Best Online Web Design Degree Programs

We've ranked the best online bachelor's in web design programs. Compare schools and learn what career opportunities await graduates.

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by Stefanie Grodman

Published on May 18, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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An estimated four billion people use the internet every day, and about 576,000 new websites are created daily. Naturally, there is high demand for professionals who can create these websites, including web designers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% employment growth for web developers and digital designers between 2020 and 2030, which is more than the average growth rate of 8% for all occupations. These professionals earn a higher-than-average salary as well, with their median annual salary in 2020 totaling $77,200.

Graduates with an online bachelor's in web design can become web developers, web designers, and user experience designers. They use their creativity and technical knowledge to design aesthetically pleasing and functional websites. Most students finish an online web design degree program in about four years.

Read on for a comprehensive look into top online schools for web design, as well as admission requirements, career opportunities, and how to choose a program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Web Design Program?

A bachelor's in web design appeals to students with technical and creative talents. Students develop strong graphic design skills, as well as fluency in HTML and CSS. Web designers need attention to detail and persistence. They must also complete continuing education to ensure that they stay current on new technology and design trends.

An online bachelor's in web design program typically requires 120 credits and takes about four years of full-time study to complete. In some programs, approved transfer credits can lead to a degree in two years.

Schools offer various specializations in this field that enable students to direct their studies toward a specific area of interest. Common educational tracks for web design include:

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Popular Online Web Design Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Web Design Program?

While curricula differ based on concentration and career path, most online bachelor's in web design programs consist of comparable foundational courses. Technical and creative subjects provide students with the comprehensive skill set necessary to understand both functionality and aesthetics in web design and development.

Introduction to Programming

This course offers students an introduction to computer programming. Participants learn to write programs using languages such as Java and JavaScript. Additional topics include variables, expression evaluation, logic and flowcharting, and debugging.

Interactive Web Script

This course teaches common scripting languages like Python, HTML, and JavaScript. Students learn to create the scripts and programs used to automate tasks and network system commands. Learners also create interactive websites that include image rollovers and pop-up windows.

Visual Design

Students learn the creative side of web design and how to produce visually compelling web layouts. Covered topics include imaging, branding, color theory, typography, and workflow techniques. Students acquire skills in web design software such as Adobe Dreamweaver. Learners finish the course with a portfolio that showcases their design talents to prospective employers.

Digital Graphic Design for the Web

This course covers the differences in design strategies for mobile applications, desktop computers, and tablets. Students also learn HTML and CSS, and they gain an understanding of user experience. In addition, learners create a website by the end of the course.

Writing for the Web

This course covers the differences in design strategies for mobile applications, desktop computers, and tablets. Students also learn HTML and CSS, and they gain an understanding of user experience. In addition, learners create a website by the end of the course.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Web Design Program?

Generally speaking, program admission requirements are very similar for online and on-campus learners. However, online programs may have higher acceptance rates because some virtual learning platforms can accommodate more students.

Many online programs have a high proportion of working students, so admissions departments may place greater emphasis on professional experiences, portfolios, and resumes instead of high school performance. Applicants pursuing web design should detail any experience with coding, computer science, or graphic design.

Application

Bachelor's programs almost always require students to fill out a formal application. In this document, applicants typically provide their contact information and briefly catalog their educational background, extracurricular activities, and other qualifications. Many colleges require students to apply online through platforms like the Common Application.

Test Scores

Many undergraduate programs have eliminated standardized testing requirements. However, more competitive colleges may require students to submit SAT or ACT scores. Even if these exams are optional, learners can leverage strong test scores to highlight their capabilities and stand out among other applicants.

Letters of Recommendation

Many colleges require one or more letters of recommendation to learn more about applicants' experiences, soft skills, and character. These accounts can come from supervisors, mentors, teachers, employers, or guidance counselors who can meaningfully attest to applicants' academic and professional abilities.

Essays

Most colleges require undergraduate applicants to include a personal statement or application essay, which is generally about 600 words long. Students can use this open-ended piece to reflect on a variety of topics, such as discovering a passion or overcoming an obstacle. Some colleges provide supplemental prompts, which often require applicants to reflect on why they hope to attend a particular program.

Official Transcripts

Nearly every college requires applicants to submit transcripts from all secondary and postsecondary institutions they have attended. Admissions personnel use cumulative GPA as an objective metric to determine which applicants are most qualified. Many programs accept transfer credits from other institutions, which can shorten a program's length.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Web Design Degree?

