Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

College and university websites have a lot of roles to fill. They need to provide information for prospective students (both new and transfer), parents of students and prospective students, current students, and alumni. In many cases, they’re also the gateway to the school’s intranet and the public face for both academics and athletics. They often need to include reams of information in a way that makes everything easy to find. It’s a huge challenge.

And the truth is: most college and university websites are horribly designed. Either they look like they were designed fifteen years ago and then forgotten about, or they’re so overloaded with information that it’s almost impossible to find what you’re looking for.

But not every college or university website is horrible. There are some excellent sites out there, and below are some of them. If you know others, please share them in the comments to this post!

[By the way: The network tab (on the top of the page) is updated several times a day. It features manually selected articles from the best web design blogs!]

General Colleges & Universities

Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University has a simple color scheme and makes great use of icons in their header.

Appalachianstate in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Ball State University
Ball State University uses a sophisticated color scheme and typography combined with plenty of negative space.

Ballstate in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Bates College
The bold header and grid-based layout work well on the Bates College site.

Bates in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Bennington College
Bennington College uses a unique layout and design.

Bennington in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Berea College
Berea College uses a clean layout, and the cutout in the navigation bar for the logo really sets it apart.

Berea in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University uses a unique layout and color options.

Casewestern in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Champlain College
Champlain College uses a sophisticated, muted color scheme and excellent typography.

Champlain in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Colby-Sawyer College
Colby-Sawyer College has a simple layout with plenty of negative space.

Colbysawyer in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

William & Mary
The bold header image and excellent typography set the William & Mary site apart.

Williammary in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

The College of Wooster
The College of Wooster uses an interactive, animated header.

Wooster in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Denison University
Denison’s website makes great use of negative space and a simple layout.

Denison in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Dickinson College
Dickinson College’s site has a great color scheme and a subtle background image.

Dickinson in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Elon University
Elon University’s site includes a lot of details that make the site look really polished.

Elon in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Hamilton College
Hamilton uses a simple color scheme and straight-forward navigation.

Hamilton in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Hampshire College
Hampshire College uses a unique, sophisticated color scheme and typography.

Hampshire in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Lenoir-Rhyne University
Lenoir-Rhyne University has a clean layout and bold header slideshow.

Lenoirrhyne in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Marlboro College
Marlboro College makes good use of a simple layout and color scheme.

Marlboro in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Middlebury College
Middlebury College has a completely unique layout with excellent typography.

Middlebury in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Minot State University
Minot State University uses plenty of negative space and clean typography.

Minotstate in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Nebraska Wesleyan University
Nebraska Wesleyan has one of the best-looking college sites out there, with a fantastic background image and excellent typography.

Nebraskawesleyan in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Northland College
Northland College uses unique typography and grunge elements to stand out.

Northland in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Oglethorpe University
Oglethorpe University uses a modern color scheme and typography.

Oglethorpe in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Ohio Wesleyan University
Ohio Wesleyan uses a bold color scheme and graphics.

Ohiowesleyan in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Simmons College
Simmons College uses a clean, grid-based layout and sophisticated color scheme.

Simmons in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar College steps outside of the norm for a college website and uses a more relaxed, feminine design (appropriate for a women’s college).

Sweetbriar in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Syracuse University
Syracuse University has a fantastic grid layout and modern color scheme.

Syracuse in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College has a great illustration in their header and a sophisticated color scheme.

Thomasedison in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Tufts University
Tufts has a unique layout and excellent typography.

Tufts in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama uses a grid layout and plenty of negative space.

Universityofalabama in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut’s site has a simple layout and navigation.

Uconn in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Maine Farmington
The University of Maine Farmington’s website uses a basic grid layout and great typography.

Umainefarmington in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Miami
The University of Miami uses a muted color scheme and simple, horizontal navigation.

Umiami in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Minnesota Morris
The University of Minnesota Morris’s site incorporates a number of small details that give the site its polished look.

Uminnesota in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
A simple color scheme and clean, grid-based layout give the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website a polished and sophisticated look.

Unebraska in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Portland
The University of Portland uses a simple layout and color scheme with plenty of negative space.

Uportland in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Rochester
The large background image and non-standard navigation set the University of Rochester’s website apart.

Urochester in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
The University of Sciences in Philadelphia uses a fantastic bright color scheme and clean typography.

Usciencesphilly in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Ursuline College
Ursuline College has a simple layout, good typography, and lots of negative space.

Ursuline in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Vancouver Island University
Vancouver Island University uses a grid layout and fantastic, monochromatic color scheme.

Vancouverislandu in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University’s site has clean typography and a simple layout.

Wakeforest in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University uses a grid layout and sophisticated color scheme.

