Which schools offer degrees in esports?
|Caldwell University||Caldwell||New Jersey|
|Saint Peter's University||Jersey City||New Jersey|
|The Ohio State University||Columbus||Ohio|
|Keuka College||Keuka Park||New York|
|University of California Irvine||Irvine||California|
|George Mason University||Fairfax||Virginia|
|University of Texas at Arlington||Arlington||Texas|
The year 2019 is on track to become the first billion-dollar year for esports, up 27% since 2018. Global revenues of at least $1.1 billion from advertising, sponsorship, and media rights to competitive video gaming will account for most of the revenue, and by 2021, esports is expected to generate more than $1.6 billion in total revenue with $1.3 billion coming from brand investments.
More than 2,900 esports tournaments have awarded over $119.5 million in prize money in 2019 alone, with more than 17,200 active players competing and top players earning millions. With such tremendous growth in the industry, demand for skilled esports management teams is at an all-time high, with a number of colleges and universities developing degree programs to help meet the demand; University of California Irvine, The Ohio State University and University of Texas are just a few.
Students interested in the management side of esports may earn a bachelor’s degree in esports management or major in business with a minor or certificate in esports management. Some schools allow students to take on other majors and add a certificate or a minor in esports.
To help you get in on the game, we’ve compiled a list of 10 colleges with esports degree programs, plus a few honorable mentions. Many of the schools on our list rank among the top schools in the nation, and most have varsity esports teams.
Continue reading to find out which schools offer esports degrees. The schools on our list are not ranked here, so they do not appear in any particular order.
Becker College offers a BS in Esports Management taught through traditional face-to-face classes with the potential for hybrid classes. Students in the program will learn how to plan and execute small and large scale events utilizing the latest in streaming technology, develop business plans to develop teams, create online communities, and promote events through digital technology. Students will also explore the culture of esports, its audience and fan base, and the four dominant game genres that make up the industry.
Sample courses for the program include Esports Game Technology, Esports Planning Strategy, and Esports Business Models. An Esports Capstone and Career Internship are also part of the program.
The Varsity Esports Program at Becker College was the first in Massachusetts to offer scholarships for esports. Players compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, SMITE, and Paladins.
Shenandoah University is the first university in the country to offer a multi-track esports major. The school’s BS in Esports with an Esports Management Track consists of 120 credit hours of study, with 45 in the esports major and 18 in the management track. An Esports Management Minor is also available as well as an Esports Media and Communication Track within the BS program, and a minor and certificate in Esports Performance Studies.
All programs prepare students to work in the business of esports through international experiences, internships with major esports and video game companies, and hands-on experiences with industry executives and varsity esports teams at Shenandoah. Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in areas such as event management, esports marketing, and administration. The programs are set to launch this fall.
Shenandoah’s esports team has started its first year of competition through the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), with 30 team members competing against players at colleges and universities across the U.S., including Division I institutions, in Rocket League, League of Legends, SMITE, and Overwatch.
This fall, Caldwell University says that it is set to launch a new BS in Esports Management that will be one of the first of its kind in the nation. Offered within Caldwell’s School of Business and Computer Science, the program will prepare students for careers in esports industry with opportunities for employment in finance, marketing, event planning, operations, and entertainment. This past spring, the school began offering an elective in esports within the Business School’s Sport Management Major as well.
The program will consist of 120 credit hours of study with 63 credits in the Esport Management Major. Internship will opportunities allow student to gain hands-on experience, while electives allow students to enhance the degree with course options such as Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management, and Public Relations.
The esports program at Caldwell University launches this fall, with League of Legends and Overwatch teams.
Saint Peter’s University says that it is one of the first universities in the country to offer an Esports Business Specialization. “This one-of-a-kind specialization” is offered through the University's School of Business. The program, which emphasizes the business side of esports, allows students to immerse in the culture of esports while gaining skills in planning and strategy, event management, business development, marketing, and finance. Students will learn from industry leaders and gain real-world experience through internship opportunities. The program leads to a BS degree.
Saint Peter’s University established an esports team in the spring of 2018. So far, it appears that teams compete in Call of Duty and League of Legends.
