Web Design & Development

17 Best College & University Websites (March 2019)

College and university websites serve a myriad of purposes. They are a resource for academic research, a hub for current students and a source of news for alumni. With such diverse roles, it’s imperative for college and university websites to be designed with the utmost care.

The academic institutions represented on this list of the 17 best college and university websites for March 2019 are among our favorites because they’re well organized, stylish and easy to use!

Check out these website ideas for inspiration in how to make your comprehensive site the best it can be!
  1. University of Michigan : Home of the Big House and the Wolverines, the University of Michigan is one of the top research universities in the Midwest. Just by hopping on the homepage, you can tell where the priorities of this university lie by the headlines featuring recent research and academic achievements. We enjoy how the site menu makes the entire website easy to navigate thanks to a simple toolbar and search function. Combined with modern graphics and that recognizable bold blue and gold color scheme, this university website is both attractive and extremely functional.
  2. University of Chicago : This university in the heart of the windy city is home to nearly 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. We like this website that has been built for the University of Chicago because it communicates just how student-centric the culture of the campus is. Vibrant photographs that display student activities grace each page and pop-outs of recent news and goings on draw every site visitor in. Overall, the website is an example of a quality marriage between design and simplicity.
  3. The University of Maryland : The University of Maryland is one of the top public universities in the United States and has one of the best websites to prove it. Lively pictures grace the front page and offer an aerial view of campus and what life might be like there. Beyond the images, carefully-crafted and particularly-placed text anchors each page with vital information so visitors can glean everything they need to know the first time around. Our favorite feature, however, is the interactive scroll that displays information as visitors move down the page.
  4. Oberlin College : Real. That’s how we would describe Oberlin College’s website. From the raw video footage at the top of the homepage, to the inspirational quotes that pop out everywhere, each piece of this website has been designed to attract and speak to students. Although the color scheme is far from traditional and has no relation to any sports team, it works for the site helping to draw visitors in and making them want to learn more. For a little inspiration on unique design, we recommend checking this out this site.
  5. University of Nebraska-Lincoln : Wow! That’s what you could say about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln website design! Sharp and colorful, this website offers brilliant photography, catchy captions and well-organized information to everyone who visits. The news section in the middle of the homepage is one of our favorite features because it carefully separates the top navigation from the navigation options at the bottom of the page. What’s best about the site, however, isn’t the colors, the fonts or the layout – it’s the fact that every page is just as well designed as the one before. This site is a true professional piece.
  6. University of Southern California : The website for the University of Southern California (USC) is a top-notch example of a traditional site with a focus on professionalism. The classic layout features new articles, simple navigation, traditional sliders and a useful search bar. Other features include navigation that allows visitors to pick the portal they want to use (staff, students, etc.) and a popular links drop-down. All-in-all, every aspect of this site works like a well-oiled wheel.
  7. Murray State University : Murray State University has an academic program and a website they can be proud of! From the scrolling videos on the landing page, to the visual navigation and the separate options for each school, every detail of this website has been well-thought out and ideally placed to offer the best online experience possible. Furthermore, the blue and gold color scheme is warm and inviting, encouraging visitors to stay awhile and learn more…and maybe even send in an application!
  8. Stony Brook University : Right now, two of the cutest lions you’ve ever seen grace the homepage of the Stony Brook University website and we think it’s great! Beyond the lions, the design of the entire site is filled with capturing visuals and professional photographs that give light to what life is like on campus and what is most important to the university. Every button is large and bold, making it simple to navigate even the busiest pages. Overall, the design and functionality make this website a 10/10 in our book!
  9. Pasadena College : What will you be? Dream. Come. Do. That’s the motivational greeting that sits on the front page of the Pasadena College website.  We’ve chosen this website as one of the best college and university websites of March 2019 because of its simple layout and straightforward content. Each section is strategically placed they pop for site visitors who come looking for a wide variety of information.
  10. William & Mary College : William & Mary College is the oldest college in the United States of America. And, as soon as you land on the website’s homepage, you get a sense of its strong tradition and rich history. Rich green graphics and backgrounds compliment swirling gold and white letters that communicate the most important news from the campus. We thoroughly enjoy that this university has achieved an exceptional website while still sticking to its traditional roots. It just goes to show that not everything has to be trendy to be well-designed.
  11. Stanford University : As one of the most well-known universities in the country, it was expected that Stanford would have a well-design website. And, we are happy to report that they didn’t disappoint! Every inch of their website is filled with information and pictures that communicate everything visitors need to know about the campus. We appreciate how the homepage is broken down into sections that offer information on news, events and academics on campus, as well as the most recent Stanford news and much more! The separate parts help to make the plethora of information available on the homepage much easier to understand and easy to navigate.
  12. Wheaton College : Wheaton College is a rather small Christian University outside of Chicago, IL. Although it’s small, it’s mighty and ranks as one of the top Christian Universities in the world. The campus’s conservative history and background are displayed through the careful design choices that grace each page. The Twitter feed and student story section are some of the best features of the site as they truly help to show campus from a student’s point of view. This attracts potential students to want to learn more and gives them the means to do so.
  13. Boston University : Although it’s surprisingly basic, the website for Boston University still makes our list of best college & university websites for this month. This entire website was designed to be simple and straightforward while appearing attractive. On the homepage, there is a video of recent research and news conducted by the university that pops out against the white background and orange & gray fonts. From this website, we hope that web designers see that sometime, less is more if you do it right!
  14. Virginia Commonwealth University : Drastically different from Boston University’s website, the website for VCU is bold, fun, full of pictures and packed with information. We love the mix of black and white images with cartoon style graphics and neon mid-level navigation. Each individual piece of the site works with the others to create an overall enjoyable, interactive experience. The amount of detailed poured into this website is overwhelming, but in the best way possible, because it helps it to stand out from other university websites, and therefore, stand out in potential students’ minds.
  15. Clemson UniversityClemson University is a hub of educational knowledge, great sports and enthusiastic students. And, from the university’s website, it’s easy to see exactly that! The purple and orange color scheme with gleaming tiger eyes remind visitors that sports are high on the priority. News story headlines, however, tell visitors that there is more to Clemson than football. We appreciate how the designers of this website have fit so much information on the homepage by using a well-organized, communicative design. At the top of the page, three different navigations allow visitors to move about as they please and get where they need to go without hesitation! A winning site for sure!
  16. Scripps College : Scripps is a women’s college that is very proud of their history. On the homepage, and all throughout the website, high achieving women are displayed with their most recent honors and accomplishments. We really favor the traditional sliders on this website and the way they are used to communicate important campus information to prospective students and alumni. Overall, the entire site is simple, easy to use and attractive – the best combination!
  17. Bates College : Bringing up the end of the list we have one of our favorite websites this month, the site for Bates College! Although this academic institution is not as big as some of the others on the list, it has a significant presence online. The large graphics and bold colors are the compliments to the featured student pictures and well-organized news section. However, the best feature of the entire website can be found at the bottom of the Bates College homepage. It’s an Instagram feed from the institution’s channel, giving prospective recruits an insider look at life on campus right up front! Great idea!

The websites of these 17 colleges and universities are some of the best on the web. We hope that as you looked through them, you found inspiration for your own site through their creative use of graphics and unique approach to website design.

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