James Franco will be getting his PhD in English at Yale

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A few days ago, James Franco set the literary world on fire! Not really, he just published a short story in Esquire Magazine. It’s a piece called “Just Before the Black” and it’s about some dudes named Joe and Fatass and Michael, and okay, I only skimmed it, I didn’t read it. If you’d like to read it, Esquire has the whole piece online. Anyway, I didn’t think Franco’s short story was that noteworthy because he seems to take writing very seriously, and getting a short story published must have been nice, although not that noteworthy. He’s also rumored to have a book deal, for what it’s worth. Anyway, Franco is currently completing an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) program at Columbia – in between the soap opera gigs and Saturday Night Live cameos. And now I’ve just learned that Franco plans on continuing his higher education beyond his Masters – The Yale Herald is pretty sure that Franco is coming to Yale for his PhD!

The Bullblog has learned from two very reputable sources within the English department that James Franco, star of Milk, Pineapple Express and the Spider-Man movies, is coming to Yale for PhD in English after getting his MFA at Columbia. Our sources tell us he’ll be here starting in September, though lucky Yalies may see him around campus in the coming weeks for admitted students events. Franco was on campus earlier this academic year for a Berkeley College Master’s Tea, causing a huge commotion among the ladies, the gays and the soap-opera fans. Something tells me he won’t be on campus all that much, but if he does decide to do the typical grad student thing, GPSCY is bound to get a lot more popular.

Reached by phone, neither the English department nor the Graduate Admissions office could give comment. Dorie Baker from the Office of Public Affairs said in an e-mail, “I honestly never heard such a thing but if I had professional confidentiality would prevent me from telling you anyway.”

UPDATE: CrossCampus got Franco’s manager, Miles Levy, to go on the record about his attendance at Yale. Levy wouldn’t commit to Franco coming, but said Yale is his first choice.

[From The Yale Herald]

I think this is incredibly cool. While so many (too many) actors seem to disregard higher education, it’s really neat to see a young star who takes his education seriously. Granted, Franco doesn’t take this stuff seriously enough to stay awake for every class – but neither did I when I got my B.A.

So, in a few years will we be calling him Dr. Franco? That sounds good, doesn’t it?

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34 Responses to “James Franco will be getting his PhD in English at Yale”

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  1. lucy2 says:

    I can’t picture him being very studious, but good for him for getting a great education.

  2. scotchy says:

    i agree lucy2, good on him, but there is something slightly hmm, off about this guy , perhaps it’s his beady eyes that always seem a little bit high.

  3. princess pea says:



  4. Kimberly says:

    He’s a cool guy , I met him near Columbia University where I live .

  5. jhwoodw says:

    Score one for the potheads! And everyone thinks we are lazy…

  6. Steeze says:

    so jealous. wish i could go to fancy schools and learn all kinds of cool stuff. i went to one fancy school and then graduated and now have to work… boo. (work and read gossip sites… hehehe.)

  7. buckley says:

    Love him. I think he’s one of the best younger actors out there.

  8. Lee says:

    Looooove him. I’m disregarding the top pic, cause my little bank of James Franco won’t allow that one in. I’m floating back to Tristan and Isolde now…mmmmmmm

  9. Sarah says:

    He can be my doctor anytime! ahh, love him 🙂

  10. Roma says:

    This makes me *beyond* happy. It was like his decision to do a soap opera – he wants to be immersed in all aspects of his craft. See, Lilo, THIS is how you build a career.

    Plus it just makes me want to do him even more.

  11. abbizmal says:

    He can correct my grammar and punctuation any day. I’d hit it for shizznit. 😀

  12. flourpot says:

    The eye patch and the bra photo just makes me want him more. Smart, successful, nerdy, goofy, bit skinny … Want. Nao.

  13. JC126 says:

    That top picture is from when he got the Hasty Pudding award from Harvard. It’s a tradition that the guys there have to put on some women’s clothing.
    LOVE James Franco. I would let him do dirty, dirty, unspeakable things to me, whenever he wanted.

  14. Zelda says:

    Dammit this guy is cool.

  15. The Queen Bee says:

    I suppose I am in the minority here, but I read that short story of his and it is god-awful!

    I appreciate that he respects the institutions of higher education, but I honestly do not think he would be accepted into a Yale PhD program, let alone recieving a masters at Columbia, if it had not been for his celebrity.

    If I may quote James’s peice in Esquire-

    “Joe just looks at me with that stupid look, covered in flowing blood, going onto his shirt like ketchup randomness, so much messier and more random than I could ever plan.”

    “Joe and I sit and stare at the wall of the building. The building is beige, but the shadows make it shadow-color.”

    “Joe is Mexican. His skin is an ashy light brown and his lashes are heavier than mine, and he has short fat eyebrows and shit-brown eyes, and thick hair that flops about his fat pumpkin head.”

