The 20 Best Online Web Design and Development Bachelors Degree Programs for 2017-2018
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers have some of the best job prospects in the country: employment is predicted to grow 27% through 2024, adding 40,000 jobs, which is significantly faster than average. In fact, about three times faster. Pay is solid, too. The median salary for web developers is just below $70k per year, and experienced high-level developers can expect to make six-figures. Another benefit is flexibility. One in seven developers is self-employed, meaning developers choose what they work on, and when they want to work. Still, for those prefer a more stable, predictable workflow (with employment benefits), there are plenty of salaried positions across nearly all industries.
Below, we’ve included the top online bachelor options for Web Development and Design (and included some Graphic Design programs, as well). While a bachelor’s isn’t required to enter the field, it does give applicants a leg up and provides a rigorous, systemized curriculum that includes an extensive programming background. Recently, many of these programs have moved to online delivery for students’ convenience; given the subject, it’s proven a successful fit. Some of the colleges listed below are recognized for their overall online program offerings as seen on our ranking of the best colleges online.
- Affordability (.3): The estimated average total cost of attending the program.
- Academic Quality (.3): The rank of the parent institution according to US News.
- Flexibility (.3): Schools were rewarded for having greater flexibility in course offerings, tracks, and program pacing.
1. Southern New Hampshire University
Online BSc in Information Technology or BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts
Founded in 1932 as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science, SNHU has grown to become one of the worldwide leaders in distance education, with over 70,000 students enrolled online. All 200+ degrees are career-focused and designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners. Further, SNHU instructors are accomplished experts in their fields and well-adapted to the school’s unique online approach — which US News ranks #1 in the region for innovation. SNHU’s 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for collaborative learning, and over half of SNHU classes consist of fewer than 20 students. Over 70% of students receive some form of financial aid, and all students have access to personalized academic advising, a writing center, career services, 24/7 tech support, and e-library services.
SNHU offers both a BS in Information Technologies, with an online web design and development concentration, and a BA in Graphic Design & Media Arts, with available concentrations in 3D Modeling & Animation and Web Design. The BS track includes courses like Business Systems Analysis and Design, Web Site Design, Cyberlaw and Ethics, The Web and Mobile User Experience, Mobile Application Design and Development, and Digital Commerce and eBusiness. The graphic design track includes Basic Design and Color Theory, Desktop Publishing, Typography, Graphics and Layout in Print Media, and more. (The latter also includes 33 elective credits.) Each degree emphasizes a practical, real-world approach, and students will have opportunities throughout the program to develop and hone their skills. Each also allows for up to 90 credits to be transferred into the program (mostly general education requirements) as part of SNHU’s policy.
2 (tied). American Public University
Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a Web Design Concentration
Founded in 1991, American Public University specializes in distance education, with an enrollment of 100,000 students enrolled online and offices in Charles Town, West Virginia, and Manassas, Virginia. The APU is also affiliated with the American Military University and a member of the American Public University System. Nearly 60% of students are active duty military or veterans; 17,000 are enrolled through the GI Bill. In 2012, the university agreed to a corporate partnership with WalMart, which has spent $50 million on tuition grants. (Employees receive a 15% tuition discount.) Despite its size, APU’s learning community remains intimate and collaborative thanks to its 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
- Tuition Per Credit: $270
2 (tied). Fort Hays State University
BSc in Information Networking and Telecommunications Web Development Online
Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University is the fourth-largest public university in Kansas, with approximately 11,200 students enrolled. More than half of those students are enrolled in the university’s online school, which offers 40 online associates, bachelors, and masters from four colleges: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Business and Entrepreneurship; Education and Technology; and Health and Life Sciences (all accredited by The Higher Learning Commission). The school’s 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for an intimate, collaborative learning environment, and nearly half of classes consist of fewer than 20 students. Less than 5% have 50 students or more. FHSU has also been recognized for affordability: its tuition is in the lowest 2% in the U.S.
Fort Hays offers a BS in Information Networking and Telecommunications Web Development, which includes 39 major credits and 30 elective credits. Core requirements are Introduction to Web Development; Foundations of Information Networking; Research Methods in Information Networking; Leadership in Information Networking; Capstone Seminar in Information Networking; and Public Policy, Ethics and Law in Information Networking. Other courses for the emphasis include Interactive Systems Design, Advanced Web Development, Web Scripting Languages, Law of Cyberspace, and Web-Enabled Databases: MySQL. For students seeking certification, FHSU offers tracks for CWDSA, Oracle Certified Associate, and Web Development and/or E-Commerce. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners.
