Columbia Southern University
21982 University Lane
Orange Beach, Alabama 36561-9000
Accrediting Agency:
Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Commission

Columbia Southern University is a fully online higher education institution that offers all of its programs through distance education. The university is headquartered in Orange Beach, Ala., but students from across the U.S. can enroll in the university’s programs. Columbia Southern University targets working adults and other nontraditional students, such as military personnel and stay-at-home parents, who need more flexibility than traditional college classes have to offer. Enrolled students can benefit from 24/7 access to their courses, which allows them to complete their degree on a more convenient schedule. College Prowler gave the university a grade of “A+” in the categories of academic experience, academic flexibility, online courses, and tuition and financial aid. Students enrolled in CSU’s online programs have access to free tutoring services in math and writing, as well as free textbooks through the CSU book grant (provided the student completes the course).

Programs Offered

Columbia Southern University offers a broad range of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, as well as one doctoral degree, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). The university also offers an array of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs for students looking for shorter-term higher education opportunities. Undergraduate business administration majors can choose from numerous concentrations, including finance, management, human resource management, hospitality and tourism, sport management, and more. Other notable programs include criminal justice administration, psychology, environmental management, fire science, healthcare administration, information technology, and more. CSU’s online courses are delivered asynchronously, meaning students are not required to log in at a certain time, and no group projects are required to complete any courses.


Columbia Southern University has been accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council since 2001.


Columbia Southern University offers open admissions to prospective students, and students can enroll and get started at any time throughout the year since there are no predetermined semester or session dates. Students must fill out the application for admission and submit their academic transcripts. Students who have military transcripts and relevant professional licenses should submit those as well. The university will provide an evaluation of the application within 7-10 days. Upon acceptance to the university, the CSU admissions department will begin helping students enroll and register for classes.


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