Guide to Online Web Design Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 8/28/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Average Tuition: $26,003
Alumni Salary: $39,840

Our list of accredited online schools highlights popular online bachelor's degrees in web design. Online web design programs will generally include classes to help students learn how to create appealing, user-friendly web experiences for diverse audiences.

As is true with all degrees, students interested in online web design programs should carefully research accreditation, as this quality designation ensures you are receiving an education that has been accredited by an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education. Well-respected software manufacturers, like Adobe or Microsoft, will have their own endorsements.

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Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Web Design Bachelor's Degrees

Visitors to our site are most interested in these schools
Rank School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# 1 #1 Southern New Hampshire University Online $9,600 62% (404 reviews)
279 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
279 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BA Graphic Design and Media Arts - Web Design
# 2 #2 DeVry University $18,197 60% (213 reviews)
123 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
123 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design And Development ...
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Development - Web and Mob...
# 3 #3 Independence University $14,585 56% (124 reviews)
16 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
16 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Web Design and Development (BS)
# 4 #4 Grand Canyon University $17,800 52% (488 reviews)
280 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
280 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BA in Digital Design - Web Design
# 5 #5 South College $17,025 100% (1 review)
67 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
67 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BS - Information Technology - Web Design Concentration
# 6 #6 Full Sail University $24,513 48% (107 reviews)
38 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
38 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Web Development Online
# 7 #7 Maryville University $28,470 41% (32 reviews)
117 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
117 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BFA in Digital Media
# 8 #8 Arkansas State University $15,860 75% (4 reviews)
86 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
86 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BS in Digital Technology and Design with a Concentration ...
# 9 #9 Walsh University $31,045 100% (1 review)
58 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
58 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Arts in Web Design
# 10 #10 Abilene Christian University $36,300 100% (1 review)
90 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
90 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BS: Digital Media
# 11 #11 Bellevue University $7,851 67% (66 reviews)
190 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
190 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
# 12 #12 ECPI University Online $16,639 67% (9 reviews)
49 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
49 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Software Development - Web Design and Development - Bache...
  • Web Design and Development - Bachelor's
# 13 #13 Indiana University - East $19,978 Add Review
35 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
35 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Informatics
# 14 #14 Academy of Art University $23,412 30% (37 reviews)
158 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
158 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BFA in Web Design & New Media
# 15 #15 Brigham Young University-Idaho $4,208 100% (6 reviews)
47 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
47 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • B.S. in Web Design & Development (Accelerated)
# 16 #16 Champlain College $41,828 75% (4 reviews)
111 Programs, 4 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
111 Programs, 4 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Systems -...
  • Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development - Web D...
  • Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development - Web P...
# 17 #17 Lindenwood University $18,100 Add Review
96 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
96 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BFA in Art and Design - Web and User Experience
# 18 #18 Loyola University Chicago $45,543 Add Review
113 Programs, 4 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
113 Programs, 4 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • BA in Web Technologies
  • BA in Web Technologies - Data
  • BA in Web Technologies - Design and Media
  • BA in Web Technologies - Development
# 19 #19 Southeastern University $26,620 100% (1 review)
47 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
47 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Digital Media & Design
# 20 #20 University of Maryland Global Campus $12,336 61% (202 reviews)
119 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
119 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Digital Media and Web Technology -...
# 21 #21 Utah State University $23,042 100% (11 reviews)
65 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
65 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Experience Design and Intera...
# 22 #22 Clark State Community College $7,094 Add Review
32 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
32 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Web Design and Development...
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Web Design and Development...
# 23 #23 Concordia University - Saint Paul $22,800 75% (4 reviews)
40 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
40 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development
# 24 #24 Lesley University $28,875 Add Review
38 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
38 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Design for User Experience
# 25 #25 University of Advancing Technology $17,322 50% (2 reviews)
23 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design (view all)
23 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Web Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Web Design

Overview of Online Web Design Degrees

Certificates in web design vary, with specialties such as certified web designer, certified webmaster, certified HTML developer, and certified Internet professional, among others. Knowing what type of web design job you want will help you choose the certification that best suits your career goals. Almost all certificate courses will take a year or less to complete and, depending on the program's specific area of focus, will cover various aspects of web design, including HTML/CSS, usability or UX design, layout and organization of website elements, computer software, or programming languages.