- Tuition Per Credit: $270
4. Brigham Young University–Idaho
Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development Online
Founded in 1888, BYU-Idaho is a private liberal arts school with an enrollment of about 17,500 from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries. Ranked highly by Forbes and US News, which places it among the top ten in the Midwest region, the university’s distance education program has expanded in recent years to adapt to growing demand for flexible, affordable degrees. Offerings include six associates, 11 bachelor’s, and more than 300 online courses. (Note that eligibility for online courses includes completion of at least 15 on-campus credits at a BYU satellite or Pathway program.) Associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU Idaho’s mission is aligned with Mormon teachings and values, and all students adhere to a strict honor code.
BYU-Idaho offers a BS in Web Design and Development, which consists of 54 major credits, 26 elective credits, plus general education requirements. Core classes in the design emphasis include Web Business Creation, Introduction to Programming, Web Frontend Development, Web Backend Development, Visual Media, Creating Online Media, Human-Computer Interaction, Introduction to Web Design and Development, an internship to gain hands-on experience, and a capstone project. Development courses include Object-Oriented Programming, Human-Computer Interaction, and more. All students have access to tech support, enrollment assistance, and academic advising. For those interested, year-round classes enable accelerated degree completion time.
- Tuition Per Credit: $153
6. Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology and BAS in Internet and Web Development Online
Arizona State University is a public university with over 80,000 students enrolled. Ranked as the #1 Most Innovative School in America, ASU has been recognized by Forbes, Money, The Daily Beast, US News, and the Wall Street Journal. The school also regularly ranks among the top research funding schools in the country, and its 23:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a vibrant, collaborative educational environment; 40% of classes have fewer than 20 students, and less than 20% have more than 50 students.
Arizona State offers a BS in Graphic Information Technology and a BAS in Internet & Web Development. Some GIS classes include Creative Thinking and Design Visualization, Digital Illustration in Publishing, Introduction to Web Authoring, Web Content Design, Digital Publishing, Commercial Photography, Image Editing and Manipulation, and Graphic Industry Business Practices, among others. The web development track consists of classes like Information Design and Usability, Web Site Design and Internet/Web Technologies, Advanced Web Markup and Scripting, and Multimedia Authoring, Scripting, and Production. Each specialization requires a capstone project. All courses are 100% online and designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners. Graduates can currently be found working for a variety of organizations – Shutterfly, Boeing, Digitaria digital marketing agency, Leo Burnett advertising, i4software, and Blue Media.
7. Stevens-Henager College
Online BSc in Web Design and Development
Stevens-Henager College, established in 1891, offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s, and associates. (SHC has campuses in five areas across Idaho and Utah.) Stevens-Henager places a special emphasis on individualized instruction and career-oriented programs, with opportunities to customize coursework according to professional interests. Courses are also available 24/7 for maximum flexibility to accommodate workers and adult learners, with new classes beginning once a month. Accelerated tracks are also available: some students can complete their degree in as little as 20 months. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Stevens-Henager offers BS in Web Design & Development, which can be completed in 36 months. Areas of study include web design, web programming, database administration, digital illustration, marketing, graphic design, web applications, digital imaging, and entrepreneurship. SHC also offers two Graphic Design programs. The standard track covers Adobe, Photoshop, Flash, InDesign, and Illustrator; and students will learn about page layout design, logo & identity design, e-commerce, package design, and web design, among other topics. The second graphic design track includes an emphasis on Information Design; in addition to developing skills in software programs, students review universal design, new media marketing, information design, and professional and technical communication.
- Web Design & Development
- Graphic Arts
- Graphic Design with Information Design emphasis
- Tuition Per Credit: $530
8. Liberty University
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a Web and Mobile Programming Concentration Online
Founded in 1971, Liberty University is a private Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty has been leading distance education efforts since 1985, with 100,000 students enrolled in online classes today and 14,000 enrolled on campus. (LU is the largest private school in the country.) In total, Liberty offers more than 500 academic programs, and 250 are available online, designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners in mind. Further, many programs offer intensive, on-campus summer sessions to accelerate degrees, and Liberty’s generous transfer policy allows students with previous academic credit or work/life experience to waive select course work. (Students may also transfer credits in through military service, MOOCs, examinations, and/or portfolios.) As a Christian university, Liberty incorporates religious concepts and values into all degrees, and several core curricula include Biblical course work.
Liberty offers a BS in Information Technology with a concentration in Web & Mobile Programming, which includes 45 credits of upper-level credits (up to 90 credits may be transferred in). Core requirements include Introduction to Computing Sciences, Object-Oriented Programming, Web Architecture & Development, IS Hardware & Software, Database Management Systems, Systems Administration, Studies in Information Security, and Enterprise Systems & Integration, among others. The concentration component covers Client-Side Programming, Server-Side Programming, and Web & Mobile Programming. From there, students have the opportunity to customize the degree through elective credits.
