Online or On Campus Education— What is the difference?

While an on campus education has a long tradition, at Widener University, we believe that successful learning can take place anywhere, any time. Our online programs provide the same quality education you will find in our classrooms, in a format that responds to the evolving needs of students in today’s world.

This chart compares online to traditional programs and highlights the key features that students look for in choosing their degree programs. Consider your own educational and life/work needs as you look at the chart.

Factors to ConsiderOnlineOn Campus


To a potential employer, there is no difference between a degree from an online or campus-based program.



Online students can choose a program based on its course and degree offerings without being tied to a geographic area or set schedule.



Online courses share the same standards and outcomes as classroom instruction.


24/7 Access

Online courses can be accessed 24/7, so you can work at the most convenient time for you and at your own pace. Students who are self-motivated and good time managers succeed at online learning.


Set Schedule

Some students prefer the structure of on-campus classes, with its defined schedule and clear boundaries between class and personal time.


Transferable Credits

Widener University, in some instances, accepts transfer credits from both brick-and-mortar (traditional on-campus) and online courses, as long as they are from accredited institutions.


Interaction with Students and Professors

Classroom education provides face-to-face interaction while online learning offers virtual interaction through discussion boards, video, chat, and email.



Online schools and programs must be accredited and meet the same standards applied to their on-campus counterparts.



Consider whether your program or its faculty have received national awards and recognition from leading professional organizations.



You save the time and expense of a commute when learning online.


Student Campus Life

Being on campus puts student life within easy reach, with access to sports, extracurricular activities, and social and cultural events.



In an online learning setting, you have the opportunity to interact, network, and do coursework with other students who could be across the U.S., or even in another part of the world.


Balancing Work, Life, and Education

Offering a more flexible schedule, online learning facilitates a balance between work, life, and education.


Graduation Day

Whether you attend classes online or on-campus, you will have the option to participate in a graduation ceremony to celebrate your accomplishment.



The online degree you earn will appear exactly the same on your resumé as that obtained on-campus. Your mastery of online and social technologies could, however, enhance your technical credentials.


Click here to print a PDF.

To learn more about online programs at Widener University call 1-844-386-7321 to speak with a program manager or click here to request information about our online programs. If you are considering campus-based programs, visit

Source: Johnson, Kevin, and Manning, Susan. Online Education for Dummies®.
Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

Copyright © Wiley 2014