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DeVry University (/dəˈvr/) is an American for-profit college. The school was founded in 1931, by Herman A. DeVry (inventor of the first portable motion picture projector and early government training film producer), as DeForest Training School, and officially became DeVry University in 2002.[2]

DeVry University
Type For-Profit
Established 1931
President James Bartholomew[1]
Students 19,287
Location Downers Grove, Illinois, United States
Coordinates: 41°51′30″N 87°57′15″W / 41.858301°N 87.954059°W / 41.858301; -87.954059
Campus Multiple: 55+ United States, Canada, Brazil

The university is a division of Adtalem Global Education [3] that is also the parent organization for many other for-profit education institutions.[4] Formerly known as DeVry Education Group, Adtalem is headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, and Lisa Wardell is the company's CEO.[5] DeVry University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[6]

In December 2017, Adtalem announced that it was selling DeVry University to Cogswell Education, a division of Palm Ventures.[7]. As of October 2017, DeVry had a total enrollment of 19,287[7]



Early historyEdit

DeVry was founded in 1931 as the DeForest Training School in Chicago, Illinois.[2] School founder Herman A. DeVry, who had previously invented a motion picture projector and produced educational and training films, named the school after his friend Lee de Forest.[2] De Forest Training School originally taught projector and radio repair, but later expanded to include other electronic equipment such as televisions.[2] The school was renamed DeVry Technical Institute in 1953 and gained accreditation to confer associate degrees in electronics in 1957.[2]

Bell & Howell completed its acquisition of DeVry Technical Institute in 1967. A year later, the company acquired the Ohio Institute of Technology and DeVry was renamed DeVry Institute of Technology,[2][8] which was accredited to confer bachelor's degrees in electronics in 1969.[2]

Keller Graduate School of ManagementEdit

Dennis Keller and Ronald Taylor met one another in the early 1970s when the two were teachers at DeVry.[2] Keller and Taylor learned the economics of for-profit education while at DeVry and, in 1973, the two founded the Keller Graduate School of Management with $150,000 in loans from friends and family.[9] The school was originally conceived as a day school that granted certificates.[9] The Keller School later became an evening program offering MBAs, focused on working adults by 1976.[9] The school was fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1977, the first for-profit school to be accredited by the body.[9]

DeVry first received full accreditation in 1981.[9] The Keller Graduate School of Management acquired DeVry from Bell & Howell in 1987.[10] The leveraged buyout was worth $147.4 million.[9][10] The two schools were combined as DeVry Inc. with Keller acting as chairman and CEO and Taylor president and COO.[2]

DeVry Education GroupEdit

DeVry Inc. successfully completed its initial public offering in June 1991.[11] In 1995, its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.[12]

The university acquired Becker CPA Review, a firm that prepared students for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, in 1996.[13] DeVry acquired Ross University, a medical and veterinary school based in the Caribbean, for $310 million in 2003.[14] The university moved into the nursing field in 2005 with the acquisition of Deaconess College of Nursing, a St. Louis, Missouri-based nursing college that conferred both associate's and bachelor's degrees in nursing.[2][15] Deaconess College of Nursing was later renamed Chamberlain College of Nursing.[2]

DeVry Inc. entered Brazil with its 2009 acquisition of Faculdade Nordeste (FANOR), Ruy Barbosa and ÁREA 1, which are universities located in the Northeast of Brazil.[4] In 2012, the university acquired Faculdade Boa Viagem and Faculdade do Vale do Ipojuca.[4] DeVry acquired a sixth Brazilian university, Faculdade Differencial Integral, in 2013.[4] DeVry Inc. was renamed DeVry Education Group later that year.[16] DeVry Education Group changed its name to AdTalem Global Education in May 2017[17] and announced in December 2017 that they would hand off DeVry University and Keller Graduate School to Cogswell Education, LLC, for no up-front cost, pending regulatory and accreditor approval.[18]


DeVry University has approximately 55 locations across 18 states in the United States.[19]

In April 2015, DeVry University announced the closing of 14 campuses around the United States by 2016 as part of a larger restructuring strategy. Students affected by the campus closings were eligible for discounted tuition to attend online or other campus locations for the remainder of their degree program.[20]


DeVry University's academic offerings are organized into five colleges: The College of Business & Management, which includes Keller Graduate School of Management; The College of Engineering & Information Sciences; The College of Health Sciences; The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, which includes the School of Education; and The College of Media Arts & Technology.[4] The colleges offer a range of associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs.[21] DeVry University also offers graduate certificates.[22]

DeVry operates on a uniform academic calendar for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.[4] The university's academic calendar consists of six eight-week sessions.[4] Most degree programs are offered at both the associate's and bachelor's level. In addition, the institution offers various certificate programs in specific subfields such as information technology.

The Keller Graduate School of Management offers the following master's degree programs:[23]

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Accounting (MSAC)
  • Accounting & Financial Management (MAFM)
  • Human Resources Management (MHRM)
  • Information Systems Management (MISM)
  • Network & Communications Management (MNCM)
  • Project Management (MPM)
  • Public Administration (MPA)

Courses and programs are also offered online.[24] DeVry has offered graduate classes online since 1998 and undergraduate classes since 2001.[4]

DeVry is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[25] Engineering technology programs are accredited on campus-by-campus.

