Showcase of Academic and Higher Education Websites

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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!

General Colleges & Universities Link

Appalachian State University1
Appalachian State University has a simple color scheme and makes great use of icons in their header.

Screenshot2

Ball State University3
Ball State University uses a sophisticated color scheme and typography combined with plenty of negative space.

Screenshot4

Bates College5
The bold header and grid-based layout work well on the Bates College site.

Screenshot6

Bennington College7
Bennington College uses a unique layout and design.

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Berea College9
Berea College uses a clean layout, and the cutout in the navigation bar for the logo really sets it apart.

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Case Western Reserve University11
Case Western Reserve University uses a unique layout and color options.

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Champlain College13
Champlain College uses a sophisticated, muted color scheme and excellent typography.

Screenshot14

Colby-Sawyer College15
Colby-Sawyer College has a simple layout with plenty of negative space.

Screenshot16

William & Mary17
The bold header image and excellent typography set the William & Mary site apart.

Screenshot18

The College of Wooster19
The College of Wooster uses an interactive, animated header.

Screenshot20

Denison University21
Denison’s website makes great use of negative space and a simple layout.

Screenshot22

Dickinson College23
Dickinson College’s site has a great color scheme and a subtle background image.

Screenshot24

Elon University25
Elon University’s site includes a lot of details that make the site look really polished.

Screenshot26

Hamilton College27
Hamilton uses a simple color scheme and straight-forward navigation.

Screenshot28

Hampshire College29
Hampshire College uses a unique, sophisticated color scheme and typography.

Screenshot30

Lenoir-Rhyne University31
Lenoir-Rhyne University has a clean layout and bold header slideshow.

Screenshot32

Marlboro College33
Marlboro College makes good use of a simple layout and color scheme.

Screenshot34

Middlebury College35
Middlebury College has a completely unique layout with excellent typography.

Screenshot36

Minot State University37
Minot State University uses plenty of negative space and clean typography.

Screenshot38

Nebraska Wesleyan University39
Nebraska Wesleyan has one of the best-looking college sites out there, with a fantastic background image and excellent typography.

Screenshot40

Northland College41
Northland College uses unique typography and grunge elements to stand out.

Screenshot42

Oglethorpe University43
Oglethorpe University uses a modern color scheme and typography.

Screenshot44

Ohio Wesleyan University45
Ohio Wesleyan uses a bold color scheme and graphics.

Screenshot46

Simmons College47
Simmons College uses a clean, grid-based layout and sophisticated color scheme.

Screenshot48

Sweet Briar College49
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).

Screenshot50

Syracuse University51
Syracuse University has a fantastic grid layout and modern color scheme.

Screenshot52

Thomas Edison State College53
Thomas Edison State College has a great illustration in their header and a sophisticated color scheme.

Screenshot54

Tufts University55
Tufts has a unique layout and excellent typography.

Screenshot56

The University of Alabama57
The University of Alabama uses a grid layout and plenty of negative space.

Screenshot58

University of Connecticut59
The University of Connecticut’s site has a simple layout and navigation.

Screenshot60

University of Maine Farmington61
The University of Maine Farmington’s website uses a basic grid layout and great typography.

Screenshot62

University of Miami63
The University of Miami uses a muted color scheme and simple, horizontal navigation.

Screenshot64

University of Minnesota Morris65
The University of Minnesota Morris’s site incorporates a number of small details that give the site its polished look.

Screenshot66

University of Nebraska-Lincoln67
A simple color scheme and clean, grid-based layout give the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website a polished and sophisticated look.

Screenshot68

University of Portland69
The University of Portland uses a simple layout and color scheme with plenty of negative space.

Screenshot70

University of Rochester71
The large background image and non-standard navigation set the University of Rochester’s website apart.

Screenshot72

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia73
The University of Sciences in Philadelphia uses a fantastic bright color scheme and clean typography.

Screenshot74

Ursuline College75
Ursuline College has a simple layout, good typography, and lots of negative space.

Screenshot76

Vancouver Island University77
Vancouver Island University uses a grid layout and fantastic, monochromatic color scheme.

Screenshot78

Wake Forest University79
Wake Forest University’s site has clean typography and a simple layout.

