The 48-year-old actress — who was last seen on the big screen as Natalie in “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” — revealed in a Q&A session with fans on Facebook Live on Monday that she’s heading back to graduate school to earn a PhD in public policy.
“I have decided to take the next step in my academic journey,” said Judd, who is already enrolled to start classes at University of California, Berkeley this fall. “[I’m 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.”
Judd added that UC Berkeley’s doctoral program in public policy is considered as the number one in the country and only accepts two or three candidates every year. “It was ultra-competitive and I know that talented and virtuous, well-meaning, smart people from all over the world applied, [that’s why] I’m very esteemed and honored that they accepted me,” she said.
Although she’s excited for the start of the upcoming term, she admitted that she’s also experiencing some normal first day of school jitters. “Sometimes I’m really excited, sometimes I’m like ‘What have I gotten myself into?!’” the Golden Globe-nominated actress revealed.
Judd completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky, where she majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater and women’s studies. She also spent a semester studying in France as part of her major. According to People, she entered graduate school at Harvard University in 2009 and later earned her master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in gender equality.
Although Judd is going back to school, she isn’t leaving acting. In fact, she is set to promote her upcoming film “Barry” at the Toronto International Film Festival where it will premiere next month.
Deadline also reported that Judd was cast in the reboot of “Twin Peaks” — Mark Frost and David Lynch’s upcoming new installment of their groundbreaking 1990 supernatural mystery series that originally aired on ABC from 1990 to 1991. “Twin Peaks” will return as a miniseries on Showtime in 2017.
“Allegiant” actress Ashley Judd announced that she will be attending classes at UC Berkeley starting this fall to earn a PhD. Pictured: Judd attends the first day of the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on Sept, 26. 2015 in New York City.