Wesleyan in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Westmont
Westmont utilizes a slideshow header and great color scheme.

Westmont in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Aberdeen
The University of Aberdeen has a fantastic grid layout.

Uaberdeen in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Bournemouth University
Bournemouth University uses bright accent colors and tabbed navigation.

Bournemouth in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Bradford
The University of Bradford uses bright accent colors and a grid layout to stand out.

Ubradford in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Chester
The University of Chester uses an obvious grid layout, an animated header, and simple navigation.

Uchester in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Edge Hill University
Edge Hill University has a header slideshow, minimalist color palette, and lots of negative space.

Edgehill in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Hull
The University of Hull has a unique layout, simple navigation, and great accessibility features.

Uhull in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Kingston University London
The Kingston University London’s website uses bright accent colors and simple navigation.

Kingstonu in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Leeds
The University of Leeds has a simple layout, minimalist aesthetic, and good typography. They also make excellent use of icons to simplify navigation.

Uleeds in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Oxford
Oxford uses a simple color scheme and clean layout and makes good use of negative space.

Oxford in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University of Southampton
The University of Southampton has a bold header and simple color scheme.

Usouthampton in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Community Colleges

Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake Community College uses photorealistic and grunge elements, combined with a unique layout.

Saltlakecc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Passaic County Community College
Passaic County Community college uses an obvious grid layout and a great color scheme.

Passaiccountycc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Anoka-Ramsey Community College has a unique color scheme and a good use of negative space.

Anokaramsey in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Columbia State Community College
Columbia State Community College has a simple layout and color scheme with clean typography.

Columbiastate in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
FIDM uses an excellent bright color scheme and a prominent slideshow.

Fashioninstitute in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Jamestown Community College
Jamestown Community College’s site has a simple layout and navigation.

Jamestowncc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Joliet Junior College
Joliet Junior College has a simple layout with a good use of icons.

Jolietjc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Hagerstown Community College
Hagerstown Community College has a good color scheme, clean typography, and simple navigation.

Hagerstowncc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Lone Star College System
Lone Star College System makes good use of transparency.

Lonestar in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Community College has great hand-drawn elements, and a unique layout and color scheme.

Washtenawcc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Northland Community & Technical College
Northland Community & Technical College has a sophisticated layout and color scheme.

Northlandctc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Northwest Iowa Community College
The Northest Iowa Community College site uses a mix of collage, photorealistic, and hand-drawn elements.

Nwicc in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Art and Design Colleges & Universities

The Art Institute of Boston
The Art Institute of Boston combines a simple layout with bold header graphics.

Artinstituteofboston in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Kansas City Art Institute
The Kansas City Art Institute uses bright colors, a collage-style background, and loose grid layout.

Kansascityartinstitute in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Memphis College of Art
The Memphis College of Art site uses bright bright pink accents combined with a simple design and clean typography.

Memphiscollegeofart in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Minneapolis College of Art & Design
The patterned background, animated header, and clean typography set the site of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design apart.

Mcad in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Moore College of Art & Design
Bold graphics and a textured background makes the Moore College of Art & Design site stand out.

Moorecollege in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

The Ontario College of Art & Design
The Ontario College of Art & Design uses a grid layout and modern orange and white color scheme.

Ocad in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
The Pennsylvania College of Art & Design uses a modern color scheme and bold header.

Pennsylvaniacollegead in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

California College of the Arts
The California College of Arts uses a unique color scheme and animated header.

Ccota in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

University College Falmouth
University College Falmouth’s site has bright accent colors, lots of negative space, and simple layout and navigation.

Ucfalmouth in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Maryland Institute College of Art
MICA uses a grid layout, muted color scheme, and excellent typography.

Mica in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

SCAD
SCAD’s minimalist light-on-dark design sets it apart.

Scad in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Corcoran College of Art & Design
Corcoran’s mix of minimalist grid design and bold colors is fantastic.

Corcoran in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Emily Carr University of Art & Design has a wonderful minimalist layout and clean typography mixed with bold accent colors.

Emilycarr in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Oregon College of Art & Craft
Bold background, great typography, excellent navigation.

Oregoncollege in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Ringling College of Art & Design
The grid layout and bold background give the website of Ringling College of Art & Design a unique look.

Ringlingcollege in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Other Institutions, Colleges & Universities

Asian University for Women
The Asian University for Women’s site has an excellent gold and maroon color scheme and plenty of negative space.

Asianuniversity in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

California Institute of Integral Studies
The bold typography and great color scheme of the California Institute of Integral Studies sets it apart.

Ciis in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Rochester Institute of Technology
The orange and cream color scheme, simple navigation and clean typography make the Rochester Institute of Technology’s site unique.

Rit in Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: