The Best Online Bachelor's in Web Design Programs

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Online bachelor's in web design programs give graduates the skills and competencies needed to design websites for a variety of clients.

Whether working in-house for a single client or in a freelance capacity with a portfolio of clients, these professionals tend to be in high demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects roles for web developers will grow 13% between 2018 and 2028 -- a number far higher than the national average for all occupations. Nearly 21,000 new roles are projected to be added to the existing 160,500. These professionals also earn substantial salaries; median annual pay reached $69,430 in 2018, while the top 10% of earners received in excess of $124,480 during the same time period.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Web Design Programs

#1 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
#2 Champlain College Burlington, VT
#3 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI
#4 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#5 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID
#6 Arizona State University-Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
#7 Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston, ID
#8 Franklin University Columbus, OH
#9 Southeastern University Lakeland, FL
#10 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD

Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

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Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution that specializes in online learning. SNHU offers an online bachelor's degree in graphic design and media arts that emphasizes creative and design abilities. Majors learn to design and develop professional-quality work, use design technologies, and solve design challenges in a collaborative environment.

After building foundational skills in design, students learn to apply graphic design principles to digital media platforms. The curriculum trains students to optimize user experience on the web and reach consumers in a digital space. Students learn to concept and develop design projects, conduct useability testing, and integrate rich media into websites. By blending technical skill, creativity, and critical thinking, the program prepares graduates for in-demand web design careers. Classes use a flexible, asynchronous format.

Prospective students work with an SNHU admission counselor to complete the application process. Applicants must submit a transcript release form for all colleges and universities attended. SNHU also requires an electronic attestation form confirming the applicant graduated from high school or the equivalent.

Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

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Brigham Young University-Idaho 

Rexburg, ID Apply Now

About this school

A private university affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University - Idaho enrolls over 15,000 online students each year. The online bachelor's degree in applied technology prepares graduates for careers in software and web development.

Students complete career-focused certificates and general education courses to meet the requirements for a bachelor's degree. During the web development certificate, majors learn to design and develop web pages, applications, and websites. The program covers both front-end and back-end web development. The curriculum also trains students in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and server-side development.

Students learn to write operational code, manage database servers, and apply best practices in web applications. Students culminate the degree with an internship or senior project.

Prospective students must submit high school transcripts or the equivalent and SAT or ACT scores. Applicants with prior college credit should submit official college transcripts. The program also requires an interview with a local bishop or branch president.

Brigham Young University - Idaho is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

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Arizona State University-Skysong 

Scottsdale, AZ Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1885, Arizona State University is a public institution that enrolls over 38,000 online students each year through its online division, ASU Skysong. The online bachelor's in internet and web development is a degree-completion program that enrolls students with an associate of applied science from a regionally accredited institution.

The 120-credit, online web design degree emphasizes web development, user-experience design, and multimedia design. Students complete 15 credits of applied science courses, 21 web development credits, and five elective credits. Major courses cover topics like e-commerce strategies, website design, information design, and graphic industry business practices. Students also design and present a portfolio to strengthen their professional skills. Learners culminate the degree with a senior research project.

Prospective students need an associate degree in a field like graphic design, graphic arts, fine arts, or a related discipline. Students work with an advisor to design a program curriculum based on their prior credits.

Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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Lewis-Clark State College 

Lewiston, ID Apply Now

About this school

Lewis-Clark State College is a public institution founded in 1893 that prioritizes small class sizes and personalized attention from faculty. Undergraduates can earn an online bachelor's degree in web development that prepares students for careers in web design, web development, and management.

The 120-credit curriculum introduces students to web development, programming languages, and web-based graphic design. Online learners also take courses on application development, search engine optimization, and digital ads. In addition to coursework, students complete an internship to build professional experience. During the culminating capstone, students create data-driven web or mobile applications and develop a project proposal.

