How Do Online Classes Work?


By DeVry University

February 11, 2022
4 min read

When considering online classes for your college education, you likely have some questions: How do online classes work? What are the benefits of online classes?

The simple answer is that online learning is a lot like traditional learning, with the added flexibility of being able to study when and where you want. You’ll also get access to the same tools and resources as on-campus students, along with one-on-one support from a team of advisors and professors. The flexibility of online classes can make them a great choice for adult students who already work full-time jobs, have a family or have other responsibilities to take care of.

Read on to learn more about the history of our extensive online learning programs at DeVry and how our online classes work.

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20+ Years of Online Innovation

It was 1912 when Dr. Herman DeVry invented the portable motion picture projector. This advancement brought film out of the theaters and into the classrooms. It was a visual learning approach that promoted an engaging new way to learn. This revolutionary technology not only introduced a visual component to learning, it also served as the first building block of a lifelong fascination with implementing technology in education.

Dr. DeVry founded DeVry University in 1931 with a goal to provide students with a career-focused education. In the decades that followed, our school expanded and diversified, ultimately launching our first online classes in 1998.

With more than 90 years of history and 20+ years of online learning, we continue to evolve our programs and teaching methods to tailor our online classes to today’s busy, working adult students.

What Are The Benefits of Online Classes?

One of the main reasons that students choose online classes vs. traditional classes is that they provide the opportunity to create a flexible learning experience that meets your individual needs. Some of the benefits of online learning at DeVry include:

  • Classes that start every 8 weeks, allowing you to complete more courses in a shorter amount of time*.
  • The ability to complete your weekly assignments at your own pace, when and where it’s convenient for you.
  • Schedules that allow adult students to balance work, school, family and more with the help of professors and Student Support Advisors.

At DeVry, some of our online undergraduate certificate programs can even be completed in as little as 10 months1.

An Engaged Community

Pursuing an online degree doesn’t mean you’ll be navigating your education solo. Instead, you’ll be part of a cohort of students from coast to coast. You’ll gain knowledge from one another as you learn from instructors who have real-world experience in their respective field. Our online courses give you the chance to engage with fellow online students in order to share and develop knowledge with your peers, as opposed to by yourself.

You’ll also have our Student Support Team by your side. They serve as your guides in navigating your online education journey, from enrollment through graduation.

How Does the Online Learning Process Work?

We make it easy to complete your coursework with our customized learning platform. All of your assignments, topics, lectures and discussions are planned out week by week. You can collaborate with other students on group projects and participate in instructor-led discussion threads.

As a DeVry student, you’ll also have access to interactive e-books and a complete e-library of information. Our mobile app will allow you study on the go, no matter where you are. Should you run into any hiccups, our 24/7 technical help desk representatives are here to help.

Resources at Your Fingertips

Every student has their own unique learning style. That’s why we offer a suite of supportive resources - with many available 24/7. Here are just a few of the tools you can take advantage of at no additional charge:

  • 24/7 On-Demand Tutoring2
  • Online Student Community Powered by GetSet
  • Access to Student Counseling & Assistance Program
  • Accessible Course Materials

In addition, you’ll get one-on-one Academic Planning, Financial Aid and Career Services Support including:

  • Academic Planning: Build a schedule and chart your goals with your designated support team.
  • Financial Aid: Explore scholarships, grants and loans opportunities for those who apply and qualify.
  • Career Services: Get interview-ready with help from our certified career coaches and resume writers3.

Get Started With Online Classes

At DeVry, we offer 50 programs and 95+ specializations in Business, Technology, Healthcare, Liberal Arts and Media Arts. This includes Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and MBA degree programs, along with undergraduate and graduate certificate programs.

Online Classes FAQs

Are online classes harder than in-person classes?

While our online classes cover the same information as our in-person courses, some students may prefer in-person to online learning, or find online learning more challenging. At DeVry, we offer a variety of resources that are specifically designed to give you the support you need and help set you up for success for either online and in-person courses.

Do you learn as much in online classes?

Because our online classes cover the same material as our in-person classes, you can learn just as much from an online class as you can on campus. In fact, some students may find that the flexibility afforded by online courses is helpful by allowing them to study from home and focus in a familiar environment.

Are online classes valuable?

At DeVry, we believe that online classes can be just as valuable as in-person courses, since they both have the potential to help you earn a degree or certificate and cover the same materials as in-person courses. Since the degrees that you can earn with us online are identical to ones earned in-person, we think online classes are a great choice for new students who want flexibility, adult students who are looking to go back to school or make a career change or anyone else looking to expand their skillset.

How long are online classes?

In general, online classes can vary in length depending on the university offering them. At DeVry, all of our courses are eight weeks long, and you can take multiple classes during the same session or study on a full or part-time basis, which may affect how long it takes for you to earn your degree or certificate.

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Related Information

*Compared to semester-based courses
1 Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment.
2Each student is allotted a set number of hours of tutoring per academic session through (available 24/7). Additional tutoring services are also available through
3Our Certified University Career Coaches are certified by The Academies ( Our Certified Professional Résumé Writers are certified by the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (