People spend most of their time online. This could be for a variety of reasons, including reading a blog, purchasing a product, using a service, for entertainment, and so on. Businesses have gone online as well, given the amount of time individuals spend on the internet. Therefore, it has become imperative for business owners of any size to have a website and a presence on social media. Those who run a business and do not have a website could miss out on many prospective consumers. Understanding the value of a website is crucial to expanding a business exponentially. 

A master’s in web design development will teach students how to build a website from scratch, using HTML, JavaScript, and other coding languages. They will also learn to use graphic design applications such as Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator. The degree provides these technical abilities plus training in content production, marketing, and user experience theory, which make it possible to create beautiful and practical websites from start to finish. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Web Developers and Digital Designers earn a median annual pay of $77,200, and jobs are expected to grow 23%, faster than the average of all occupations. 

Read on to discover what an online masters in web design development is all about, the courses it entails, career options available upon completion of the degree, and more. 

Important: Web design development is more a concentration area than an independent master’s degree. Although only a few colleges offer this subject as a degree, most others couple it with another subject area or field of study. 

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Online Masters in Web Design Development Programs

Only a few universities in the United States offer an online master’s degree in web design development. As a result, it is critical to pick the top college that can provide a well-rounded, well-recognized, and well-valued program. The best master’s in web design development programs should have excellent infrastructure, well-trained, qualified, and experienced teaching staff, a wide range of student support services, genuine accreditation, and career assistance, among other things. Here are the best online masters in web design development degree programs in the country, based on these and other vital factors: 

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Boston University
One Silber Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Illinois Institute of Technology
10 West 35th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60616
University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80208
Fort Hays State University
600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road, Manchester, New Hampshire 03106

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

What to expect from the Online Masters in Web Design Development?

Students of an online master’s in web design development learn how to build modern business applications for the web and mobile devices. In this program, they will learn how to build websites with popular programming languages and frameworks by applying the principles of user experience, information architecture, and web design. Combining theory and practice will help students understand how the two merge and use that knowledge in real-world projects. Students will have to complete 35 to 50 credits, and the program includes a capstone project.

Some of the core courses in a web design development degree program include but are not limited to:

  • Digital Imagery in Web Design
  • Design Principles
  • Applied 2D Graphics: Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Animated and Interactive Web Content
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Web Interactivity and Engagement
  • Web Research Methods
  • 2D Graphics: Bitmap
  • Mass Communication Theory
  • Digital Media Layout and Design
  • Advanced Design
  • Web Design Principles
  • Marketing Research for Multimedia Professionals
  • Web Programming: JavaScript
  • Corporate and Brand Identity on the Web
  • User Experience (UX) Theory and Research
  • Foundations of Visual Communications Design
  • 2D Graphics: Vector
  • Applied Art for the Web
  • Content Management
  • User Experience Design
  • Web Technologies
  • Social Media & SEO

In addition to core courses, students must opt for electives such as English Composition or Technical Communication, or choose from the many technical courses available, such as:

  • 3D Visualization
  • Python Programming
  • Database Design and Implementation
  • Object-Oriented Methods and Programming
  • Principles of Cryptography
  • Introduction to Audio/Video Production
  • Web Graphics Production
  • Data in Web Application Development
  • Marketing Analytics
  • User Interface Design and Implementation
  • Web Development with PHP
  • Web Scripting with JavaScript
  • Internet Mapping
  • Creative Problem Solving and Programming Concepts
  • Mobile Application Development with Web Standards
  • Distributed Computing
  • Digital Photography and Imaging
  • Principles of Project Management
  • iOS Application Development
  • User Experience Design and Usability Assessment
  • Principles of Information Security
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Database Design and SQ
  • Motion Graphics/Compositing: After Effects
  • Application Security
  • Design Concepts: Typography
  • Database Administration

Types of Masters in Web Design Development Degrees

The Master’s in Web Design Development is, more often than not, a concentration or focus area of broader master’s degree programs. For example, prospective students can opt for an online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a concentration in Web Design, such as one offered by the University of Florida, or a Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology with a concentration in Web Design and Development. 

In most instances, students will have to choose from a Master of Arts (MA) degree that is multi-disciplinary and leans on liberal arts and humanities, or from a Master of Science (MS) degree that is more scientific and technically oriented. 

Areas of Specialization for Online Masters in Web Design Development

Web design development being a specialization subject, in some cases offers only concentration courses. Through these courses, students can select one professional field within a bigger industry sector and become proficient in the abilities required to succeed in that area. Some examples of concentration courses include but are not limited to: 

  • Advanced Website Design and Management
  • Web-Enabled Information Systems
  • Website Design and Management
  • Usability Design for Websites

Why should I do Online Masters in Web Design Development?

Interaction design, development, and distribution of rich media content via the Internet to handheld mobile devices and desktop computers are all part of the Web Design and Development process. Through the online masters in web design development program, students will learn the fundamentals of web design and get the required skills and knowledge to become great web designers and developers. Students will be equipped with a professional level of competence in web design and content management and learn how to become successful professionals in the rapidly changing web design/development industry. Those interested in creating beautiful, functional, and effective websites and web applications and who have a flair for design will find this degree very suitable. 

With businesses and nonprofits increasing and refreshing their presence in the digital world, demand for web designers and developers is steadily on the rise. Web Developers and Digital Designers jobs are predicted to grow by 23% between 2020 & 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. 

Upon completing an online master’s in web design development, graduates will be ready to take on projects with ease and efficiency. Among the many skills they would have acquired, they will have the ability to: 

  • Use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other industry-standard languages efficiently and effectively.
  • Plan, develop, create, test, and maintain interactive web pages and animations, meeting quality standards and established goals.
  • Create graphical assets, animations, and multimedia for websites and applications.
  • Make use of industry-standard software such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Apply design ideas and aspects to online environments.
  • Create fully responsive websites suited to the customer’s requirements and target audience.
  • Create effective integrated marketing plans and strategies for digital platforms.

How to get into the Online Masters in Web Design Development program?

Enrolling in an online master’s degree program in web design development is usually simple.  To begin, students will have to choose a master’s program in design, communications, or computer technology and opt for web design development as a concentration. To do so, most institutions require that prospective students have an undergraduate degree in any field. Although the admission requirements for each program and college may vary, the following are some basic admissions requirements for online master’s degrees in web design development: 

  • Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • An Undergraduate Degree in Marketing or Other Discipline
  • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 on a scale of 4.0
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Scores (sometimes asked)
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
  • At least 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Graduate Resume
  • Proof of Proficiency in English (if the native language is not English)

Note: Students are advised to check with the admissions office of their chosen college for exact and specific admission requirements, as they vary by college and program. 

How long does it take to complete the Online Masters in Web Design Development?

The duration of web design development studies primarily depends on the chosen master’s program since web design development will be a concentration in the selected master’s. In most instances, a master’s degree will require about 2 years to complete, full-time. Part-timers will, of course, take longer. However, a master of arts in, say, communications, with web design development as a specialization, can be completed in 12 or 18 months, depending on various factors. In all, students will require between 35 and 50 credits to graduate.

Accreditation for Online Master’s Degree in Web Design Development

Accreditation is a process in which a third-party organization verifies that a school or degree program meets and/or surpasses the predetermined quality and rigor standards. Although college accreditation is optional, it has various benefits, one important one being – it verifies a curriculum to employers and other colleges and institutions. Accreditation also ensures that students can transfer credits simply and quickly from one recognized institution to another while still being eligible for federal financial help. The U.S Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) have approved six regional accrediting agencies to accredit colleges: 

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE

Higher Learning Commission (HLC

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC

To check a school’s accreditation status, students can visit the official U.S Department of Education website or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website. 

More information on accreditation is available in the Accreditation Guide.

How to Pay for Online Masters in Web Design Development Programs?

The cost of a master’s degree program is steadily rising. Students are frequently left wondering how to support their education because most graduate programs cost tens of thousands of dollars. Graduate students, fortunately, have access to a variety of financial aid options. Applicants must meet all requirements set out by the donor or lender to be considered for financial aid. Prospective students of an online master’s in web design development can look into the following sources of financial aid: 


Scholarships are awards given to students who have excelled academically or have fulfilled all the scholarship sponsor’s conditions. Scholarships may be offered based on socioeconomic background, gender, volunteer work and social participation, religious affiliation, sporting accomplishments, career path, specific subjects or degrees, financial need, and more, other than or in addition to academic excellence. (To prevent being defrauded online, read about Scholarship Scams.) 


Grants are sums of money provided to deserving students that do not need to be paid back. Governments, foundations, trusts, and companies frequently offer them to persons who demonstrate financial need. Since grants are “free aid” or “gifts,” like scholarships, which means they do not have to be repaid, they make one of the most popular college funding options. 