    All quotes from his story in Esquire. Tell me, do you honestly think a non-celebrity could have had this crap published? Absolutely not! But because he is James Franco, star of stage and screen, he will forever be surrounded by sycophants who tell him “Excellent work James, you are the next great American story-teller!”

    The next Hemingway or Twain or Fitzgerald or Kerouac, he is not.

  16. Lisa says:

    I just read his story for Esquire, it sounded very choppy and filled with cliched imagery. Mr. Franco has pursued this writing dream of his for some time now. Maybe he should switch to screenplays, instead of fiction, he’s shooting for serious prose here, and he just way off the mark, and does not have the talent to pull it off.

  17. Ray says:

    He looks at me and the blue shadow-smoke drifts over the gate of his teeth like fog over a graveyard.

    Horrible, Horrible. Hemingway would laught at this. This is writing at it’s weakest, I would be embarrased to show it to a Literary Agent, never mind printing in Esquire.

  18. Majosha says:

    That thing reads like a first year writing student trying, and failing, to set himself apart. Oh well, best of luck to him anyway. Not like he’s going to need it — his fame will fill in the blanks. (I do love him as an actor, though.)

  19. emma says:

    i really didn’t think much of james franco when he went to ucla until i read in ucla magazine that he was taking 20-62 units per quarter. note: the typical students takes like 16-19 units per quarter. i was wowed by his loadwork, not the institution. i think that that he takes his academic career seriously, which is commendable. so congrats to him for getting into yale.


  20. Mistral says:

    Lucky bastard! These celebrities have so many doors opened to them so easily. I doubt he would have been such a shoo-in if fancy schools didn’t take in a portion of people with fancy names/lots of money. Good for him for taking advantage of his celebrity to score a spot in a top school’s grad program, and not merely to score good drugs…Wish I was going to Yale for a PhD, instead of slogging it out at work.

  21. Diablo says:

    BA in physics or engineering…I would be impressed. PhD in English…well its good he has an acting career to fall back on.

  22. Shawna says:

    I’m in an English PhD program, and all of us are pissed about this news. He’s taking the spot from someone who actually deserves it. And it is NOT easy to get into these programs if you aren’t a freaking celebrity. What a jerk.

  23. JD says:

    I just finished reading his story.

    This is what happens when you don’t read books and smoke a lot of pot.
    Shit on a platter. I can’t believe Esquire would actually print such garbage.

  24. Ben says:

    I had a feeling some people would be bitchy about this. Even if he isn’t an english genius it’s still a good this that he’s educating himself.
    And suppose it’s true he;s getting opportunities he wouldn’t if he was not famous, which it probably is, should he just give up and not pursue a noble goal. Would it be better for him just to party.
    Seems like a classic case of jealousy from the people complaining.

  25. Ann says:

    This Guy FREAKS me out every time i see him.

    and am i only one who finds him UGLY?

  26. Ben says:

    Having said what I wrote in a previous post I don’t don’t think his story is particularly good. I still stand by what I said though, it’s good he’s educating himself.

  27. ViktoryGin says:

    Let me remind everyone that George Bush attended Yale. Money obviously talks.

    @ Ben

    If you’ve got a card, play it; I say. This does not, however, mean that we have to feign excitement for someone whose talent is too questionable to warrant him a position in a prestigous institution that would more difficult for someone of modest income and pedigree to enter.

    With that said, yay for advanced degrees!

  28. lin234 says:

    emma- wow.. 20-62 credits?

    I’m wondering how in the world did he manage to take 62 credits in a semester? I usually took 18 credits a semester and sometimes when tests and due dates rolled around, it was a nightmare because they would end up being so close together. Not to mention finals. Of course there was a lot more math and science involved with my courses. It’s commendable but I’m just wondering how in the world did he manage.

    I’m afraid to read his story especially after seeing some of those quotes. At least he’s trying to be different in a good way.

  29. Zelda says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that his story is weak, but:

    C’mon guys bitch, bitch bitch…

    So Yale’s playing the publicity game. Welcome to a year with a “2” at the front of it. It’s a necessary thing these days. Yale knows what it’s doing.

    And I’m happy to see someone in his position taking time and energy to expand his mind through education (did someone seriously bitch that he wasn’t taking a science degree, thereby missing the greatest point of higher education?)

    It’s good to see a celeb using his status for something other than getting into Bar Marmont, and all sides are getting something out of it.

    Now why can’t we just hope Franco helps do for higher educatuon what Paris Hilton did for tiny dogs?

  30. JD says:

    I can’t believe that no one so far have advised him that he coudn’t write. The People at Scribner should have broke it to him gently, instead of printing this mental diarrhea. The profanity alone is a first mark of an amateur.

  31. Ellen says:

    Well, if he does go for the PhD, he’ll be entering the worst academic job market in years. One of my students just got rejected from the Yale PhD program and I’m pretty sure she writes much better than him…

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