- Tuition Per Credit: $390
9 (tied). Champlain College
Online BSc in Web Design and Development
Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private school in Burlington, Vermont, offering bachelor, certificate, and master programs in more than 80 fields; it’s 2,000 students come from 41 states and 22 countries around the world. The school’s unique “upside-down” curriculum allows students to take in-depth, advanced classes in their major starting in the first semester, foregoing the usual slog of general education requirements. Champlain’s Core curriculum is an interdisciplinary program with a structured progression: freshmen focus on the self, sophomores focus on the community and juniors on international issues. While the school remains dedicated to liberal arts, Champlain emphasizes real-world skill building and encourages learning outside the classroom through the Life Experience and Action Dimension (LEAD) program.
Champlain offers a BS in Web Design & Development that consists of 66 major credits. Sample courses include Designing Digital Images for the Web, Usability in Website and Software Design, Retail Internet Business, Internet Business Relationships, Internet and Web Architecture, Ethical Hacking, Introduction to Operating Systems, and a 15-week senior seminar project. All students will also take courses in PHP, SQL, HTML, and CSS & XML. Courses deliver in accelerated 7-week blocks, designed for maximum flexibility, and students have the opportunity to specialize in either Web Design, or Web Programming, each of which includes a certificate. The university’s 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio promises a collaborative, dynamic learning atmosphere.
- Tuition Per Credit: $641
9 (tied). Bellevue University
Online BSc in Web Technology or BSc in Graphic Design
Established in 1966, Bellevue has a total enrollment of about 10,000 students and specializes in adult education. In recent years, its online school has expanded to adapt to the growing demand for flexible, affordable education. Bellevue’s online students complete coursework on their own time, and there are a variety of delivery methods, like accelerated cohorts, flex paths, MOOCs, certificates of completion, and course clusters. (Bellevue’s generous transfer policy may also accelerate course work.) Further, through the Bellevue learning platform, students can access course material 24/7, live chat with peers and instructors, and review discussion boards. As a Christian university, religious concepts may be incorporated throughout the degree.
11. Franklin University
Bachelor of Science in Web Development Online
Founded in 1902, Franklin University has five campuses in Ohio and Indiana and specializes in adult education; the average student is in their mid-30s and more than 90% transfer credit into a program. As such, all courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and many programs include accelerated options. Prospective online students can take a demo to determine if online learning is for them. All students have access to career services, tech support, tutoring, student workshops, personalized academic advising, enrollment assistance, and more. Franklin is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Franklin offers a BS in Web Development that consists of 57 major requirements. They include: Problem Solving with Computing, Database Management Systems, Graphic Design Editing Software, Principles of Programming, IS Architecture, Marketing, Web Page Construction, Web Informatics Programming, Client Side Development, Server Side Development, and a capstone project, among other courses. For those interested, Franklin also offers related majors and minors (Information Technology, Computer Science, Digital Marketing, etc.) and a subsequent BS track in Web Development, totaling 42 major credits. Courses deliver in 6-, 12-, and 15-week blocks to accommodate working professionals and adult learners.
- Tuition Per Credit: $511
12. Baker College
Bachelor of Science in Web Development Online
Founded in 1911, Baker College has thirteen campuses across lower Michigan – including Auburn Hills, Flint, Allen Park, Cadillac, and Port Huron – and one campus in Reading, Pennsylvania. Baker also offers online associate, certificate, and bachelor degrees, and programs are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners, including 24/7 access to course materials. For students who want to combine on-campus and online courses, Baker offers hybrid options; and to ensure online students are prepared for distance education, all online students complete three weeks of orientation. Baker is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Designed in conjunction with the college’s AAS in Web Design, Baker offers a BS in Web Development that includes 127 major quarter credits. Courses include: Database Fundamentals, Systems Development Methods, World Wide Web Design, Web Multi-Media, Web Scripting, Interactive Web Design, E-Commerce, ActionScript Programming, Web Portals, and Enterprise Web Applications, among others. Students will also learn and hone programming skills in Visual BASIC, SQL, Java, Linux/Unix, and HTML. From there, Baker offers several elective options to customize the curriculum according to professional need and interest. All online students have access to career services, tutoring, tech support, and other resources.