Applicants with fewer than 14 college credits must submit ACT or SAT scores. However, LCSC does not require test scores for applicants over the age of 21. All prospective students must submit transcripts.

Lewis-Clark State College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

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Franklin University 

Columbus, OH Apply Now

About this school

A private institution designed for adult learners, Franklin University offers both on-campus and online programs, including an online web development degree that trains students in the entire development process, including collaboration, database development, and user experience design.

Franklin worked with industry professionals to design courses that build in-demand skills in areas like front-end development, web application development, and graphic design. The curriculum emphasizes meeting business requirements through design, creating immersive web experiences, and coding web applications. The program also introduces students to analytics, Linux administration, and mobile programming. During the capstone course, students create and maintain web-based services using industry standard tools.

Prospective students work with an admission counselor to complete the application process. Applicants with fewer than 24 college credits must submit high school transcripts.

Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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Southeastern University 

Lakeland, FL Apply Now

About this school

A private, Christian institution, Southeastern University offers a variety of on-campus and online degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in digital media and design. The interdisciplinary program prepares students for careers in graphic design, web design, and marketing.

The faith-based, 120-credit curriculum introduces majors to creative design and communication with a focus on digital media, design theory, and web design. Students gain skills in industry-standard software and study digital design principles. In addition to web design, the program builds strengths in digital layout, magazine design, and digital marketing.

Students can tailor this online web design degree to their interests through electives like advanced photography or advanced illustration techniques. They can also use electives to complete an internship.

Prospective students must submit transcripts, a biographical essay, and a personal reference form. SEU may require ACT or SAT scores from some applicants.

Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

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University of Maryland Global Campus 

Adelphi, MD Apply Now

About this school

A public institution in Largo, Maryland, the University of Maryland Global Campus offers online undergraduate degrees for in-demand fields, including a bachelor's in web design. The program blends online digital media with web technology, preparing graduates for careers in digital and web design.

UMGC works with employers and industry experts to design a curriculum that provides career-ready training. The program includes digital media courses that cover the design process from pre-planning to final publishing. Students learn to design and develop web-based media, test and implement web applications, and draw on best practices. Learners also take courses in illustration graphics, JavaScript, and XML web development.

For their projects, students may design websites or web applications and create animation and motion graphics. UMGC relies on no-cost digital course material to lower the costs associated with a degree. Students with a high school diploma, GED, or associate degree meet the requirements for admission.

The University of Maryland Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Bachelor's

Online Bachelor's in Web Design Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on program quality, range of courses provided, school awards, rankings, reputation, and educational outcome for students.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Web Design?

Web design focuses on developing, building, and maintaining user-friendly websites aligned to industry best practices in form and function. Essentially, it is making websites that are pleasing to look at and easy to use.

What Does a Web Designer Do?

Web designers work with clients to ascertain their needs, plan and create prospective web designs, and write code to bring those sites to life.

What Kind of Degree Do You Need to Be a Web Designer?

Educational requirements vary by work setting, but they typically include a degree in web design, computer science, or programming.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Web Design Degree?

Web designers work in both public and private sectors as employees and contractors.

Choosing an Online Bachelor's in Web Design Program

Many factors go into making an informed decision about the best fit among web design programs. Because of this, it's best to start the selection process, to ensure you have enough time to consider each prospective school against your academic and professional requirements. Here are a few elements to consider.

Program Cost

Learners looking to avoid substantial student debt often attend a public, in-state school. Those with more available funds may pursue a private education.

Transfer Policies

Attending a transfer-friendly institution ensures students avoid retaking the same classes if they move to a different school. It can also reduce the amount of time it takes to finish a degree.

School Size and Type

Students seeking a livelier experience may gravitate towards a larger college, while those who desire a more intimate learning community tend to select smaller universities. Private schools tend to be smaller than public ones, but that is not always the case.

Program Length

Most full-time, online web design degrees take four years to complete, but part-time and accelerated options also exist.