Investigations, lawsuits, and settlementsEdit

In 1995, DeVry was suspended from Ontario's student loan program after a large number of its students misreported their income. DeVry was reinstated after paying fines of C$1.7 million and putting up a bond of C$2 million.[26]

In 1996, students of DeVry's Toronto campus filed a class-action suit claiming poor educational quality and job preparation; the suit was dismissed on technical grounds.[27][28][29]

In November 2000, Afshin Zarinebaf, Ali Mousavi, and another graduate of one of DeVry University's Chicago-area campuses filed a class-action lawsuit accusing DeVry of widespread deception, unlawful business practices, and false advertising and alleging that students were not being prepared for high-tech jobs.[30] The lawsuit contributed to a 20 percent slide in the company's stock.[31] The suit was not certified and the case was resolved for less than $25,000 in June 2006.[32]

In 2001, DeVry became the first for-profit school to obtain permission from the Alberta government to grant degrees, on recommendation by the Private Colleges Accreditation Board.[33] This decision was opposed by the Alberta New Democratic Party (sitting in opposition), the Canadian Federation of Students, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.[34] The NDP claimed conflict of interest as an executive at DeVry served as both the president of DeVry's Calgary campus and as a member of the Premier of Alberta's special advisory council on postsecondary education.

In January 2002, Royal Gardner, a graduate of one of DeVry University's Los Angeles-area campuses, filed a class-action complaint against DeVry Inc. and DeVry University, Inc. on behalf of students in the post-baccalaureate degree program in Information Technology. The suit alleged that the nature of the program was misrepresented by the advertising. The lawsuit was dismissed and refiled. During the first quarter of 2004, a new complaint was filed in the same court by Gavino Teanio with the same general allegations. This action was stayed pending the outcome of the Gardner lawsuit. The lawsuits were being settled in late 2006.[32]

In April 2007, the State of New York settled with three schools that were participating in questionable student-loan practices. DeVry, Career Education Corporation, and Washington University in St. Louis were involved with the settlement. DeVry agreed to refund $88,122 to students.[35]

In 2008, DeVry was accused of filing false claims and statements about recruitment pay and performance to the government.[36]

In January 2013, a lawsuit was filed by a former manager at DeVry which alleged that the college bribed students for positive performance reviews and worked around federal regulations on for-profit colleges.[37] In April 2013, the attorneys general of Illinois and Massachusetts issued subpoenas to DeVry to investigate for violations of federal law and filing false information about loans, grants, and guarantees.[38][39] In July 2014, DeVry stated that the office of the New York Attorney General was investigating whether the company's marketing violated laws against false advertising.[40]

The attorneys general of Illinois and Massachusetts are also investigating DeVry.[41][42]

In 2016, DeVry was also reprimanded by the Veterans Administration over allegations about deceptive marketing.[43]

On December 15, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission settled a $100 million suit against DeVry, which alleged that DeVry’s advertisements deceived consumers about the likelihood that students would find jobs in their fields of study, and would earn more than those graduating with bachelor's degrees from other colleges or universities.[44]

Students who enrolled in a bachelor’s or associate degree program at DeVry University between January 1, 2008 and October 1, 2015, paid at least $5,000 with cash, loans or military benefits, did not get debt or loan forgiveness as part of this settlement, and completed at least one class credit, are eligible for a refund.[45]

In 2017, two former DeVry students filed a claim for arbitration, but DeVry sued the students, claiming the dispute belongs in court, not arbitration.[46]

In May 2017, the Higher Learning Commission designated DeVry "under governmental investigation" as a result of a Massachusetts Attorney General investigation.[47] In September 2017, the Higher Learning Commission removed this designation as a result of a settlement.[48]


As of 2017, DeVry had a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,287 students. DeVry also has about 8,000 students enrolled in its master's programs and Keller MBA programs, bringing its total enrollment to more than 27,000.[49]


DeVry University alumni:

Keller Graduate School of Management alumni:

Partnerships and political interestsEdit

In 2011, DeVry University partnered with the United States Olympic Committee to become an official education provider for the United States' Olympic teams.[10] In April 2016, the USOC announced an extension of its partnership with DeVry through 2020. According to the USOC, more than 125 Team USA student athletes are enrolled in DeVry programs.[55]

In April 2014, DeVry University was named the "official education provider" for NFL Pro Legends, a group supporting players, coaches and other professionals who worked for NFL teams.[56]

As of January 2015, DeVry University is the official education and career development partner of Minor League Baseball. DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management will provide higher education opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels for players, their spouses, umpires and National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) employees and alumni through 2017.[57]

The peak year for Devry's lobbying in Congress was 2011, when it spent more than $720,000.[58] The largest amount has gone to Thompson Coburn LLP. Democratic lobbyist Heather Podesta was a major lobbyist for Devry University from 2010 to 2015.[59][60][61]


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External linksEdit