Are you a college student that would like to study the movie, The Revenant (2015), or discuss the upcoming video game, Red Dead Redemption II (2018), for credit? There are Western genre college courses where you can! Now open for Spring 2018 registration, three such online classes are offered by two separate Canadian community colleges; Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario/Michigan, and St. Clair College in the Windsor-Detroit region. The courses, developed & taught by this writer, collectively meet a range of interests in the Western, from film to TV to video games.


Westerns: A Study in the Film Genre, offered by Sault College and entering its eighth year, is a film-focused course in which students complete two Film Reviews from a selection including such recent Westerns as The Hateful Eight (2015), and Hell or High Water (2016). Within weekly lectures, renowned Western actors and directors are discussed.

The Video Game West, offered by a Sault College, is a college credit class that explores the Western genre via the medium of video games. The course examines such topics as the History of Western Video Games, Locations & Settings, Historical Figures, Multiplayer Experience, and Marketing. Assignments include weekly participation questions and a project to create a plan for a Western game! With the highly-anticipated launch of Red Dead Redemption II this coming October, The Video Game West is a primer for those looking to understand that upcoming release in context. Here is the latest trailer (released May 2nd) for the game:

The two Sault College courses, running 14 weeks from May 15th to August 21st, are open to Canadian, US, and international students. Official course descriptions & fees can be found at THE VIDEO GAME WESTWESTERNS: A STUDY IN FILM. For registration, visit the link HOW TO REGISTER. For course approval from your home college, contact the Continuing Education department and they will provide a course outline for your institution to authorize for your specific program. Students can register until May 25th.

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Westerns: Film as Lens to the Present is available thru the Continuing Education department of St. Clair College, running 12 weeks from May 7th to July 29th. This General Education elective course explores film themes that include the Origins of the Western, Landscape & Setting, Indigenous Peoples, Women, and Soundtracks. The class also examines recent Western television productions such as AMC’s Hell on Wheels, Netflix’s Longmire, and HBO’s Westworld. Assignments include weekly journals and a Film Review. Registration is open until May 11th (with some exceptions) and to sign up, visit the link REGISTER – full course description & fees can be found at ST. CLAIR – WESTERNS.

All three of the courses taught by this writer are continually updated and draw upon the instructor’s industry contacts. No textbooks are required for these online classes. Those with questions can feel free to contact me directly via email @ . If you are looking for a different kind of online college course, one that matches your interest in the Western films, TV shows, and/or video games, I hope you join us on the digital trail!

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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