Career Outlook

Graduates with a bachelor's in web design can work independently or find employment at technology companies, government agencies, and educational organizations. Job titles include web designer, web developer, and user experience designer. Graduates can also become mobile application designers and developers, and graphic designers.

The BLS projects that job openings for web developers and digital designers will grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, which is higher than the projected employment growth rate for all occupations. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $77,200 in May 2020.

Mobile application developers and user experience designers also earn similar salaries. Payscale reports that mobile app developers earned an average annual salary of $75,600 as of April 2022, while user experience designers made an average salary of $77,330 per year.

See where a bachelor's in web design can take you.

Learn more about web design careers

Career Paths

Web Designer

Web designers create the visual design for websites or webpages, including the layout, branding, color, and typography. These professionals produce websites that are easy to use, meet customer specifications, and appeal to a target market. Depending on the position, designers may also monitor and maintain the sites. Web designers may specialize in specific areas like user experience, user interface, mobile applications, or visual design.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $52,530

Web Developer

Web developers bring a website to life through programming and configuring databases and servers. These professionals use languages like JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Python, SQL, and Java. Developers ensure the functionality of the site, including the site's capacity for traffic and speed, and may specialize in coding either the back end or front end of a website.

Median Annual Salary (May 2022): $77,200

Mobile Application Developer

Mobile application developers specialize in creating mobile apps. These professionals write code suited to Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating system for smartphones and tablets. Before releasing an app, mobile app developers test for bugs and troubleshoot problems.

Average Annual Salary (April 2022): $75,600

User Experience (UX) Designer

A UX designer focuses on engaging website visitors and ensuring that a website is easy to use and navigate. These designers pull from user research and data analytics to determine target markets and inform design choices. UX designers work with site maps, process flow, and wireframes, and they often test products before release.

Average Annual Salary (April 2022): $75,800

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use digital illustration and photo editing software to create graphics for websites and other digital products. Some graphic designers work as part of a design team, while others work independently.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $50,710

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Continuing Education

Most web design careers do not require more than an undergraduate education. However, earning graduate degrees like a master's in web developmentor a master's in software engineering can help candidates qualify for more competitive positions.

Web developers with advanced degrees may enter supervisory roles. They can lead teams of programmers, web developers, and designers in a variety of projects. Professionals with master's or doctoral degrees are also qualified to teach at a postsecondary level.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Web Design Program?

Cost

Higher education is often a substantial investment, and prospective students should be sure to choose a college that is affordable for them. The College Boardindicates that in the 2021-2022 academic year, the total cost of tuition and room and board averaged $22,690 per year at public colleges and $51,690 at private colleges. Fortunately, online learners tend to save money on housing, dining, and transportation expenses.

Program Format

Although students can follow a more traditional four-year, full-time timeline, many working students find a part-time schedule more realistic. Other learners prefer a more condensed, accelerated format to graduate sooner. Students seeking greater flexibility may also embrace self-paced, asynchronous coursework, which allows learners to access materials and complete assignments without a set course schedule.

Location

Remote learning allows students to access nationwide opportunities and degree programs. However, there are many advantages to choosing an online bachelor's in web design program based at a nearby institution. Physical access to a campus allows learners to meet with faculty members or advisors in person and take hybrid courses.

Many schools, particularly public and community colleges, offer affordable in-state tuition. The College Board reports that four-year public colleges charged in-state students an average tuition of $10,740 and out-of-state students an average of $27,560 in 2021-2022.

Accreditation

Prospective students should make sure that all colleges they consider are properly accredited. Accrediting bodies evaluate colleges' instruction quality, course offerings, and student services. They award institutional or programmatic accreditation to colleges that deliver strong educational outcomes.

Although there is no programmatic accreditation designated specifically for web design, people pursuing an online bachelor's in this area should research programs at accredited institutions.

Student Support

Strong student support services can optimize students' learning and help them navigate their transition to the professional world. Many schools offer supportive academic resources for remote learners, such as virtual tutoring or digital libraries. Ideally, schools should also offer online career services, such as advising, mentorship programs, job boards, and internship opportunities.

Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Web Design Programs

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Best Online Bachelor's in Web Design Programs

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho
    Location

    Rexburg, ID

    Tuition

    $7555

    BYU-Idaho serves more than 42,000 students each year. Through its Pathway Worldwide platform, the university offers a comprehensive array of online certificates and degrees, including a bachelor of science in applied technology. This flexible program prepares graduates for specific careers by embedding specialized certificates into the curriculum.