Graduate Assistantships

A Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) is a university graduate student who also teaches undergraduate students at that university. They take classes and pursue their studies in a specialized academic subject. They also assist professors in the delivery of undergraduate courses. Graduate teaching assistants are compensated with a stipend or a fee waiver in exchange for their services. 

Student Loans

To help pay for college, student loans can be a good option to consider. Federal loans, bank loans, group and trust loans, and other funding sources are available. Unlike scholarships and grants, student loans must be repaid to the lender with interest. While they might help with bearing educational costs, they can also increase the amount of student debt owed, making repayment more onerous, potentially taking years.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a standardized form that applicants can fill in and submit to assess whether or not they are eligible for financial aid. More FAFSA-related information is available here.

More information on various funding options is available in the best Financial Guide.

Scholarships for Online Masters in Web Design Development

Scholarships are the best way to fund a college education as the awarded money does not have to be paid back. Besides, getting a scholarship will take a load off one’s head, not having to worry about paying for college. Several individuals and organizations provide scholarships to students studying web design development and related programs. Here are some examples:

DesignCrowd Web, Graphic & Logo Design Scholarship

DesignCrowd Web, Graphic & Logo Design Scholarship for Innovation in Digital Art provides financial assistance to graduates in design or a related academic field to further their careers and express their creative talents. 

Amount/Award :

Closed for 2021 | TBA for 2023

The BOWEN Web Design Scholarship

The BOWEN Web Design Scholarship is awarded semi-annually to full or part-time students with a declared major related to web design or development and can demonstrate a visually appealing web design with a high-quality user experience, navigation, and good content structure. 


July 15 and December 15, every year 

Graphic Web Design Scholarship Program

The Graphic Web Design Scholarship Program is open to all undergraduate or postgraduate students taking part in an Art, Graphic Design, Visual Communication, or Creative Advertising course at a US or Canadian-based University or College. Applicants must send in their portfolio containing “a banner or a full-size image”, which will be evaluated. 

Amount/Award :

Deadline :
May 15, every year 

Free Courses for Online Masters in Web Design Development

While free online courses may not lead to a master’s degree, they are frequently offered by some of the world’s greatest universities and can provide students with additional knowledge and insights not available in the classroom or a textbook. Students might benefit significantly from them in their everyday studies, assignments, exams, and capstone projects. Here are some free resources for students pursuing a master’s degree in web design development: 

Course Topics on Web Design Development 
Offered by Udemy 
Description Udemy has a collection of a whopping over 10,000 free courses related to web design development! These courses cater to different learning levels from beginners to professionals and cover almost every conceivable topic in web design development. 
Course Topics on Web Design Development 
Offered by Coursera 
Description Coursera is a popular site that offers courses, projects, specializations, professional certificates, and more. Some topics include Foundations of User Experience (UX) Design, Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding, Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more. 
Course Topics on Web Design Development 
Offered by Webflow University 
Description Webflow University offers curated courses covering HTML and CSS basics to SEO and CMS essentials. Some examples are SEO Fundamentals, CMS & Dynamic Content, CSS Layout & Positioning, Interactions & Animations, etc. 
Course Topics on Web Design Development 
Offered by EdX 
Description EdX has a wide section of web design development courses. Topics include Computer Science for Web Programming, Programming for the Web with JavaScript, UX Data Analysis, Digital Marketing Fundamentals, and more. 

FAQs about Online Masters in Web Design Development Programs

What is web design?

In short, web design is the art and science of creating the appearance, feel, and functionality of a website or online page. Target audiences can have a better user experience if websites have a clear user interface and are simple to use. HTML, HTML5, cascading style sheets, colors, JavaScript, responsive design, layouts, social media, text size, graphics, and so much more are all essential parts of successful web design. For a web browser to render content, a developer will need to know a variety of programming languages, backend code development, and more. 

Can I do a web design development degree online?

Which is the best college for web design development degree?

Is web design development hard?

What can I do with web design development?

How long is a web design development masters?

Is a web design masters worth it?

