Emma Watson graduated from Brown University with a degree in English lit

Hermione Granger is so type A that she rewinds time in order to double up on classes. Ironically Emma Watson needed to take a a year off from her own studies in 2011 for her career and to promote her iconic role in the final Harry Potter film. She returned and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brown University in Rhode Island over the weekend. Emma instagrammed the photo above in her cap and gown. Cute! Here’s more:

Watson enrolled in 2009, taking a hiatus in 2011 to film the “Harry Potter” franchise. During her press tour for “Noah,” she told the Sunday Times that she was initially concerned how she would be accepted by her peers. “On the first day, I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned to look at me,” she said. “I had to say to myself, ‘It’s okay, you can do this. You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage.’”

Eventually though, she was doing college-kid things like throwing huge parties and drinking beer, probably. “I’ve never even been asked for an autograph on campus,” she told US Weekly in 2013. “I threw a party for nearly 100 students and not a single person put a photo on Facebook.”

[From Huffington Post]

I remember seeing Emma on Letterman in 2010, right after she had enrolled at Brown. She joked that she sometimes had trouble communicating to the American students, and that she embarrassed herself by loudly asking for a “rubber” when she wanted an eraser, as it is called in England. There were rumors when Emma left college that she was being harassed by other students making quips like “three points for Gryffindor” when she answered a question, but if that was the case she never talked about it. Emma is a millionaire many times over and could have easily skipped college, but she decided to get an education and she earned her degree. Congratulations to Emma!

Here are photos of Emma at her graduation over the weekend.
Semi-Exclusive... Emma Watson Graduates From Brown University!

Semi-Exclusive... Emma Watson Graduates From Brown University!

Semi-Exclusive... Emma Watson Graduates From Brown University!

Photo credit: FameFlynet

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122 Responses to “Emma Watson graduated from Brown University with a degree in English lit”

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  1. Dani2 says:

    I don’t think much of her as an actress but this makes me really happy and I am so proud of her. Go Emma! :)

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Dani2, who wrote: “I don’t think much of her as an actress but this makes me really happy and I am so proud of her. Go Emma!”

      Really? I thought she was incredible in “Noah.” I’m happy for her, too! She seems intelligent and down to earth. Love her! :)

      • Dani2 says:

        Really? Well, I haven’t seen “Noah” and I can’t really stomach religious or bible-based movies so I’ll have to take your word for it ;)

        And yup, very happy for her indeed, it’s a rare thing to be able to say about a young actress in Hollywood and it makes me view her in a completely different light :)

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Dani2, who wrote: “Really? Well, I haven’t seen “Noah” and I can’t really stomach religious or bible-based movies so I’ll have to take your word for it”

        Okay, but “Noah” is more about Noah the man and his family than religion. In fact, one of the best scenes in the film–an acting by Emma Watson–happened during an emotionally raw, human moment.

      • mayamae says:

        @Dani2, I’ve read that Evangelicals are having a fit that Noah barely mentions God. If that’s true, you may find it watchable.

      • Dani2 says:

        @Mayamae Yeah, I heard that they mention a “creator” a few times and it’s not about God but movies with a religious background bore me. A friend that went to see it said it was really slowly paced and it just sounds boring as hell to me, sorry @Emma – JP Lover, I’m glad you enjoyed the movie and Emma’s performance though :)

  2. Lucretia says:

    Good for her! None of that could have been easy to do, but she persevered and got the degree. She sets a good example.

  3. Zandy says:

    We’ll done Emma! That must be her mum next to her 😀

  4. mkyarwood says:

    Ah yes, almost as useful as my Art History degree. Oh, wait, I do not have millions of dollars to fall back on. Congrats anyway!

    • bettyrose says:

      Yeah, an English degree is only useful for careers that involve writing, creative thinking, critical analysis, meetings, presentations, strong grammar skills…really just things only multi-millionares need to be good at.

      • Shijel says:

        I’m about to take my English Bachelor’s exam in two days, though I speak English as a foreign language. Let me assure you, linguists have something that apparently so many STEM and IT people lack. A successful IT-entrepreneur just ranted to me that you can teach an employee how to code but you can’t teach them how to read critically, that he’s experiencing such frustration because all he’s got is a bunch of kids talented at numbers, but who can’t exercise the talent because they fail to critically read about what the hell they’re supposed to do and how to approach a problem.

      • bettyrose says:

        Congratulations, Shijel! For all the reasons you’ve just described, it is a very useful degree in the workplace, and many employers seek out people with these skills. The English degree might not guarantee great wealth within a year of graduation, but it can lead to fulfilling careers.

      • mkyarwood says:

        Indeed, if you can find the work for said degree. I have a minor in creative writing and Lit. Besides a short intern style stint editing for Harlequin Romance, I wrote fund raising proposals for not for profit organizations with a small firm. Even though the skills are important, the jobs are drying up. The language is also morphing into some kind of shorthand which I can’t wrap my head around. Here in the States, unless you’re an actress on the side, making a decent living via Liberal Arts is statistically tough.

      • mayamae says:


        I find we Americans are going through a long phase of embracing ignorance. It’s beyond text speak. It’s part redneck “Get er done”, and part pop culture speak – “Imma go to the store”. It drives me absolutely crazy and I cringe every time a teenager in my family opens their mouth.

    • Elena says:

      She earned her millions. And still went to University. Good for her!!!

    • jammypants says:

      I don’t understand this snark. If anyone had money and the chance to go to school, that should be an admirable choice. Some people don’t bother with school and they have money. Good for Emma for pursuing higher intelligence! And as Elena says, Emma earned her millions. She didn’t sit around for mommy and daddy to pay for it or force her to go to school. I commend her for her decision.

  5. paola says:

    The “three points for Gryffindor” story is just super funny! :D
    Kudos to her for wanting a degree despite her fame and her bank account. I can’t help but like her.

  6. Archie Boots says:

    I’m really happy that she got a degree whilst continuing her career. Hopefully she will set an example for girls looking up to her.

  7. Eyeroll says:

    I think it’s really cool that she was so determined to get the degree despite already being famous/financially set for life etc. Whatever I might think of her as an actress I give her respect for that.

    Also, she didn’t leave Brown to film Harry Potter – Harry Potter filming was completed in 2010 and the final one was actually released whilst she was on her hiatus from Brown. I think she was filming The Perks of Being a Wallflower/doing Lancome things during her time off.

    • msw says:

      So…. She earns a degree, from a school which is not exactly handing them out like a pez dispenser, and you have a problem with….what, exactly?

      I’m not a fan of online classes either and vastly prefer a traditional classroom experience. I had to take a couple because my degree plan only offered them online. If you had ever taken any online courses, which I assume you have not, given your derisive tone suggesting its a sub par method, you would know there are some easy ones and some tough ones, just like any face to face class. Having a degree from an Ivy didn’t teach you to be open to things you haven’t experienced?

      Eta, sorry, this was supposed to be a reply to post #8.

  8. Gem says:

    I’m not really impressed, simply because circa 2009 she said stuff like “Education is more important than acting” which her actions have proven to be false. Not that she doesn’t value education, but it comes second to acting.

    She took 3 entire semesters online…..and I’ve heard people try to defend it saying “taking online college classes is common nowadays”. NO. That is not the case for the Ivy League and I would assume most private schools. I graduated from an Ivy League and know first hand that almost no one does online classes…..The ivies won’t even allow it unless for special reasons, which I know she has, but again, shows she didn’t do it the “normal” way.

    • Ninks says:

      So she didn’t do all of it the ‘normal’ way, she did the vast majority of it the normal way. She worked hard for a degree which she didn’t have to do because she wanted to, and she took some time off to work as well. And she had the motivation to go back after that time off, when by all accounts she was having a difficult time settling in to the US college system. I find it admirable on all counts.

    • Sighs says:

      Eh. In the end she still has a degree from Brown. That’s a sight better than where I matriculated from. And we don’t insult single mothers for doing online classes to get their degrees, why should she be any different? I’m proud of her. She’s one of the few who seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Good for her. 10 points for Gryffindor!

    • Eleonor says:

      she could have partied non stop all these years, but she choose to get a degree for her own satisfaction, she deserves respect for this.
      As a former working student myself I don’t blame her for the online classes.

    • birdie says:

      Sometimes there is a time, where we should applaud a person for their success and not being overly negative.

    • Merritt says:

      She enrolled in 2009, so it took her 5 years. That is increasingly common. She wanted her degree and she worked for it.

      For some reason, there are people who need to complain about a person just to complain.

    • Gem says:

      I wouldn’t have had any problems with her taking 5 years or taking online classes if she hadn’t said “education is more important than acting”. Had she simply said “I value education” then I would be applauding her.

      Natalie Portman, Brooke Shields, Jodie Foster were all very open about wanting to continue being actors/models after college and they did college in 4 years. Emma made it seem like “I’m such a great role model, I’m going to be down to earth and pursue education over acting”.

      Not to mention on the DM someone posted a quote of hers from Elle Magazine that said she doesn’t wear sunglasses or designer bags, but that DM post was her at the airport wearing exactly what she claims she doesn’t wear.

      She just contradicts herself too much with her actions.

      • Goofpuff says:

        she’s very young. we contradict ourselves all the time at that age as we’re trying to figure out who we are. where we get to meander through our own discovery muck out of the limelight, she has to do it in public. give her some slack. you can get on her case if she still does this 10 years from now.

        maybe she couldn’t pass up the role, it was a great learning experience. whatever the reason, she came back and finished. that is what we should be applauding.

      • Merritt says:

        Those are pretty minor contradictions.

        When she first started Brown, she might have thought that she would take an extended break from acting. But then certain opportunities presented themselves, and were too good to pass up.

      • allheavens says:

        Just because she said education was more important than acting and continued to act does not negate what she said.

        YOU chose to interpret what she said in a certain way.
        Your intrepretation isn’t logical, if I say I like peach pie better than cherry pie but then eat a piece of cherry pie does that mean I now hate peach pie?

        And complaining because she wore designer sunglasses and carried a handbag in a world that heaps freebies on celebrities is like hating rain because it’s wet.

      • Allie says:

        Family is more important to me than friends. So I can’t ever hang out with my friends?

        I love Emma. I’m so happy for her!

      • Lilacflowers says:

        If your issue is with taking online courses and calling it an Ivy League education, wouldn’t your issue be with Brown University and not with Emma? And those three actresses all went to school in their native country. Emma didn’t; travel was involved. And all three of them went through school at a time when online learning really wasn’t readily available – different eras. But all four of them managed to get through difficult schools, anyone who does that should be applauded.

      • Oceansoul89 says:

        Taking classes online doesn’t mean she took her education less seriously. Tell that to people that worked their asses off with online classes and I guarantee they’d verbally beat you. Your issue is with the school; not anyone that takes classes online. But many Ivy schools DO have online programs for many things. My partner is looking at doing some now.

        Stop being a jerk and elitist. I really don’t care that you supposedly went to some “Ivy League” school.

      • CF says:

        You can view education as more important that acting while putting acting first for certain time periods. That is the principle she believes in. I believe that too. But if someone came up to me and said you can have millions of dollars if you take a one year break from college, I would absolutely do that. I think you can do that while still believing in that principle. Its a life approach- in life, education is more important to the world than acting. But at times, you might put acting first.

      • jammypants says:

        Why hold the words of a young person against her? people can change their minds as life takes them in different directions. I can’t imagine going through life unbending. How unforgiving! I like how non-issues are drawn out like she committed a serious crime. How dare she wear sunglasses! The nerve!

      • Leen says:

        That’s kind of ridiculous. I think education is honestly one of the most important things in the world, BUT I, like Emma, also took a year off from college for several reasons (I was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too young when I started college, and honestly I just wanted a break). So instead I worked and interned for a year. I graduated, now I’m at one of the best colleges in the US doing my masters. So many of my classmates are taking a semester off to pursue other interests (one of my friends is off to learn Arabic in Jordan, another is off to travel and another one is off to do some volunteer work in sub-saharan africa.. all very different, all very valid interests). I don’t understand why you are knocking on Emma. Good for her she got a BA and continued her education.

      • Anna says:

        Actually when she said that she also said that she was not sure if she wanted to keep acting.It was during her second year in brown when she filmed Perks and said she revaluated some things and realised that acting was her passion.Nothing wrong with that.

        We grow uop,we live different experiences and we form our self from them.We perceive things differently as the years go by.

        I still think it’s great that despite finding out what she wanted to do,got her degree.I think Emma is an amazing role model for young girls.Let’s give credit where it’s due and stop complaining about things that every person can go through.

    • kat says:

      Plus, lots of people who aren’t millionaires take some time off from university. I took three whole semesters off to figure some of my sh*t out. Does that make my BA and subsequent Master’s degree any less worthwhile?

    • Tania says:

      You’re not impressed? Thank goodness she not seeking validation. I don’t even care for her but let’s not act like its an easy journey to get a degree for anyone, yet famous one as such who could have easily spent her years and money doing something else. Besides where did she say ‘education is more important than acting’?

      Upenn has online classes and lots of people my year took them and graduated the ‘normal way’.

    • Snazzy says:

      @Gem: There is no normal way – even the top schools worldwide now have online classes, degrees that can de done while working, etc. It’s called life-long learning and it is the future. Don’t be such a pathetic elitist.

      Girl did a good thing and got her degree. Why the negativity? Shame on you and congrats to Miss Watson

    • jammypants says:

      Why does it matter if she took courses online? I would do the same. Heck even my coworkers in the office took online classes while building applications during the day at work. She still worked AND pursued her degree. That’s admirable. Sure her lifestyle is different than people like us, but that’s what it is. A different career. She made that career choice at TEN years old to audition for Harry Potter. I can’t read these types of comments as anything more than jealousy or cynicism.

    • Janet says:

      She doesn’t need your validation. She worked for her degree and she earned it. Who are you to throw shade on her achievements?

    • Lemonsorbet says:

      Sheesh! Talk about having your head so far up your own ass…
      Gem, you may have been lucky enough to get into an Ivy League and have the means to pay for it, but don’t deride other people’s efforts. Due to many unforeseen circumstances, including an illness, I had to drop out of regular university and take several years via online courses at Open University, whilst also holding down a job. That doesn’t make my degree less valid than yours.

  9. birdie says:

    I’m proud of her. She’s a great role model, she has an acting career and plenty of money, but managed to get an education! Take note other starlets out there. There’s more to life than fame and fortune (and mug shots).

  10. Isadora says:

    I know a lot of people will say negative things about her – BUT I still think it’s good that she went to university and finished it. Nobody can take that away from her and I’m sure it was a good experience for her as a person. She obviously doesn’t need a degree for job purposes, but she still put work in this and it has paid off. Congratulations!

  11. Lis says:

    A degree in English lit … useful. At least she has a career to fall back on. ;)

    • Goofpuff says:

      where do you think English teachers come from? don’t knock those on the frontlines of illiterate America. if you could only see how depressing that landscape is.

    • swack says:

      @Lis & mkyarwood, why throw shade on what her degree is in? Just congratulate her as you would congratulate any other graduate.

    • Zimmer says:

      Me thinks English Lit is useful for acting. Actually, acting improves your vocabulary and many acting opportunities come about due to a piece of great literature being written, take the Harry Potter series for example. Oops, wait, where did I come up with that?

      Anyway, my point is the two ARE linked. I actually think by reading and understanding great literature, one’s acting can be improved!

      Bravo to Emma! She did show she values education, even if she took a year off!

    • Azurea says:

      At a really good school the point is not just to prepare for a career, but to learn how to think independently & creatively, formulate opinions & express them clearly, skills that are vital to a well-rounded person no matter what she does in life. Sorry to sound like a school marm, but so many universities now just spit out graduates who’ve learned to memorise a textbook.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      This is the age old argument between liberal arts and vocational training. Yes, a degree in English literature is useful for far too many reasons than I can list here but mainly because it develops skills in critical thinking and expression. A bachelor of arts degree is not an end, it is a gateway to many other paths of learning.

    • jammypants says:

      Tom Hiddleston used his degree in Classics with great results in this profession (classic radioplay adaptations, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, even Loki). I don’t see people giving him the snide treatment. Don’t knock on the girl for actually being smart in her choices. If she went for something like a law degree (sure it’s always great to learn), I’d think it’s less practical in her line of work.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        In most places an undergrad degree is necessary to apply for law school and many of those who seek law degrees have undergraduate degrees in English.

