The 10 Most Affordable Online Web Design Schools
You’re a true artist ,with creativity, style, and vision. You’re also tech-savvy, with a knack fro problem solving and strategic thinking. You’re a natural for web design, and there’s a bright future ahead of you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% job growth in web design and development by 2026, far exceeding the national average. What’s more, web designers and developers can expect to earn an average salary of $73,773 per year, with the top 10% of professionals earning an average of $93,897.
A web design degree is the place to get started on this exciting and flexible career path. Fortunately, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to earn your degree, or put your life on hold to attend an on-campus school. These days, more and more tech-savvy and ambitious creatives are opting for the flexibility of online degrees, which also tend to be more affordable than brick-and-mortar school programs. And for tech-oriented studies like web design, as you can imagine, a digital classroom is a natural fit. Our listing of the 10 Most Affordable Online Web Design Schools gathers the most affordable online web design degree programs available, ranked based on the cost of out-of-state tuition per undergraduate credit hour. All are accredited, and deliver the range of coursework and quality of instruction that students today are looking for. Read on to find the affordable online degree that’s the best fit for your future in web design.
Featured Accredited Schools
- Academy of Art University – Bachelor of Fine Arts Web Design & New Media
- Full Sail University – B.S. Web Design & Development
- Sanford Brown College – B.S. Web Design & Development
Although affordability was a top consideration, all of the reputable online degree programs on this list are also regionally accredited, offer a variety of programs and courses, provide top-notch instruction, and rank highly in student satisfaction. Let’s take a closer look at these schools to see which affordable online Web design program fits your needs the best.
Check out our methodology here.
Most Affordable Online Web Design Schools
1. Southern New Hampshire University
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit university located in Manchester, New Hampshire. This school has a student body of 73,177 students, about half of whom are enrolled in online classes. This prestigious institute is ranked 86th in Regional Universities, North and 83rd in Best Value Schools by U.S. News and World Report, as well as #1 in Most Innovative Schools. SNHU has launched such innovative endeavors as a simulated stock trading room, a carbon-neutral campus, and a collaboration-based think tank for administrators and instructors. Academics are rigorous at SNHU and class sizes are small, with a student to faculty ratio of just 13 to 1.
SNHU offers a high-quality and exceptionally affordable degree in Computer Graphics with a Concentration in Web Design, as well as 3D Modeling and Animation. The program makes use of the latest, industry-standard technology, such as Adobe Creative Suite, and focuses heavily on creative problem solving. All online classes are taught be experienced web design professionals, and course content can be accessed 24/7. Courses are accelerated, lasting just 8 weeks, with six offered per year. Students with prior coursework behind them will appreciate the school’s generous transfer credit policy, which allows up to 90 credits to be applied towards the degree. SNHU also offers distance learners exceptionally comprehensive online support services, such as advising, tutoring, a writing center, an online library and even health and wellness education. At just $322 per credit, CNHU has the most affordable tuition of any school in our ranking- less than half of some other schools- making it our number one choice for Most Affordable Web Design Degree.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $322
2. Liberty University
Located in in Lynchburg, West Virginia, Liberty University is a large, private, nonprofit Christian university. The famous Baptist minister and activist, reverend Jerry Falwell, founded the school in 1971. With a total of 110,000 on-campus and online students, Liberty is the world’s largest Christian university, and has a wide range of degree programs: 290 bachelors, 315 masters, and 32 doctoral degrees. Equally massive is the school’s campus, which spans 7,000 acres, hold 30 dormitories, and includes a wealth of recreational amenities, such as a mountain bike trail system, a motocross facility, paintball fields, 3D archery range, and ice skating rink. Liberty’s many online degree programs have earned recognition from sources like U.S. News and World Report, which ranks its Graduate Criminal Justice Program, Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA), and Graduate Nursing Program in the nation’s top 125, and Niche ranks Liberty #1 overall in Best Online School in the Nation. The Carnegie Foundation, meanwhile, has designated Liberty as a “research university of moderate research activity.”
