Top 30 Affordable Bachelor’s in Web Design Degrees 2024

Web design and web development are two different elements of the creation of websites, web apps, and mobile apps. However, study of these subjects often goes hand in hand. Some of the undergraduate programs you will find in this ranking of the most affordable web site design and development degrees will focus almost entirely on design. Others will focus almost entirely on development. And some will incorporate elements of both. So if you are interested in either design and development, or both design and development, you will find an affordable program within this ranking that meets your needs. For those who aren’t sure about the differences between web design and development I will go into more detail about the differences about them, and the elements of each, in the FAQ at the end of the article. The FAQ will also cover the differences in earnings between the two, and the benefits of specializing in one of the two vs. the benefits of pursuing both.

Reviewing the Cheapest Web Design Degree Programs

#1. Brigham Young University-Idaho

Bachelor’s in Web Design & Development

Website

Brigham Young University Idaho - logo

A leader in higher education, BYU-Idaho offers both associate degree (AAS) and bachelor of science (BS) degree programs in web design and development for prospective digital designers and programmers. The program offers modules with areas of specialization in either web design or development. In addition to general education courses, prospective students will take courses like:

Featured Programs

  • Database Design and Development
  • Programming with Classes
  • Typography
  • Graphic Design
  • Content Management Systems
  • Interaction Design
  • Web Backend Development

Twenty electives are available including courses in:

  • .NET Software Development
  • Web Full-Stack Development
  • Digital Media Analytics and Strategy
  • Web Business Creation

Financial aid is available to eligible students, including distance learners.

Tuition: $4,416

#2. Bellevue University

Online Bachelor of Science in Web Dev.

Website

Bellevue University - logo

In terms of online degree programs, Bellevue University offers an online web dev degree for aspiring web developers. The program requires 36 general education credits, 36 credits in the major, and 55 elective credits. The great number of electives will allow students to customize their degree to fit their career goals. Core requirements include online courses like:

  • Internet Systems Architecture
  • Enterprise JavaScript
  • Intro to NoSQL
  • Node.js
  • Business Environment for Web Professionals

Qualified students who meet admission requirements should apply for financial aid. Applicants must complete an online application to be considered for admission.

Tuition: $8,310

#3. Franklin University

Online Bachelor’s in Web Development

Website

Franklin University - logo

Franklin offers a 124-credit hour degree in development online, but if you live near a campus you can also take on-campus courses like traditional students. Core courses offered for this web developer program include:

  • Graphic Editing Software
  • Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Principles of Programming
  • Javascript for Programmers
  • Web Information Systems Programming
  • Principles of Computer Networks
  • Database Management Systems
  • Web Forms

A senior portfolio may also be required prior to graduation.

Tuition: $9,577

#4. Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Media Arts

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - logo

One of the best online programs in our ranking, SNHU offers a 120-credit hour graphic design degree for working professionals with a concentration in web design. It’s perfect for students who want to focus on web design careers rather than development. In addition to general education classes, students develop skills necessary for digital designers through major courses like:

  • Basic Design and Color Theory
  • Digital Graphic Design for the Web
  • Advanced Digital Graphic Design for the Web
  • Digital Publishing
  • Web Technologies
  • Digital Workflow in Graphic Industries
  • Interactive Animation for the Web
  • Advanced Multiplatform Design
  • User Interface and Experience

No prior learning or previous coursework in web design is required.

Tuition: $15,380

#5. Youngstown State University

Online BS in Computer Science: Web Design and Multimedia

Website

Youngstown State University - logo

Youngstown State University is home to a 120-credit hour computer science degree with a web design minor for the aspiring web designer. The minor is 19 credits and builds on the major degree with courses like:

  • Multimedia Technology
  • Multimedia Authoring
  • Client-Side Scripting
  • Web Technologies
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Computer Technology for Digital Image Processing
  • Survey of Computer Science and Information Systems

Youngstown State is one of the leading regional universities in the Midwest, according to US News & World Report.

Tuition: $10,021

#6. Baker College

Online BS in Information Systems: Development

Website

Baker College - logo

Baker College offers an exclusively online development concentration within their information systems online degree. Online students will take courses like:

  • Computer Operating Systems and Maintenance
  • Database Management and Design
  • Information Systems Strategy
  • Management and Acquisition Database Programming
  • Web Scripting
  • World Wide Web Design
  • Interactive Web Design

The program requires 21-credit hour’s worth of classes in the concentration.

