DeVry University History

DeVry University’s history begins with the innovative mind of our founder, Dr. Herman DeVry, who invented the portable movie projector and earned a number of patents by advancing technology early on in the motion picture industry, and Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube. With Dr. DeVry’s invention of the first portable projector, he expanded the reach of film, bringing movies out of the theater and into businesses, homes and most importantly, into classrooms.
Dr. DeVry and Dr. De Forest believed visual learning would advance education – and change the world. In 1931, they established De Forest’s Training, Inc., a DeVry School, in Chicago.
More than 85 years later, Dr. DeVry’s curiosity, inventive spirit and real-world problem-solving continues. We bring a pioneer’s perspective to education, embracing new opportunities to explore and discover, always moving forward to the future. We encourage students to dig deeper into understanding industry-relevant roles of technology, so they can be ready for what comes next and be better equipped to find solutions that can make a difference in the world of tomorrow.

Today, DeVry University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs online and at more than 40 locations nationwide within five colleges of study: Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Media Arts & Technology. Business and management graduate certificates and degree programs are offered through DeVry’s Keller Graduate School of Management.
The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC,


1912 – Dr. Herman DeVry invents the “Theater is a Suitcase,” a Model E portable projector that shifts the education technology paradigm.
1913 – DeVry Corporation is founded and sells more than 50,000 projectors, which become standard technology in U.S. schools nationwide.

1921 – Dr. DeVry’s portable projector shows the first in-flight movie.
1931 – Dr. Herman DeVry and Dr. Lee De Forest open De Forest’s Training, Inc., a DeVry School, in Chicago to prepare students for technical careers in electronics, motion pictures, radio and, later, television.
1940s – During WWII, De Forest’s Training school is selected by the United States to educate Army Air Corps instructors on electronic devices and becomes one of the first schools to be approved under the G.I. Bill.
1943 – DeVry receives the Army-Navy “E” award for its production of motion picture sound equipment.
1953 – De Forest Training, Inc. becomes DeVry Technical Institute.
1955 – DeVry’s associate degree program in electronics engineering technology is accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC of ABET).
1957 – DeVry offers its first associate degree program, in Electronics Engineering Technology.
1966 – DeVry Technical Institute is acquired by Bell and Howell.
1968 – DeVry Technical Institute is renamed DeVry Institute of Technology.
1969 – The first bachelor’s degree program is offered in electronics engineering technology.
1973 – The Keller Graduate School of Management is founded by Dennis Keller and Ronald Taylor, former DeVry teachers.
1977 – Keller earns accreditation from North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
1979 – Computer Science for Business becomes DeVry’s second bachelor’s level program (now called Computer Information Systems).
1980 – Degree programs are expanded to Accounting, Business Administration and Network and Communications Management.
1981 – DeVry earns regional accreditation from North Central Association.
1987 –Keller acquires DeVry from Bell and Howell, joining the two schools to form the parent organization of DeVry Inc., now known as Adtalem Global Education.
1998 – DeVry begins offering online programs.
2000 – Business Administration becomes DeVry’s first bachelor’s degree program offered online.
2002 – DeVry Institute of Technology and Keller Graduate School of Management merge to become DeVry University. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
2003 – Keller Center for Corporate Learning, now known as DeVryWORKS, is created as a business unit that provides talent development, skills-gap training and talent acquisition to employee partners.
2011 – DeVry University becomes an official education provider of Team USA.