CID student during the showcaseThe Communication and Information Design (CID) program features three tracks:

Interactive Media & Game Design

Prepares students to enter the interactive media and game design industries as lead designers, concept artists, scripters, writers, and project managers. Students will develop requisite programming, design, and management skills with the cutting edge of development tools and dedicated studio spaces. Students will be able to choose a focus between programming and art within the track or increase the breadth of their studies within CID and SUNY Polytechnic.

Graphic Design & Communication

Prepares students to enter the professional world as new media producers and writers, graphic designers, public relations, visualization experts, communication professionals and social media strategists. The degree also prepares them for graduate work in related academic disciplines. Students will develop proficiencies in industry-standard software and emerging technologies.

Digital Imaging, Video & Animation

Prepares students to enter the video production and digital animation industry as script writers, producers, and creative directors for dramatic, entertainment and educational/training video and animation. Students will develop proficiencies using technologies and software to support writing, storyboarding, producing and editing.


The program is focused on digital information design and communication, including all all aspects of designing, planning, organizing, writing and designing of digital media including games, social and professional media. The program emphasizes new media digital tools such as interactive media, application and site design, writing and editing, imaging, photography, animation, and video scripting and production. The program studies how social media tools impact information preparation, organization, and delivery. Students develop a strong understanding of best practices and gain familiarity with techniques to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of new media in getting a message across.

Studio-based Education

The CID program is focused on studio-based education. A significant portion of student classes within the major will be completed in design studios, and will engage students in hands-on production of digital information products. Studio courses are offered in graphic design, gamification, video production, animation and vector graphics, and photography.

SUNY Polytechnic has multiple digital design studios at our Utica campus with top of the line computing power and recording tools. Design studios enable students to complete projects in advanced writing, design, animation, programming game design and illustration courses. The studios support both PC and Mac operating systems and offer a full suite of software to support graphic design, digital photography, video production, animation, game development, text layout and other information design projects. Software in the lab is contemporary and includes many professional tools such as Adobe Creative Suite products, Microsoft Visual Studio products, and high speed internet connections to access the most advanced cloud services.

Real World Experience and Career Preparation

The program emphasizes working with clients in professional situations. In select courses, students work with clients and complete quality deliverables. In capstone courses, students craft print and multimedia digital portfolios and present them in presentations and mock interviews with professionals in their fields. Students work under the direction of lead writers, documentation specialists or publication managers, and are exposed to the demands and constraints of the career in organizational settings. In the senior-level practicum class, students plan and complete a project for a domestic or international client, working through the entire development and implementation process. In the senior-level portfolio class, students create a digital portfolio of their work which is critiqued by the program’s advisory board in mock job interviews and in end-of-semester presentations. This portfolio can then be used in job interviews.

Graduates from the program find employment in interactive media and game design, social media strategy, web design, professional writing and editing, video production, instructional design technologies, training and teaching, communication management, computer documentation, public relations, graphics, journalism, and document design. Students may also go on to graduate study in information design (see below), graphic design, journalism, social media, computer interface design, and media studies.