The Ohio State University says that an interdisciplinary curriculum spanning five colleges is in development. The program, which focuses on game studies and esports, “will be one of the first of its kind in higher education,” says the school. The program will include undergraduate and graduate degrees, an elective course in esports content production, online certification programs for specialized credentials, and a gaming speaker series. Specific areas of study may include esports management, game art and production, game design, programming, the business of games, and health and rehabilitation.
The university says that it “is actively seeking input from industry partners to construct the most comprehensive programs possible.”
The Ohio State University esports teams are in development and will be competing in League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, and others. Esports teams will compete with other Power 5 universities in a newly formed league commissioned by the Electronic Gaming Federation and the University will also help to develop the governance body of the league. A state-of-the-art arena is being built on campus to complement the interdisciplinary curriculum and to give students diverse career opportunities.
Keuka College offers a Minor in Esports Management that complements the schools BS degrees in Management, Management with Sport Management, Management with Marketing, and many others. The Esports Management Minor covers esports operations such as marketing, event management, broadcasting, content creation, strategic planning, and personnel management. Students in the program will have the opportunity to become a member of the Keuka College Esports Operations Team, which produces events on campus that include games such as League of Legends, Hearthstone, NBA2K, and Overwatch.
Students can further develop their career options through hands-on “Field Period” experiences in the industry. Experiences begin with the first year of study. In addition, students will have the opportunity to build a portfolio around the production of esports tournaments and invitational events, positioning them for a professional career in this emerging industry.
Keuka College was the first NCAA Division III institution to field a competitive varsity team in esports. Teams compete in Rocket League and League of Legends. The Esports Operations Team also produces events on campus that include games such as League of Legends, Hearthstone, NBA2K, and Overwatch.
Students at University of California Irvine can now earn a BA in Business Administration, MBA, or other degree and add the new Esports Management Specialized Studies Certificate. Offered through the School of Continuing Education, the program is also open individuals from other schools and backgrounds. This online program consists of nine units (90 hours of study) including Overview of Esports, Effective Communication in Esports, and Esports Project Management: Live Events.
Students in the program will learn how to speak knowledgeably about the history, community, and business of esports with future employers and other stakeholders in the industry, develop actionable suggestions to encourage growth or improvement in the esports industry, and develop effective communications geared towards fans and decision makers within the esports industry. Students will also learn how to create social media content that entices esports fan interaction, and apply project management skills and tools to initiate, plan, execute, and close an esports live event.
The Esports Management Specialized Studies Certificate at University of California Irvine takes just five months to complete.
UCI is the first public university to create an official esports program and is regarded as one of the best and most comprehensive in the world. Teams include League of Legends and Overwatch.
George Mason University has launched a unique minor that allows students to focus on game design and sports management. Students may add to the minor to the BS in Business Management or other degree. Offered jointly with Computer Game Design, courses for the Sport and Computer Game Design Minor provide students with a foundational overview of the sports industry, the sport management academic discipline, and computer game design.
Students can complement that knowledge with the selection of courses in these two disciplines that meet their individual interests. Sample courses for the program include Game Design Studio, Sport Venues and Events, Computer Game Platform Analysis, Online and Mobile Gaming, Psychology of Sport, Governance and Policy in Sport Organizations, and Sport Marketing and Sales.
The program requires 18 credit hours of study, in addition to any requirements for the students chosen bachelor’s degree program.
George Mason University promotes video games and competition through social, tournament and intercollegiate play. The school organizes tournaments and social events to bring gamers together. The GMU Esports Organization has 263 members.
The Division for Enterprise Development at University of Texas at Arlington offers a five-course Esports Management Certificate that can stand alone or complement the school’s BBA in Management or Marketing, the MBA, the MS in Marketing, and other programs. Students in the Certificate Program will take Introduction to Esports, Esports Business Strategies, Esports Branding and Marketing, Esports Project Management: Live Events, and Esports Player and Team Management.
