James Franco pursues yet another degree
April 22nd, 2011
05:30 PM ET

James Franco pursues yet another degree

The best teachers know that there’s always more to learn, and newly minted NYU instructor James Franco is planning to continue his own education at the University of Houston.

The institution confirmed to CNN that the Oscar nominee and published author has been accepted into the doctoral program in literature and creative writing at the University.  According to the Houston Chronicle, only 20 people are admitted to the doctoral program each year out of 400 applicants.

Those attending the U of H will have to wait a bit for the tireless actor to join their ranks – Franco deferred until 2012, a rep for the school told CNN. (And understandably so; think about how many projects the 33-year-old is currently signed up for.)

At this rate, Franco may be running out of room to hang all of his degrees: He's already acquired an undergraduate degree from UCLA, an MFA in writing from Columbia and is currently tackling Yale's doctoral English program.

Filed under: Celebrities • James Franco

soundoff (82 Responses)
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  6. jc

    @Mengineer101 Your posts on here and other websites are some of the most obnoxious. You judge others as if you have a superior complex but the things that you say are ignorant as the people you perceive to judge. You're an idiot.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christy

    I think that it's terrific that Mr. Franco is pursuing advanced degrees. These degrees are obviously for his own personal edification and artistic development, but everyone keeps talking about how he's only there for whatever selfish reasons. No one enters a graduate degree program for kicks. It's a lot of hard work, and I frankly doubt that Columbia or Yale will just hand over a degree if he does not complete the required work with a passing GPA. While they may allow him a level of freedom to complete the work, I doubt that he would be allowed to get a degree if he didn't complete the work. I admire the fact that he's trying new things and not sitting on his butt doing nothing all day. Good for him for him for pursuing education for the sake of education! And whoever commented about him taking some other qualified person's spot, come on...These academics, especially literature profs, probably do not even have a clue who James Franco is, and if they do, it certainly would not get him a pass in classes.

    May 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. @N

    Congrats to James Franco you were accepted to the University Of Anubus Curto!!!anubus curto is portuegeese for short bus!!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Crumbley

    REALLY getting tired of this guy...............

    April 26, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. mkjp

    that's great. so Yale is going to hand him a PhD for doing a year or two of "work" and "taking classes" and then he'll move on to Houston for 5 minutes and get another one? maybe he can run for president in 2012 while he's at it.

    April 25, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Drod

    How worthless. Franco supposedly took 60 credits in his under grad and he expects anyone to believe that his degrees are valid. I certainly hope that his little novelty degrees at least mention something about being honorary! If not, any school that grants him a degree shouldn't even qualify for any accreditation. It's almost disrespectful to anyone who did spend countless hours in a class room working for a degree that DOES mean something!

    April 25, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
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  14. The Real @N

    i had a cocoa bunnie!!!melty sweet goodness!!!

    April 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. @N

    Happy Easter Commenters!!!!!!

    April 24, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  16. floor

    Happy Easter everyone !

    April 24, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  17. @N

    JAY RAY wats up with u & rap music?really all the rappers in the world!!

    April 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  18. JAY RAY

    yeah. watch his interviews. he is it.

    April 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mote

    Slash on, perfect ones. Slash on.

    April 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  20. madhater

    3.8 (out of 4.0) you aint sh!t asia911

    April 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ray Jay

    He is smarter than all the rappers in the world put together.

    April 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  22. JAY RAY

    I typed a really nice thing about how much we respect his hard work and how he is an incredible deacent guy. CNNwouldnt let it post. Oh well. J Franco has worked veryvery hard for his success and deserves this and much more. He is a deacent hardworking honest guy. Definitly not a normal hollywood celeb. He is a living success story. The Best.

    April 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. sunless

    better get that http://www.SUPERSONIC.US.COM

    April 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  24. JAY RAY


    April 23, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  25. Houston

    I don't have an opinion of his intelligence that I'd like to voice. Since we all obviously believe differently of how smart he may/may not be there is not point in continuing that conversation.