Tuition: $12,420

#7. Wilmington University

Online Bachelor’s in Web Design

Website

Wilmington University- logo

One of the best web design programs in the country, Wilmington University is home to a bachelor’s degree in web design with the opportunity to earn a graduate certificate in management information systems or technology project management. Using five of your elective courses to earn the graduate certificate means you will also have 15 credits toward a master’s degree in information systems technology. As a future web designer, you will take courses for the online degree like:

  • PHP Application Development
  • User-Centered Design
  • Basic InDesign
  • Basic Photoshop
  • Vector Drawing
  • Concept Development
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Visual Design

Online students have full access to student services, and even out-of-state students pay in-state tuition for online programs.

Tuition: $11,760

#8. Northwest Missouri State University

Online Bachelor’s in Digital Media: Computer Science Programming

Website

Northwest Missouri State University - logo

Northwest Missouri State offers a bachelor’s in digital media: computer science programming. Students learn concepts through professional courses in:

  • Design
  • Computer Graphics
  • Web Publishing
  • Development

Program graduates have worked for Amazon, Apple, Cerner, Garmin, Target, and Giant Media. Students can gain real-world experience through the unique program called Knacktive where they will work with a team of other students for one semester to conduct market research, analyze data, and write and present creative strategies to a potential client.

Tuition: $8,852

#9. New York City College of Technology

Online BFA in Communication Design

Website

New York City College of Technology - logo

City Tech offers a bachelor of fine arts degree in communication design, which allows students to choose a concentration in web design. Students complete electives to build their own web design degree, choosing from courses in topics like:

  • Graphic Design
  • Digital Illustration
  • Web Design I, II & III
  • Photography
  • 3D Design
  • Advanced Typography
  • Publication Design
  • Design for Mobile Devices

Graduates are prepared to take on various job titles in the web design and digital design industry.

Tuition: $7,320

#10. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Bachelor’s in Information Technology: Web Development Program

Website

Alfred State College of Technology - logo

SUNY College at Alfred offers their web design degree as part of their information technology program. Students learn through courses like:

  • Microcomputer Systems
  • Computer Programming
  • Database Application and Programming
  • Intro to Development
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Essentials of Information Security
  • Web Programming
  • Database Concepts
  • Web Applications

The university may accept transfer credits toward this degree, allowing students to complete their studies in a timely manner.

Tuition: $8,857

#11. Weber State University

Online Bachelor of Web & User Experience: User Experience Design

Website

Weber State University - logo

Weber State offers a bachelor’s degree in web and user experience (UX). Students learn through courses like:

  • Dynamic Languages for Development
  • LAMP Stack Development
  • MEAN Stack Development
  • User Interface Prototyping and Design
  • Small Business Management
  • Professional and Technical Writing
  • Advanced Database Programming
  • Server-Side Web Architecture
  • Usability in Web and Software Design

This curriculum satisfies skills needed by future employers in the industry.

Tuition: $6,228

#12. Utah Valley University

Bachelor’s in Web Design & Development

Website

Utah Valley University - logo

In terms of web design programs, this is one of the best. Utah Valley’s web design and development degree program has an emphasis in interaction and design, and an emphasis in web and app development. The design emphasis includes courses like:

  • Digital Design Essentials
  • Communicating Digital Design
  • Web Essentials
  • Interaction Design
  • Adobe Creative Design
  • Digital Media for Intercultural Communication

The development emphasis features courses like:

  • Web Languages
  • Web Tools and Frameworks
  • Rich Internet Application Development
  • Computer Programming

This is one of the most affordable bachelor’s in design and development currently available.

Tuition: $6,010

#13. Northern Michigan University

Bachelor’s in Mobile and Web App Development

Website

Northern Michigan University - logo

Northern Michigan University offers an undergraduate degree in mobile and web app development. The program places a greater emphasis on programming and includes courses like:

  • Programming in C++
  • Data Structures
  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Network Programming
  • iOS Programming
  • Android Programming
  • Client-Side Web Programming
  • Server-Side Web Programming

A capstone project may also be required for graduation.

