Can you envision yourself sitting a desk with little more than an abstract concept, from which you need to build an interactive, innovative, and highly functional website?
Does this challenge excite you and incite fresh ideas for stunning design and intuitive handling?
Then a career in web design and development may be just for you!
What kind of online Web Design degree should you get?
All of the programs on our list will provide a sturdy foundation in web development, design, and application. However, they each vary in emphasis and requirements.
While some stress the importance of creativity others integrate business and entrepreneurship concepts into the curriculum. Depending on your passions and vocational interests, the former may be of more interest, and so you’re more likely to find yourself in an art school. Or you may find a traditional university more apt.
Whichever program offers the best fit, know that all of these degrees can be completed fully online.
Online education is not only a flexible way to advance your education, and thus your career, but it’s affordable too. Most programs offer lower tuition rates to those studying primarily from a distance. For that reason, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with an online Web Design degree?
With projected demand for web developers to rise another 27 percent in the next few years, earning this degree ensures a future of stability. That number is way above the national average.
And the industry is more than just stable. It’s incredibly lucrative. Web developers make, on average, over $70,000 each year.
Whether it’s in corporate finance, healthcare, nonprofit, or education, web designers are needed in diverse fields and settings. Even more, you can implement your degree with an in-house company or you can become a freelance designer, contracting work from the comforts of your own home.
What are the requirements for an online Web Design degree?
To earn a BS in Web Design, you will first have to complete two years of general education courses. You can also transfer any completed course work over too. Once those are completed you can dive into your core web design and development classes.
An undergraduate degree in web design is inherently interdisciplinary.
In addition to foundational business classes, you will also take coursework in software programming, graphic design, data architecture, and much more. You may even have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an internship or research project.
What are the best online Web Design degrees?
Though some of these web design programs are business focused and others are offered through art schools, all share one thing in common: they offer the nation’s Best Web Design degrees that can be earned fully online.
To aggregate the nation’s best online web design degrees we looked at every program in the U.S. that offers the degree online. From there we looked into other important factors, such as student retention, which is a sign of student satisfaction.
And finally, we investigated early salaries of graduates and the school’s tuition rates. After such exhaustive research we determined the nation’s top 20 Best Web Design programs.
Brigham Young University — Idaho
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $8,344
Brigham Young University (BYU) is the renowned Mormon university primarily located in Utah, but with a campus in Rexburg, Idaho too. Run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU is a liberal arts-centric school with nearly 18k students, most of whom are also Mormon.
BYU’s fully online BS in Web Design and Development degree readies its students for careers in such diverse fields as information technology, advertising, corporate communications, and more. Depending on the amount of transfer credits you have, this degree can be completed in as few as two years. BYU’s core courses include:
- Web Business Creation
- Visual Media
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Creating Online Media
Despite its size, BYU is able to offer its students a liberal arts education in which students and teachers work closely together. Of all six schools and colleges BYU is organized into, its academic and research strengths are in the sciences, engineering, management, and agriculture.
American Public University
College Choice Score: 97.14
Average Net Price: $11,470
American Public University (APU) is a member of the wider APU System. It is a private, fully online learning institution with headquarters in West Virginia. APU offers associate, bachelors, and even masters degrees in addition to its professional certification programs.
- Web Development Fundamentals
- Intermediate Web Development
Because of its sister school, the American Military University, APU is known for serving active duty and veteran students. And for providing excellent online education, as several APU online degrees are well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Fort Hays State University
College Choice Score: 96.93
Average Net Price: $11,993
Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public university with 11k students enrolled, half of whom study online. Organized into four colleges, FHSU offers degrees in the arts, social sciences, business, education, technology, and health sciences. The Virtual College provides 30 of these degrees fully online.
FHSU offers a BS in Information Networking and Telecommunications Web Development degree. This multidisciplinary program brings together web development, e-commerce, web-based data development, and more. Graduates from Fort Hays have found work in a number of diverse industries, among them:
The Fort Hays campus is home to the renowned Sternberg Museum of Natural History, which houses hundreds of dinosaur bones, fossils, prehistoric animal collections, and much more. In terms of academic reputation, FHSU’s online bachelor’s degrees are ranked 15th among all online programs in the country, by U.S. News & World Report.