    I just want to shout out to Houston and the UH program! My next 7 years (after these last two weeks of undergrad) will be in Houston and I'll be going to the UH campus to be with him!

    April 23, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  26. Peace

    I have a niece that goes to MSU, $24,000 a year. Let's not forget food, books & dorms, too ! OUCH

    April 23, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  27. so many idiots

    For the record, James Franco DOES NOT smoke pot.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Wrong

    I'm an mfa student at Columbia, and I don't think Franco actually earned the degree. I heard he was kicked out of the program after one year for poor attendance. I did see him around the school of the arts building last year but this year he was gone.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  29. @N

    mark marino r u in the 3rd grade?b/c u cant write!!!go back to school!!!whers ur indentions?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Deborah

    Franco is the thinking woman's hottie.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  31. SpecialPlace

    I don't understand, this article is misleading. It says he's going for "yet another degree", but it seems to me that he is only taking the natural steps towards the PhD. Doesn't one get the BA, then to get the PhD essentially goes through a "masters" program? I had the impression he was going for his third PhD or something, or at least multiple masters....

    April 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  32. @N

    u print the article off from ur computer and when u gotta go u hav nice toilet paper!!!thank u mark marino!!!here hav some poopy paper!!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  33. @N

    I found a very good use for this article......................TOILET PAPER!!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  34. MastersInCommunication

    It's too bad the author of the article is not as academically accomplished as Franco. Note the lack of parallel structure in the final paragraph. I see this error constantly and it drives me nuts.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Alan

    If I had enough money to hire assistants to do all of my mundane tasks, I would probably do the same thing, haha.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Boo boo

    Better than partying his time away. Good for him.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Annia

    He can always work as a creative writer, technical writer, and he can always teach.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  38. MD

    "He took the place of someone that might actually need the degree to get a job."
    Ha. Ha.
    If your goal is to be employed, getting a graduate degree in English is definitely one thing you DON'T want to do.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Nathan Forczyk

    This is stupid. He took the place of someone that might actually need the degree to get a job.

    Plus, racking up degrees in English doesn't make you a genius. If he wants to prove to smart people that he's smart, he should get a PhD in Math or something scientific.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kit

      Math = humanities degree. Just like literature degree = humanities degree. The point is – you think, think well, and have uncommon knowledge of a body of work, enough to contribute to that body of work and scholarship. Doesn't matter the arena.

      PhD = doctor of philosophy. In case you missed that.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Rick English

    Pretty soon only people with his kind of money will be able to get degrees.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boo Boo

      Rick, unfortunately, that's already the case in California. By next year it'll cost almost $25000 per year at most of the UC's. Parents I've talked to are contemplating whether or not to drain their life savings to send their kids to college. It's a sad choice to make.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  41. James Franco Is A Charlatan

    Any celebrity with money can get into any university that wants the press. I have zero patience for this self inflated fraud. He is a semi-competent actor in typecast roles, so his desperation for intellectual validation is getting to be so incredibly tiresome. I think his stunt at the oscars revealed he is composed of little intelligence and the veneer of this alleged talent has no substance.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • pointless1

      You actually watched that crap? LMAO at you...

      April 22, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dmitryi

      I understand what you're saying, but this is still better than letting Snookie (!) become a guest speaker at Rutgers and get paid more than the Nobel prize laureate!!

      May 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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    Go Coogs!

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  44. Gloria

    Great, uplifting news!

    Go for it!

    April 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  45. JamieG

    He's very fortunate to be able to do so much! I wish I could get degrees at Universities by sending assistants there to take notes. I might have a few more too.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Richard Allen

    Being an English Major, gotta say I am thinking of smoking pot now as well...Hell, if he can smoke pot and get all those degrees and host the Oscars, I can do it too!...wait...how did we get on the pot smoking thing again?