Undergraduate degrees will offer a more in-depth education that mixes computer technology with the aesthetics and features of website design. Bachelor's degree programs include introductory courses in computer science, math, data structure, and visual communication. As you near the end of your degree, you can also expect courses such as constructing websites, web infrastructure, web programming and usability, and software engineering.

Graduate and doctoral degrees in web design allow for students to hone their skills and become experts in the field. Graduate-level programs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, although it doesn't necessarily need to be in web design. Courses here include data systems, website infrastructure, coding, digital imaging, and the relationship between people and the web. To complete a graduate program, you'll also likely do a thesis, but in this field students typically complete project-based capstone work instead of submitting a lengthy research paper.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Web Design

The bachelor's program in web design combines computer programming and technical skills with an understanding of art and graphic design. These degrees require about four years and 120 credit hours of coursework. A high school diploma or GED is the prerequisite for admission.

The bachelor's in web design introduces students to computing principles, design concepts, and the use of software applications. Specific courses include typography, graphics, advertisement layout, object-oriented programming, website construction, digital art, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), scripting languages, marketing, web publishing, graphics, audio production, drawing, and 2-D design.

Many bachelor's programs incorporate experiential learning into the degree in the form of internships or project-based classes. Web design students might work for a local tech company, assisting with web programming or design. Project-based courses usually take place during the student's senior year and require students to develop functional, appealing websites to add to their portfolio of work.

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in web design are well suited for careers as entry-level web developers, graphic designers, and multimedia artists. These professionals work in a wide array of industries, such as information technology, healthcare, public relations, advertising, and printing. In order to remain competitive, web designers need to stay up to date on the latest programming languages and design trends throughout their careers.

The Importance of an Accredited Online Web Design Program

The accreditation of a program or institution is a hallmark of not only its academic excellence, but also its favorable reputation in the academic and professional communities. Accrediting agencies should always be recognized by the US Department of Education. Here is a list of reasons why students should only choose accredited online web design programs:

  • Proof of excellence: By choosing a program that is accredited, you can trust that it will meet fundamental requirements for the field you have chosen, ensuring that you are given the basic knowledge necessary to be conversant in the field, and to complete the work required of you in whatever career you may find yourself in later. Be aware, however, that while many schools may say they are accredited, they actually aren't. Always check with the college and the board of education in your state to be sure.  
  • Transferability: By attending an accredited program, you can be confident that your classes, grades, and units will transfer to any institution you attend later on. For instance, if you complete some of the courses in an unaccredited online web design program, but then decide to attend an accredited, traditional university later, the credits you earned for that online coursework may not be accepted by the university. In that case, you would need to take the courses all over again at the university.  
  • Widespread acceptance: Degrees and certifications from accredited institutions will be recognized and valued by employers and other academic institutions. Potential employers may question the legitimacy of your degree, and hence, your qualifications, if the degree is from an unaccredited program or school. A resume with an accredited degree on it will allow you to begin your career from the best possible starting point.

What Students Will Learn in an Online Web Design Degree Program

Web design degrees and certificates combine classes in programming with coursework in design. Students take classes in topics like digital imaging, visual design, user experience, motion graphics, and mobile applications. Undergraduate programs are good preparation for careers as a web designer, web developer, or graphic designer. Master's degrees may focus more on information technology and programming, or they may look more at design and media. The master's can be a good option for people with undergraduate degrees in disciplines outside of the design realm who want to break into this career.

Before students can begin studying design principles, they must build their technology skills and learn to use a variety of computer programs that are commonly involved in Web design. First, students must master programming code. Computer programming classes will introduce students to popular computer programming languages, which can be used to put together websites and web-based programs. Web design certificate and degree programs will differ significantly in how much study of computer programming languages they require.

Other technology skills that students must build include the use of multimedia in web design, including sound, imagery, and videography. Some programs will also include study of Adobe Photoshop and video-editing software, though other programs may assume that students already have this knowledge.

Once students have proven their ability to use software programs to create unique, multimedia websites that can relay information in a number of ways, they will study the same design principles that interior designers and graphic artists study. Color theory -- understanding how colors work together on a computer screen and how they psychologically affect people -- is an important consideration for aspiring web designers.

One of the most important online web design courses a student will take explores website organization. Understanding how to use links, graphics, videos, sound, and titles to effectively organize information will help make websites easily navigable and accessible to all types of Internet users. Businesses who hire web designers rely on them to create websites that consumers are attracted to and are able to use easily and efficiently.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.