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Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online Masters in Web Design Development

Web design and programming abilities are in high demand in a variety of industries, including business, nonprofit, academic, government, and health care. Students of an online master’s in web design development graduate with the highly marketable skills employers are looking for and will have innumerable opportunities to shape the next wave of technological advancement. Across sectors, some of the roles and job titles graduates can take on are: 

  • Unreal Developer
  • Unity Developer
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Product Engineer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Augmented Reality Developer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Virtual Reality Developer
  • Web/Multimedia Graphics Designer
  • Mobile Applications Developer
  • Designer/Developer
  • Web Content Coordinator
  • eBusiness Developer
  • Configuration Manager
  • Game Developer
  • Full-Stack Developer
  • Lead Web Developer
  • Technical Architect
  • Web Programmer
  • User Interface Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Web/Multimedia Projects Manager

Web developers and designers are paid well and have ample scope to earn more as they gain experience in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Web Developers and Digital Designers earn a median annual salary of $77,200, and jobs are expected to grow by 23% between 2020 and 2030, faster than average. Similarly, connected roles of Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers take home a median annual salary of $110,140, with jobs projected to grow an astounding 25%, much faster than average.

Certifications and Licensing for Online Masters in Web Design Development

When an individual is certified, it means they have gone through a rigorous process to prove mastery of a specific subject or skill. While standards and eligibility differ by subject, in general, certified individuals are deemed to have substantial firsthand experience and training in their field, having passed a rigorous examination. In brief, a certification is a useful tool for finding professionals who have advanced to the top of their profession and are well-qualified to offer the best services their clients need. Here are a few certifications for web design development students and working professionals: 

  1. Certified Web Designer Associate (CWDSA)
    The Certified Web Designer Associate (CWDSA) certification assesses more than just the fundamental skills required of aspiring and current Web designers. At the standard described by this test specification, the individual must demonstrate a working knowledge of Internet basics, HTML including HTML5, CSS3 and WYSIWYG editors, web graphics, web audio and video, website design, website management, and basic legal issues.
  2. Certified Web Professional (CWP)
    The Certified Web Professional (CWP) is administered by the International Web Association (IWA). It assures the effectiveness of the services rendered by the professional to the public and provides recognition to those practitioners who have attained unquestioned professional status in a single discipline based on examination, professionalism, and experience.
  3. CIW Web Foundations Associate
    The CIW Web Foundations Associate certification, administered by the Certified Internet Web Professionals (CIW), is ideal for professionals who use the Internet on the job. It validates their understanding of important technologies that affect virtually every business. Once certified, these individuals are ready to pursue specialties in Web design, JavaScript e-commerce, databases, and other fields.
  4. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
    The Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification is a vital credential to earn to further one’s profession. For those web developers and designers who use Adobe as the program of choice, this certification endorses their skill in various interactive and online content areas, including web design, video, rich Internet applications, technical communications, and eLearning. Apart from ACE, Adobe also offers a host of other certifications as well.
  5. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer
    The AWS Certified Developer certification is best suited for those who design or develop applications on the AWS platform. This certification will help prove one’s proficiency in designing, developing, and maintaining cloud-based solutions and applications using AWS solutions and the platform.

Additional Resources for Masters in Web Design Development Online

Web design and development can be challenging at times, with the constant introduction of newer technologies and related hardware and software improvements. The field is vast and subjective and cannot be learned completely, even if one has mastered most coding principles and methodology. Therefore, students must find ways to connect with others and share ideas, brainstorm, find solutions to problems, and expand their scope and expertise through various resources available on the internet. Here are some fantastic resources to do help with that: 

  1. W3Schools
    W3Schools is a freemium educational platform that teaches individuals how to code on the internet. It provides courses in web development that cover all facets of the field and is the largest web developer site on the internet, with 3 billion pages displayed each year and 60 million visitors each month. Students can learn anything from HTML and CSS to PHP, jQuery, and Bootstrap.
  2. Atom
    Atom is a highly customizable text editor with many features to keep a developer occupied right out of the box. It is cross-platform, offers intelligent autocomplete (which is helpful when writing code), allows to work in several regions of the screen, and supports a variety of programming languages, including JavaScript, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails.
  3. Git
    Git is a free and open-source distributed version control system that can easily handle everything from tiny to very large projects. It is simple to understand and use, with a small footprint and lightning-quick performance. With capabilities like cheap local branching, convenient staging areas, and numerous workflows, it outperforms most other SCM solutions.
  4. Stack Overflow
    Stack Overflow is a congregation of over 7 million programmers that help each other with questions and answers related to coding and development. This online community is the go-to destination for freely sharing tips, tricks, advice, and information.
  5. GitHub
    GitHub is the largest and most advanced development platform in the world. Millions of developers and companies build, ship, and maintain their software on GitHub. Students can access a wide range of open-source guides, a learning lab, and a strong community of developers to help them become better web designers and developers.

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