Screenshot80

Wesleyan University81
Wesleyan University uses a grid layout and sophisticated color scheme.

Screenshot82

Westmont83
Westmont utilizes a slideshow header and great color scheme.

Screenshot84

University of Aberdeen85
The University of Aberdeen has a fantastic grid layout.

Screenshot86

Bournemouth University87
Bournemouth University uses bright accent colors and tabbed navigation.

Screenshot88

University of Bradford89
The University of Bradford uses bright accent colors and a grid layout to stand out.

Screenshot90

University of Chester91
The University of Chester uses an obvious grid layout, an animated header, and simple navigation.

Screenshot92

Edge Hill University93
Edge Hill University has a header slideshow, minimalist color palette, and lots of negative space.

Screenshot94

University of Hull95
The University of Hull has a unique layout, simple navigation, and great accessibility features.

Screenshot96

Kingston University London97
The Kingston University London’s website uses bright accent colors and simple navigation.

Screenshot98

University of Leeds99
The University of Leeds has a simple layout, minimalist aesthetic, and good typography. They also make excellent use of icons to simplify navigation.

Screenshot100

University of Oxford101
Oxford uses a simple color scheme and clean layout and makes good use of negative space.

Screenshot102

University of Southampton103
The University of Southampton has a bold header and simple color scheme.

Screenshot104

Community Colleges Link

Salt Lake Community College105
Salt Lake Community College uses photorealistic and grunge elements, combined with a unique layout.

Screenshot106

Passaic County Community College107
Passaic County Community college uses an obvious grid layout and a great color scheme.

Screenshot108

Anoka-Ramsey Community College109
Anoka-Ramsey Community College has a unique color scheme and a good use of negative space.

Screenshot110

Columbia State Community College111
Columbia State Community College has a simple layout and color scheme with clean typography.

Screenshot112

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising113
FIDM uses an excellent bright color scheme and a prominent slideshow.

Screenshot114

Jamestown Community College115
Jamestown Community College’s site has a simple layout and navigation.

Screenshot116

Joliet Junior College117
Joliet Junior College has a simple layout with a good use of icons.

Screenshot118

Hagerstown Community College119
Hagerstown Community College has a good color scheme, clean typography, and simple navigation.

Screenshot120

Lone Star College System121
Lone Star College System makes good use of transparency.

Screenshot122

Washtenaw Community College123
Washtenaw Community College has great hand-drawn elements, and a unique layout and color scheme.

Screenshot124

Northland Community & Technical College125
Northland Community & Technical College has a sophisticated layout and color scheme.

Screenshot126

Northwest Iowa Community College127
The Northest Iowa Community College site uses a mix of collage, photorealistic, and hand-drawn elements.

Screenshot128

Art and Design Colleges & Universities Link

The Art Institute of Boston129
The Art Institute of Boston combines a simple layout with bold header graphics.

Screenshot130

Kansas City Art Institute131
The Kansas City Art Institute uses bright colors, a collage-style background, and loose grid layout.

Screenshot132

Memphis College of Art133
The Memphis College of Art site uses bright bright pink accents combined with a simple design and clean typography.

Screenshot134

Minneapolis College of Art & Design135
The patterned background, animated header, and clean typography set the site of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design apart.

Screenshot136

Moore College of Art & Design137
Bold graphics and a textured background makes the Moore College of Art & Design site stand out.

Screenshot138

The Ontario College of Art & Design139
The Ontario College of Art & Design uses a grid layout and modern orange and white color scheme.

Screenshot140

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design141
The Pennsylvania College of Art & Design uses a modern color scheme and bold header.

Screenshot142

California College of the Arts143
The California College of Arts uses a unique color scheme and animated header.

Screenshot144

University College Falmouth145
University College Falmouth’s site has bright accent colors, lots of negative space, and simple layout and navigation.

Screenshot146

Maryland Institute College of Art147
MICA uses a grid layout, muted color scheme, and excellent typography.

Screenshot148

SCAD149
SCAD’s minimalist light-on-dark design sets it apart.

Screenshot150

Corcoran College of Art & Design151
Corcoran’s mix of minimalist grid design and bold colors is fantastic.