- Tuition Per Credit: $250
13. Full Sail University
Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design or Web Design and Development Online
Full Sail University, founded in 1979, has a total enrollment of just over 16,000, offering 78 certificate, associate, bachelor, and master programs. Full Sail’s degrees are immersive, with a special emphasis on experiential, hands-on learning and skill development which are designed to address industry demands across entertainment, media, art, and technology. In recent years, Full Sail has expanded its online programs to meet the demand for flexible, affordable, and individualized education, with many degrees, offered on an accelerated to hyper-accelerated track. Full Sail is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
There are two degrees worth considering at Full Sail, both of which find technical and aesthetic components to Design and Development. First is the school’s BS in Graphic Design, which consists of 32 courses. Courses cover Creative Presentation, Psychology of Play, Color Theory, Digital Publishing, Logos and Symbols, Brand Experience, Typography and Page Layout, Interactive Media Design, Concepts in Advertising, and Graphic Web Design, among other topics. Students also complete five project portfolios. Full Sail’s BS in Web Design & Development consists of 32 courses, as well. Topics covered Scalable Data Structures, Interfaces & Usability, Design Patters for Web Programming, Server-Side Languages, Web Application Integration, and more. Dev students complete seven portfolio projects. Each degree takes 32 months.
14. University of Maryland University College
Bachelor of Science in Digital Media and Web Technology Online
Founded in 1947, The University of Maryland – University College, is located in Adelphi, with satellite campuses in Baltimore, D.C., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia — in total, 142 locations in over 20 countries. With an enrollment of over 90,000 students worldwide, UMUC is a leader in online education, offering 90 degrees across a diverse range of disciplines. All UMUC courses are designed specifically for adult learners, and more than 90% of the student body is employed full-time; so course work is highly flexible, with a career-focused curriculum, and students complete studies on their own time. UMUC’s 22:1 student-to-faculty ratio is impressive for a school of its size and supports a collaborative, vibrant learning environment. Nearly 65% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
- Tuition Per Credit: $284
15. Art Institute of Pittsburgh
BSc in Web Design and Interactive Media Online
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, established in 1921, is a career-oriented creative education center with on-campus and online tracks. In recent years, online programs have greatly expanded to accommodate demand for flexible, affordable, and individualized learning, especially in creative fields. Today the Art Institute offers online programs in Visual Design, Interior Design, Marketing, Animation and Effects, Photography, Gaming and Technology, Fashion, and Culinary. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The Art Institute offers a BS in Web Design & Interactive Media that consists of 180 quarter hours (55 courses), which can be completed in as little as 12 quarters. Some core requirements include Desktop Video, Design Fundamentals, E-Commerce, Design, and Typography, Writing for Multimedia, Basic Web Scripting, Computer Animation for Multimedia and Web, Media Law and Ethics, Video for Interactive Media, and more. Students also complete a senior project and capstone to demonstrate mastery of the material. For those interested in shorter programs, AI of Pittsburgh offers an associate’s in Web Design & Interactive Media (91 quarter hours) and a diploma in Web Design (45 quarter hours). All online courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and students have 24/7 access to the material. Additional services include career services, tutoring, e-library services, tech support, and more.
- Tuition Per Credit: $709
16 (tied). Colorado Technical University
BSc in Information Technology with a Web Development Concentration Online
Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University has a total enrollment of 20,000, with campuses in Colorado Springs and Denver. Through its unique distance learning technology, M.U.S.E. (My Unique Student Experience), CTU allows students to choose a delivery method that suits their learning style. Further, CTU offers their Fast Track program for bachelor students, which allows students to waive credits through prior learning assessments, accelerating graduation time up to 30%. Nationally recognized for innovation in education, the Computerworld Honors Program named CTU’s online school “Best of the Best” in the Education and Academia category.
Ranked among the field’s top programs by US News, CTU offers a BS in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Development, totaling 54 quarter credits in the major. Core requirements include Unix Fundamentals, Fundamentals of Database Systems, SQL for Data Management, Computer Security, Website Development, and Programming Logic. Among other courses; and the Web Development concentration covers Digital Imaging, Web User Interface Design, Computer Illustration, Scripting for the Web, Web-Based Database Applications, Cloud Computing, and Mobile Web Design. Elective options are also embedded into the curriculum, allowing students to customize the degree according to professional needs and interests. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and there are multiple starting dates throughout the year.
- Tuition Per Credit: $325
16 (tied). Savannah College of Art and Design
Online BFA in Graphic Design or BA in Visual Communication with a Graphic Design Concentration
Founded in 1978, the Savannah College of Art and Design has a total enrollment of about 13,000, with campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and France. Considered one of the top art schools in the region, SCAD began to develop its distance education program in 2003, and today offers a variety of affordable, flexible degrees through online delivery. The school’s 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports an intimate, collaborative learning community, and over 0% of classes consist of fewer than 20 students. (No classes have more than 50.) Further, more than half of students receive some form of financial aid.