    April 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  47. asia911

    I am NOT his biggest fan, saw part of that awards show with Anne Hathaway and was HORRIFIED. He acted HIGH the whole time, that's when I was turned off.
    I do have to say that IF indeed he IS high while teaching that is not acceptable, but if he IS high WHILE LEARNING for his classes at school then that should say something about his intelligence or low expectations at these schools (I am not saying the expectations for the schools are LOW). Let me explain, as someone whose IQ is in the genius category and having been invited to join MENSA (NO I AM NOT bragging, just making a point) I always found school boring and very easy. I got accepted into EVERY college I ever applied to...Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, At JUST 10-15% effort in school work I would get 3.8 GPA (out of 4.0). Just goes to show that if we can accept that some students to need EXTRA help in school, maybe some need to be challenged more (and expectations need to be raised). My husband who was a primary/elementary school teacher and I always have the same debate, I found it unfair that we had slow down what was taught in class because my classmates did not catch on as quickly as I did (actually there was about 4 of us in a class of 30 that caught on quicker). I went to a Chicago Public school, we had funding for special needs children (some of which DID have disabilities, but most just goofed off or didn't do the work). I felt, and still do, that it was unfair to allow the lowering of the bar for some students but not raising the bar for others. I also skipped grade levels and was offered to skip A LOT more, but my mom (who was a single parent) didn't want me to be under 10 and in high school. She felt that I would not adjust socially, which I have seen with some other people with genius level intelligence. –After this long rant, I'm just saying maybe he needs to use LESS effort to produce the same results as someone with average intelligence. -

    April 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • sportreform

      feeling all puffed up and self important now, asia911? with such super intelligence, at least you understand why people can't stand you.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mengineer101

      Wow, you sound so impressive. Thank you so much for posting that...

      Your comment had little connection to the article despite being the longest comment on the page. The fact that 95% of the content in your post could be replaced by the phrase "I consider myself intelligent" is truly telling. Also, the fact that you consider it unfair for children to ask questions displays your true intelligence.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • yoy

      you made that alllll up or else you would be able to get to the point and then articulate it to us

      April 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth John Doe

      Youth Intelligence tests are NOTORIOUSLY inaccurate due to lack of available material to fairly test across the population, + you can get into Mensa through practicing for i.e. the LSAT for years prior to taking it. If that really is a feather you would like in your hat. You never stated when you were invited to Mensa. Assuming you are as intelligent as you claim, I believe this misrepresentation by omission was calculated. If you failed to see the relevance of when or how you were invited to Mensa, I wonder if your intelligence includes the ability to following the chain of causation to the end, or rather you are capable of accepting convenient falsity. Inability to control your impulses led you to change the subject of a positive report on one's success, to a negative, broad, poorly articulated argument criticizing higher education lacking any citations or support of any kind.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • asia911

      Obviously of none of the people that responded to my initial post can actually READ. Quick tip, I DID mention in my post that it was a RANT. Look the word up please. Secondly, I was invited into MENSA after I had skipped 4 grades in grammar school and had several IQ tests (both in school and privately) that were all similar. As I also mention in my RANT, I did not write this to be SELF IMPORTANT (I really DON'T care what people that DON'T know me think). My ONLY point is that perhaps if we ALLOW for the thought that if some people need EXTRA help to be able to get decent grades in school then we should ALSO ALLOW that some people can get decent grades WITHOUT much effort.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • asia911

      @Mengineer101 – Actually as a student I was always told the ONLY stupid question is the one left unasked. So I asked A LOT of questions but I realized that my teachers did not want to expand on what they were teaching us and ONLY wanted to cover material in the book and in a specified time frame, I then stopped asking questions.
      @Truth John Doe – I was criticizing primary/elementary education. Also, I currently hold a doctorate in psychology from a university that does not hand them out unless you have an article published in a peer review journal. SO, I have known students that have completed the required course work for a doctorate (which is 3-4 years of full time study) and HAVE NOT gotten a degree in 12 years because their work has not been published in such a journal. I did not know that I had to provide such EVIDENCE and CITATION on a frivolous post at CNN was required(mind you, I have NEVER posted online before). I will provide such information in the future.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Oscar

      I thought the subject in discussion was James Franco and his many degrees,NOT YOU and your humongous head!! Get over yourself!!

