2024 Best Online Masters in Web Design & Development

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If programming, digital design, and customer experience are your strengths, you might want to consider completing a masters in web design online.

Best Online Masters in Web Design & Development

For most businesses, having a well-designed website is crucial to their success. Companies often seek web designers to ensure their website secures their leads and obtains more conversions.

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With a master’s degree in web design, you may also have a higher chance of qualifying for senior tech roles in this competitive field.

Masters in Web Design Online Degree Programs

Masters in Web Design Online Degree Programs

The better a website looks and functions, the longer a visitor is likely to stay on the site. For many companies, having an online presence is vital. Without a well-designed website, businesses can be overlooked. The task of a web designer is to create websites that attract traffic to web pages.

In a website design and development master’s degree program, you can learn the necessary skills for creating web pages that present businesses or individuals to the public in a positive light. Most programs cover the various aspects of web design, including HTML code and JavaScript.

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In addition to developing technical skills, you can also explore design software, such as Illustrator and InDesign, as well as the fundamentals of marketing, content creation, and UX theory.

This path of study aims to advance your understanding of the following:

  • Various e-commerce techniques and models
  • Effective digital media layouts and designs
  • Audience analysis and online security
  • Web research methods and design principles
  • Web design digital imagery and branding

Web design graduate programs can open up doors to many creative opportunities. Web design jobs can include UX or UI designer, web content manager, multimedia specialist, gaming developer, and software engineer.

These types of roles are needed in a broad range of companies in many industries, including television and film. Your graduate studies will cover a range of topics that explore design fundamentals alongside critical thinking and analysis. Some graduates use their skills to create unique, branded messaging for digital platforms and to code websites to the exact needs of clients and audiences.

These skills can also be utilized to design and implement effective integrated communications and marketing campaigns. There is a vast range of opportunities for web design experts in the digital world.

Web Design and Development Careers & Salaries

Web Design and Development Careers & Salaries

Within the expansive realm of web design and development, there are numerous areas of concentration in a broad range of industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries for the following positions in web design and related fields.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Computer and Information Systems Managers $159,010
Software Developers $120,730
Art Directors $100,890
Computer Systems Analysts $99,270
Database Administrators $96,710
Computer Programmers $93,000
Web and Digital Interface Designers $79,890
Special Effects Artists and Animators $78,790
Web Developers $77,030
Graphic Designers $50,710

Interactive web design developers are often considered the new breed of software engineers. This is because an online masters in web design program covers programming, audio and video editing, and website design utilizing 3D technologies.

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Some professionals who earn their masters in this field focus their career on marketing, while others utilize their coding skills in the software engineering industry. Graduates may also spend their time creating logos and graphics for various brands. Ultimately, the career path a student chooses will depend on if they want to work with public or private entities, where their expertise lies, and what they’re passionate about doing.

Web Design Master’s Curriculum & Courses

Web Design Master’s Curriculum

When pursuing an online master’s degree in web design, there are many different concentrations to choose from. Many of the core courses will be similar in nature, though, regardless of your course concentration. Your program’s specific coursework will also depend on the university.

Below are examples of courses you may encounter when earning a master’s in web design degree online:

  • Programming for Data Analytics: In this course, you’ll learn essential programming techniques and concepts utilized in analytics.
  • Operating Systems Security: This course addresses theoretical concepts of operating system security, security architecture, and the best practices to configure operating systems.
  • Web-Enabled Information Systems: During this course, you’ll cover the three tiers of software development and learn to develop modern software systems.
  • Database Design and Implementation for Businesses: This course aims to teach students Microsoft SQL server and Oracle as well as Structured Query Language (SQL).
  • Enterprise Architecture: You’ll examine enterprise architecture in this course and learn how to integrate IT to support business goals according to EA techniques.
  • UX Strategies and Methods: The aim of this course is to help students think critically about UX by exploring UX tactics, methodologies, and strategies.
  • Marketing Analytics: This course teaches you how to develop a performance measurement system for marketing analytics.
  • Web Graphics Production: Using industry-leading tools, you can learn the fundamental concepts and techniques of image processing and digital graphics creation.
  • Web Scripting and JavaScript: This course teaches you how to develop dynamic websites and applications, covering how to write beginner and intermediate scripts.
  • Website Design and Management: In this course, you’ll learn about enhanced page design capabilities and HTML techniques using CSS.

When choosing a masters program in web design, it could be helpful to carefully examine the different course options so you can choose the ones that most interest you.

Admissions Requirements

Web Design Master’s Requirements

The admission requirements for a master’s in web design online program can differ from university to university. Here are some common requirements, though, for a graduate program:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Official transcripts for all postsecondary work
  • Minimum college GPA of 2.5, on average
  • GRE or GMAT test scores (only required by some schools)
  • Statement of intent

In addition to the above requirements, a college or university might require a one-time application fee as well as letters of recommendation.

Web Design Masters Programs Accreditation

Web Design Masters Programs Accreditation

If you’re looking to earn a credible web design masters online or in person, it’s strategic to choose a school that’s regionally accredited.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has a list of recognized regional accrediting agencies as well as a database of accredited schools. Regional accreditation is widely recognized as the most prestigious type of accreditation.