Tuition: $12,918

#14. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Online Bachelor’s in Development

Website

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point-logo

Students graduating from the development program offered online at UW-Stevens Point can expect to work in areas like UX design and research, interface design, interaction design, mobile design and development, and website design, development, and administration. Students will take online classes like:

  • Web Design/Development
  • Digital Image Development
  • Multimedia Authoring
  • Principles of Management
  • Introduction to Digital Media Creation

The school offers affordable tuition rates for prospective students.

Tuition: $8,331

#15. Lindenwood University

Online BFA in Web and User Experience

Website

Lindenwood University- logo

One of the top web design degrees available, Lindenwood University offers a bachelor of fine arts in art and design with a web and user experience emphasis. Students will have the opportunity to become Adobe certified in one of each of Adobe’s relevant programs each semester, including Adobe Creative Cloud. Students can also take a class in the university’s digital web design firm, DWD, where students can gain real world experience, hone communication skills, and build their portfolio while working with local clients.

Tuition: $18,640

#16. SUNY Morrisville

Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology: Web Development

Website

SUNY- Morrisville- logo

SUNY Morrisville offers a bachelor of technology in information technology (development). The program includes a semester-long internship at a business site during senior year that counts for 12 credits. The program covers area like:

  • Database Design and Management
  • Web Security
  • Interface Design

Additional courses include several programming languages relevant to development and web technology.

Tuition: $8,741

#17. Husson University

Online Bachelor’s in Integrated Technology: Web Design

Website

Husson University-Cheapest Web Design/Development Degrees

In terms of web design degrees, this one is worth considering. Husson offers a bachelor’s degree in integrated technology with a concentration in web design and development. Husson designs its curriculum to constantly update to incorporate emerging technologies. Students will study subjects like:

Featured Programs

  • Visual and Experience Design
  • Technical Development
  • Marketing
  • Graphic Information Technology
  • Project Management

The program covers these topics across a variety of platforms including desktop, mobile, and internet technologies.

Tuition: $20,430

#18. Davenport University

Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems: Web and Mobile Development

Website

Davenport University - logo

Davenport University offers a web and mobile development specialty within their online computer information systems degree. Students will take courses like:

  • Mobile Application Development
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Advanced Object-Oriented Programming
  • Discrete Structures
  • Computer Systems Design
  • Data Structures and Algorithms

There’s also a three-credit internship/field experience done with a software publisher toward the end of the program.

Tuition: $20,964

#19. Lewis-Clark State College

Online Bachelor’s in Web Design & Development

Website

Lewis- Clark State College - logo

Lewis-Clark offers both an associate level and bachelor level web design and development degree. The curriculum for the program introduces students to topics like:

  • Web Authoring Systems
  • Internship in Computer Information Technology
  • Interactive Web Script
  • Professional Portfolio Design
  • Fundamentals of Computer Programming
  • Introduction to Web Design and Development

A professional development component may also be included at the culmination of the program. Official high school transcripts are required for admission.

Tuition: $6,982

#20. Harding University

Online Bachelor of Communications: Web Design

Website

Harding University- logo

Harding offers an online web design minor that can pair with any degree in the department of communications. Options for this online program include communication studies, film, integrated marketing communication, media production, multimedia journalism, and public relations. The web design minor includes courses in:

  • Design Foundations
  • Design Software and Production
  • Project Development in Digital Media
  • Web Concepts
  • Graphic Design
  • Internet Communication
  • Web Media
  • Programming

Institutional scholarships may be available to those who qualify.

Tuition: $22,230

#21. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Online Bachelor’s in Web Design and Development

Website

University of Arkansas - Little Rock - logo

University of Arkansas offers a bachelor’s in web design and development online program. Career opportunities for graduates include web designer, UX/UI designer, applications developer, and web content manager. Online web design students will take courses like:

  • Two-Dimensional Design
  • Computer Applications in Art
  • Graphic Design
  • Advanced Web Design
  • Typography

Elective courses in image editing, database concepts, electronic commerce, web client applications, social computing, vector graphics for illustrators and designers, and non-linear video editing are also available.

