Online Web Design Degree Program Information

Get info about online programs in web design. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Online Web design degree programs can be found at the undergraduate level from a number of schools. Students in online Web design programs learn about designing, creating and maintaining websites using the latest software.

Students who wish to take online programs will need to have a stable internet connection, computer and relevant Web design software like Adobe Photoshop. Some schools may also require students to have a basic understanding of HTML. These programs are available in fully online formats and typically culminate in a portfolio of work.

Certificate in Web Design

Online Web design certificates prepare graduates for entry-level careers working as Web designers. Students in a typical Web design certificate programs learn how to use Web design software, along with how to edit images and layouts to create and maintain effective user-friendly websites. Students combine their creative abilities and technical knowledge while creating a portfolio of their work to show potential employers.

Program Information and Requirements

Online Web design certificate programs can be completed entirely over the Internet and typically take 3-4 months to complete. Students use programs such as WebCT to access lectures and assignments. However, most programs typically require specific software to complete coursework, such as Adobe software.

Students planning on entering an online Web design certificate program will need reliable access to a computer and high-speed Internet. Some programs may also require students to have a basic knowledge of Macintosh and Windows operating systems or a basic knowledge of HTML.

Certificate-Level Web Design Courses

Coursework in these certificate programs typically consists of core Web design courses. However, students may have the option of choosing electives in their area of interest, such as advanced Flash animation or the design of user help systems.

Graphics for the Web

Web graphics courses focus on the various colors, textures, backgrounds, images and options for typography used in different types of websites. The creation of interactive graphics, such as buttons and navigation bars, is also covered.

Digital Imaging

Digital imaging coursework covers the basics of digital photography, including scanning, screen captures and image editing. In addition, students learn to prepare images for various types of media using popular software, such as Adobe Photoshop.

Multimedia Applications

This course covers the various uses and applications of multimedia materials found anywhere from education to marketing. Students learn about the production practices used in creating interactive multimedia, such as the use of video, audio and design.

Database Creation

Students learn how to implement databases for Web development by building Web forms and database records. Additional issues, such as security and reliability, are also covered.


E-commerce explores the ways that websites are used to conduct business online. Topics covered include security, payment options, encryption and copyright.

Associate's Degree in Web Design

Associate's degrees in Web design cover the latest technologies and design principles used to create dynamic websites. As in a certificate program, students learn to use color, layouts, images and text to create websites. Degree programs also cover other aspects related to a career as a Web professional, such as project management, communication and networking. Additionally, graduates will typically have a portfolio of work to show prospective employers.

Program Information and Requirements

Coursework for associate's degree programs can be completed entirely online. These programs typically take two years to complete.

Students who are interested in pursuing an online associate's degree in Web design will need access to the Internet and a computer that meets the minimum hardware and browser requirements; these might include an up-to-date operating system and the latest version of Safari or Internet Explorer. Some programs may also require students to obtain specific software, such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Flash.

Associate's-Level Web Design Courses

Coursework covers general education material in addition to core Web design courses, although students may be required to have some previous experience working with computers or HTML. Coursework is typically delivered using an online content management system like Blackboard or WebCT, where students can view assignments and projects and interact with instructors and classmates via messages.

Information Design

Information design teaches students how to structure information to create user-friendly interfaces. Students learn to cater to specific audiences when creating site maps, navigation systems and interactive websites.

Website Design

Website design covers the development and implementation of different types of websites. Students learn about both the front and backend processes involved in creating and publishing websites for commercial and informational uses.


Animation explores the theories, practices and software used in animation. Students learn to use graphics, images and audio to create storyboards and animation projects.

Web Scripting

Web scripting classes teach students to use markup languages to hand-code Web pages. Students learn about creating and maintaining websites and study additional topics such as stylesheets, browsers, JavaScript and Web standards.


A course in multimedia covers the applications used to create multimedia presentations for the Internet. Topics include streaming audio and video files, types of files, file conversion and using animation.

Career Information

Graduates with an associate's degree are prepared for a number of positions, such as Web designer, webmaster, media producer or project manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for graphic designers is expected to grow 1% for the years 2014 through 2024. The BLS states that graphic designers earned a median salary of $46,900 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of online Web design certificate programs may pursue a few avenues for advancement. Some may be able to gain higher-level positions with experience, while others may seek additional certification in a specialized area found through software vendors or educational institutions. Graduates may also choose to pursue degrees in the field of Web or graphic design.

Students interested in a Web design degree program can complete a certificate or associate's programs completely online. During these programs, students complete coursework completely online with the required software and internet connection.

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