Columbia Southern University

21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36561-9000

School Details

Columbia Southern University is a private, for-profit distance learning institution located in Orange Beach, Alabama. CSU is a completely online institution that offers various degree programs.


CSU was established in 1993 by Dr. Robert G. Mayes, Sr. in order to meet the demands for alternatives to the traditional university experience. In 1994, CSU developed its first degree program in environmental management and safety degrees. Because of the success of these first degree programs, others were added by 1996, such as business administration, computer science, criminal justice administration, and health administration. In 2006, Columbia Southern University was approved to offer a Doctor of Business Administration. Today, CSU has approximately 19,933 students in both the undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. There are around 50 full-time faculty and staff committed to the online education provided by CSU. CSU also partners with Waldorf College and University of North Alabama to provide a wider range of online educational opportunities.


Columbia Southern University aims to provide its students with affordable tuition and flexible learning methods in order to assist students from all over the world to get the most from their higher education program. The flexibility of CSU’s degree programs also allows students the ability to schedule their education around family, professional, or any other commitments. Therefore, CSU offers 24-hour access to all course assignments, online forums, and other education tools in the students program. CSU is in fact one of the first completely online universities and today is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.

CSU offers many undergraduate and graduate programs both in the bachelor and associates degrees. CSU also offers a doctoral degree in Business Administration. For undergraduate students, CSU offers an associate degree in Business, Criminal Justice, Fire Science, General Studies and Occupational Safety & Health. CSU also offers a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, which includes finance, hospitality & tourism, human resource management, information technology, information management, management, marketing, project management and sport management. The other bachelor degrees that CSU offers includes Criminal Justice Administration, Environmental Management, Fire Science, Health Care Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Occupational Safety & Health, Organizational Leadership and Psychology. The graduate degree programs that CSU offers include Masters of Business Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Emergency Services Management, Occupational Safety & Health, and Organizational Leadership.


It is important to note that Columbia Southern University has an open admissions policy. The tuition as CSU aims to be affordable in order to allow a greater number of students the opportunity to get a quality degree in higher education. CSU is also one of the 140 schools that are approved to offer up-front tuition assistance from the U.S. Army. CSU does offer a variety of opportunities to receive financial aid through scholarships, loans and grants.


Distance Education Accrediting Commission


School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    4-year, Private for-profit
  • Religious Affiliation:


  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Master's degree
  • Total Enrollments:
  • Adult Age Enrollments:
  • Percent Admitted:
    Open admission policy
  • Calendar System:



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