Screenshot152

Emily Carr University of Art & Design153
Emily Carr University of Art & Design has a wonderful minimalist layout and clean typography mixed with bold accent colors.

Screenshot154

Oregon College of Art & Craft155
Bold background, great typography, excellent navigation.

Screenshot156

Ringling College of Art & Design157
The grid layout and bold background give the website of Ringling College of Art & Design a unique look.

Screenshot158

Other Institutions, Colleges & Universities Link

Asian University for Women159
The Asian University for Women’s site has an excellent gold and maroon color scheme and plenty of negative space.

Screenshot160

California Institute of Integral Studies161
The bold typography and great color scheme of the California Institute of Integral Studies sets it apart.

Screenshot162

Rochester Institute of Technology163
The orange and cream color scheme, simple navigation and clean typography make the Rochester Institute of Technology’s site unique.

Screenshot164

Conclusion Link

While the vast majority of college and university websites out there are in need of serious overhaul, there are some fine examples of sites if you look hard enough. If designing a site for a college or university, remember that simplicity and negative space are both important, regardless of the amount of information a site needs to contain.

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.appstate.edu/
  2. 2 http://www.appstate.edu/
  3. 3 http://cms.bsu.edu/
  4. 4 http://cms.bsu.edu/
  5. 5 http://www.bates.edu/
  6. 6 http://www.bates.edu/
  7. 7 http://www.bennington.edu/
  8. 8 http://www.bennington.edu/
  9. 9 http://www.berea.edu/
  10. 10 http://www.berea.edu/
  11. 11 http://www.cwru.edu/
  12. 12 http://www.cwru.edu/
  13. 13 http://www.champlain.edu/
  14. 14 http://www.champlain.edu/
  15. 15 http://www.colby-sawyer.edu/
  16. 16 http://www.colby-sawyer.edu/
  17. 17 http://www.wm.edu/
  18. 18 http://www.wm.edu/
  19. 19 http://www.wooster.edu/
  20. 20 http://www.wooster.edu/
  21. 21 http://www.denison.edu/
  22. 22 http://www.denison.edu/
  23. 23 http://www.dickinson.edu/
  24. 24 http://www.dickinson.edu/
  25. 25 http://www.elon.edu/home/
  26. 26 http://www.elon.edu/home/
  27. 27 http://www.hamilton.edu/
  28. 28 http://www.hamilton.edu/
  29. 29 http://www.hampshire.edu/
  30. 30 http://www.hampshire.edu/
  31. 31 http://www.lr.edu/
  32. 32 http://www.lr.edu/
  33. 33 http://www.marlboro.edu/
  34. 34 http://www.marlboro.edu/
  35. 35 http://www.middlebury.edu/#story196211
  36. 36 http://www.middlebury.edu/#story196211
  37. 37 http://www.minotstateu.edu/
  38. 38 http://www.minotstateu.edu/
  39. 39 http://www.nebrwesleyan.edu/
  40. 40 http://www.nebrwesleyan.edu/
  41. 41 http://www.northland.edu/
  42. 42 http://www.northland.edu/
  43. 43 http://www.oglethorpe.edu/
  44. 44 http://www.oglethorpe.edu/
  45. 45 http://www.owu.edu/
  46. 46 http://www.owu.edu/
  47. 47 http://www.simmons.edu/
  48. 48 http://www.simmons.edu/
  49. 49 http://www.sbc.edu/
  50. 50 http://www.sbc.edu/
  51. 51 http://www.syr.edu/
  52. 52 http://www.syr.edu/
  53. 53 http://www.tesc.edu/#
  54. 54 http://www.tesc.edu/#
  55. 55 http://www.tufts.edu/
  56. 56 http://www.tufts.edu/
  57. 57 http://www.ua.edu/
  58. 58 http://www.ua.edu/
  59. 59 http://www.uconn.edu/
  60. 60 http://www.uconn.edu/
  61. 61 http://www.umf.maine.edu/
  62. 62 http://www.umf.maine.edu/
  63. 63 http://www.miami.edu/
  64. 64 http://www.miami.edu/
  65. 65 http://www.morris.umn.edu/