College Choice Score: 95.77
Average Net Price: $28,930
Located in Pittsburgh, Duquesne University is a private, Catholic school. It was originally founded by the members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and today is run by the church. Today, Duquesne has over 10k undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in one of its ten schools.
Duquesne offers an undergraduate certificate in Web Design and Development that can be applied to any full major and completed fully online. At Duquesne you’ll graduate with an extensive portfolio that showcases your skills and abilities, a great project to show prospective employers. Indeed, Duquesne graduates have gone on to secure work in:
- User Experience Design
- Design and Web Consulting
- Media-Rich Web Productions
- Interaction Design
Duquesne has been awarded an EPA Energy Star for its proven commitment to sustainability, the first university in all of Pennsylvania to claim such a title. Additionally, Duquesne has LEED certified buildings and even an MBA program with a concentration in sustainability.
College Choice Score: 93.17
Average Net Price: $12,554
Baker College is located in Michigan with over a dozen campus locations. Baker offers degrees at all levels, from certification all the way to doctorates, in professional areas of industry. Its most known and popular programs are in business, healthcare, human services, and technology.
Baker College’s degree in Information Systems can be paired with a concentration in Web Development. This program is an ideal blend of business and technology theory for those desiring a primarily information systems education. Baker web development specialization courses include:
- World Wide Web Design
- Web Scripting
- Interactive Web Design
- Introduction to HTML
Baker College is specifically a career college. This means all of its programs, services, and resources are directed toward student success. And that the student experiences a degree program that is both expedited but exhaustive.
College Choice Score: 90.21
Average Net Price: $24,794
Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is a conservative evangelical school with the world’s largest online learning platform. Over 100k students are enrolled in one of Liberty’s distance education programs.
Liberty University offers a BS in Information Technology degree that allows students to specialize in Web and Mobile Programming. The curriculum covers digital imaging, graphic design, C# programming, and enterprise technologies. Liberty grads have secured job roles such as:
- Front End Web Developer
- Mobile Web Designer
- User Interface Analyst
- Web Developer
Founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell, Liberty is perhaps best known for its conservative, religious approach to education. However, it has also earned a reputation for its innovative and accessible education opportunities, and for creating the world’s largest global classroom.
Indiana Wesleyan University
College Choice Score: 89.66
Average Net Price: $27,004
Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) is located in Marion, Indiana. It is a private, evangelical Christian university with over 15k students and nearly 100 different academic programs. Its size has designated it as Indiana’s largest private university.
This online BS in Media Studies degree from Indiana Wesleyan University is a perfect program for those who want to integrate faith with their education. IWU’s curriculum, while covering the multidisciplinary field of web design, includes classes on theology, Christian history, and more. Your core media classes, however, include:
- 3D Modeling and Animation
- Interactive Design
- Web Design I and II
- Web Programming
Despite its size and scope, IWU provides students a foundation in a liberal arts education. It offers degrees across the humanities and sciences, but it also boasts programs in the fine arts, theology, and more. U.S. News & World Report has called IWU “One of the Top Universities in the Midwest.”
Academy of Art University
College Choice Score: 88.20
Average Net Price: $29,301
This private art school based in San Francisco has over 12k students enrolled in one of its many fine arts programs. Though it was first founded as an advertising school, the Academy of Art University has grown into the huge school it is today, with dozens of programs in everything from jewelry making to web design.
This online web design and new media degree fully trains students in experiential design and digital media. The curriculum is distinctively blended, including design thinking as well as visual communications and user experience. Unlike the other programs on our list, this one is a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program. Two specializations are offered:
- Usability Practices
- Experience Design
The Academy of Art University believes in a “No-Barrier Admission.” Meaning, students who desire an arts-based education only need to prove their passion for learning and developing their craft. Similarly, they’ve been providing accessible online education for over 15 years now.
University of Maryland University College
College Choice Score: 88.07
Average Net Price: $12,483
Located in Adelphi, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is a public school with over 90k students worldwide. UMUC is therefore one of the world’s largest providers of distance education. Currently, UMUC offers 120 academic programs at all degree levels.