    By choosing to pursue the web frontend certificate, students develop skills in HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and PHP. Learners can further augment their studies by completing the web development certificate, which teaches them to use servers and tools to build databases for dynamic web applications. This program culminates in either a senior project or internship.

    Applicants must be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or maintain close ties with the church.

  2. University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
    Location

    Stevens Point, WI

    Tuition

    $13599

    The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point enrolls more than 7,000 students in over 100 programs. UWSP's undergraduate catalog includes a fully online bachelor of science in applied computing that covers programming, technological knowledge, and business communication skills. The program prepares graduates for careers in web development, healthcare, and law enforcement.

    The curriculum covers topics like math for computer science and systems analysis and design. Learners also examine the ethical and legal responsibilities of an IT professional. As a final requirement, students gain hands-on experience through a capstone practicum.

    UWSP's holistic admissions process factors in a student's cumulative GPA, class rank, previous coursework, and ACT or SAT scores. Successful applicants should demonstrate leadership qualities through work, volunteer, and extracurricular experiences.

  3. Arizona State University
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Tuition

    $14166

    As a leader in distance education, Arizona State University offers over 300 remote certificates and degrees, including an entirely online bachelor of applied science in internet and web development. The program's 120-credit curriculum prepares graduates for careers as SEO specialists, full-stack developers, and graphic designers.

    Faculty deliver classes through accelerated, 7.5-week sessions, allowing students to graduate in under four years. Core courses include information design and usability; multimedia anchoring, scripting, and production; and image editing and manipulation. Students also learn advanced website and e-commerce strategies.

    Prospective first-year learners must meet ACT or SAT score minimums, place within the top 25% of their high school graduating class, or hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

  4. Southeastern University
    Location

    Lakeland, FL

    Tuition

    $24259

    Based in Lakeland, Florida, Southeastern University delivers 32 fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Distance learners can enroll in the school's bachelor of science in digital media and design program to develop core web development and strategic communication skills. Graduates find work as digital marketers, web editors, and photojournalists.

    The curriculum includes major courses in mass communication law and writing for digital media. Students learn to effectively design advertisements with regard to layout and imaging principles. They personalize their degree plan through 30 guided and open elective credits.

    This program does not require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. However, students do need to submit official academic transcripts, a personal reference, and a biographical essay. The university offers many funding opportunities, and over 85% of students receive a financial aid package.

  5. University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    Tuition

    $15594

    The University of Arizona maintains its flagship campus in Tucson and provides distance education through the Desire2Learn platform. Distance learning options include an online bachelor of arts in information science and e-society that emphasizes the connections between digital information and modern work and social life. Designed as an interdisciplinary degree, the program prepares graduates for careers related to social media marketing and cybersecurity

    Students take classes like digital storytelling and disruptive technologies. They also delve into digital crime and social media, learning about cyberattacks on personal, political, and organizational data. Participants also learn hacking techniques within an open-source context.

    Arizona provides ample financial aid opportunities, including payment plans, merit scholarships, and awards for transfer students. Military personnel pay a reduced tuition price.

  6. Champlain College
    Location

    Burlington, VT

    Tuition

    $38577

    Champlain College is located in Burlington, Vermont, and serves about 4,500 students every year. Champlain offers several distance learning programs through Canvas, including a fully online bachelor of science in web design and development. Program graduates can pursue careers in computer programming, UX design, and frontend development.

    Asynchronous classes span seven-week terms, allowing students to earn their degrees at an accelerated rate. Course topics include designing digital images for the web, financial management systems, and usability in website and software design. Learners develop applied skills in Python, SQL, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, and XML.

    To enroll in this online bachelor's in web design program, applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must submit a professional resume and provide short responses to 3-4 questions. All students can access federal funding, state grants, and private scholarships.

  7. Southern New Hampshire University
    Location

    Manchester, NH

    Tuition

    $39071

    Southern New Hampshire University is a comprehensive higher education institution that educates about 93,000 students each year, most of whom enroll online. SNHU offers a fully online bachelor of arts in graphic design and media arts with a web design concentration. With flexible start dates and the ability to apply up to 90 transfer credits toward the degree, distance learners can complete the program largely at their own pace.

    Coursework includes desktop publishing, graphics and layout in print media, and advanced digital graphic design for the web. As part of the web design concentration, students develop the skills needed to effectively sell products and ideas to diverse consumers. Graduates find work as multimedia designers, production artists, and marketing specialists.

    This program does not require candidates to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission. SNHU accepts applications on a rolling basis.