  66. 66 http://www.morris.umn.edu/
  67. 67 http://www.unl.edu/
  68. 68 http://www.unl.edu/
  69. 69 http://www.up.edu/
  70. 70 http://www.up.edu/
  71. 71 http://www.rochester.edu/
  72. 72 http://www.rochester.edu/
  73. 73 http://www.usp.edu/
  74. 74 http://www.usp.edu/
  75. 75 http://www.ursuline.edu/
  76. 76 http://www.ursuline.edu/
  77. 77 http://www.viu.ca/
  78. 78 http://www.viu.ca/
  79. 79 http://www.wfu.edu/
  80. 80 http://www.wfu.edu/
  81. 81 http://www.wesleyan.edu/
  82. 82 http://www.wesleyan.edu/
  83. 83 http://www.westmont.edu/
  84. 84 http://www.westmont.edu/
  85. 85 http://www.abdn.ac.uk/
  86. 86 http://www.abdn.ac.uk/
  87. 87 http://home.bournemouth.ac.uk/
  88. 88 http://home.bournemouth.ac.uk/
  89. 89 http://www.brad.ac.uk/external/
  90. 90 http://www.brad.ac.uk/external/
  91. 91 http://www.chester.ac.uk/
  92. 92 http://www.chester.ac.uk/
  93. 93 http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/
  94. 94 http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/
  95. 95 http://www2.hull.ac.uk/default.aspx
  96. 96 http://www2.hull.ac.uk/default.aspx
  97. 97 http://www.kingston.ac.uk/
  98. 98 http://www.kingston.ac.uk/
  99. 99 http://www.leeds.ac.uk/
  100. 100 http://www.leeds.ac.uk/
  101. 101 http://www.ox.ac.uk/
  102. 102 http://www.ox.ac.uk/
  103. 103 http://www.soton.ac.uk/
  104. 104 http://www.soton.ac.uk/
  105. 105 http://www.slcc.edu/
  106. 106 http://www.slcc.edu/
  107. 107 http://www.pccc.edu/
  108. 108 http://www.pccc.edu/
  109. 109 http://www.anokaramsey.edu/
  110. 110 http://www.anokaramsey.edu/
  111. 111 http://www.columbiastate.edu/
  112. 112 http://www.columbiastate.edu/
  113. 113 http://fidm.edu/
  114. 114 http://fidm.edu/
  115. 115 http://www.sunyjcc.edu/
  116. 116 http://www.sunyjcc.edu/
  117. 117 http://www.jjc.edu/Pages/default.aspx?c=1
  118. 118 http://www.jjc.edu/Pages/default.aspx?c=1
  119. 119 http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/
  120. 120 http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/
  121. 121 http://www.lonestar.edu/
  122. 122 http://www.lonestar.edu/
  123. 123 http://www.wccnet.edu/
  124. 124 http://www.wccnet.edu/
  125. 125 http://www.northlandcollege.edu/
  126. 126 http://www.northlandcollege.edu/
  127. 127 http://www.nwicc.edu/
  128. 128 http://www.nwicc.edu/
  129. 129 http://web.lesley.edu/aib/default.asp
  130. 130 http://web.lesley.edu/aib/default.asp
  131. 131 http://www.kcai.edu/
  132. 132 http://www.kcai.edu/
  133. 133 http://www.mca.edu/
  134. 134 http://www.mca.edu/
  135. 135 http://www.mcad.edu/
  136. 136 http://www.mcad.edu/
  137. 137 http://www.moore.edu/
  138. 138 http://www.moore.edu/
  139. 139 http://www.ocad.ca/
  140. 140 http://www.ocad.ca/
  141. 141 http://www.pcad.edu/
  142. 142 http://www.pcad.edu/
  143. 143 http://www.cca.edu/
  144. 144 http://www.cca.edu/
  145. 145 http://www.falmouth.ac.uk/
  146. 146 http://www.falmouth.ac.uk/
  147. 147 http://www.mica.edu/
  148. 148 http://www.mica.edu/
  149. 149 http://www.scad.edu/
  150. 150 http://www.scad.edu/
  151. 151 http://www.corcoran.edu/
  152. 152 http://www.corcoran.edu/
  153. 153 http://www.ecuad.ca/
  154. 154 http://www.ecuad.ca/
  155. 155 http://www.ocac.edu/
  156. 156 http://www.ocac.edu/
  157. 157 http://www.ringling.edu/
  158. 158 http://www.ringling.edu/
  159. 159 http://www.asian-university.org/
  160. 160 http://www.asian-university.org/
  161. 161 http://www.ciis.edu/
  162. 162 http://www.ciis.edu/
  163. 163 http://www.rit.edu/
  164. 164 http://www.rit.edu/