Liberty University awards an affordable online degree in Graphic Design
In which students get an overview of art history as well as exposure to hands-on learning focused in digital art. Topics covered include 2D and 3D design, publication design, digital photography, interactive designing, and professional practices. In addition to classroom learning, the degree requires students to complete a 180-hour graphic design internship and 30-hour practicum, under the supervision of a graphic design professional. This work experience will give Liberty graduates in web design a definite competitive edge over their peers. Liberty also places value on workplace experience by awarding credit for on-the-job learning. In the virtual classroom, students learn and compose using current tools and technology, like Adobe Creative Cloud. The entire program takes 120 hours to complete, and up to 90 hours may be transferred in. This challenging and industry-relevant degree comes with incredibly affordable tuition: just $390 per out-of-state credit hour.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $390
3. Bellevue University
Established in 1966, Bellevue University is a private institute which is located in Bellevue, Nebraska. It was founded with the aim of serving non-traditional learners, mainly working adults, and remains highly focused on serving the needs of this population. Today, over 80% of the school’s 10,000 students are 25 years of age or older. Bellevue was ranked among the Top Ten Universities for Adult Learners for 2016 by Washington Monthly and among Forbes’ Best Colleges for Adult Learners. The university has also been repeatedly named among the country’s most military-friendly by multiple sources, such as Military Times and Military Education. In focusing on career-relevant education, Bellevue is heavily focused on teaching workplace skills rather than simply classroom knowledge. The school employs an innovative ÒSkills to PerformanceÓ learning model, which judges student learning outcomes in terms of industry-relevant proficiencies. Bellevue also awards generous credits for prior coursework, sets affordable tuition rates, provides leadership training, and offers extensive career counseling and student supports to its busy professional students. BellevueÕs high-quality online academic programs are well-respected; U.S. News and World Report ranks the schoolÕs bachelorÕs program at 153rd nationally, and its masterÕs at 120th.
Bellevue awards a fully-online degree in Graphic Design which is comprehensive and multidisciplinary, with surprisingly affordable tuition. Students build a solid foundation in design fundamentals, then go on to develop advanced creative visualization, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Students also explore various professional applications, from branding and messaging to user interactivity. Courses include History of Contemporary Graphic Design, Website Development, and Identity Design. All students gradate with a diverse portfolio of print and web projects. A total of 127 credits are required for graduation, and a full 49 of these are electives, allowing students to tailor their studies to particular areas of interest. Multiple start dates throughout the year and open enrollment make it easy for students to stay classes as soon as they are ready to join. The school aims to recreate a classroom experience for its online students, with small class sizes, peer-to-peer interaction and professor-led discussions. The Online Graphic Design Degree program has earned a number of distinctions for quality and affordable tuition. It was awarded 3rd in Online Graphic Design Degrees by GradLime, ranked in the top 10 for Most affordable Art & Design Program by OnlineU.org, and 3rd in Best Online Graphic Design Degrees for 2017 from CollegeChoice.net. Bellevue delivers this flexible and industry-relevant degree for an incredibly affordable tuition of just $410 per credit hour.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $410
4. The Los Angeles Film School
The Los Angeles Film School was founded in 1999, and is a private institute based in Los Angeles, California, which awards offering associate and bachelor’s degrees in programs related to the entertainment industry. It serves a small student body of 2,464 students, and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, and the Directors Guild of America. The distinctive, 230,000-square-foot campus is centrally located, right on Sunset Boulevard, and encompasses the historic RCA Building, where musical legends such as Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones once recoded. Popular degrees include film studies, digital filmmaking and film production, game production and design, and entertainment business.
The Los Angeles Film School awards an affordable and accelerated online bachelor’s in Graphic Design which emphasizes fluid visual communication. Students enrolled in the program study photography, motion graphics, print, website and user experience design. With the exception of four choice-based courses, the curriculum follows a set sequence of 36 classes, and includes topics such as Concepts in Advertising, Storytelling and Video, Experiential Design, and Corporate Identity. The degree requires the completion of 120 credits, and takes just 36 months to complete. All classes are taught by experienced graphic design professionals, who deliver weekly lectures which may be viewed live or archived and at students’ convenience. Each graphic design student is given a professional-grade DSLR camera with multiple lenses and accessories, a MacBook laptop with Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite software, and traditional drawing tools. This comprehensive and accelerated graphic design program has a highly affordable tuition at only $416 per credit hour.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $416
5. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP) is a nonprofit institute based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which dates back to 1921. AIP was originally an independent school of art and illustration, producing a number of notable illustrators in its early years, but has since evolved into an institute focused primarily on the fields of design and culinary arts. AIP serves a total of 6,200 students, and awards bachelors’ and associates’ degrees in a variety of majors, including video game design, visual design, interior design, animation and effects, gaming and technology, fashion, and culinary arts, and offers both on-campus and online degrees, as well as a wide variety of non-credit creative courses aimed at high school seniors. The institute is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and prides itself on offering quality education at an affordable price. The majority of classes are taught by accomplished professionals in their respective fields, and the school actively works to expose students to the larger creative industries. AIP connects students to its 125,000-strong alumni network and brings student groups to major industry events such as SXSW Gaming, James Beard House, and New York Fashion Week. As a nonprofit, the school prides itself on maintain affordable tuition. AIP has not raised its tuition over the past 7 years, and leverages benefits to offer veterans reduced tuition.
