Emma and Kathy Earhart are even in all the same classes this semester.

By Meghan Overdeep
October 15, 2019
University of North Texas

A lot of parents joke about following their kids to college, but 39-year-old Kathy Earhart from Denton, Texas, actually did.

First, it’s important to note that Kathy’s daughter Emma isn’t the average college student. At just 16 years old, she is already a junior biology major at University of North Texas.

Emma was 12 when she was invited by Duke University to take the SATs and was just 15 when she obtained her associate degree. At this pace, she’s on track to earn her bachelor’s in biology at 17, and her doctorate at 22.

“I always say that Emma’s on auto-pilot. And I don’t want to jinx her because she has drive, focus, ambition, she knows where she is going. She has a goal,” her dad Joe told WFAA. “Here she is 16, a junior at UNT, with the world at her fingertips.”

After more than a decade as a stay-at-home mom focused on raising her three kids, Kathy was inspired when Emma started college at 14.

Kathy Earhart

“I always wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. I just thought the time had passed that I didn’t get to do that,” Kathy told WFAA.

"And I was like, 'OK, I'm doing this,'" she said. “If I set my mind to it, I will do it."

And so, Kathy joined Emma at UNT. The mother-daughter duo is working toward bachelor's degrees, and eventually, doctorate degrees. They both want to be doctors. This semester they’re taking every one of their classes together.

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“It’s a lot of fun, we’re competitive in a fun way, it’s 'who did better on this, who did better on that,' so we challenge each other,” Kathy told the local news station.

“This has been an amazing experience, especially experiencing it with my mother,” Emma added. “It’s just created a bond that’s going to last a lifetime.”

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