What did Barbie study at uni?

Freddie Parker on 20 July 2023
Still from the upcoming Barbie movie

She really has been everything and he really is just Ken. Let’s look at what qualifications she has, given her career.

Barbie, or Barbara Millicent Roberts to use her legal name, has had an illustrious career spanning six decades. Looking at the list of careers, she definitely went to university, probably multiple times. We’ll break her career down, from astronaut to zookeeper.

What did Barbie start out as?

It’s March of 1959 and Barbie is making her first appearance at the International Toy Fair. In her debut outing, she’s a fashion model. She clearly had a promotion to fashion designer by the next year, and was an editor by 1965. 

It looks like she started from the ground up, so maybe she worked her way up the fashion world without a fashion or communications degree. But also in 1965, she saw her first trip to space as an astronaut. Now this means she likely has a STEM degree and master’s, as well as piloting experience. 

The next career that needs a degree came along in 1973 with Doctor Barbie. So she’s medically qualified. The STEM qualification she got to become was probably along the lines of biology or medicine. There was a gap between her time as an astronaut and a doctor, so that time could have been spent on a medicine conversion course.

What has Barbie been the most?

Her top three careers are teacher, doctor and chef. To be qualified to teach in the US you need a bachelor’s. Let’s assume it using UK qualifications though as it adds more to the list. So in addition to her degree and master’s, she also likely has a PGCE.

You don’t need a degree to become a chef, so it’s unlikely that had an impact on her academic career, unless she went to culinary school of course. 

What you may notice though is that she isn’t just a people doctor, she’s also a veterinarian. And a dentist. Doctor is by far the most common of the medical disciplines, but how can she be qualified as all three?

What qualifications does Barbie have?

The first bachelor’s that comes to mind as one easy to convert to medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine is biomedical science. More specifically, we can guess that it may have been biomedical engineering, given her tenure as an engineer in the 2010s.

Barbie has clearly spent a lot of time at uni, given the amount of graduate entry courses she’s done. Maybe this explains why she’s had so many different jobs since the 2010s. Student debt has caught up with her.

Her CV might look like:

  • BSc Biomedical Science 
  • MEng Biomedical Engineering
  • PGCE Primary
  • PGCE Secondary Science
  • BMBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery)
  • BVetMed Veterinary Medicine
  • BDS Dentistry

There’s most likely a PhD in there somewhere too, done in a field like biomedical science. Definitely several honorary doctorates too. She’s done enough work in her time to be a spokesperson for any number of career paths.

Unless she got some hefty scholarships, this is an expensive academic career. Then again, we don’t know much about George and Margaret Roberts, her parents. They could be old money rich. There have been years where she’s been working 20+ jobs though, so she’s definitely grafting hard for what she has.

But Barbie is without a doubt a STEM girlie. If only she actually became president in 2020, she would have got shit done.

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Freddie Parker
Freddie Parker on 20 July 2023