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Web developers are essential to the continued growth of the digital market. These individuals are responsible for website and mobile application construction, design, and functionality. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for trained web developers are on the rise, and individuals with these valuable skills make an average salary of $92,750.

In the tech world, graduate degrees aren’t always necessary for gainful employment, but these academic credentials expand your job prospects and earning potential. Online master’s in web development programs help students specialize in a specific technology and advance into organizational leadership roles.

A typical online graduate degree in web development requires 30 to 45 credit hours (10 to 15 courses); full-time attendees need 16 months to two years to graduate. Program cost varies, but the average annual tuition for graduate degree programs is $20,513.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Web Development Program

Choose your area of study

The most common graduate degree in web development is a Master of Science (MS), though some programs offer a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Professional Studies (MPS). Exact degree names vary slightly (such as an MS in computer information systems or an MS in information technology), but the primary coursework is relatively similar across programs.

Some programs allow you to select a concentration and focus your studies on a particular niche in this field, such as web design, mobile applications, or full-stack development. If you already know what you would like to do after you graduate, look for programs that closely match these career goals.

Research schools and programs

You should only apply to institutions that have been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your master’s in web development program will also be accredited by a respected industry group like the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). This programmatic accrediting organization has particularly high standards for technology education.

Also, you should research what support services are included in your tuition. You should have access to tutoring, mental health counseling, disability accommodations, academic advising, mentorship opportunities, library databases, and technical support.

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit the school’s website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Application requirements vary by school and program. Few web development graduate programs require standardized test scores, but assembling your other application materials takes time. Prepare well before application deadlines, especially when requesting letters of recommendation and undergraduate transcripts. You may need to write a personal statement as well. International candidates will have additional steps, including English language proficiency testing and residency requirements.

Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Do you want your program to be as online as possible, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a fair amount of in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer? Your school should accommodate your scheduling needs and learning preferences.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Most program websites include the per-credit price of tuition. However, this is rarely a reflection of the actual cost. Schools may charge additional student services and technology fees. Seek funding opportunities wherever you can. Start by completing the FAFSA; master’s students may be eligible for federal grants and affordable loans. Then, speak with a financial aid counselor through your school. You may qualify for military discounts, need-based scholarships, or other financing options. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Web Development Programs

Best Online Master's in Web Development Degree Programs

Boston University

University of Denver

Southern New Hampshire University

Fort Hays State University

University of Florida

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How We Rank Schools

We focused our research on graduate programs in web development. Available types of master’s degrees in this field include Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS).

To ensure accessibility for the greatest number of students, we sought out programs that can be completed entirely or primarily through distance learning.

To confirm quality, we only included programs offered at regionally accredited institutions. This guarantees that the program meets high standards of excellence in postsecondary education, so employers will widely recognize your degree.

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we reviewed each based on cost, reputation, faculty, flexibility, and outcomes. Based on this information, we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Web Development Program?

Students enrolled in an online master’s in web development program further their expertise in programming languages and strategic technical design. Participants engage in interactive coursework to help them master in-demand skills for the modern workforce.

Throughout their study, attendees develop a portfolio of web development projects demonstrating their mastery of UX principles and web design. Graduates of online web development programs will also possess the communication and planning skills required for leadership positions within the industry.

In most cases, full-time students will graduate in less than two years; part-time students may need between two and three years. Online web development degrees are almost entirely online with no in-person commitments or internships; coursework and activities translate easily into a remote environment.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in web development program

  • Technology Leadership. Students develop a broad perspective on how technology integrates within modern organizations. Participants learn the necessary communication and planning skills to advance into leadership roles with a company, such as creating an overall technology vision, implementing a technical strategy, and managing a budget.
  • Web Development with PHP. Participants focus on strategies for programming web applications using mainstream languages and tools (including HTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL). Students engage in unit testing, debugging, security issues, and object-oriented programming.
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics. This course provides students with the necessary mathematical foundation for success in the field. Featured topics include combinatorial mathematics, the fundamentals of differentiation and integration, and elementary probability theory.
  • Database Design and Implementation for Business. Students develop hands-on experience in designing and implementing a database system.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Web Development?

Career outlook

As technology evolves and new web development tools and frameworks emerge, individuals with advanced knowledge and expertise in web development are well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities. The ability to create user-friendly interfaces, optimize performance, and ensure security are highly valued skills in today’s digital economy.

An online master’s degree in web development opens the door to a wide array of potential career paths, each with its own unique focus and responsibilities. Here are some options to consider:

  • Web developer or digital designer — Create and test websites, web applications, and user interfaces.
    • Median annual salary: $92,750
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 16%
    • New job openings projected: 19,000 annually
  • Computer network architect — Design, implement, and upgrade data communication networks.
    • Median annual salary: $129,840
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 4%
    • New job openings projected: 10,200 annually
  • Information systems manager — Assess an organization’s technology needs, plan IT projects, and hire and supervise IT staff.
    • Median annual salary: $169,510
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 15%
    • New job openings projected: 46,900 annually

Online Master’s in Web Development Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in web development degree program?

You can apply online through each institution’s application portal. While exact requirements vary, most online master’s in web development applications include:

  • An application (plus processing fee)
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • A statement of purpose addressing your career goals
  • A recent professional resumé
  • Letters of recommendation

Before hitting the apply button, contact an admissions counselor for your selected school. They can help answer any lingering questions and walk you through the application process.

How much does an online master’s in web development degree cost?

The average tuition for graduate school is $20,513 per year. Web development programs often have additional associated costs, especially regarding the necessary software and hardware to complete coursework. To save time and money, speak with an admissions counselor to ascertain whether you can apply any transfer credits or professional experience toward your academic plan or qualify for student discounts on software purchases.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in web development degree?

Online master’s in web development programs require between 30 and 45 credit hours. Full-time students can graduate within two years; some degrees provide an accelerated track, which one can finish within 16 months. Working professionals may instead attend part-time. If you enroll part-time, you may need up to three or four years to complete the program. Because online web development degrees are primarily asynchronous, students can benefit from a more independent, self-paced course of study.

Is an online master's in web development worth it?

Earning an online master’s degree in web development offers numerous advantages. This degree program provides in-depth knowledge of the latest web technologies and programming languages, preparing graduates for senior-level positions and leadership roles within the tech industry. According to industry reports, professionals with a master’s degree in web development often command higher salaries than those with only a bachelor’s degree.

Pursuing an online master’s degree allows students to tailor their education to their schedule, making it an ideal choice for working professionals or those with other commitments. This flexibility, combined with access to cutting-edge curriculum and experienced instructors, ensures a comprehensive and well-rounded education.

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