hands.

It's no shock to see that Bill Nye has an Ivy League education, but his degree ironically enough isn't actually in the sciences. Bill attended Cornell University and graduated in 1977 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o smiling while eating her breakfast.
instagram | @lupitanyongo

Lupita first graduated from Yale in 2007, with a Bachelor's degree in Film Studies. She enjoyed her time there so much that she re-enrolled herself, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting back in 2012.

Edward Norton

Edward Norton with his hands on his head, raising his eyebrows and smirking in 'American History X'.
Giphy | hoppip

When Edward Norton accepted the offer to attend Yale, he was going there to study history — not acting. "I had a certain ambivalence because… I felt odd about the choice. I felt odd about saying, ‘I’m an actor,’ and I’m gonna try and go and be that,'" Norton explained to the SAG AFTRA foundation.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal taking a selfie while out on a fishing boat.
instagram | @jakegyllenhaal

Just like his older sister, actress Maggie Gyllenhall, Jake also attended Columbia. "I dropped out of Columbia University in 2000 after two years of studying Eastern religions and philosophy to concentrate on acting," he explained to the Mirror

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman on a Roman balcony, standing beside a 'Thor: Love And Thunder' sign.
instagram | @natalieportman

Natalie Portman graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Harvard University. She told People how lucky she felt to not have to worry about social media in post-secondary school — mainly because Mark Zuckerberg was still in his Harvard Freshman year and hadn't yet invented Facebook.