School and Ranking Information
There are about nine schools in the Chicago area with e-commerce degree programs, including both public and private non-profit institutions, as well as both 2-year and 4-year schools. Based on rankings and program offerings, the following schools are considered among the best in the area:
- Winner: DePaul University is the top choice because it's nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and it offers both bachelor's and master's degree programs in e-commerce technology.
- Runner-Up #1: Northwestern University has been ranked in the top 12 on USNWR's list of best national universities. It has a highly ranked graduate program in computer science that includes a master's degree program with studies e-commerce technology. It falls behind DePaul in these rankings since it's not located directly in Chicago; it's about 13 miles north of the city.
- Runner-Up #2: Harper College is a 2-year institution in suburban Palatine, IL, with an associate's degree program that includes a certificate specialization in e-commerce business.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||DePaul University||Northwestern University||Harper College|
|Rankings (2013)||Ranked 134th among all national universities in the U.S.*|| Ranked 12th among all national universities in U.S.*
35th best graduate computer science program in the nation*
|Location||Chicago, IL||Evanston, IL (about 13 miles from Chicago)||Palatine, IL (roughly 27 miles from Chicago)|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, private not-for-profit||2-year, public|
|Tuition||$770 per credit hour (graduate level courses in the College of Computing, 2013-2014)***||$43,380 (average graduate tuition, 2012-2013)**||$3,006 in-district; $9,186 in-state; $10,986 out-of-state (undergraduate tuition and fees for 2012-2013)**|
|E-Commerce Degrees and Certificates Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees||Master's degrees||Associate's degree and certificate programs|
|E-Commerce Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||22**||N/A||5**|
|Most Popular E-Commerce Programs in 2011-2012||Master of Science in E-Commerce Technology (15 degrees awarded)**||N/A||Certificate of Achievement in E-Commerce Business (5 certificates awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)||68% (2006 Entering Class)**||93% (2006 Entering Class)**||20% (2009 Entering Class)**|
|Noteworthy||Houses the Mobile Commerce Lab, a research and development center that highlights interface design in e-commerce, gaming and mobile design||Professional faculty members skilled in design and management of e-commerce technology, such as object-oriented systems and data warehousing for point-of-sale purchasing||Courses available on campus, online, evenings and weekends|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***School website
Winner: DePaul University
- Named a top college in the Midwest by The Princeton Review in 2013
- Ranked 71st in the Midwest region for 2013 by Forbes
- E-commerce master's degree program is offered on campus and online
DePaul University is a 4-year, private Roman Catholic university located in the heart of Chicago. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in computing is offered through the School for New Learning, a division that focuses on professional training for adults aged 24 and over. The computing B.A. program includes a focus track in e-commerce technology, which trains students in design, programming and system development with some classes in computing for the Web, Web development, human-computer interaction and XML programming.
DePaul also offers a 53-credit Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in e-commerce technology that prepares graduates for careers in e-commerce systems development and management. Concentrations are available in e-commerce technology, human-computer interaction, database technology and software engineering through the selection of electives. Required core classes include enterprise infrastructure, e-commerce Web engineering, database technology and object-oriented modeling, and all program participants complete a capstone course in e-business strategy. Advanced studies could include Intranets, Internet supply chain management and secure e-commerce, and some electives are available in social marketing, mobile enterprise, content management systems and global software development.
Runner-Up #1: Northwestern University
- Ranked 17th among schools in the U.S. in 2013 by Forbes
- Listed as a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review in 2013
- U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 12th among national universities in the U.S. in 2013
- The master's program in information systems is offered on-campus, as well as fully online
Northwestern University, a private university situated just outside of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers two e-commerce-related master's degree programs through its School of Continuing Studies. The 11-course M.S. in Information Systems program has seven areas of specialization, including the database and Internet technologies track that trains students for careers in design, analysis and administration of the relational database systems often used in e-commerce. Some of the core classes include object-oriented programming, database systems design and telecommunication networks, as well as an individual or team-based capstone project or a research thesis. Specialization electives may include Web application development, software project management and data warehousing.
Also available is a fully online, part-time M.S. degree program in predictive analytics. This 11-course program features training in much of the technology used in e-commerce, such as data warehousing, Web analytics and database management.
Runner-Up #2: Harper College
- Only school in the Chicago area with certificate program in e-commerce
- Program approved by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
Harper College is a 2-year school in northwest suburban Chicago that has an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in business administration with an optional 15-credit marketing certificate program in e-commerce business. The certificate program can be taken as part of the A.A.S. degree or on its own.
Not a technology-heavy program, this e-commerce concentration trains students in the business aspects of e-commerce and Web-based organizations. Required classes in the 15-credit certificate program include small business management, Internet marketing and e-commerce development. Program participants also complete six credits from electives that could include consumer behavior, Web development, intellectual property and marketing research.