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Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with over 6 years of experience. She writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing. She’s also the author of The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application.

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  1. 1

    I have to add my alma mater, Kutztown University to the list. Specifically, the Communication Design department’s website.

    http://www.kutztown.edu/acad/commdes/

    -1
  2. 2

    Excellent, comprehensive review. As you mentioned, academic sites are often really bad (especially middle school ones) and these examples show how it is easy to present important information in a professional format. Lovely!

    0
  3. 3

    Impressive collection. Websites of educational institution are usually quite nice and there are some in here that really do stand out. Some are a little outdated, but still OK.

    Would’ve liked some more websites from European institutions.

    Some Dutch websites would be:
    http://w3.tue.nl/en/
    http://www.ru.nl/english/
    http://www.universiteittwente.nl/en

    0
  4. 4

    http://www.edustyle.net makes this post obsolete.

    -1
    • 5

      I use edustyle all the time but still love to browse through this post when I’m looking for inspiration. Edustyle is nice but it doesn’t have a very good “hand-picked” section.

      0
  5. 6

    Very attractive sites! Kudos to Berea College–my former employer–and its webmaster for making this list!

    I would add that however attractive the design is, even more essential to higher ed sites is that the content be kept up to date. Worse than not finding the information needed on a site is finding it but then discovering that it’s old information.

    0
  6. 7

    I like the article and I’m really amazed how important it seems to be to have a big picuture on the frontpage. I’m looking for a similar collection of site of dance schools (ballet etc.).

    0
  7. 8

    here’s a grungier, edgier academic site:
    http://moore.edu.au/
    (i got this this college)

    what do you think?

    0
  8. 10

    Michael Sawicki

    March 19, 2010 5:00 am

    I love colleges and universities that understand that having a great web site is so important. It’s one of the very first things a prospective student sees when they are looking for a school. You MUST impress them right away.

    0
  9. 11

    Dmitriy Plekhov

    March 19, 2010 5:09 am

    Thank you Cameron. Very intresting post.
    Another great examples:
    Princetone University, USA http://www.princeton.edu/main/
    Howard Florey Institute, Australia http://www.florey.edu.au/

    0
  10. 12

    I couldn’t be any less satisfied with my own universities website. It has always bugged me. They feel the need to add in irrelevant photo’s (most likely from istock) everywhere I look. It’s impossible to navigate, I can never get to what I need.

    So I’d add to the conclusion that comprehensible navigation, tooltips, and consistency of design are also important.

    0
  11. 13

    I am the Webmaster (read Web Designer) for the University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral & Community Sciences (quite a mouthful, I know), and we are working on a redesign of our departmental sites. We have finished two of 8. Critique is welcome!

    http://csd.bcs.usf.edu/
    http://rmhc.bcs.usf.edu/

    0
    • 14

      Hi Jason:

      I entered in both sites, and there are some suggestions:

      1. The header has a liquid construction, so it spread across my screen while the rest of the page seems to be of a fixed at a width of 700 px. I would suggest to let the header be fixed as well.
      2. At the header search tool, the phrase “All BCS” breaks into a second line. A little bit confusing.
      3. I would suggest enlarging the main content box from 700 px to something like 980px. I don’t know if your stats advise for a 700px width layout, but my sites have less than 5% of users with a screen resolution of 800px.

      Regards.

      Carlos

      0
  12. 15

    The Ontario College of Art and Design is actually a university with its old name. Not a community college.

    0
  13. 16

    I would also add Full Sail University (entertainment, media, and arts school) – http://www.fullsail.edu.

