Online Web Development Degrees

While some disciplines require — and are better suited for — traditional classroom settings, web development lends itself quite nicely to online learning. With the ever-increasing influence of the web on consumer behavior, learning about web development online seems somewhat natural. Furthermore, with technology continuing to advance and the expansion of course management systems, the tools that enable online and hybrid learning, interacting with peers and professors has become more effortless. Online education platforms such as Blackboard, Moodle and eCollege as well as communication tools such as Skype, Adobe Connect and Google Hangouts allow online students and professors to discuss classwork, share notes and work on web development projects together regardless of where a person resides.


Chloe never thought of herself as a web programmer, but was always impressed whenever she came across a sophisticated, multimedia-rich website. She decided to take a couple introductory courses, which motivated her to complete a two-year degree program in web development.


An online associate degree in web development is a basic introduction and provides a solid foundation in the field. Most two-year programs include general studies courses such as mathematics, social science and communications as well as core classes to introduce students to the world of web development. While exact courses and required credits vary by school and area of concentration, the table below is intended to give you an idea of the concepts you’re likely to learn during a two-year online degree program in web development:

First Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
Literacy and Critical Thinking 3 An introduction to reading and writing critically, understanding argumentation and context
Discrete Math for Information Technology 3 This branch of math is specific to the fields of Computer Science and Information Technology. It includes topics such as set theory, logic, relations, graphic theory and analysis of algorithms
Information Systems Fundamentals 3 Introduction to the fundamentals of computer systems and information processing. Overview of information systems development, operating systems development, programming, database management, networking and telecommunications and the Internet.
Introduction to Image Editing and Formatting 3 Introduction to web design, electronic publishing and multimedia development
Second Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
Website Development Foundations 3 Introduction to essential website development skills. Learn how to write code manually and to use graphical user interface tools
IS Security Concepts 3 Overview of information systems security, including governmental views, positions and processes of national security, contingency and business resumption planning and invasive actions and prevention measures
Internet Business Concepts 3 Overview of the IT skills and technologies used in business and various IT job roles
Network Technology Foundations 3 Introduction to the fundamentals of network architecture, secure data transmission, content management systems and mobile computing devices
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Third Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Web Design Fundamentals 3 Introduction to the development tools and techniques used to publish web pages
Technical Writing Fundamentals 3 Overview of strategies, techniques and best practices of written communication in business and the information technologies
Elements of Economics 3 For non-econ majors. Focuses on basic economic analysis, the market system and basic macroeconomic theory
Java Programming I 3 Overview of the basics of Java programming language in the context of business applications development
Fourth Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Introduction to Web Page Construction 2 Covers the fundamental concepts for web page construction using HTML and CSS
Application Implementation 3 Overview of the process and issues associated with implementing a computer application information system as well as related testing procedures
Introduction To Operating Systems 3 A look at a variety of operating systems. Topics include operating system concepts, program execution and operating system internals
Fundamentals of Networking 3 Overview of basic telecommunications and networking technologies essential to the industry and the broader field of telecommunications
General Elective 3 An optional class for students


Samantha went to college for a bachelor’s degree in web development. By her sophomore year, she realized she was interested in digital commerce and decided to pursue her passion by doing an ecommerce internship during her junior year. After graduating, she was offered a web development job for an ecommerce company in Seattle.


Students looking for a more comprehensive understanding of web development than a two-year degree can opt to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree online. Coursework is more advanced and covers topics such as program languages, UX design, interface usability and how to leverage applications and data in order to create compelling online user experiences. During your third and fourth year of a bachelor’s degree in web development, you’re likely to take the following coursework:

Fifth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Human Computer Interaction 4 This course helps students understand the user’s point of view and technology’s effect on people in order to design and implement technology in an effective way
Web Commercialization 3 Web design and development in the context of website commercialization. Topics include strategy and e-commerce planning, online supply chain management, marketing strategies and search engine optimization
Principles of Programming 4 Programming principles for students with at least some programming background. Students will design, code, test, debug, and document programs in a relevant programming language
Information Systems Architecture & Technology 4 A conceptual and technological survey of the structure of distributed information systems architectures, network operating systems, operating systems and user interfaces
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Sixth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Advanced Graphic Design 4 This course offers a more advanced and focused application of graphic design so that students can learn to effectively communicate ideas and information to businesses and audiences
Web Information Systems Programming 4 Students learn two- and three-tier architectures, security and web frameworks. Students will use a server-based scripting language to design, code, test, debug and document programs
Web Design and Implementation 4 Offers a look at concepts, issues and techniques related to designing, development and deploying websites. Students will learn HTML, XHTML, basic JavaScript, Dynamic HTML and CSS and will develop sites manually and using website development software.
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Seventh Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Technical Communication 4 Prepares students for technical communication demands specific to computer and information systems. Topics include technical research methods, critical analysis of technical documents, synthesis of data, creation of accurate technical documents and effective delivery of technical material
Marketing 4 General course in marketing theory and methods
Technical Elective(Based on Specialty) 4 A technical elective that allows the student to learn a skill or explore an interest in the technical field but not necessarily aligned with the major.
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Eighth Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Web Animation Techniques 4 Overview of the basics of designing 2 and 2 ½ dimension animations for websites using industry standard software tools
Web Application Development 4 End-to-end construction using industry standard software products. Students pull together all elements of website design, graphics and data storage and construct fully functional commercial website applications
Web Development Capstone 4 Capstone project that combines all the material learned during required courses for the web development major


After earning his master’s degree in web design and development, Jordon was able to combine his passion for web programming and creative design to land a job as the lead web developer at a major tech company in Silicon Valley.


An online master’s degree in web development typically takes about two years and is designed to equip students with expert programming and project management skills. Students gain mastery of web design and development, interface design and usability, and web scripting and databases in order to thrive in the IT field.

Advanced degree programs tend to vary by school. Before enrolling in any program or course talk to an academic advisor to choose a path that best fits your academic and career goals.

There is no standard curriculum for a master’s degree in web development. However, the table below lists examples of some potential core courses for graduate students:

Master’s Program Core Courses Overview
Industry Structures and Concepts An overview of the information and Communications Technology industry. Students are exposed to the different types of businesses, technologies, products and services that shape the industry today as well as the developments that will influence the industry of tomorrow
Current Technologies and Trends In-depth review of the core industry technology, including hardware, networking technology, databases, information services, applications and content
Enterprise Architecture Students learn how to integrate technology in a way that effectively supports business goals
Python Programming Introduction to fundamental Python concepts and the Python scripting environment
Principles of Project Management Students learn the practical skills of project management as well as various elements of the project management processes, tools and techniques
Application Security Examination of the security principles and practices that apply to application software development throughout the entire software development lifecycle
Website Design and Management In-depth review of best practices in information architecture and how to incorporate a user-centered design
Web Enabled Information Systems A review of modern design and programming principles, database design and object-oriented principles. The class aims to address concerns regarding web applications, exploitation of technology and retention of data integrity
Principles of Cryptography An overview of the terminology and concepts needed to understand how cryptographic techniques are used to protect sensitive information
Capstone Project Students research a topic, problem or issue within field of study and works with an advisor to synthesize and apply core concepts learned from the program