Ashley Judd Announces She’s Going Back to School to Earn a PhD

Ashley Judd is prepping for back to school.

On Monday, the actress announced in a Q&A session with fans on Facebook Live that she’s enrolled to start classes at UC Berkeley this fall where she’ll earn her PhD in public policy.

“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 continued, revealing that the program is touted as number one in the country and only accepts two or three candidates per year, which is exactly why 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, adding that she’s ready to “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.”

The Olympus Has Fallen star received her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky. In 2009, she enrolled in graduate school and was later awarded her Masters in public administration with an emphasis in gender equality from Harvard.

This time around, Judd plans to put her former studies to use, as she prioritizes how gender equality plays a role in human trafficking, as issue at the top of her list to tackle.

“Within human trafficking adheres all of the injustices of gender inequality,” she said. “You can look at the whole of our striving toward gender equality within the dynamic of ending human trafficking. So it’s the big and the little picture all at once and it’s definitely at the top of my list.”

Along with her studies, Judd will have to juggle publicity for her upcoming film Barry, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

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