Musicians with PhDs Who Might Surprise You

Academia and the music industry don’t seem like particularly compatible institutions. The former moves glacially slowly, the second feeds on an internet-stoked buzz cycle. Academics prize well-thought out hypotheses while musicians are all about, um, everything but that. But in spite of their differences, there are a whole host of musicians with higher degrees. Check out our list after the jump.

1. Brian May (Queen)

Aside from penning and singing some Queen classics — “Fat Bottomed Girls,” anyone? — Brian May also happens to be an astrophysicist. He began studying for his Ph.D. at the Imperial College in the 1970s, but only graduated (thanks to Queen’s interruptions) 2008, presenting a dissertation entitled A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud. Which, come to think of it, would also be an awesome album name.