      • jammypants says:

        I know. I had a friend who majored in English Lit and went on to do law. I was simply pointing out that law would be less applicable than English Lit in Emma’s case.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        And nothing dictates that Emma has to be an actress her whole life just because it is what she did as a child. Shirley Temple became the US representative to the UN, the US ambassador to Czechoslovakia, the US ambassador to Ghana, and the US Chief Officer of Protocol. Emma’s whole life is ahead of her. It is wonderful that she took the time and opportunity to get an education.

      • jammypants says:

        Oh no, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Emma has to be an actress. But I’m saying I can see an English Lit degree being useful for her current line of work, which is currently acting. Maybe law was a bad example. I’ll throw in computer science or industrial design then. Whatever she does later on is different. For now, English Lit makes sense for acting, but of course they don’t have to be mutually exclusive or applicable, but in this case English Lit is actually applicable, since upthread people were claiming it’s as useful as an art degree (or whatever example they used as a “non-degree”)

  12. Steph says:

    Now that’s how it should be done Kendall and Kylie Jenner!

  13. 30winks says:

    Well done, Emma. It’s refreshing to see an actor earn a degree and invest in herself by broadening her worldview and seeking knowledge. She is adorable and smart, a great combo, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for her.

  14. serena says:

    I’m so happy she did it! For a while I was thinking she might have dropped but then again, I’m glad I was wrong. Teens and young celebrities needs to have THIS kind of role models!

  15. Jenny12 says:

    It’s a good thing she has acting to fall back on, because Lit degrees don’t do much for anyone.

  16. Lucy says:

    Not for nothing she’s known as The Brightest Witch Of Her Age! Go Emma!!!

  17. Tania says:

    Wow why are there bitter comments? Homegirl deserves all the credits. Congrats to her.

  18. Melymori says:

    A True role model! Kudos for her achievement, proving that you can have a successful career and study at the same time, also congrats to her parents that encouraged her and support her but I’m sure also gave her guidance through all her HP years and help her to reach her goal yesterday.

  19. another name says:

    I’ll try this again — Does anyone know why she needed an undercover armed bodyguard at the ceremony? Picture and article in today’s Daily Mail.

  20. Looloo says:

    I don’t get the comments bashing her for choosing English Lit. If you can’t do a degree that isn’t “marketable” or “makes you more employable” (euch to both) when you’re an eleventy billionaire then I don’t know when you can.

  21. bettyrose says:

    At this point, I’m just gonna call out all you English degree skeptics as the jellie h8trz you are. Majoring in English is DA BOMB! Years of curling up with the greatest books ever written, engaging daily in rapid, witty, exchanges with our fellow lit lovers, drinking coffee, walking through the falling leaves, sparkling at cocktail parties with our clever banter . . . we ruled the campus. And you know it!

  22. Sarah says:

    So a young woman chooses to study, not because she needs it for a job, no she wanted to be smarter and more educated. what happens? she gets bashed because she worked during that time and needed a year longer (which is pretty common, also for people who only focus on studying). wow.

    we dont need to hail her as the queen of the universe, but how about celebrating smart women instead of the Kardashians wedding crap?

    • Tulip Garden says:

      I completely agree. In some ways, people that pursue learning even though financially they don’t have to seem especially centered to me. I mean I don’t get the idea that education is only worth having if you can market it. It can bring richness to your life and that seems pretty useful to me.

    • decorative item says:

      Hooray a million times!
      Thank you for saying this. It’s only sadly, pathetic that it had to be said and that it wasn’t blatantly obvious to everyone.

    • littlestar says:

      Agreed! I think this is very impressive and it really shows us that there are celebrities out there who WANT to better themselves and aren’t all about fame and fortune.

      And to those making fun of a lit degree, I minored in English in university and have had no problems ever finding a job. And it took me just over 4 years to finished (did one last condensed semester to finish my second language requirements). It’s just ignorant when people say a lit/English degree is a nothing degree.

    • Kate2 says:

      “we dont need to hail her as the queen of the universe, but how about celebrating smart women instead of the Kardashians wedding crap?