    1
    • 17

      Cesar Mujica Castro

      March 19, 2010 2:24 pm

      Definitely

      0
    • 18

      I completely agree with Carol. Full Sail University has a great website.

      0
    • 19

      Can’t believe Full Sail didn’t make it on the list, they are massive in media! I don’t know anyone that has ever attended there, but have been to the site on a few occasions over the past few years.

      Cameron – amazing list. Seriously nice work.

      0
  14. 20

    It’s great to see my Alma Mater Ball State University second on this list. That’s where I learned my trade, but no University of Evansville, where I currently work. Make sure to check out http://www.evansville.edu.

    0
  15. 21

    You forgot one of the best new technology schools in Canada!

    The Center For Arts and Technology

    0
  16. 22

    Dana College out of Blair Nebraska has a good site also.
    http://www.dana.edu/

    0
  17. 23

    Full Sail University has an excellent website:

    http://www.fullsail.edu

    0
  18. 24

    I’ll be homer and suggest this one too: North Carolina State University http://www.ncsu.edu/

    Some of these are quite impressive. Dickinson’s stands out.. it seems a bit more clean and polished that many of the others. Some seem to be trying a little too hard, but I think DC nailed it.

    0
    • 25

      than** many of the others.

      self-imposed grammar police

      Katy, don’t get too upset. I don’t think Cameron meant anything personal, and she certainly didn’t say anything against the institution or its alumnae.

      0
  19. 26

    http://www.virginia.edu makes great use of ajax and jquery as well as icons and interactive features.

    0
  20. 27

    I don’t even know where to start:

    “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).”

    Subtle, backhanded sexism pervades many people’s perceptions of women’s colleges. Do some research about the remarkable alumnae of these institutions before you pass judgment.

    0
    • 28

      Wow, Katy… that’s like saying that oreos are racist. You won’t get far on the Internet with oversensitivity like that.

      The author was just saying that a relaxed design fit the theme of a women’s college. He didn’t mean to imply anything other than that.

      0
      • 29

        Hey Ben,

        I totally concur with Katy about the implications of the site design – yuck, a big turn off and pretty much anti real women.

        BTW, the author is female, not male as you seem to assume.

        0
        • 30

          I’ll just paste this here from above:

          Katy, don’t get too upset. I don’t think Cameron meant anything personal, and she certainly didn’t say anything against the institution or its alumnae.

          Let’s keep things in perspective guys.

          0
    • 31

      I have to agree with Katy and will go a step beyond what she said—the site shouldn’t even be on this list. The graphics are terrible and outdated. It looks like a poorly designed web site for a pre-school or daycare. It should not be complimented on its “more relaxed, feminine design”. A serious college deserves a serious web site, be it a women’s college or not.

      0
      • 32

        Jenn, I concur with you wholeheartedly. This site reinforces the stereotypical view of women and is not worthy of being showcased. And I am a female.

        0
    • 33

      You are always complaining, god…

      0
  21. 34

    Concordia, up here in Moorhead, just launched a very cool virtual tour. It’s fullscreen HD video bringing you along the trails on campus from classroom to the stadium to the res halls…


    http://www.concordiacollege.edu/experience

    0
  22. 35

    Always nice to see a big showcase of similarly themed sites. It’s good to see a few of these establishments breaking away from the grid-based layout – which is the norm for sites with deep navigation.

    0
  23. 36

    Feel like this list is a mixed bag. A bunch could’ve been left off and have a shorter quality list. Lone Star College System? Marlboro College? Not well polished by a long shot.

    0
  24. 37

    Some nice sites are listed here! This can be used as inspiration for corporate web design.

    0
  25. 38

    University of Aveiro
    http://www.ua.pt

    0
  26. 39
  27. 40

    Is it just me or do The University of Alabama and Elon University’s websites look STRANGELY similar??

    Thanks for the article, SM!

    0
    • 41

      Elon’s Web Dev here – Yep, we thought the same – but ours was released 6 months before… :-)

      0
  28. 42

    Great showcase. Missed one for the Art & Design schools, check out the Columbus College of Art & Design. http://www.ccad.edu

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  29. 43

    I’ve been looking for a resource like this for a while. Thanks. In my search for well-designed college sites, one good one I found was Biola University (http://www.biola.edu/).

