By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 03, 2002 11:00 AM

Steven Spielberg, who only last week received an honorary doctorate from Yale University, picked up a lesser but somehow even more satisfying degree on Friday: his bachelor’s degree in film and electronic arts from California State University at Long Beach. Reuters reports that the mega-successful filmmaker, 55, picked up his sheepskin as the college band broke into the musical theme from “Indiana Jones” and the crowd cheered. His fellow graduates, noted the news service, were a good 20 years younger than he. (Actually, 33 years is more like it.) Like any proud grad, the Oscar winner behind “Saving Private Ryan,” “Schindler’s List” and “Jaws” posed for photos on the campus lawn in his cap and gown, reports Reuters. Spielberg, who dropped out of college 33 years ago in order to break into the movies, quietly reopened his textbooks at Cal State’s Department of Film and Electronic Arts last spring. Courses were completed through independent and directed studies. (Most of Spielberg’s former profs had died or retired by the time he returned to his studies, and, it was reported, some of his new teachers had actually learned about film by studying the Spielberg canon.) “I would say this meant more to Steven than the honorary doctorates because, after all, they are honors and they’re very nice to have, but this (the degree) is something you achieve and you go back and do something your parents really wanted you to do,” Spielberg’s longtime spokesman, Marvin Levy, told Reuters.