SCAD offers a BFA in Graphic Design (75 major credits) and BA in Visual Communication with a concentration in Graphic Design (45 concentration credits). BFA courses include Typography, History of Graphic Design, Management, Idea Visualization, Web Design, Interface Design, and Production for Print and Digital Environments, among other courses. Students also complete multiple project-based classes to build their portfolios and develop skills. The BA is slightly less rigorous and more focused on design basics; in addition to a few of the previously listed BFA courses, students will have 20 hours of electives to customize the curriculum. Each degree also includes general education requirements focusing on art history and theory. Graduates have worked at Disney, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, DeviantArt, Cartoon Network, Design Ranch, and R/GA. Admissions are rolling.
- Tuition Per Credit: $782
18. Walden University
BSc in Information Technology with a Web and Mobile Applications Development Concentration Online
Founded in 1970, Walden developed one of the first fully online higher learning institutions in the 1990s, which now offers more than 140 degree programs – including bachelor’s, master’s, certificates, and doctorates – and more than 300 specializations and concentrations. Further, with an enrollment of over 47,000, Walden boasts a highly diverse, well-represented student body from all 50 states and more than 150 countries. To accommodate the school’s working professionals and adult learners, who make up a large part of the student body, Walden also has affiliations with a number of organizations, including school districts, healthcare centers, corporations, and nonprofits, to help reduce tuition costs and teach relevant professional skills. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, and admissions are rolling.
Walden offers a BS in Information Technology with a concentration in Web and Mobile Applications Development, which includes 85 core quarter credits and 20 concentration quarter credits. Core requirements include IT Infrastructure, Networking Fundamentals, Data Structures, Systems Analysis, Systems Design, Web Programming, Mobile and Pervasive Technologies, Network Administration, and Systems Integration, among others. The concentration is a four-course track: Web and Mobile Application Development, Web and Mobile User Experience Design, Implementing Effective Mobile User Interfaces and Developing Multiplatform Mobile Applications. From there, students have the opportunity to customize the degree through a variety of electives (which may form a minor), and each student completes a senior seminar and capstone. Courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and students with previous academic credits may transfer up to 135 credits into the program to accelerate course work.
- Tuition Per Credit: $382
19. Strayer University
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a Web Development Technology Concentration Online
Founded in 1892, Strayer University is among the largest online universities in the world, with over 40,000 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, and holding accreditations from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Society for Human Resource Management, National Security Agency’s Committee on National Security Systems, and Teacher Education Accreditation Council. The course work is built for maximum flexibility and designed for working professionals and adult learners, all course work is built for maximum flexibility, and students complete the degree according to their own schedule demands. In addition to the online school, Strayer has 78 campuses across the United States, which allow for hybrid enrollment.
Strayer offers a BS in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Development Technology. The degree consists of 40 courses, the and covers Visual Basic Programming, Web Page Development, Networking, Computer Architecture, Systems Analysis, Administering Desktop Clients, Human Computer Interaction, and Operating Systems, among other subjects. All students also complete a capstone project that requires them to solve a real-world scenario. With Strayer’s generous transfer policy (earned through previous academic credits, prior work experience, and learning assessments), most students complete degrees in less than four years on a part-time basis. For those interested, other concentrations include Mobile Programming, Networking, Inter-networking, and Cyber Security.
- Tuition Per Credit: $478
20. University of Phoenix
Online BSc in Information Technology with an Advanced Multimedia Development Certificate
With over 170,000 enrolled, 91 campuses, and 100 associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral programs, Phoenix is one the largest education centers in the world. Phoenix specializes in adult learning, and the average student is in their 30s; many work full-time and complete course work on a part-basis. As such, programs are designed for maximum flexibility, and many students complete 100% online degrees or via hybrid delivery. The university’s open enrollment structure guarantees admission for any student holding a high school diploma or GED. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Phoenix offers a BS in Information Technology with an Advanced Multimedia Development Certificate. Core requirements include Information Systems Fundamentals, Algorithms and Logic for Computer Programming, Web Design Fundamentals, Database Concepts, Business Systems Development, Networking, Information Assurance & Security, Java Programming, Project Planning & Implementation, and Application Implementation. From there, students complete the certificate module (Acrobat, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop, and Autodesk) plus electives to customize the curriculum to professional needs and interests. Though the BS totals 120 credits, most students can waive general education requirements through Phoenix’s transfer policy, accelerating degree completion time. For those interested, certificates are also available for Advanced Networking, Advanced Cyber Security, and Advanced Software Developer.