Columbia Southern University Online

Founded in 1993, Columbia Southern University was among the first online colleges established in the United States. It originally awarded environmental engineering and occupational safety and health degrees. Today, it has expanded to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a variety of fields. Popular programs include fire science, criminal justice, business, human resource management, and information technology. Columbia Southern University prides itself on being flexible and targets individuals who have daily obligations that would otherwise interfere with their ability to enroll in college. The university is an academic partner to Delta Airlines and participates in the GoArmyEd initiative, which offers tuition assistance to military students.

Programs Offered

Columbia Southern University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in arts and sciences, business, general studies, safety/emergency services, and other fields. In addition to degrees, the university also offers certificate and certification programs. Columbia Southern University is partnered with Wardolf College and the University of North Alabama, through which the university is able to offer an even wider range of courses. Popular programs include the master’s of business administration, criminal justice administration, fire science, and environmental management. Textbooks are offered for free to students that complete their classes. Columbia Southern University also prides itself on having no group projects, which allow students to complete courses independently.


Columbia Southern University was accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council in 2001. Since then, it has upheld the standards set in place by the Accrediting Commission and has remained recognized for its dedication to distance learning.


With open enrollment and self-paced classes, Columbia Southern University takes away the time-crunch for getting application materials submitted. No entrance exams are required, and there is no application fee, unless you choose to undergo priority evaluation. Prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED prior to enrolling in an undergraduate program. Graduate applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral students must have a master’s, or a bachelor’s degree with at least two years of post-graduate professional experience. There is no set GPA for admission. Undergraduate students are allowed to transfer up to 75% of their course work, and graduate students are permitted to transfer up to 50%. Students must also have access to a computer and the Internet.

Admissions Contact

Columbia Southern University
Admissions Office
21982 University Lane
Orange Beach, AL 36561
(800) 977-8449

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