Master’s in Web Development Program Guide

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Web developers create and maintain websites, test layouts, and ensure site functionality. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers and digital designers earn a median salary of $77,200 per year. The BLS projects that the profession will add 25,500 new jobs between 2020 and 2030.

Most web developer positions require knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools. Due to advances in mobile technology and ecommerce, many new web development jobs will likely fall into one of these industries. As technology-based professionals, some web developers can work from anywhere in the world.

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What to Expect | Cost | Choosing Your Program | FAQs

What To Expect From a Web Development Master’s Program

Since the internet became public in 1993, companies have needed specialists to design and develop websites. Over time, web developers also began working on software packages, ecommerce platforms, game design, and cloud computing.

A master’s in web development typically requires 30-45 credits and takes about two years to complete.

Today, aspiring web developers can launch their careers by earning a degree in the field. An associate or bachelor’s degree in web development can open doors to many tech occupations. Earning a master’s degree, however, may unlock opportunities for management positions.

A master’s in web development typically requires 30-45 credits and takes about two years to complete. It can cost more than $12,000 per year, depending on tuition rates and financial aid packages.

Learn More About Web Developers

Admission Requirements

A master’s in web development requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university for admission. Most schools do not require a computer science major. Applicants without a related major may need some background in the discipline, such as a minor, bootcamp, or work experience.

Some schools require prospective students to submit GRE or GMAT scores for admission. Preferred test scores vary among institutions. However, most schools expect applicants to submit a resume, a personal statement, and 2-3 recommendation letters. At some institutions, applicants may transfer in credits earned at another accredited university.

Prospective students can begin the application process by completing an online form and submitting any required fees.

Degree and Specialization Options

Graduate degrees in computer science disciplines use different names, emphasize diverse areas of the field, and offer various specialization options.

For example, some schools offer a master of science in web development. Other institutions offer similar degrees in computer information systems, information and communications technology, or information technology with a concentration in web development.

A computer information systems degree typically includes coursework in information design, business data communication, and IT strategy and management. Courses may also introduce students to Java or Python languages.

A computer information systems degree typically includes coursework in information design, business data communication, and IT strategy and management.

In contrast, an information and communication technology degree emphasizes the interactive applications that support businesses. In this program, students may take core courses in business and technology plus electives in website design and management.

Learners in an information technology program explore technological solutions to business problems, including networks, telecommunications, and database design.

Comparing Similar Degrees

Prospective students should consider their career goals, timeline, and focus when choosing a program. Other computer science master’s degrees include the following:

  • Master’s in Information Technology: This program equips students with advanced technical skills and prepares graduates for careers in IT management, project management, or information security.
  • Master’s in Computer Science: Focusing on computer science theory, this program helps prepare students for various technology jobs. Concentrations may include robotics, cybersecurity, or software engineering.
  • Master’s in Software Engineering: Software engineering graduates can work in web development, software development, or systems engineering.
  • Master’s in Computer Programming: Similar to web development, this program teaches learners various computer languages.
Degree Course Load Focus Sample Classes Admissions Requirements
Master’s in Web Development 30-45 credits Training in computer languages Database Security | Web Analytics | Health Informatics Bachelor’s degree | Minimum GPA of 3.0 | GRE or GMAT scores, if required
Master’s in Information Technology 30-36 credits Network Security | Database Design | Advanced Principles of Information Technology
Master’s in Computer Science 30-60 credits Theory, design, and application of computer systems Machine Learning | Advanced Algorithms | Advanced Computer Architecture Bachelor’s Degree | Minimum GPA of 2.5-3.0 | 3-5 years of professional experience | GRE or GMAT scores, if required
Master’s in Software Engineering 30-36 credits Software system design, development, and security Software Construction | Software Architecture | Mobile App Development Bachelor’s degree | Minimum GPA of 3.0 | GRE or GMAT scores, if required
Master’s in Computer Programming 30-45 credits Programming languages and operating systems Network Security | Machine Learning | Online Learning and Optimization Bachelor’s degree | May require a major in a computer-related field | GRE or GMAT scores, if required

Discover the Top Master's in Computer Science Programs Get an Overview of All Computer Science Degree Levels

Popular Web Development Courses

Schools offer a variety of graduate courses in web development. Some institutions include these courses in the core curriculum, while others offer them as electives or concentration classes.

In addition to coursework, many institutions require students to complete an internship and a capstone project, such as a master’s thesis. The courses below are a sample of those offered in a master’s in web development curriculum.

