From cafes to the big stage, esports has rapidly been making its way into more mainstream venues. The newest of which is Shenandoah University who will begin offering an esports major beginning in the Fall 2019 semester.
The Winchester, VA based university announced today that it will be expanding its existing esports into a full major. Students enrolled in the esports program will earn a four year Bachelor of Science degree. While the program doesn’t start until next fall, interested students are encouraged to begin applying now.
Shenandoah will be one of the first universities in the country and the first in Virginia to offer an esports major. The esports major will provide a general education as well as offer three specialized tracks for esports management, esports coaching, and esports media and communication. Students can expect to learn about consumerism, how to run events, streaming, streaming, and performance and physical training in esports. Each track will one hundred twenty credits, as well as thirty general education credits. Some of the courses that Shenandoah will be offering are: Introduction to Esports; Contemporary Issues in Esports; Esports Performance; Esports Ergogenic Aids; Esports Physical Training, Injuries & Rehabilitation; Esports Consumerism; Esports Structure and Governance; Esports Event Management; and Experiential Learning.
“Esports is a rapidly growing industry that spans business, sport management, exercise science and media and communications,” said Provost Adrienne Bloss, Ph.D. “Shenandoah’s depth and breadth of expertise in each of these areas enable us to offer a strong, multidisciplinary approach to this emerging field.”
The World Economic Forum anticipates the international esports audience to reach three hundred eighty million by the end of this year. The esports industry is currently projected to reach a valuation of $1.4 billion within the next two years.
“The esports industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the commercial entertainment industry and stands to become a billion-dollar industry by 2020,” said Joey Gawrysiak, Ph.D., associate professor and director of sport management. “We are working to prepare students to enter this field as highly qualified individuals with a unique bachelor’s degree that will place them ahead of other people wishing to enter the field. Shenandoah has positioned itself at the forefront of the esports industry by offering students an environment to participate in and study esports in a number of different ways.”
The program is designed to help students capitalize on this growing industry and make money playing the games that already love. Shenandoah University already has a varsity esports team that competes in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) against other universities in Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Paladins. They plan to expand on this and be the first NACE institute to establish a varsity-level VR team. Utilizing the existing Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning in the university’s Health & Life Sciences Building where students can create AR, VR, and 360-degree facilities students in the program will be able to get a one-of-a-kind education.
For more information about the program visit https://www.su.edu/. And while you do that, I’m going to un-rust my Rocket League skills.