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SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced that the New York State Education Department and the State University of New York have approved SUNY Poly’s new Bachelor of Science degree in Interactive Media and Game Design (IMGD).  The addition of the IMGD program is in response to the continued growth of the gaming and interactive media industry and addresses the increasing demand for skilled workers who can maintain that growth.

“Video games and interactive media are among the fastest growing forms of entertainment in the world and more students than ever are expressing an interest in working in these mediums.  This new degree program, like all of SUNY Poly’s offerings, provides students with the knowledge and tools required to be successful in the high tech global economy of the future,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.  “The dedication our faculty and staff have shown in creating this new program is exemplary.  Their passion and commitment to excellence are tremendous assets to the SUNY Poly community.  I applaud their efforts and invite students to join us and participate in this exciting new opportunity.”postcard for 2016-17 copy

“This is a fine example of the many ways in which SUNY Poly continues its commitment to innovation and learning by actively designing, developing and implementing new degree programs that give our students a competitive edge upon graduation,” said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at SUNY Poly. “We take great pride in the experiential, hands-on learning that our students receive.  It’s one of the biggest reasons they choose to come to SUNY Poly.”

As part of the IMGD program, students will be able to choose one of three concentrations: Interactive Design; Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship; and Asset Production.  Students will learn how to successfully create, deliver and market interactive content and gaming entertainment through hands-on research and development opportunities. Potential career options include lead designers, concept artists, scriptwriters, and project managers among others.

“This program is a perfect compliment to existing courses and opportunities at SUNY Poly in that it addresses a growing need in the tech sector and prepares students for the demands of next generation industries like interactive gaming,” said Dr. William Durgin, SUNY Poly Provost. “Our brand of experiential learning is not only engaging for students, but is also incredibly effective, producing real-life problem solving skills for the innovators of tomorrow.”

Starting in first year courses, students in the IMGD program will be designing games and working with industry-standard software and design suites. Students will take courses in areas such as gamification, machinima (the use of real-time computer graphics engines to create the cinematic-style production most often used in video games), and studio design. The IMGD academic program will utilize SUNY Poly’s brand new Interactive Media laboratory which will provide open access to students.  It provides cutting edge technology and video conferencing capability linked to the world with the highest speed fiber optic internet connection available. This environment duplicates the type of resources students will encounter as professionals.

“This reflects SUNY Poly’s commitment to offer exciting programs that are focused on areas of emerging importance in our technological society,” said Dr. Andrew Russell, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Our goal is to prepare students for fulfilling careers where they can be creative, collaborative, and have positive impacts on the world around them.”

“The addition of this new program is consistent with SUNY Poly’s ongoing mission and philosophy of engaging students with current, exciting cross-disciplinary education through hands on experiences and project based learning,” said Dr. Zora Thomova, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The skills that students gain are on the forefront of the current technological trends and can be applied in many places in our 21st century society.”

The IMGD program rounds out and broadens SUNY Poly’s portfolio of majors in media, design, information technology and programming. SUNY Poly already offers B.S. majors in Computer Science, Communications & Information Design, and a graduate program in Information Design & Technology.

“The IMGD Major is an exciting opportunity for SUNY Poly. Our students will be given the skills to focus on careers making applications, games, and other interactive digital programs,” said Ibrahim Yucel, SUNY Poly Assistant Professor and IMGD faculty lead. “With the recent release of virtual reality headsets to the public, there is a whole new medium to explore and create in, and I look forward to seeing what our students create in it.”