What Is Matthew McConaughey’s Level of Education?

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

He’s been a movie star since the early 1990s. However, not many people know about Matthew McConaughey‘s level of education. While he has earned a wealth of experience throughout his life, he does have a solid formal education behind all of that as well. Before he was a star in Dazed and Confused the actor was learning the tricks of the trade in the classroom.

Longview High School and a Trip to Australia

So, to talk about McConaughey’s education we gotta go back. Back to the beginning. Well, not all the way. When the actor was just 11 years old, his family moved to Longview, Texas. There, McConaughey grew up and would eventually attend the local high school of the same name. Longview High School is a big school. It competes in Texas’ UIL Class 5A.

Before he graduated high school, McConaughey went off to spend a year in Australia. Talk about some real-life education right there. It was part of a Rotary Youth Exchange and he took off for the down under in 1988. He would spend an entire year down in Warnervale, New South Wales.

“I begun to realize how valuable and enduring that year in Australia was for me, how I wouldn’t be the man I am today, unless I had taken that year,” the actor said about his experience there. “How I wouldn’t have learnt the lessons if I would’ve come home early.”

While he was in high school, he was voted “most handsome” and had built quite a social reputation. His charm seems to have carried him through most of his life. With a year under his belt in Australia with all new experiences and meeting all new people, Matthew McConaughey was ready to go to the next level with his education.

Matthew McConaughey Continues his Education as a Longhorn

Everyone knows that Matthew McConaughey is a Texas Longhorn through and through. He is almost always wearing burnt orange and is always paying attention to the latest development in athletics and more. Despite the fact that his dad played football for the University of Kentucky and later on the Houston Cougars, the young McConaughey would go on to Austin, Texas.

It wasn’t his first plan, either. He wanted to go to Southern Methodist University, SMU. However, his brother told him that the tuition would be too much for the family to afford. So, public school in Austin it was. He would attend Texas from 1989 to 1993 and studied Radio-Television-Film. He would graduate with his degree and is a Longhorn alumnus through and through. Later that year, he’d star in Dazed and Confused.

During his time as a student at Texas, he joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and for a time he pictured himself going to law school. After studying for four years in RTF, he decided that law school probably wasn’t for him. Although, he did live out those dreams of being an attorney in A Time To Kill, the 1996 film that featured some other heavy hitters as well, including Samuel L. Jackson and Sandra Bullock.

Furthering the Education of Others

Now that Matthew McConaughey has gone from Texas undergrad to Hollywood superstar, things are a little different. The actor has taken a great opportunity to work with his alma mater, because of course he did. It isn’t just about sports for McConaughey when it comes to his precious Longhorns.

In 2015, the Dallas Buyers Club actor took a visiting instructor role in the RTF department that once taught him. By 2019, he had joined the faculty. During his classes, upper-level RTF students get to study film, usually one of his newer films, and also hear from distinguished guests. When the class is offered, you know that they fill the seats up quickly.

From Longview High School to Australia and the University of Texas. Life lessons, formal education, and more have all gone into Matthew McConaughey’s level of education. Now, he’s returning that knowledge to the students he teaches.