      A million times, yes. The Kardashians are an embarrassment, period. I don’t even find them fun to discuss. Even though I’m a nobody, they’re beneath me and I won’t lower myself to offer them validation by watching their stupid shit, and it literally shocks me that anyone else would. F*ck Ryan Seacrest forever for unleashing them on us. Just my opinion of course.

      Having said that, Emma has actually accomplished something professionally with her career and personally with this degree, which is more than I can say for Little Miss Piss and her trashy family. The world is her oyster, I am sure she will take advantage.

  23. decorative item says:

    So wonderful!
    That shows a lot of character on her part.

  24. Lucy2 says:

    Good for her! She pursued her education and got her degree from an Ivy League school, when clearly she didn’t need to do any of that.
    I remember a lot of people giving her crap when she took time off for that movie, saying she couldn’t hack it and probably wouldn’t go back to school. Guess she proved them wrong!

    • Sarah says:

      your first sentence is exactly the point. she did not need to do it. thats why i dont understand the criticism here. what if she sat at the pool and sipped vodka all day long? “spoiled rich girl”. celeb can do no right in peoples eyes.
      she could have been lazy for the rest of her life and choose not to do it. it is that simple.

  25. Daria says:

    I’m always skeptical when celebrities graduate from prestigious schools..

  26. nicegirl says:

    Congratulations, Emma! Way to go!

  27. don't kill me i'm french says:


    She also was the one student with an armed bodyguard/policewoman

  28. Maxine7 says:

    BRAVO! Congrats! Mazel Tov! Hope she’s very proud of herself because she should be proud.

  29. The Original Mia says:

    Well done, Emma! That’s a great accomplishment.

  30. Amy says:

    She started something and finished it – something difficult and something she absolutely did not have to do. That old saw about no one being able to take your education away from you is absolutely spot-on. The only thing she isn’t going to have that a lot of her classmates do is a pile of student loans to pay off. Good on you, Emma Watson.

  31. Miss M says:

    I’ve been writing this since yesterday on other threads. But it was not being posted. Anyway, congrats to Emma!

  32. msw says:

    I am impressed as an education junkie myself. I love seeing people get an education for any reason, it makes you become a better critical thinker. I have a BA with a double major in two fields, and while I am not workingin either of them, it helped me be a more discerning person and taught me to evaluate the world around me, looking and different perspectives and contexts. I almost wish I had majored in English, too, to have an excuse to readread literature like hell all through college.

  33. Jayna says:

    Maybe she will become a director one day, like Jodi Foster. Jodi really lived the university lifestyle. she wanted that experience. Jodi is so intelligent and perceptive and I thought a really great director and actress. I love her movies she directed. They were small movies, had an intimacy to them, not like these big blockbusters. I will always love her in a movie acting. Her role in The Accused was nothing short of brilliant. Maybe Emily has aspirations past just being an actress, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  34. Miss SAQ says:

    Congratulations Emma!
    I have always liked Emma because she seems like such a genuine and sweet person with a brain. I am very impressed that she has graduated as not only is it hard to get into Brown and keep up with workload but a young girl in her position with millions in Bank account could have spent time doing all sorts of crazy things. English Lit is a great major, she could def use it in her field.
    I am in her age range and still trying to finish my B.S, i will also be transferring to Brown(if i could get admission,Pray for me).

  35. Jay says:

    I actually think she makes an excellent role model not just because she graduated from college but that she did it in a somewhat atypical way.

    For many of us who are given the opportunity for higher education, it’s usually immediately done those 4 years after high school. It’s really just pushing a bunch of kids from one box to another and then shoving them into the adult world.

    But Emma took classes online while working, took a year off to follow other opportunities, furthered her career beyond the Harry Potter franchise (like her acting or not, I think her post HP choices have been more varied and better chosen than her other costars), and I’m assuming take a break from studying to actually enjoy her early 20′s. And then go back to finish her education when she felt ready.

  36. Ravensdaughter says:

    Excellent! Congratulations, Emma. “The industry” can be cruel, but no one can take that Brown University diploma away from you because you worked for it.

    [Oh, the pixie cut is grown out now....]