AIP offers an online bachelor’s in Graphic Design with a concentration in Web Design. The program requires the completion of 180 credit hours, and can be completed in 15 quarters. Graphic Design students begin their degree with 7 courses in fundamentals, including Traditional Typography, Layout & Concept Design, and Web Page Scripting. Those pursuing the Web Design concentration then move on to 5 classes in the Web Design concentration: Information Architecture, Interface Design, Audio & Video, Design for Mobile Devices & Emerging Technologies, and Web Page Design. Degree seekers complete learning projects across media platforms, including mobile devices and desktop computers, and study interactive design through use of the latest software, authoring systems and web scripting. This comprehensive and rigorous online degree program is remarkably affordable at $470 per out-of-state credit hour.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $470
6. The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) is a private institute of art and design, which is based in the 40 West Arts District of Lakewood, jus outside of Denver, Colorado. The school was established by Philip J. Steele, an illustrator and art instructor, in 1963. RMCAD serves some 1,095 undergraduates, and awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees, with such majors as majors in animation, 3D animation, game art, graphic design, interior design, art education, commercial photography, fashion design, fine arts, and illustration. In addition to classrooms, studios and computer labs, the campus is home to four art galleries and an iconic Geodesic Dome. The school works closely with a number of community partners, from nonprofits to arts organizations to public schools, to establish internships, community service and other partnership projects. In class, students receive intensive personal attention due to the exceptionally low student to teacher ratio; the average class size is just 8 students.
RMCAD offers an affordable online bachelor’s in Graphic Design which includes a broad liberal arts base, as well as specialized and advanced digital design studies. Online bachelors degrees in animation, game design, and illustration are available as well. Students work to solve with real-world client problems, deliver portfolio work, as well as written and verbal presentations, and thoroughly learn to convey their message visually through digital design. The course of study begins with a fundamental groundwork in Art Foundations, Art History and Liberal Arts (history, literature, humanities, and social and physical sciences), totaling 63 credits. Students then complete 45 credits in the Graphic Design major, along with 15 in electives, for a total of 123 credits. Online students receive subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud, including Behance, the serviceÕs online portfolio platform, and access to 50,000 web-based tutorials and professional development tools via Lynda.com. All classes are taught by experienced industry professionals, who instruct students in contemporary and industry-relevant elements of research and design methodologies and graphic theories. This rigorous and comprehensive degree also has remarkably affordable tuition, costing only $487 per credit.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $487
7. Herzing University
Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Herzing University was founded in 1965 as a computer training institute. Today, it is a private, nonprofit university which continues to focus on career-relevant studies, and serves a diverse student body. The school awards 30 certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, and programs are offered online, on any of 11 campus locations, and in hybrid formats. Popular majors include such career-focused disciplines as nursing, healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and public safety. Along with industry-focused training, all degree programs include a broad general education requirement. In addition to advising and tutoring, online degree seekers receive hands-on support from career development coaches throughout their studies. The school offers affordable tuition rates and high-quality academics. Herzing is ranked 94th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, by U.S. News and World Report, which also gives top-150 rankings to its Online Graduate Nursing and Online MBA programs.
Herzing offers a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design With a Concentration in Web Design, as well as one in Graphic Design. The curriculum provides students with the skills and knowledge to design and produce work for the web, television, movies, multimedia, and digital entertainment. A total of 124 credits is required for graduation, of which 40 are general education requirements (such as social science, natural science, and information literacy). There are 13 core graphic design courses and 8 web design requirements, and all students choose another 15 credits in open electives. The course of study culminates in a capstone thesis or professional internship, and a professional development course, to thoroughly prepare graduates for workplace success. This broad and challenging program is both reputable and inexpensive, with an affordable tuition of $570 per credit.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $570
8. Arizona State University
Established in 1885, Arizona State University (ASU) is a very large and highly prestigious public university with its headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, and six additional campuses in the greater Phoenix area. The university also offers many popular online degrees, with a selection of over 150 online programs available and some 25,000 students enrolled in distance learning. The university has one of the highest enrollments in the nation, with 58,848 undergraduate and 13,098 graduate students. Along with Southern New Hampshire University, ASU is ranked #1 in the nation in Most Innovative Schools by US News and World Report. The same source also ranks ASU 53rd in Top Public Schools, 115th in National Universities, and, in recognition of its highly affordable tuition, 110th in Best Value Schools, along with a number of other high rankings in individual degree programs. The Carnegie Foundation has designated the school as a Òresearch university with very high research activity,” and ASU students have made cutting-edge advances in aerospace, cancer treatment, and biodesign.