UMUC offers an online bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Web Technology. Though this program leans toward IT and computer science, the curriculum stresses creativity. For example, at UMUC you’ll take classes that will equally challenge your creative muscles as it will your analytic skills:
- Principles of Web Design and Technology I and II
- Image Editing
- Illustration Graphics
UMUC, like some of the other schools on our ranking, is known for its intentional care of student vets and active military personnel. It is called “Best for Vets” and ranked 1st among all military friendly colleges by Military Times. UMUC has even won the Institution Award from the Council of College and Military Educators.
College Choice Score: 87.31
Average Net Price: $18,726
Based in Ogden, Utah, Stevens-Henager College is one of the four members of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education. The college offers both online and on-campus education at the associate, bachelor, and master’s degree levels.
At Stevens-Henager you will be introduced to all aspects of web development and design, from web applications to programming, graphic design, database administration, digital imaging, and much more. This exhaustive program was specifically designed by professionals in the industry. And graduates have gone on to become:
- Mobile Application Designers
- Web Developers
- Web Designers
- Human/Computer Interaction Technologists
Stevens-Henager College’s academic programs are known for their flexibility. Students can arrange their schedules and attend school fully on their own terms. And these degrees are 100 career-focused, ensuring vocational success after graduation and beyond.
College Choice Score: 87.06
Average Net Price: $6,349
Located in the Nebraskan town of the same name, Bellevue University is a private school specializing in adult and returning learner education. Over 10k students attend Bellevue, either on campus or through one of the university’s many online degree programs.
Through Bellevue’s BA in Graphic Design program you will learn how to influence the design, branding, and marketing of web presences. You will also learn how to create design solutions to complex problems using advanced technologies. Some of the classes you’ll take at Bellevue include:
- History of Contemporary Graphic Design
- Fundamentals of Web Design
- Interactivity Basics
- Web Page Design
Bellevue’s online degrees have been heavily praised by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, its online degrees are often included among the nation’s top ten best online programs. Bellevue is known for being one of the best places for adult students to earn and/or finish their degrees.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 85.94
Average Net Price: $34,984
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is organized into five colleges plus a College of Online and Continuing Education. With over 54k students, SNHU is considered a large, private university. It is located near Hooksett, New Hampshire.
SNHU offers a BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts degree that can be earned online and complemented with a concentration in Web Design. This program is a balanced blend of theory and application. You’ll work on your critical thinking skills as much as you will your design and development skills. Classes include:
- Basic Design and Color Theory
- Digital Graphic Design for the Web
- Advanced Digital Imaging
- Interactive Animation for the Web
SNHU claims a strong regional ranking from U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, it is recognized as among the top most innovative schools in the nation, by U.S. News and Fast Company. And its business schools have won multiple awards for both its on-campus and online programs.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 85.58
Average Net Price: $12,981
Arizona State University (ASU) is a huge research university based in and around Phoenix. One of the largest schools on our list, and in the country with over 72k students, ASU offers 250 degree programs. It also has an equally sprawling distance education platform, through which it offers dozens of degrees online.
ASU’s online BS in Graphic Information Technology program gives students a creative, administrative, and technological foundation in content creation. At ASU you will learn how to create content across platforms, from print to web, photo, video, and animation. ASU’s curriculum covers:
- Introduction to Commercial Print
- Introduction to Web Authoring
- Copyright and Intellectual Property in the Electronic Age
- Digital Video Techniques
U.S. News & World Report recently called ASU one of the “Most Innovative Schools in America.” Ranked 115th among all national universities and colleges, ASU is also highly regarded. Likewise, ARWU and Washington Monthly name ASU among the nation’s top 50 best universities.
Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online
College Choice Score: 85.56
Average Net Price: $19,475
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP) is a private school specializing in design education. The university is now nearly 100 years old and has grown to have over 6k students. AIP’s online division makes many of its degree programs available through the flexible model of distance education.
AIP offers a BS in Web Design and Interactive Media degree that can be completed fully online.
Through this program you will learn how to create content for traditional as well as mobile web devices. This includes everything from a standard website to an e-book. AIP classes cover:
- Design Fundamentals
- Digital Color Theory
- Image Manipulation
- Graphic Symbolism
AIP’s focus on the arts extend into many disciplines, mediums, and genres. For example, they not only offer one of the best web design programs, but they are home to top-of-the-line programs in the culinary arts, fashion, and gaming technology.