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  30. 44

    Seriously? While I will agree that there are some good sites here, I think over half could have been left off.

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  31. 45

    Great list Cameron. Good food (:
    Just sad that Stone Laboratory didn’t make the list http://stonelab.osu.edu

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  32. 47

    Thanks for the Big Ups SM! —Elon University Web team!

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  34. 50

    http://www.dis.dk just got redesigned.

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  35. 51

    Another issue is that there are tons of subdomains for every college/university that are built/designed differently than the main site. Here’s a good example: http://aux.uncc.edu

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  36. 52

    Thanks for the roundup.

    I enjoyed the vibrant the colors used in University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Great to see how some are not afraid to break the out of the paradigm that defines education.

    Some sites live up the quote by Socrates “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”

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  37. 53

    I had some serious doubts about the cosmetics of my university’s site, until I see the others you put here. Check http://www.yesevi.net to see what i mean.

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  38. 54

    Thank you so much, been wanting an education round up for ages.

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  39. 55

    Verdict: Put a big picture on your homepage and it is listed in a showcase article on smashing.

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    • 56

      David Hutchison

      March 19, 2010 8:57 am

      Come on @Mugros, more than a little cynical. How about this? Verdict: Put a big picture on your homepage and people will notice you! There is so much emotion in choosing a school, and great photos do a better job of stirring them up than any amount of text.

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  40. 57

    Strange that Washtenaw would be considered in the group. Lots of issues with the design, including:

    1. most visitors don’t know the audience navigation on the left side is clickable
    2. news articles are highlighted – who cares if you just want to apply to the college?
    3. there’s no apply option on the home page – isn’t that a main goal of the college?

    Too bad the Washtenaw Community College website doesn’t provide a usable calendar. Students and staff find the features on the calendar frustrating (no way to bookmark an event or day), consider it a joke, and call it the “polka dot calendar”.

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  41. 58

    http://www.wsu.edu

    One of the best I’ve browsed through. Super clean, interactive, and always changing. Really easy to find stuff.

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  42. 59

    The Anglia Rukin website is amazingly well coded:

    http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home.html

    Have a browse through some of the pages!

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  43. 60

    ASU is a great one as well

    http://www.asu.edu

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  44. 61

    Thanks so much for this post! I didn’t think I’d ever see this topic when I emailed the request/suggestion a couple weeks ago, but Smashing did it again and surprised the heck out of me!

    On a side question for the other university/college web masters out there, what type of CMS do you guys use and why?

    Thanks again!

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  45. 62

    Thaks for this list of attractive higher-ed web designs. It’s good inspiration and nice to see things from a range of schools. One danger I see with focusing on just the visual design is that it doesn’t reveal whether these sites conform to best practices in web standards, let alone present a usable or accessible site. It’s still great visual food for thought.

    For a recent study, I surveyed 195 law school home pages, to record which use certain elements like carousel displays, hierarchical content and CSS layouts. Read it here if anybody wants the data: Top 10 Law School Home Pages of 2009 http://ssrn.com/abstract=1544368

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  46. 63

    Have you considered the University of Lethbridge?

    http://www.ulethbridge.ca

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  47. 64

    Not bad, but most of the ones on the list I didn’t think were that great. Many of them look out-dated or simply boring. I liked the Leeds one a lot.

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  48. 65

    Very nice collection of school websites. I recently put together a premium theme called WordPress University. It was a challenge when you consider all the different needs of a school/university website. You can check it out at http://tinyurl.com/y996r5p

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  49. 66

    Nice but you left out a lot!

    Almost every one of those sites is a clusterflock of too many links and design by political bargaining.

    Simplify! Standard navigation is typically a link to every fracking area or program with a web page.

    Some, while they may have great this or that, simply have way too much going on, too many focal points, too much stuff to click or unclick.

    There are about 5 things anyone looks at on a site, figure them out and let that be the site. Yeah sure, the rest of you on campus can have some pages but they won’t get top billing, or even secondary billing.

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  50. 67

    Here is another one : http://www.kdg.be/

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