Some online courses are delivered live through web conferencing, and others are asynchronous. Most courses follow ODU's regular semester schedule, but a few courses occur on an accelerated schedule. Accelerated courses will be clearly marked.

Live (synchronous) Courses

Synchronous courses occur in real time. This means you'll need to log in on a specific day and time each week. You can log in from anywhere you have a secure high-speed Internet connection and a compatible computer or mobile device.

Most of our live online classes are streamed from classrooms on the main campus and may have students attending in-person as well as online. You'll be able to ask questions and participate in discussions with all of your classmates, no matter where they are.

We deliver live online courses by web conferencing. You'll be able to see and hear your instructor and all of your classmates, and they will be able to see and hear you.

In addition to basic computer requirements, you will need a webcam, microphone and speakers in order to participate in live online classes. If your computer or mobile device does not have a built-in webcam, you can purchase a separate webcam. We recommend using a headset to help you focus.


  • Web cam and headset (or speakers and microphone) are required.
  • High-speed Internet is required.
  • Flash plug-ins may be required.
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  • Access your course from the Web Conference Class launch page.

Asynchronous Courses

Asynchronous courses have no (or very few) live online meetings.

You will access course material online in ODU's learning management system and complete coursework at your own pace within set deadlines. 

These courses follow ODU's regular or accelerated semester schedule, so you will have specific deadlines for submitting coursework. Your instructor may also set deadlines throughout the semester. Some instructors will schedule two to three live meetings during the semester.


  • High-speed Internet is required.
  • Flash plugins may be required.
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  • You may need a webcam and headset or speakers for live online meetings if your instructor requires it. 

Practicums and Internships

Practicums and internships can usually be completed at a physical location near you. In some cases, you may be able to work out a solution for this requirement that involves your current work situation. You and your professor or advisor will work together to identify a suitable location and internship that satisfies your program's requirements.

Portable Media

Some courses in military-specific degree programs can be delivered via portable media, such as DVD or CD-ROM. This option helps military servicemembers stay on track with their education even while deployed.

Course content is organized into learning modules with defined learning objectives and assignments to help you plan timely completion and return of course work. Courses must be completed within a specific time frame. For example, Engineering Management courses by portable media have a 90-day term.

There are no live online class meetings. If needed, you can communicate with faculty, advisors, and support staff using e-mail and/or online discussion boards.


  • A computer capable of playing CD-ROMs or DVDs is required.
  • proctor must administer tests and exams.