      April 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  48. sally

    If his performance at the Oscars and his performance on interviews is any indication, I feel very sorry for anyone who
    might take classes from him. He has ZERO personality. What a boring, boring man. Brains aren't everything.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Asturiano

    Goes to show ya that some showbiz folks have smarts.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Brandon

    Love this sooooo much.
    I already love Franco, and I go to UH, so this is a dream for me!

    Franco's gonna be a Coog!

    April 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  51. oysta

    Yeah, this guy's freaking amazing ... He makes movies about people mast-ur-bating onto the bodies of dead goats. Classy.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  52. slvrbug

    There's plenty of idiots out there with advanced degrees. It doesn't say anything about intelligence. Drive yes, intelligence no.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • CodeMonkee

      I'm pretty sure that drive alone will not earn you a Ph.D from Yale. Give the man a little credit for having a little something going on upstairs – it's not like he's earning an advanced degree from some college on the back of a matchbook cover.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      M guess is you're one of the idiots out there with out any kind of degree!

      April 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • yoy

      I think youre right, If I were a famous actor I bet I could get into Yale, and those disagree with the fact that idiots can have PhDs have obviously not gone to college

      April 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  53. thearchaicrevival

    James Franco is insane! And I love that about him haha

    April 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  54. grofys

    it's amazing what celebrity and money can do. i ran out money and couldn't finish my M.Ed. i had 2 bachelor degrees, but i would have loved to have gotten my PhD. i've accomplished a lot of skills, professionally and otherwise, but i will always regret not having the resources to get my doctorate.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kit

      Err, student loans are your friends to finish a degree. Plan to pay them back. Many of us do. And got doctoral degrees as a result.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Ridiculous assertion. You just didn't try hard enough. I had a wife, two kids, lived in another country, had a job that required significant travel, and no other option for funding other than loans, and I was able to finish my Master's degree in a technical discipline (yes, I'm scoffing at your M.Ed). Granted, for two years my week-nights and week-ends were significantly impacted, but where there's a will there is a way.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • kozinskinator

      And Ian didn't even have to be that good of a student. Why, just look at how he tried to use the term "impacted"! *shudders*

      April 23, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  55. Corey

    It's refreshing to see someone using their fame and fortune responsibly. Anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and education and teach others is a good person. The media needs to focus more on people like James Franco and less on people like Charlie Sheen. Perhaps then people would start realizing that being smart is cool and being dumb is, well, dumb.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Nate Green

    He sounds like he is high all of the time. I've seen him in interviews and he sounds about as smart as Palin.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conner Macleod

      That's a rather fallacious argument you're making, Mr. Green. Just because one is high that does not mean one is not smart. If you look at the schools he has attended and his degrees, it should be rather obvious that he is indeed quite smart, they don't hand out diplomas at UCLA and Columbia without merit, let alone getting accepted into those schools in the first place. Now that he's in Yale, logic would dictate that Mr. Franco is intelligent.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • TM

      Do you happen to have any facts to backup your claim?

      April 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • shofar

      Bush also went to Yale....

      April 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim_l

      You two are missing the point entirely. He's 'unwise' if he is indeed frequently high, and 'smart' because of the extraneous educational endeavors that he can do, apparently, rather well. It's not uncommon to be both wise and dumb, or unwise and intelligent.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kozinskinator

      Has anyone read anything by him to know whether he's actually a decent scholar? Celebrities are held to a different standard when it comes to admissions. Just look at the woman who got into Yale Law with a 160 LSAT score (that's a pretty bad score, beyond horrible for Yale) because she wrote a second-tier "bestseller." You should always be skeptical about whether a celebrity-admit has real academic credentials.

      April 23, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • allison

      Do you even know how many MD's go through school on coke? Smart people get high all the time, it's just when it's appropriate is the question.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Rachel

    Gawd, I just LOVE this guy!!! James, congratulations!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |

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