Tuition: $8,366

#22. Liberty University

Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology: Web and Mobile Programming

Website

Liberty University - logo

Liberty University offers an online degree in information technology web programming. Students will take on a course load covering subjects like:

  • Database Management
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information and Computing Sciences
  • Information Security
  • Programming Languages
  • Web Architecture

Courses include client-side programming, server-side programming, and web programming. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Liberty University to award this credential.

Tuition: $22,713

#23. Central Connecticut State University

Online BA in Graphic/Information Design

Website

Central Connecticut State University - logo

The graphic and information design degree at CCSU is rooted in the liberal arts and broadly focused on all elements of web, graphic, multimedia design and 3d animation. Fundamental concepts and courses include:

  • Graphic/Information Design
  • History and Design of Typography
  • Digital Imaging/Motion Graphics
  • History of Design
  • Computer Applications for Graphic/Information Design
  • Drawing
  • Illustration
  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Art History

The university’s school rankings place it at the top of the list for public schools nationwide.

Tuition: $11,542

#24. Eastern Washington University

Online Bachelor’s in Visual Communication Design

Website

Eastern Washington- logo

A leader in higher education, Eastern Washington University offers a bachelor in visual communication design that covers the essential knowledge and skills related to both print and web design. Students will take courses in an online format, including:

  • Visual Communication Design (I, II, & III)
  • Digital Photography
  • Web Design
  • History of Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Typography
  • Print Media
  • Visual Thinking

Students will have two courses devoted to building their portfolio.

Tuition: $7,922

#25. Trevecca Nazarene University

Web Design Track

Website

Trevecca Nazarene University - logo

Students can choose to pursue web design and through Trevecca’s information technology, graphic design, or computer science degrees. It’s available as a track in all three of those majors. The computer science web design track will have a more programming, app development focus. The information technology angle will deal more with the backend operations of web development and security. The graphic design web design track will focus more on user experience, front end web development, and design. All three emphasize critical thinking skills and problem solving. Trevecca University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $26,898

#26. Indiana Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Science in Web Dev.

Website

Indiana Tech- logo

Graduates of the web development degree program at IIT have worked in a variety of professions including advertising, publishing, finance/commerce, health care, and entertainment. Students will take courses like:

  • Principles of Information Systems
  • Database Systems
  • Digital Imaging
  • Programming
  • Visual Communication
  • Cybersecurity
  • Dynamic Web Applications

The curriculum also includes two full portfolio courses and a 1-6 credit internship.

Tuition: $28,840

#27. Columbia College Chicago

Online Bachelor’s in Interaction Design

Website

Columbia College Chicago- logo

Columbia College-Chicago offers a major in interaction design with concentrations in web and mobile applications development, graphic design, smart interfaces, and UX. Plus, they offer a full minor in web development. The web development minor pairs especially well with the interaction design degree because interaction design emphasizes front end design and the minor emphasizes back end development. The program takes an art-driven and problem solving approach to electronic design.

Tuition: $27,786

#28. Dakota Wesleyan University

Online Bachelor’s in Digital Media and Design: Web Design

Website

Dakota Wesleyan University- logo

Dakota Wesleyan University offers a bachelor’s degree in digital media and design with a web design concentration. Most students considering a career in front end design, user experience design, and user interface design may find this degree meets all their needs. Students will take courses like:

  • Web Page Design
  • Digital Imaging
  • Digital Media/Design Portfolio
  • Color Theory Design
  • Typography
  • Communication, Media, and Society

Graduates are prepared to fill job openings in digital design, web design, and related careers.

Tuition: $30,880

#29. Lesley University

Online Bachelor’s in Interactive Design

Website

Lesley University - logo

Graduates from Lesley University’s interactive design program work in mobile app design, digital product design, user experience design, user interface design, and web design. Some strong choices for a minor include web design, user experience, graphic design. The web design minor includes courses like:

  • User Experience
  • Sketching for Interactive Design
  • Advanced Web Projects
  • Digital Culture
  • Information Architecture

Official transcripts are required for the application process.

Tuition: $29,550

#30. Graceland University-Lamoni

Online Bachelor’s in Web Design

Website

Graceland University- Lamoni

Graceland University’s web design degree does incorporate some basic elements of development into the degree. Students develop design and critical thinking skills through courses like:

  • Systems in Design
  • Computer Graphics for Art and Design
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Database Concepts and SQL
  • Intermediate Programming
  • Designing Digital Images
  • E-Commerce Strategies

Students will also participate in either a graphic design internship or an internship in information technology.

