TV audiences will forever associate Pauley Perrette with her role as the quirky and sharp-witted forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on “NCIS,” an unforgettable goth character. Initially, Perrette’s ambitions didn’t include acting; she was inclined towards a career with animals, rocking out in a band, or even becoming an FBI agent. Her academic background is equally intriguing, as she holds a degree in criminal justice.

Beyond the screen, Perrette is known for her activism in civil rights, as well as her talents as an author and singer. Before her stint on “NCIS,” she was working toward a master’s degree in criminal sciences but decided to pivot to acting. After a 15-year run as Abby, she has departed from the series but continues to be active in entertainment. It’s a curious thought whether she has ever contemplated returning to academia to complete her master’s studies.