  8. Baker College
    Location

    Flint, MI

    Tuition

    $12877

    Based in Flint, Michigan, Baker College delivers more than 50 online certificates and degrees through Canvas, including an entirely online bachelor of science in information systems with a web development concentration.

    The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in database management and design, data analytics, and enterprise architecture. Students develop programming skills using languages like Java and C++. Participants round out their program by completing an integrative senior project.

    Prospective students must complete an online application and submit official academic transcripts. However, Baker does not require standardized test results. The Online Learning Consortium recognizes this information systems program for its academic quality and accessibility.

  9. Franklin University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $18684

    Franklin University has offered flexible and affordable academics to working professionals for over 115 years. The school now offers an online bachelor of science in web development that teaches students the enterprise-level skills needed to build engaging websites and applications. Learners can complete a fully remote 124-credit curriculum or opt for blended learning, taking some classes at Franklin's campus in Columbus, Ohio.

    Coursework covers topics like database management systems, graphic editing software, and JavaScript for programmers. Students delve into client-side and server-side development and learn to administer the Linux operating system. Participants may use 25 elective credits to customize their degree plan, taking advanced classes in the major or completing a complementary minor.

    Providing transfer-friendly online bachelor's programs, Franklin accepts up to 94 transfer credits. Financial aid opportunities include government funding and institutional scholarships.

  10. Lewis-Clark State College
    Location

    Lewiston, ID

    Tuition

    $10118

    Located in Lewiston, Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College provides distance education through Canvas. LCSC's undergraduate catalog includes an online bachelor of applied science in web design and development. Graduates are prepared to oversee content management systems and website domains. Learners also develop the communication skills needed to work with teams in virtual and face-to-face environments.

    To earn their online bachelor's degree in web design, students take classes like interactive web script, image editing and illustration, and web authoring systems. They gain hands-on experience by completing an internship and a capstone project. Program graduates can pursue careers as content strategists, UX developers, and web managers.

    Applicants to this degree completion program must hold an associate degree in web design and development or another relevant field.

Frequently Asked Questions About Web Design Programs

Is a bachelor's in web design worth it? true

Nearly all postsecondary degrees require a significant investment of time and money. However, earning a bachelor's degree allows graduates to access more careers and potentially earn higher salaries. According to 2020 BLS data, people who had only completed a high school diploma earned a median weekly salary of $746 and had an average unemployment rate of 3.7%. In contrast, bachelor's degree-holders earned a median weekly salary of $1,248 and had an average unemployment rate of 2.2%.

Earning an online bachelor's in web design equips students with software development, programming, and digital media design skills. Graduates can use this background to find various well-paying and in-demand jobs.

What can I do with a bachelor's in web design? true

Bachelor's in web design programs train graduates to build secure, organized, and user-friendly websites for clients within diverse industries. Many professionals use their training to pursue roles that directly correspond with web design. They may work as web developers, front-end developers, or UX designers.

Some graduates might be more interested in using their technical skills, like scripting and coding, in roles like software developer. Others may prefer more creative, design-oriented roles like graphic designer or multimedia artist.

Are web design majors in demand? true

Businesses and organizations of all kinds must build, design, and improve their websites. As a result, professionals trained in web design can pursue many in-demand roles. According to the BLS, jobs for web developers are projected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, accounting for 25,500 new jobs. This exceeds the average job growth rate of 8% for all occupations.

During the same period, the BLS projects jobs for multimedia artists to grow 16%, accounting for 9,900 new jobs. Roles for software developers are projected to grow 22%, accounting for 409,500 jobs.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in web design?

Many professionals who hold an online bachelor's in web design earn above-average salaries. The BLS indicates that in 2021, web developers earned an average annual salary of $81,320. In the same year, graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $50,710, while

multimedia artists earned $78,790.

Payscale reports that as of April 2022, UX designers earn an average annual salary of $75,800, and front-end developers earn a median salary of $77,170 as of May 2022. Ultimately, salary potential depends heavily on experience level, location, and employer.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in web design?

People with a bachelor's in web design can work in many high-paying roles and specializations. According to BLS data, web developers who work in publishing earned a median annual salary of $123,870 in 2020. In the same year, the highest-earning 10% of all web developers earned over $146,430.

Multimedia artists who worked in advertising and public relations earned a median of $87,540 in May 2021. Those who worked in software publishing earned $84,540.

In 2020, software developers earned a median salary of $110,140 per year, while developers employed by software publishers earned a median of $124,050. Those employed in manufacturing earned a median yearly salary of $119,280.

Image Source: FangXiaNuo, Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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