Tuition: $31,920

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between a web design program and web development program?

A web design program teaches students the artistic and human interaction side of the website. Degree programs for website designers focus on color theory, graphic design, layout, user experience, and other elements of the user-facing side of a website. Web designers work a lot in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, which they use to depict the overall intended look and feel of the website and create the custom graphics that will be used. Not every graphic designer is a web designer. But most web designers are graphic designers, who have also studied design subjects specific to websites like user experience, human interaction design, and information design.

Web developers build the website. They execute the vision of the graphic designer or web designer. Web developers take the concepts laid out by the designers, and create the website. If designers are the architects, developers are the builders. Developers understand programming languages. They create databases and write the code, html, and css that bring the website to life. They are also instrumental in maintaining and updating websites and their servers and databases.

How much do web designers and developers earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that web developers earn a median annual salary of $78,300 per year after successfully completing their degree programs. Job growth is estimated to be 22%, which is much faster than average, and amounts to an additional 45,400 jobs in the market between 2021 and 2031.

The average salary for web designers in 2021 was $79.890 per year. Job growth rate is estimated at 23% which is also much faster than average, and amounts to an additional 21,800 jobs added between 2021 and 2031.

Like virtually any industry, web designers and developers with graduate degrees will make more than those with an associate’s or bachelor’s credential.

I’ve heard the term “full-stack web developer” a lot lately. What does it mean?

Some developers specialize in server side development (the part the user never sees), while others specialize in client-side development (the part of the website the user interacts with). Full-stack developers know the coding languages, software, and technologies to develop both the server and client sides of websites.

On large projects with a development team, you will often have server side developers and client side developers working on the project. Full stack developers are often responsible for ensuring project cohesion, and solving potential problems faced by both teams of developers.

Becoming a full-stack developer is definitely the most difficult career path, as they are required to develop skills with twice as many technologies, programming language requirements, scripting languages, and both client and server side software and tools. But if you can do it, you will have more career opportunities too.

Which degree should I choose? Web design or development?

Both bachelor’s degrees are solid choices, so this all comes down to what you want personally. If you’re more interested in graphic design, and designing the layout and general functionality of websites, then design is a great choice. If you’re more interested in the technical aspects of coding and building websites or becoming a software developer, then development is a great choice. But no matter which you choose, you will probably benefit from using your electives, or a minor option, to pick up important skills from the other discipline.

For designers, having programming skills and knowing the power and limits of development technologies can help you design websites. For developers, adding graphic design and other website design skill sets to your toolkit will help you be even more versatile and grant you even more opportunities.

Why not go to a coding bootcamp and get all this training much faster than earning a degree?

Coding bootcamps offered through a third-party professional organization can be a great option for many professionals. But they’re also more limited than a bachelor’s degree. Coding bootcamps make you highly specialized, and if all you want are the skills required to work in web development, they might serve your needs better than a degree program. However, most coding bootcamps aren’t accredited, and nothing you study there will count as college credits. Which means if you want to go to college at some point, say to earn a master’s degree, you would still have to earn a bachelor’s first in most cases.

Coding bootcamps, even those attached to a regionally accredited college or university, aren’t eligible for the same kinds of federal financial aid, and they tend to be quite expensive – as expensive or even more expensive in some cases than a year or two in college.

There is also, currently, not a system for accrediting coding bootcamps. So it’s difficult to tell the difference between the legitimate bootcamps and the ones that just want to take your money.

Coding bootcamps can be a great thing for people whose specific needs they meet. Maybe you already have a degree and you want to retrain. Maybe you already have a job and acquiring this skillset quickly will help you advance or transition into another, better job. Maybe you want to acquire a useful skill set after earning your high school diploma without taking four years out of your life to earn a degree. Coding bootcamps definitely have advantages. And so does a college degree in website design or development. Weigh your options and your needs carefully. Think about your future, and make the best choice you can!

CVO Staff

Sources

This concludes our ranking of the top 30 options for a degree in web design or development.