ASU offers a prestigious, affordable, and accelerated online degree in graphic information technology. The program covers a range of cross-media applications, including web development, interactive technologies, photography for online delivery, computer illustration, and digital publishing. The degree requires the completion of 120 credits, comprising 40 classes which last just 7.5 weeks apiece. Class topics cover a diverse range of digital applications, such as Copyright and Intellectual Property in the Electronic Age, Digital Video Techniques, Web Site Design and Internet/Web Technologies, and Digital Workflow in Graphic Industries. Students complete their coursework with a comprehensive Senior Project and a course in Professional Portfolio Design and Presentation to prepare them for the professional environment. In addition, 12 thematically-related elective credits comprise an Upper Division Secondary Focus Area, similar to a concentration, which develops an area of specialization within the degree program. All online students are required to attend an initial on-campus orientation before the start of the program. All online classes are taught by the same world-class faculty who teach in ASU’s on-campus programs. In recognition of its high online academic quality, US News and World Report ranks ASU 4th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. This prestigious degree program in Graphic Information Technology is remarkably inexpensive, with an affordable tuition that costs just $633 per credit.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $633
9. Full Sail University
Founded in 1979, Full Sail University is a private institute based in Winter Park, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. The school was originally established as Full Sail Recording Workshop, with the aim of training students on the production end of the entertainment and music industries. Full Sail relocated to Florida in 1980 and began offering studies in other areas, though it continues to focus heavily on audio, film and media production, video game design, animation, and other media and entertainment disciplines. In the present day, Full Sail awards degrees in 49 disciplines, with certificates, associateÕs, bachelor’s, and master’s programs, and has a total of 8,900 students. The majority of Full Sail’s degrees are available in an accelerated format, taking just half the time to complete as they would in a traditional program. In order to ensure the workplace relevance of its degree programs, Full Sail develops the curriculum for each in partnership with industry-specific program advisory committees.
Full Sail University offers an online degree in Graphic Design which is accelerated and project-driven, as well as remarkably affordable. Students develop an understanding of the field of graphic design through the study of applications like print publishing and interface design, build a portfolio of projects over their course of study, projects based on real-world scenarios and group critiques. Throughout thee program, students strengthen their professional skills through integrated career development modules. Each short-format class lasts just one month, allowing the entire program to be completed in just 29 months. The curriculum follows a prescribed sequence, with students having a choice between two courses at only two points in the course of study. Class titles include Typography and Page Layout, History of Visual Communications, Digital Publishing, Interactive Editorial Design, and Concepts in Advertising. Project and Portfolio accounts for a total of seven courses, ensuring that graduates can enter the workplace with a full showcase of professional-quality projects. This fast and professionally-oriented degree is very affordable; tuition is priced at $646 per credit.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $646
10. Savannah College of Art and Design
Established in 1978, The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a private, nonprofit art school located in Savannah, Georgia, with locations in Atlanta, Georgia; Hong Kong; and Lacoste, France. Based in the heart of the city, the campus boasts the distinctive Southern-Gothic aesthetic for which Savannah is famous, and the campus includes a number of carefully-preserved historic buildings. In addition to classroom, living and recreational spaces, the campus is equipped with advanced computer labs, photography darkrooms, printmaking and sculpture studios. SCAD is home to 12,951 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in over 100 academic degree programs in 43 majors. SCAD students use professional tools and learning resources throughout their work, and the institute emphasizes professional development and interdisciplinary skills across all programs, and its career-preparation emphasis and high prestige in the art and design world have resulted in an elevated alumni employment rate relative to other art schools. SCAD has been consistently recognized for excellence by 3D World, American Institute of Architects, Businessweek, DesignIntelligence, and the Los Angeles Times.ÊThe prestigious Red Dot Design Rankings placed SCAD in the top four universities in the Americas and Europe, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 41st in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
SCAD offers two online degrees in Visual Communication: a BA and a BFA. Both degrees require the completion of 180 credit hours. For the BA, students complete 25 hours in Art Foundation classes, 90 in General Education, 45 in the Graphic Design concentration, and 20 hours in electives. The BFA track is more heavily focused on Art and Graphic Design courses. For this online degree, students complete 35 hours in Art Foundations, 55 in General Education, 75 in the Graphic Design Major, and select 15 credits in electives. With the completion of additional focused classes, students can also elect a minor, such as Mobile and Interactive Design, Advertising Copywriting, Advertising, and Motion Media Design. For those interested in pursuing a graduate degree, SCAD also offers an accelerated track to earning a BFA and MA in as little as three years, or a BFA and MFA in only four. SCAD designs its degree programs to be holistic, integrating coursework in the liberal arts, fundamental art skills such as drawing, and in the communication and presentation competencies required for client interface and project execution. Students practice and learn current techniques in product packaging, entrepreneurship, mobile technology, interface design and user experience, producing well-rounded graduates with a complete toolbox of professional skills and aptitudes. This high-quality degree is also highly affordable, costing just $782 per credit.
- Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $782
- Affordability (100%): the affordability of programs, as calculated by the out-of-state tuition per credit hour rate.