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If you attend a regionally accredited school, your earned credits will be more likely to transfer to other regionally accredited universities and programs. In addition, attending a school with regional accreditation is a common qualification requirement for corporate reimbursement plans and federal aid.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Web Design Masters Programs financial aid

If you need assistance paying for your online master’s in web design, there are many options available to graduate students who qualify. Common financial aid opportunities include federal aid, state aid, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.

When exploring funding opportunities for your graduate studies, a common first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Submitting this application will determine your eligibility for federal aid as well as state aid and certain school-based grants.

If you want to apply for scholarships, it’s strategic to apply to as many web design scholarships as possible. Additionally, you can apply to fellowships that are offered by private organizations, government agencies, and schools—though schools generally offer assistantships. You can also consider federal student loans for your graduate studies.

What Can You Do with a Master Degree in Web Design?

Web Design Masters careers

Many professionals with a masters in web design choose a career that involves web design and development. Some of these careers are more creative, like graphic designers and game developers. In contrast, others choose more technical career roles—like desktop publisher, industrial designer, and information security analyst. Nearly every industry has need of web design professionals.

Earning a masters-level education in the field can help you advance your expertise as well as your professional qualifications. This could even help you qualify for more senior or leadership roles in web design and related fields. For instance, some web design experts go on to hold management positions in IT or marketing.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Web Design Degree Online?

Master Degree in Web Design

It typically takes 1 to 2 years to complete a masters degree. If an online masters in web design is a 36 credit hour program with no thesis requirement, it can often be completed in 1 year with full-time enrollment, including during the summer.

Should a thesis be required in your web developer degree online program, additional time will likely be added to this timeframe. It may also take you longer to finish if you choose to study for your masters in web design part-time.

Is a Master in Web Design Degree Worth It?

Yes, a master in web design degree is worth it for many students. A master’s degree in web design is incredibly flexible. Professionals with this expertise may work for companies or as freelancers.

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Additionally, web design is an in-demand skill. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 13% job growth for web designers and developers over the next ten years, which is faster than average growth. Web design is also vital for a number of lucrative fields, such as computer and information technology, media and communication, and arts and design.

Universities Offering Online Masters in Web Design Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers a Master of Science in Graphic Information Technology. It is designed to help students develop comprehensive knowledge of visual media, content creation, and multi-platform distribution. The curriculum consists of 30 credit hours. Classes are 7.5 to 15 weeks long, and all of them can be completed fully online.

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard University offers a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies – Digital Media Design. The program aims to teach students the art of telling digital stories across many fields, from healthcare to government administration. The program’s online format and student-paced coursework is designed to allow students to take the next step in their education while working around their existing commitments.

Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology

The Illinois Institute of Technology offers a Master of Information Technology and Management with a specialization in Web and App Design. It is designed for students hoping to launch a career or further existing skills in web and application development. The curriculum covers topics such as object-oriented app development, website development, web systems integration, and human/computer interactions.

Illinois Institute of Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design offers a Master of Arts in Graphic and Web Design. The program is focused on helping students obtain the fundamental knowledge and applicable skills necessary to excel in careers related to web design. With online and asynchronous course options, the program is designed to provide working adults with the flexibility needed to further their education alongside existing commitments.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online program for a Master’s in Information Technology. The program encourages students to think beyond typical IT functions and aims to equip them to serve as leaders and problem-solvers. Students must complete 36 credits to graduate, and up to 12 qualifying credits can be transferred in from outside institutions. The degree can potentially be completed in just 15 months.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University offers a Master of Science in Interactive Media and Communications. The program focuses on empowering students throughout the lifecycle of design, from content development to production and publication of that content on a multitude of platforms. This fully online program features courses in audio, video, graphics, user experience, and interface design.

Quinnipiac is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Touro University

Touro University Worldwide

Touro University offers a Master of Arts in Web and Multimedia Design. Its classes are focused on user-centered design and taught by experienced industry professionals. The program requires the completion of 33 credits to graduate, and all classes can be completed synchronously online or in person. The curriculum covers multi-media products, graphic design, user experience and interface, and modeling and animation.

Touro University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Denver

University of Denver

The University of Denver offers a Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology with a concentration in Web Design and Development. Most students can complete the program’s 48 required credits in about 18 months. Classes are scheduled either online or in the evening in an effort to make the program accessible for even those with the busiest schedules.

The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

University of Florida

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a Master’s in Web Design and Online Communication. The program aims to teach students the essentials of design, theories of communication, and coding in HTML and JavaScript. This blend of artistic theory and hard skills is designed to prepare students for careers as creatives across a multitude of sectors.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University

The 36 credit Master of Science in Information Systems Technologies program at Wilmington University allows students to attend class either online or at one of four campuses. Students can specialize in one of four concentrations: Information Assurance, Management and Management Information Systems, Web Design, and Technology Project Management.

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Masters in Web Design Online

Masters in Web Design Online

Earning a master’s in web design can be strategic for those who are fascinated with the technical aspects of web development and enjoy the creativity it affords.

Depending on the school and degree program, you can often custom-tailor your master’s degree according to your interests and preferences. An online masters program from an accredited college or university could even offer additional flexibility and convenience.

If you want to enhance your professional qualifications in this growing field, you can start by exploring accredited online masters degrees in web design to find the program that’s best for you.

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Jason Collins
Jason earned his bachelor's degree in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University with a minor in history. A life-long learner with a love of philosophy, history, and science, Jason works in professional development, career enrichment, and improved business practices.