Students in the program will have the opportunity to attend Battle4Texas—a two-day Spectator Tournament held at the Esports Stadium in Arlington. The school says that the purpose of Battle4Texas is to “provide a collegiate esports experience that people of all ages can attend,” with the goal to “become the staple event for collegiate esports in Texas.”
The University of Texas at Arlington Esports club (UTA Esports) was founded in 2011. Boasting 125 active members, UTA Esports is noted as one of the most active collegiate clubs in the country, fielding 16 teams for nine different video games.
Lambton College offers a two-year Diploma in Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration and a one-year Graduate Certificate in Esports Management. Students in both programs will develop esports related business skills while developing a strong appreciation of the overall esports industry. Specifically tailored, hands-on courses cover the history of esports, Industry hardware/software, game design, and live streaming. The business models behind team management and tournaments are studied in detail as well, says the school, “with the culmination of learning in the practical project course where students integrate the knowledge obtained throughout the programs to plan, manage, and execute real-world esports projects.”
Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of career opportunities including team and league esports marketing, management, promotion and event coordinator positions. Some graduates may also pursue related careers in esports as a pro-player, coach or a streamer. International students who successfully complete their program of study at Lambton College may be eligible to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP). The PGWPP allows students to gain valuable Canadian work experience.
The Lambton College Esports Arena officially opened its doors on September 7, 2017. It features 22 high-performance gaming PCs that are used by the students of the Esports Entrepreneurship and Administration program, the Esports Management program, the Lambton Lions Varsity Esports team and all students of Lambton College. The Lambton Lion Esports varsity team competes in Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros.
The Gaming Business School in France says that it is the first management school specializing 100% in the gaming business. Students at the school can earn a BS in Video Game and Esports Management in just three years, while mastering all the fundamentals of business including marketing, commercial development, management, communication and more. Program highlights include a project-driven pedagogy, professional speakers, and 100+ partner companies.
Throughout the year, students have multiple opportunities to meet esports industry professionals including 10 days of immersion, employability week, esports events on and off campus, and more. Of the 20 professional project students will engage in per year, they will have the opportunity to do at least five related to esports. Real projects (ordered by a business) or simulated (invented by a teacher), are always current. All students may join Odyssey Esport, the programs esports association.
Graduates of the program are prepared to seek careers in all areas of esports management or continue their education by enrolling in the schools MS in Video Game and Esports Management.
Gaming Business School houses the Gaming Academy, which trains players to compete at the professional level. Programs take place over two years and include "High-Level E-Athlete" Certification (sign as a professional athlete with an esports team) and "Entrepreneur Influencer" Certification (create a community around your talent and monetize it). Upon completion of either certificate, players may join the Gaming Business School and obtain the bachelor's degree or the master's degree.
ISDE, a law and business school based in Barcelona, Madrid and New York, has launched a 10-month master’s degree in Esports Business. Offered at the Barcelona campus, the program will be taught in English and it covers four areas: Understanding Esports, Working in Esports, Esports and Society, and The Future of Esports. Within these areas, students will explore Competition Management, Event Production, Team Management, PR & Marketing, Media Production and Distribution, and Esports Law.
Students will have access to hundreds of companies and sports entities, both locally and abroad, as well as esports internship opportunities at some of the industry’s leading companies.
Graduates of the program will have the skills needed to pursue careers in esports business or esports media. Sample job titles include Esports Project Manager, Head of Production for Esports Events, Esports Broadcaster, Head of Communications, Head of Marketing, and Head of PR.
The master’s degree in Esports Business at ISDE was developed in collaboration with DreamHack—a Swedish events and production company that is considered one of the most prominent organizations in the industry.
Becker College, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
Caldwell University, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
Gaming Business School, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
George Mason University, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
ISDE, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
Keuka College, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
Lambton College, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
“Overall Esports Stats for 2019.” Esportsearnings.com. Esports Earnings, 2012-2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
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Russ, Hilary. “Global esports revenues to top $1 billion in 2019: report.” Reuters.com. Reuters. 12 Feb. 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
Saint Peter’s University, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
Shenandoah University, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
The Ohio State University, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
University of California Irvine, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.
University of Texas at Arlington, 2019. Web. 20 Aug. 2019.