Operating Systems
Focused on computer architecture and digital operating systems, this course includes topics such as DOS, Windows, and UNIX. Students explore operational methods of hardware and the interaction among computers. They also learn about the services provided by operating systems’ software and the acquisition, processing, storage and output data.
Interface Design for Websites
Students in this course go beyond the basics of webpage and website development to design user-friendly web applications. The course emphasizes the way human factors affect interface design. Topics include usability assessments, design problems, and best practices for menus, scrolling, icons, and graphics.
Information Technology Project Management
Students learn what it takes to effectively manage an IT project. The course introduces students to concepts such as project scope, quality, cost, time, and human resources in an IT context. Through case studies and hands-on experiences, learners explore how to solve problems using project management software.
Object Oriented Application Development
Learners in this course delve into the principles and practices of object- oriented software development. They learn how to develop quality software, solve software problems, and implement solutions. Topics include algorithms for problem-solving and data structures.
Capstone in Web Development
Students develop a professional-quality portfolio that demonstrates their ability to design and develop websites. All components of the site must adhere to accessibility standards. This course concludes the degree, so prior to enrolling in the capstone, learners should complete all program requirements, including an internship when applicable.

How Much Will a Master’s in Web Development Cost?

Higher education is valuable but not cheap. Many variables affect the total cost of a master’s in web development. In general, private schools cost more than public institutions, and in-state schools are less expensive than out-of-state schools. The cost of online programs varies, but is comparable to on-campus programs at the same school.

Public graduate programs cost $12,171 per year on average, and private schools cost an average of $25,929. More prestigious schools may charge higher tuition rates.

Public graduate programs cost $12,171 per year on average, and private schools cost an average of $25,929.

While students can expect to pay a portion of tuition costs out of pocket, financing options can help make degrees more affordable. Scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, grants, and student loans help offset the price of most web development graduate programs.

Explore Scholarship and Financial Aid Options for Computer Science

Is a Master’s in Web Development Worth It?

Nearly any degree in web development may lead to high-paying jobs in computer science and internet design. Students should consider their skills and end goals when determining if a master’s in web development is worth it.

For prospective students without an undergraduate degree or extensive experience in the field, a bootcamp or associate program may be a better starting point. Mid-career professionals looking to move into management, conduct original research, or work with new technology, however, may find a perfect fit in a master’s degree.

In this field, the value of education is not in the degree itself but in the skills and knowledge it conveys. A graduate program that equips learners with skills in several programming languages, for example, may hold high value to employers.

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What Is a Web Developer? How to Become a Web Developer Salary and Career Outlook for Web Developers

Choosing the Right Web Development Graduate Program

Many considerations go into determining which degree is best for aspiring web developers. The right school should offer quality academics, accessible courses, and career management opportunities at an affordable price. Consider these key factors when choosing among the top web development master’s programs:

  • Accreditation: A college or university should hold accreditation with the appropriate regional association, such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Alumni Network: Established programs in web development should maintain a robust alumni network. This network can help students form critical relationships for career advancement.
  • Available Concentrations: Students should determine whether they can select a concentration as part of the program, and whether it’s the right specialization for their career aspirations.
  • Career Services: The career services office can help students locate and secure internships and jobs, helping turn a degree into a career.
  • Staff Credentials: The prospective school should list its faculty, degrees, research experience, and professional background.

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Learn More About Web Development

How to Become a Web Developer

How to Become a Web Developer

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Salary and Career Outlook for Web Developers

Salary and Career Outlook for Web Developers

Is a master’s in web development worth it? Discover what the most up-to-date research says about education, salaries, and job growth projection for web developers.

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Day in the Life of a Web Developer

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Web Development Degree Programs

Web Development Degree Programs

Explore the world of web development degree programs, including two-year and four-year undergraduate degrees along with master’s programs in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which degree is best for web development?

    Most jobs in the field require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in web development. A graduate degree in web development can help students pursue leadership positions as database managers or information systems administrators.

  • What jobs can I get with a master's in web development?

    Web development graduate programs can equip students for jobs as front-end designers, web designers, and UX designers. Depending on their concentration, students may also prepare for roles in cybersecurity, database administration, or mobile app development.

  • How long is school for web development?

    A master’s in web development usually requires two years of full-time study on top of the four years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. A bootcamp in web development may take just a few months, however.

  • Is web development hard?

    Web development requires skills, knowledge, and hard work. A master’s in web development can help launch new professionals into lucrative career paths in tech.


Featured Image: Kohei Hara / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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