Ashley Judd is Getting a PhD at Cal

UC Berkeley students will see a famous face on campus this fall – actor and political activist Ashley Judd is headed to University of California’s flagship campus to get a PhD in Berkeley’s public policy program.

Judd, a UN Goodwill ambassador, who briefly entertained the thought of running for senate in her home state Kentucky, made the announcement during a Facebook Live session with her fans.

"I have decided to take the next step in my academic journey," Judd, 48, said. "Sometimes I'm really excited, sometimes I'm like 'What have I gotten myself into?!' I'm very esteemed and honored that they accepted me."

Judd praised the program, which is touted as the number one in the country, accepting only two or three candidates every year. Judd said she intends to "make the best of my time at Berkeley."

"It was ultra-competitive and I know that talented and virtuous, well-meaning, smart people from all over the world applied," she said. Judd added that she’s ready "do some good thinking, some rigorous research and fill it with my typical heart and soul and see how I can continue to do my little part to make the world a better place."

Judd, who starred in "Double Jeopardy" and "Olympus Has Fallen" among oher films, graduated from the University of Kentucky. In 2009, she received a masters in public administration from Harvard, with an emphasis in gender equality.

Judd, who has also worked toward wildlife and anti-violence campaigns, wants to focus on gender equality and human trafficking.

"You can look at the whole of our striving toward gender equality within the dynamic of ending human trafficking," she said.

Contact Us