Best Online Master’s in Web Design Degrees

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Be the creative mastermind behind your own career with an online Master’s in Web Design.

Web designers are the key to making a website both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They not only know how to deal with the front-end work of user navigation and ease, but they also know the complex languages of coding and database systems.

Once you learn a programming language, you hold the keys to creating a world of your own through website design. Take that leap with an online Master’s in Web Design.

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What kind of Online Master’s in Web Design should you get?

If you’re looking for online programs, it’s all about flexibility, quality, and affordability. These days, distance learning is where it’s at. Online programs are flexible, affordable, and just as rigorous as any traditional program. You’ll be training for a career that is 100 percent online, so why not get the education 100 percent online?

All of these programs have slight variations, but they all include core coursework in two areas: coding and website development. You’ll have to narrow in on what coding languages you want to learn. You name the language, you’ll find a program below that offers coursework in it.

If you’re working on a budget, you might want to start with our list of the 10 Most Affordable Online Web Design degrees.

How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Web Design?

You’re in luck – web designers and developers are making top-notch salaries. Last year, the average annual income was $67,990. That figure, of course, varies depending on what sector you decide to work in.

Even more, there’s increasingly a bigger demand for web design jobs as our focus continues to move online. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, web developers will see a 15 percent increase in employment options by 2026.

What can you do with an Online Master’s in Web Design?

Your options are essentially limitless once you become a web designer. Think about it: you’ll graduate with the tools to create a platform for literally anything.

What do you love? Is it gaming, business, restaurants? Most web designers go one of two ways: they either advertise themselves as freelancers and choose clients who align with their interests. Or they work for a company and help fine-tune its online presence by buffing up their website and branding.

If you’re more drawn to the aesthetic end of web design, you could be hired on as a graphic designer. If you love coding, you could work as a computer programmer and develop apps. Each of these programs below will prepare you for either of those professions and everything in between.

What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Web Design?

These are five of the best schools in the nation – regardless of their web design programs! One of the main things they want to see on your transcripts is a background in either design or computer science. But this doesn’t mean that if your undergraduate degree is in something else you won’t qualify. Just make sure to have some experience going into your master’s program.

All of the programs last between one and two years. Most require around 30 to 60 credit hours to complete. The great thing about online programs is that you can make school fit with your schedule in whatever way it works for you.

You’ll find that most of these schools only require ten to twelve classes total. However, there are a ton of ways to expand your web design toolkit. Harvard University gives you the option of adding up to three certificates to your degree. The University of Denver offers a coding boot camp to get you up to speed on programming languages. The list goes on!

What are the best Online Master’s in Web Design degrees?

Below you’ll find the 5 Best Online Master’s in Web Design. We took a number of steps to narrow down our list. First, we gathered the academic quality of each online program. Then we looked at affordability and the return on investment – a big factor in how you decide on a school. Last but not least, we factored in student happiness using retention rates and graduation rates of each program.

Our methodology draws from our data team at College Choice, the quality resources at U.S. News & World Report, and the number gurus at Payscale.com. Design a new career for yourself! Read on!

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    It’s hard to top Harvard University. An academic force both nationally and globally, Harvard University is a private Ivy League in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It ranks as the #1 school in America, according to Forbes, ARWU, and the Wall Street Journal. The Harvard University Extension School offers degrees to adult learners via distance education.

    Program Features

    You’ll earn a MS in Digital Media Design at Harvard University. Through a series of twelve courses via the Harvard Extension School, you’ll dive into the world of web design. This curriculum offers over 100 course options. The program is offered online except for one on-campus class. Some of the electives you’ll choose from include:

    • Fundamentals of Website Development
    • Software Testing and Test-Driven Development
    • Programming with Python
    • Web GIS: Technologies and Application

    Notables

    This program knows the worth of specificity. You can focus in on a particular interest with one of three graduate certificates: Front End Web Development, Learning Design and Technology, and Web Technologies. For each, you’ll take an additional four courses.

  2. University of Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    In close second, the University of Denver is one of the oldest private universities in the Rocky Mountains. Founded in 1864, it has a long legacy of strong academics and a well-established study abroad program. This degree is offered through the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

    Program Features

    This online MS in Web Design and Development pulls together foundational classes in information and communications technology with web design electives. You’ll cover a total of twelve courses (or 48 credit hours) which culminate in a capstone project or seminar. Some highlight elective courses might look like the following:

    • User Experience: A Human-Centered Approach to Product Design
    • Web Graphics Production
    • Web Development with Ruby on Rails
    • Database Design & Programming

    Notables

    If you’re hoping to get the technical chops to eventually get hired on as a web developer, you might be interested in the Full-Stack Flex Program, which is the University of Denver’s coding boot camp. This is a non-credit option, but it would pair perfectly with this master’s degree. This 24-week intensive is offered through the Center for Professional Development.

  3. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Boston University can be found at the heart of Massachusetts’ bustling capital city. A private university, BU fits the bill for rigorous academics with an overall aim toward student research. It ranks nationally as the 37th top university, according to U.S. News & World Report.

    Program Features

    Boston University offers an online MS in Computer Information Systems with a concentration option in Web Application. This is a highly technical degree that covers both front-end and back-end development. Most students complete this program in 18-24 months. You’ll take a total of ten courses, covering topics like:

    • Database Design and Implementation for Business
    • Information Structures with Python
    • Web Application Development
    • Software Quality, Testing, and Security Management

    Notables

    If you’re looking to cut your teeth on coding, Boston University is the place to be. This program has the resources and classes for you to jump into some of the following databases and scripts: Oracle, Ruby on Rails, AJAX, jQuery, PHP, CSS, Flex, MySQL, and many more.

  4. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Florida is a force to be reckoned with. Between undergraduates and graduates, it enrolls around 55,800 students. UF is a leader in healthcare education and research. This year, it held down the #9 ranking among the best public universities in the country.

    Program Features

    The University of Florida created its online MS in Web Design & Online Communication around three core concepts: code, design, and strategic communication. You’ll use these concepts as your anchor points as you go through this 37-credit-hour program. A sampling of classes includes:

    • Web Design Principles
    • Corporate & Brand Identity
    • Advanced Web 1: Programming

    Notables

    This program uses everything Adobe to conduct its online classes. Adobe Connect lets you watch live lectures by your professors. Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are the main tools you’ll use to create. You’ll also get experience in CSS3, jQuery, JavaScript, and PHP.

  5. Illinois Institute of Technology
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Chicago is home to Illinois Institute of Technology, a private research university that specializes in all things engineering and technology. IIT has a history that goes all the way back to 1890. Today, it ranks as the 4th best university in Chicago.

    Program Features

    Web Design and Application Development is just one of nine specializations within the larger Master of Information and Management degree. After taking the core classes, you’ll complete 15 hours of coursework in web design techniques, and then 6 credits in electives. Some stand-out courses include:

    • Web Application Development
    • Open Source Programming
    • Web Systems Integration
    • Human/Computer Development

    Notables

    Technically, there is no official online master’s program in Web Design and Application Development. However, students can take classes online at any point. There is no distinction between online coursework and in-person coursework. The instruction and content is exactly the same.

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