To support the increasing demand for skills in the esports industry and its overall growth around the world (and especially here in Philadelphia), Drexel University will now offer students an official esports degree program starting this semester.
In the last few years, the city has doubled down on the industry, with plans for an esports arena, new global esports ventures, and startups like Nerd Street Gamers seeing exponential growth. While many colleges and universities offer extracurriculars in esports, Drexel is setting out to make the industry an official area of study within the LeBow College of Business, the university announced this week. The major consists of required core classes within the business school, plus game design and management classes within the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
The school is eyeing the growing industry and the regional jobs that will follow in the coming years as a key motivator in establishing the program, it said. Jeffrey Levine, an assistant clinical professor at LeBow, will lead the program.
“By leveraging the distinctive benefits of the LeBow College of Business, the BSBA in Esport Business provides Drexel students with the skills necessary to become future leaders and decision-makers in the emergent ecosystem of esports,” Levine said in a statement. “Using an innovative entrepreneurial approach, we embody the hallmark of Drexel and LeBow: a holistic education that combines interdisciplinary academic knowledge with experiential learning and cooperative education through industry partnerships with a variety of esport stakeholders here in Philadelphia and beyond.”
Current esports classes already exist at the university, including “The Business of Esport” and “Game Design Lab.” But starting this semester, current and prospective students may declare an esports major. Classes for the major include topics like “Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” “Sports and the Law,” “Digital Sports Storytelling” and “Sports Event Management.”
“The new esports degree is a unique opportunity because it integrates courses from Drexel’s nationally recognized game design program,” said Michael Wagner, head of the Digital Media Department within Westphal. “This will allow students not only to get hands-on insight in the development of digital games, but it will also give them the opportunity to interface with game design student teams for the purpose of developing new and innovative esports game titles.”