Eva Longoria has a long resume. She started acting more than 20 years ago, with a bit part on Beverly Hills 90210. The actor kept her nose to the grindstone, and in 2004 it all paid off. Although it wasn’t her first regular part, her role as Gabreille Solis on Desperate Housewives would make her a household name. She left the set of Desperate Housewives in 2012, but she started working on her next project while still working on the popular ABC drama.
Eva Longoria started studying for her Master’s degree while on the set of ‘Desperate Housewives’
According to an interview in the California State University Northridge Magazine, Longoria started studying for her Master’s while she was still playing Gabrielle Solis. Even though she was on a hit TV show, Longoria felt a pull toward activism. She began learning more about the history of Mexican Americans, and her research led her to take an online class at California State University Northridge.
After the online class, she craved more. Longoria saw an in-person class she wanted to take, and luckily she had the time. Then she took another. Once she had three classes under her belt, a professor recommended she go ahead and apply to get her Master’s. Longoria was hesitant. She didn’t think she’d have the time to dedicate to the degree. Longoria told the CSUN Magazine, “I was terrified. I’m on the No. 1 TV show in the world. I don’t have time to do this. But for some reason, you make time. I’d have to go to class, 7 to 10 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays after shooting. And I did it. And it was so fulfilling in a way I couldn’t even imagine.”
Eva Longoria got her Master’s degree in Chicano Studies
Longoria never stopped working on her film and television career while she was getting her Master’s. In fact, Business Insider speculated that she ran straight from the Cannes Film Festival to her graduation in 2013. Longoria went from hobnobbing with the likes of Jane Fonda to walking in her cap and gown. She live-tweeted her graduation ceremony, including pictures.
According to Longoria, she looked like Harry Potter in her graduation garb. She finished her degree at the age of 38, and wrote on Twitter, “You’re never too old or too busy” for education. Longoria told the CSUN Magazine that she loved having younger classmates.
“I felt like I was in the presence of little geniuses. Going back to school at an older age, I was so far from my bachelor’s degree, so to walk into a classroom with 22-year-olds talking about the Oedipus Theory, and this theory and that theory. I was like, ‘I don’t remember this.’ I had to double back and freshen up on my own knowledge prior to walking in step with these wonderful, smart classmates.”
This book inspired Eva Longoria to go back to school
Longoria was inspired to go back to school by a book. Her questions about immigration led her to the book Occupied America by Dr. Rodolfo Acuña. After reading the book, Longoria decided to reach out to Dr. Acuña himself. He teaches at CSUN and invited Longoria down to the college to meet him.
It’s not clear if Dr. Acuña would have invited a non-famous person to the college to meet him. It probably helped Longoria that she was on one of the biggest TV shows on the air at the time. People were more likely to open doors for her, but she definitely earned her Master’s degree herself. Longoria did all the work, including completing a thesis and acting at the same time.