Web Design Degree Programs in Illinois (A-C)

The growth of the internet has made accredited web design degree programs in Illinois much more important in today’s business world. Electronic commerce, or e-commerce is growing rapidly throughout the country, and Illinois is no exception. Consumers are increasingly choosing to shop online rather than visit traditional stores, leading to a need for quality, well-designed websites that are user-friendly. According to eMarketer, internet sales rose 14.8 percent in 2013, and consumers are expected to spend $278 billion in online sales during this year.

American Academy of Art

The American Academy of Art, located in Chicago, was founded in 1923 as a school for professional artists. It is one of the few colleges that has placed an emphasis on drawing and design based on the classical academic tradition from its inception. All students begin with a foundation program, helping them develop skills in the visual arts. The school prioritizes studio time as well so that students can practice and improve skills covered in the classroom.

Multimedia/Web Design

The bachelor’s level program at the American Academy of Art in multimedia and web design provides students with knowledge regarding various software programs to create interactive and time-based media that complements the student’s traditional training and digital skills. Students develop expertise in the use of computers to manipulate images, prepare print layouts, and create web designs. Students apply the concepts learned using typography, photography, illustration, web programming, interface design, and video and animation.

Students develop a body of work that demonstrates their expertise in a variety of web-based topics. After graduation, students are qualified to work as animators, interactive multimedia designers, game designers, web page designers, and image manipulators.


  • Higher Learning Commission North Central Association (NCA HCL)


American Academy of Art
332 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604-4302
Phone: 312-461-0600 or 888-461-0600
Email: info@aaart.edu
Website: http://www.aaart.edu/academics/multimediaweb-design/

Art Institute

Graphic & Web Design

The Art Institute believes that the world needs more creative professionals, and their focus is to help those with artistic talent obtain the higher education necessary to achieve their professional goals. There are over 4,000 faculty members who are also mentors for the students they teach, all bringing experience and passion to the classroom. Students are taught using state-of-the-art technology, and graduates of the program have become leaders in their field.

Graphic Design Associate of Applied Science

The Graphic Design program at the Art Institute provides students with the fundamentals of both disciplines initially, allowing the student to focus on either a print or web design path later in the program. Students begin with basics, such as color, illustration and image manipulation. Students who choose the Graphic Design concentration take a more traditional approach with a focus on subjects such as product packaging, posters, art direction, and publication design. The Web Design concentration focuses on interactive design and development as students work with multiple media platforms ranging from desktops to mobile devices. This program is offered at four campuses in Illinois: Chicago, Schaumburg, Tinley Park, and Pittsburgh Online.

Graphic Design Bachelor of Fine Arts

Students study design, typography and color theory using industry specific software to learn how to design items like logos, posters, packaging, websites, and corporate identity packages. Students are qualified to obtain entry level positions as advertising designers, computer artists, graphic designers or layout artists. Students must complete a minimum of 180 quarter-credits with 60 quarter-credits in general education. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in their specialty area. The program contains 1320 lecture hours, 1232 lab hours and 13 internship or practicum hours. This degree program is available in the Chicago, Schaumburg, Tinley Park, and Pittsburgh Online campuses.

Illustration & Design Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science in Illustration at the Art Institute provides students with the knowledge and skills to produce images for visual communications. Students develop skills related to communication design and fine arts in order to achieve professional success. The curriculum prepares students to seek such entry-level positions as storyboard artist, graphic novelist, 2D artist, book illustrator, specialty illustrator, and art director. This program is available at the Chicago and Schaumburg campuses.

Web Design and Interactive Media Associate of Applied Science

The Web Design and Interactive Media Associate of Applied Science program provides students with the opportunity to develop interfaces and use the internet to communicate effectively. Students begin with art foundation and progress through various aspects of project management, interface design, media production, information architecture, and web technologies. Graduates of the program are qualified for entry-level positions in the high-tech interactive communications industry. This program is available at the Schaumburg and Pittsburgh Online campuses.

Graphic & Web Design Bachelor of Science

Students learn to express themselves through visual communication with a focus on the end user. Students receive hands-on instruction using the latest technology and software. Courses include typography, illustration, interface design and web development. The program is the first step toward a creative career. Students develop an understanding of color and composition, along with design and technology. Students also learn problem-solving skills in order to provide solutions to technology problems. This program is available at the Schaumburg and Pittsburgh Online campuses.


  • Higher Learning Commission North Central Association (NCA HCL)


The Illinois Institute of Art
Chicago, IL
Phone: (800)351-3450
Website: http://new.artinstitutes.edu/areasofstudy/Graphic-And-Web-Design/detail/42/0

Black Hawk College

Quad Cities Campus

Black Hawk College began in 1946 as the Moline Community College in an effort to provide higher education for the many World War II veterans returning from the war. In 1961, it became Black Hawk College, the first county-wide junior college in the state. In 1965, Black Hawk became part of the Illinois higher education system. The college expanded operations to the southeastern portion of the district, offering courses at the Kewanee National Guard Armory and the Kewanee High School in 1967.

Computer Specialist – Web Programmer

The Associate in Applied Sciences Computer Specialist program provides students with the knowledge necessary to work in the information technology industry. Courses include HTML, networking, Windows and Linux operating systems, in addition to security, hardware, programming logic and Microsoft Project. The degree is designed in order for students to complete the Web Developer Certificate as well as the Computer Specialist Associate’s degree. The degree is a two-year program and includes an internship which provides valuable on-the-job training. Many of the courses included in the program prepare students for industry-related certification including CompTiA’s A+ and N+ Certification, Microsoft’s Certified IT Professional, MTS Certification, CISCO’s CCNA and CCENT Certification, and Certified Internet Web Professional Foundations Exam.


  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Institution of Higher Education (NCA HCL)


Black Hawk College
6600 34th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265-5899
Phone: 309-796-5000 or 800-334-1311
Email: info@bhc.edu
Website: http://www.bhc.edu/2011/06/computer-specialist-web-programmer-track/

Bradley University

Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts

The university is named for Lydia Moss Bradley who, along with her husband, Tobias, devoted significant time and thought to how their wealth may be used as a memorial to their six children who suffered untimely deaths. At one point, the couple considered starting an orphanage. Tobias died in 1867 before the couple could create the home for orphaned children. Mrs. Bradley traveled extensively after her husband’s death, deciding she would rather create a school where young people could learn practical things, preparing them for living in the modern world. In 1892, Mrs. Bradley purchased a controlling interest in the Parsons Horological Society, which was the first school for watchmakers in the country. She moved the school to Peoria, and specified in her will that the school be expanded to include a classical education along with industrial arts and home economics.

In 1896, Mrs. Bradley was convinced to move ahead with her plans and establish the school during her lifetime. Bradly Polytechnic Institute was chartered in 1896, and Mrs. Bradley initially provided acreage, funds for two buildings, laboratory equipment, books and annual operating expenses. On April 10, 1897, ground was broken for Bradley Hall. In 1920, the college earned university status and was renamed Bradley University.

Interactive Media – Web Application and Design

The Interactive Media Web Application and Design at Bradley University focuses on creative and problem-solving in the area of media. The program includes text, audio, video, illustration, photography, and animation provided to students in a non-linear format so that students develop the skills necessary to create quality internet, digital media, or other web applications. The program leads to a bachelor’s level degree and works closely with the Departments of Art, Computer Science, and Theater Arts in an effort to provide a thorough curriculum. Student research projects in the past have earned international acclaim. Graduates of the program have found positions in industries such as interactive agencies, internal web communications departments, animation studios, motion graphics, and design firms.


  • Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA HLC)
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)


Mr. Jim Ferolo
Department Chair
Bradley University
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
Phone: 309-676-7611
Email: jferolo@bradley.edu
Website: http://www.bradley.edu/admissions/transfer/academic/majors/detail.dot?id=108866

Columbia College Chicago

Interactive Arts and Media

Founded in 1890 as the Columbia School of Oratory, the Columbia College Chicago has a mission to educate students in the art of creative communication in order to shape public perceptions of issues and events. Initially, the school occupied just part of the Stevens Art Gallery Buidling on Adams Street and students were educated in Elocution, Voice Culture, Visible Speech, Literature, and English. The college was founded by Mary A. Blood and Ida Morey Riley who were graduates of the Monroe Conservatory of Oratory, which is now Emerson College. The school was established as a co-educational school. Ms. Blood became the first President of the college, serving until her death in 1927. After Ms. Riley’s death in 1901, the name of the school was changed to the Columbia School of Expression in 1905. At that time, the curriculum was expanded, and in 1928, became affiliated with the Pestalozzi-Froebel Teachers College. The teaching college was a family-run school that centered on educating kindergarten teachers. By 1934, radio broadcasting was added to the curriculum as well. Today, there are over 12,000 students enrolled in over 120 programs. Columbia College Chicago has developed a reputation for being a world leader in communication and arts.

Interactive Arts and Media

The Interactive Arts and Media program at Columbia College Chicago is a rigorous and creatively challenging degree that instructs students on creating games, mobile apps, sound design and other interactive media. Students become technologists with a creative focus who have the ability to combine entertainment, art, education and business. Upon completion, students will be able to understand conceptual foundations of their discipline; create and design in an innovative manner; write, communicate, and analyze within their chosen field; and work professionally and collaboratively.

Students are prepared through an inventive yet rigorous curriculum that provide the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing field. Students emerge with a strong foundation in aesthetics, theory and technology, as well as extensive critical thinking, problem solving and cultural understanding skills. The program combines media theory and technology with hand-on practices so that students are prepared for distinctive careers in the technology industry.

Mobile Media Programming (BA)

Programming is critical to making interactive applications work, and students in mobile media programming develop the skills necessary to become creative coders in order to apply interactive principles and theories to the latest technological advance, mobile and web development. Students learn to be innovators, using a wide range of technologies and process to solve mobile media and web-based design problems. Students are provided the skills to code information from nothing as well as manipulating sophisticated technology to address needs of businesses and individuals. Courses provide a deep understanding of tools, skills, process and theory, while encouraging students to develop innovative solutions using new ideas. The program requires 45 credits in web and mobile media software development curriculum. Students may choose to add a minor to the program, and recommended minors are Marketing, Public Relations or Creative Advertising. Students must earn a “C” or better in all major and minor courses.


  • The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools


Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60605 (map)
Telephone: 312-369-1000
Email: admissions@colum.edu

The internet has become an integral part of business today, and the use of mobile applications are a growing industry as more people begin using smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet. In order for the internet to provide the information that people need or for mobile apps to work properly, industries need professionals with the skills to create the methods for reaching that information or making that app work. Therefore, the need for accredited web design degree programs in Illinois are becoming increasingly important in the technology age of today.

Related resource: If I Get An Associates in Web Design, Which Bachelor Degree Would Best Complement It?