On-Campus Requirements

Some students do not have the time or resources to visit campus, making it important to find an online-only program. Those with more flexible schedules may opt for a hybrid degree, allowing them to attend physical classes when needed.

Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements

Many web design programs mandate internships to help students build practical skills. Thesis options exist for those more interested in industry research.

What Is Web Design?

Web design is a large, ever-evolving field devoted to the design and practice of website creation. Because the discipline is so broad, it's common for programs to offer concentrations. These vary by school, but typically include areas like web development, digital design, systems development, and game design and programming.

Web design is a large, ever-evolving field devoted to the design and practice of website creation.

Graduates of web design degrees take on myriad roles, with common titles including web developer/designer, multimedia artist, graphic designer, and computer and information systems manager. Given the ubiquity of the world wide web, these jobs exist in every setting imaginable, including large corporations, small nonprofits, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Learners who pursue this path typically have a passion for both technology and design alongside a desire to bring both passions together. They also enjoy the prospect of lifelong learning and enjoy staying up-to-date on emerging trends and best practices.

Common challenges to web design careers include competing against other qualified candidates, participating in continuing education opportunities, and meeting client needs. Goals include creating user-friendly, intelligently designed web pages that meet the needs of clients and customers alike.

What Is a Bachelor's in Web Design Degree?

Online bachelor's in web design degrees typically require four years of full-time study, while part-time students graduate in approximately six years. Those who pursue an accelerated program can graduate in 28-36 months. Curricular requirements vary by institution, but common classes include interactive web design I/II, fundamentals of motion graphics, visual communication and concept development, and principles of color theory. If the program does not feature a concentration, learners typically use electives to specialize their knowledge.

Requirements for admission also vary from school to school, but commonly include a completed application, non-refundable application fee, transcripts from any schools previously attended demonstrating a minimum GPA, and ACT/SAT scores. Most schools also require 2-3 letters of recommendation and a personal statement outlining professional goals. Particularly competitive programs may also require an in-person or virtual interview.

Skills gained in the program include vector drawing, concept development, visual communication, and user-centered design. Many programs include an internship component to help degree seekers develop their skill sets prior to graduating. If attending online, career counselors work with distance learners to find suitable internship sites near their places of residence.

Web Design Jobs

Completing a web design bachelor's degree online helps graduates complete for jobs both within the world of web development and beyond. This versatile program instills competencies and skills in computer programming, visual design, and customer service, which meet the demands of numerous roles. The jobs discussed below are only a sample of professional options.

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers use their creative skills to design logos, illustrations, layouts, and other visual elements for clients. Like web designers, they can work for a single client or take on multiple clients in a consulting role. Common responsibilities include meeting with clients to determine needs, using software to design graphics, presenting their work, and making changes as needed.

Graphic designers typically need a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related topic, though some positions may accept a creative portfolio in lieu of academic work. Graphic designers are highly creative, artistic professionals who communicate well and know how to convert ideas into deliverables.

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Multimedia Artists

Multimedia artists use software and drawing techniques to design two- or three-dimensional effects. They typically work in gaming, video production, entertainment, advertising, or commerce. Responsibilities include creating graphics and animations, designing visual effects, meeting with clients or supervisors, and editing designs based on feedback.

These professionals need a bachelor's degree in animation computer graphics, fine arts, or a related subject. They also need a portfolio of their work. Multimedia artists are detail-oriented, artistic professionals with advanced computer skills and a desire to see each project through to completion.

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Computer Information Systems Managers

Web developers design, implement, and improve websites for their clients. Some web developers focus on front-end designs, such as the website's user interface, while others use their talents to improve back-end components, such as performance improvements and capabilities. Responsibilities include meeting with clients about design ideas, writing code, determining website information, and integrating multimedia where needed.

Web developers usually need a bachelor's degree in web design, computer science, or programming. They have a high attention to detail, excellent customer service skills, and the ability to concentrate on a project until it is finished.

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Job Outlook (2018-2028)