"It's something I've always wanted to do, and I truly feel like it's the next stage in my life," Cannon told ET's Denny Directo at the AGT live show in Los Angeles on Tuesday. "Entertainment is outstanding but I truly want to utilize my voice, I want to be a part of the community, and I'm always encouraging young people and being an advocate for education, so I need to make sure I get mine first."
As for his educational focus, Cannon told ET he's majoring in "strategic legal and management communications."
"'It's a long [name], but it's really dealing with, obviously, the law and also the business that we're all in with communications," Cannon explained. "I felt like I was already into the communications field in doing this for a couple decades, why not get behind it? [I want to] understand the legal aspects of it, and the strategic management part so I can continue to build my empire."
Despite his busy schedule -- including hosting the popular reality talent competition series, making music and co-parenting his twin 5-year-olds, Moroccan and Monroe, with ex-wife Mariah Carey -- Cannon says he's in this for the long haul.
"I'm not just going to start, or stop in 2020," Cannon said. "I'm going all the way to get [my] phD."
Until then, he's just going to keep his cross-country schedule going as best he can.
"I am using these airplanes likes school buses!" he joked. "I get Tuesday and Wednesday off ‘til AGT is over and then my full credits kick."
Cannon isn't the only big name star to walk the hallowed halls of Howard. Famous alumni of the prestigious, historically black university include actors Anthony Anderson, Chadwick Boseman, Ossie Davis, and Taraji P. Henson as well as Sean "Diddy" Combs and author Zora Neale Hurston.
While Cannon is moving forward in his pursuit of higher education, he seems to be having a hard time moving past his divorce from Carey, despite calling it quits nearly two years ago.
On Friday, Cannon sat down on The Amber Rose Show, where he admitted that he's still reeling from the split. "I'm not ready to be in a relationship," Cannon shared. "I'm broken." Check out the video below to hear more from his candid interview.