Top College for Becoming a Professional Web Designer - Santa Monica, CA

School and Ranking Information

There are nearly 20 colleges and universities ranging from public to private for-profit institutions that offer programs in or relating to Web design in the Santa Monica, CA, area. The following colleges are considered the top three schools in and near Santa Monica for Web design studies based on such factors as rankings, number of degrees conferred and student-to-faculty ratio:

  • Winner: Otis College of Art and Design, located less than seven miles from Santa Monica in Los Angeles, CA, is the top overall pick because it awards the highest number of degrees or certificates in Web design and related fields. It also has the lowest student-to-faculty ratio among schools providing Web design programs and courses in the Santa Monica area. Otis College offers a certificate in the field.
  • Runner Up #1: The Art Center College of Design, about 21 miles from Santa Monica in Pasadena, is the first runner up due to the level of study the school offers. It awards the second-highest number of these degrees in design. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree.
  • Runner Up #3: Placing third is Santa Monica College. The school ranks in this spot due to its student population and school type. It is the largest and only public school located directly in Santa Monica offering studies in Web design. Santa Monica College offers a certificate and an associate's degree in the field.

School Comparison Chart

Category Otis College of Art and Design Art Center College of Design Santa Monica College
Rankings Graduate fine arts programs rank #27 among national universities (2012)** Graduate fine arts programs rank 18th and graduate graphic design program ranks 7th among national universities (2012) N/A
Location Los Angeles, CA Pasadena, CA Santa Monica, CA
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Undergrad: $11,300 (for Web design program only)** $36,480*** $1,140 (in district); $1,176 (in state); $7,596 (out-of-state)***
Web Design Programs Offered Certificate Bachelor's degree Certificate and associate's degree
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 57% (2007 entering class)*** 64% (2007 entering class)*** 30% (2010 entering class)***
Noteworthy Offers student and general public access to study abroad opportunities through Otis Art Tours Offers cutting-edge facilities and technology resources School offers three dedicated full-time faculty members with experience in graphic and Web design

Source: *U.S. News and World Report; **Otis College of Arts and Design; ***NCES College Navigator

Winner: Otis College of Art and Design

  • 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Continuing education division offers access to young artist workshops and summer of art programs

Otis College of Art and Design offers an 18-course Digital Media Arts program with an emphasis of study on Web design through the continuing education division. The program enables students to gain hands-on experience in the school's computer lab. The courses cover web design, digital imaging, Flash and typography. Students must complete a portfolio of their work.

Runner-Up #1: Art Center College of Design

  • 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Students have access to fabrication shops and an exploration laboratory

The Art Center College of Design offers a bachelor's degree in graphic design or interaction design. The graphic design program covers topics in communication design, digital design, motion typography and interactive design, which focuses on the basics of web design. The program also includes portfolio creation and career preparation. Within the interaction design program, students learn to design websites and mobile apps through courses in 3D fundamentals, interaction design, design psychology, prototyping and branding strategies. In addition to courses, students complete professional practice and a portfolio.

Runner-Up #2: Santa Monica College

  • Internship opportunities in Web design offered
  • The school's faculty have received sustainability and architectural awards

Santa Monica College offers certificate and associate's degree programs in Web design through the Design Technology Department and Computer Information Systems Department. In the former, students can earn a Certificate of Achievement in Web Design or Associate in Arts in Graphic Design, which provide courses in digital illustration, Web design, motion graphics and digital imaging. Students of the associate's degree program in Computer Information Systems can pursue an area of emphasis in Website Software Specialist, which has coursework in Dreamweaver, Flash, Web page development and Web media production. A certificate in Website Software Specialist, Website Creator and Website Development Management are also offered.

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