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Like her most famous character, Hermione Granger, Emma Watson is a true academic. In fact, her passion for education caused her to question her spot in the Harry Potter franchise. There were times when the actor considered quitting the movies so that she could pursue her degree. Ultimately though, Watson found a way to do both. She juggled her film career whilst also pursuing a degree from Brown University.

Brown University alum Emma Watson attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Emma Watson | Toni Anne Barson/Getty Images

An Ivy League institution, Brown is one of the oldest and most respected universities in the United States. Considering Watson’s grades, it wasn’t surprising that she chose to go to such a prestigious school for college. However, some people were confused when they learned she’d be going to school in Providence, Rhode Island. Considering Watson is from England, people questioned why she chose a school so far away from home.

Why did Emma Watson go to Brown University?

On her personal website, the Harry Potter alum got candid about her decision to choose Brown. “I was seriously torn as to whether to stay in the UK or go to the States as let’s face it the UK has some of the best universities in the world,” she shared. “But, ultimately, I loved the course at Brown and really liked the idea of experiencing a different country and culture – and I must say I’ve never been happier, I absolutely love Brown.”

Watson’s passion for Brown would persist for the entirety of her undergraduate experience. One of the things she enjoyed most about her experience was how protected she was. At Brown, the Little Women star was just another student who was afforded her privacy. Very little is known about Watson’s years at Brown that she didn’t share herself. Of course, there were a few stories that did leak to the press.

What is the ’10 points to Gryffindor’ story from Brown?

One story that gained traction in the media involved Watson in a class. The story alleges that the actor was in a class when a teacher posed a question. Watson raised her hand and answered the question correctly. Soon after, another student called out “10 points to Gryffindor” and the class erupted in laughter.

The story circulated heavily. At first, it was good-natured, but it soon took a different turn. Some people alleged that the aforementioned incident was the first of many. People even alleged that Watson had been bullied at her alma matter and was considering dropping out or transferring to put a stop to it. Sensing things were getting out of hand, Watson hopped on her website to debunk the rumors.

The ‘Harry Potter’ alum never considered dropping out of college

“I have never been bullied in my life and certainly never at Brown,” Watson shared. “This ’10 points to Gryffindor’ incident never even happened. “I feel the need to say this because accusing Brown students of something as serious as bullying and this causing me to leave seems beyond unfair.”


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Continuing on, Watson shared that she was not considering dropping out of Brown. Instead, she was deciding if she wanted to study abroad (a common occurrence in a student’s Junior year) or stay at Brown. “Please don’t try and speculate about what I might do in September – no one can possibly know because I don’t even know yet!” Watson shared with fans.

Watson graduated from Brown with a degree in English Literature

Ultimately, Watson did end up spending her Junior year elsewhere. For the 2011-2012 academic year, she studied at Worcester College, Oxford. There she was a part of the Visiting Student Programme. However, she returned to Brown in her final year of study before graduating in 2014. The actor earned her degree in English Literature in five years, as she took a year off for acting pursuits. Some may think that Watson attending college in the States was an unorthodox choice, but clearly, it was the right one for her.