College Choice Score: 82.01
Average Net Price: $38,370
Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain College proffers both traditional and online education to its 2k students. Though a small school, Champlain has over 80 different academic programs, from certification to full master’s degrees. Many of these programs can be earned online and from a distance.
Champlain’s BS in Web Design and Development degree is organized into seven-week courses. This expedited route through the degree allows you to focus on one concept at at time while moving quickly toward graduation. A sampling of Champlain courses includes:
- Writing for the Web
- Designing Digital Images for the Web
- Web Media
- Usability in Website and Software Design
Champlain boasts many recognitions and awards. It was included in The Princeton Review’s list of “The Best Colleges.” U.S. News & World Report named it a “Top Up-and-Coming School.” And it has been certified LEED platinum and gold for its commitment to sustainability.
College Choice Score: 80.35
Average Net Price: $27,538
Franklin University has half a dozen campuses located throughout Ohio and Indiana. It is a private school known for its exhaustive online offerings and its international partnerships. Dozens of degrees are offered at Franklin, and at all academic levels, from associate to doctoral.
Franklin University introduces students to analytics methodologies and software systems through its BS in Web Development degree. Furthermore, students learn how to develop information architectures, user-centered design, operational environments, and more. Some of the courses you’ll take at Franklin cover:
- Web Application Development
- Front End Development
- Database Development
- Web Design and Animation
Because Franklin has such a broad online learning platform, it works hard to ensure its distance students receive the same services and resources as “traditional” students. It does this through its renowned coaching program, through which each student is mentored in a one-on-one setting with an industry professional.
College Choice Score: 79.93
Average Net Price: $19,017
A relatively small school, Hodges University is home to approximately 2k students. Hodges offers classes online and on-campus, proffering approximately 30 different degree programs. Though small, Hodges offers everything from certification to graduate degrees.
Hodges’ BS in Digital Design and Graphics degree will fully prepare you for the emerging trends in digital design. This broad-based degree means you can apply your skills and knowledge to a range of career settings after graduation. For example, Hodges graduates have found work in an array of industries, among them:
- Advertising, Marketing, and Publishing
- Real Estate
- Graphic Design
The whole of Hodges’ curriculums and vision is to provide accessible education to learners of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. It has built a reputation for its adult-learning curriculums and its flexible deliveries. On top of all this, Hodges offers an ESL program to ensure there are no hurdles between students and their education.
Full Sail University
College Choice Score: 79.80
Average Net Price: $27,840
Full Sail University is located in Winter Park, Florida. It was originally founded to provide education and training in sound recording, but has developed into the wide-reaching media school it is today. Full Sail offers 50 degrees at all academic levels to its 15k students.
You can earn a BS in Web Design and Development degree from Full Sail University in as few as 29 months. At Full Sail you’ll learn how to use all industry-standard applications and programs, including client-side and server-side languages, database structures, and more. Full Sail’s curriculum is comprised of courses such as:
- Emerging Interface Design
- Interfaces and Usability
- Visual Frameworks
- Designing for Web Standards
Full Sail University is home to some of the most innovative and integrative media degrees. It has been offering accessible and affordable education in media for dozens of years now, and has offered online education for over a decade.
University of Phoenix
College Choice Score: 79.43
Average Net Price: $18,062
One of the nation’s pioneers in offering online education, University of Phoenix can boast over 100,000 students enrolled in more than 100 different degree programs. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, University of Phoenix can benefit students interested in web design through the use of its innovative online learning platform and methods.
The web design degree available from University of Phoenix is officially called a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a Concentration in Web Development. Students will learn how to design websites for companies and develop their knowledge in both the classroom setting as well as real-life simulations. Students will:
- Uncover the elements of web design
- Examine web development technologies
- Learn website commercialization as it relates to marketing, sales and other aspects of business
Worried about your high school grades? Don’t be – University of Phoenix has an “open-admission” policy. This means that anyone with a high school diploma or a GED can enroll in its classes. Before you start as a student, however, you will have to complete a three-week orientation workshop.