What Kind of Computer Is Required to Take Online Classes?

Online classes require students to own or have access to a computer. Read below to find out what kind of computer is required when taking online classes. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Computer Requirements for Online Classes

A computer - either desktop or laptop - is the most basic tool necessary for completing an online class. The computer is used to access coursework, complete and submit assignments, and interact with professors and fellow students. Most computers come equipped with basic word processing and spreadsheet programs that can be used to complete assignments. Though most online courses will be accessible via both Macintosh and Windows operating systems, in disciplines such as graphic design or computer science, particular operating systems may be required to run necessary software.

Important Facts About Online Classes

Program Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees available; standalone courses, undergraduate certificates and graduate certificates are frequently offered
Prerequisites Vary, depending upon intended program; a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for enrollment in associate's or bachelor's degree programs
Programs of Study English, accounting, business administration, psychology, political science, history, among others
Possible Careers Teacher, camera operator, financial analyst, web designer, computer programmer, credit counselor, insurance underwriter, construction manager, to name a few

Internet Connection

An Internet connection is necessary for accessing the content of online classes. A specific connection speed is not usually required, but faster computers and high-speed Internet access will allow you to more efficiently complete your work. In any case, your Internet connection should be reliable. It is recommended that you update to the latest version of whatever Internet browser you use (e.g., Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.).


In addition to word processing and spreadsheet programs, you may need Adobe Reader for courses that require you to download and read PDF files. This program is free and available to download via the Internet. Different video players and plugins (some of which are also available for free online) may be necessary if you take courses that include video content. In some cases, online meeting or chat programs, such as Skype, may be requested for online meetings or discussions.


Although a printer is not always necessary for completing an online class, it may be useful, especially if one prefers to proofread course assignments on paper instead of on the computer screen. A printer is also useful if you like to save hard copies of your work.

Online Classes Defined

Online classes, also referred to as distance learning classes, are designed to allow you to complete coursework without leaving your home. These online courses give working professionals the chance to pursue a degree or take an individual class with the flexibility not often found in on-campus programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »