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Columbia Southern University

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Columbia Southern University Overview

Columbia Southern University is a private for-profit institution located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The charming, small-town atmosphere of Orange Beach draws many to the area.

What Is Columbia Southern University Known For?

5,568 Undergraduate Awards
  • The highest award offered at Columbia Southern University is the doctor's degree.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 34% of the faculty were full-time.

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Columbia Southern University Rankings

According to our 2021 analysis, Columbia Southern University is ranked #232 out of 2,320 schools in the nation that were analyzed for overall quality. This puts it in the top 10% of all schools in the nation. Out of the 29 colleges in Alabama, it is ranked at #1.

These rankings may look different from those published by other outlets, because we use an outcomes-based approach rather than a subjective one. We get our data from a number of places, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard. For more information, check out our rankings and methodology page.

Columbia Southern University has also been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#5 Best Associate’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#77 Best Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at Columbia Southern University.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#1 Best Quality Control Technology Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Natural Resources & Conservation Graduate Certificate Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Natural Resources Conservation Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Fire Protection Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#4 Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Associate’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#4 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#5 Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#14 Best Business Administration & Management Associate’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#18 Best Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#41 Best Health & Medical Administrative Services Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards Columbia Southern University has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#1 Highest Paid Natural Resources & Conservation Graduates College Factual
#3 Best Natural Resources Conservation Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#5 Best Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#28 Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#29 Best Natural Resources & Conservation Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#67 Best Colleges for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting College Factual

Where Is Columbia Southern University?

Location of Columbia Southern University

Contact details for Columbia Southern University are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36561-9000
Phone: 251-981-3771
Website: www.columbiasouthern.edu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia.Southern
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CSUedu

How Do I Get Into Columbia Southern University?

You can apply to Columbia Southern University online at: www.columbiasouthern.edu/Apply-Now

Columbia Southern University has an open admissions policy, so you don't have to worry about getting into the school if you have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Can I Afford Columbia Southern University?

59% Take Out Loans
9.6% Loan Default Rate

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At Columbia Southern University, approximately 59% of students took out student loans averaging $6,329 a year. That adds up to $25,316 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Columbia Southern University is 9.6%. This is about the same as the national default rate of 10.1%.

Columbia Southern University Undergraduate Student Diversity

8,397 Full-Time Undergraduates
43% Women
32% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 15,245 undergraduate students at Columbia Southern University, with 8,397 being full-time and 6,848 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  Columbia Southern University

There are also 5,859 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 8,397 full-time undergraduates at Columbia Southern University, 57% are male and 43% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  Columbia Southern University

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of Columbia Southern University students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Columbia Southern University Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 131
Black or African American 1,739
Hispanic or Latino 434
White 4,176
International Students 4
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,913

Geographic Diversity

Alabama students aren't the only ones who study at Columbia Southern University. At this time, 44 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Online Learning at Columbia Southern University

21,104 Took All Classes Online
21,104 Took At Least One Class Online
-0.3% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
There are 15 bachelor’s degree and 7 master’s degree programs available online at Columbia Southern University. In 2017-2018, 21,104 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at Columbia Southern University has changed over the last few years.

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This school is the most popular in Alabama for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2017-2018.

Online Growth Rankings of Columbia Southern University

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at Columbia Southern University was -0.3%. This is the #171 largest growth rate of all schools that are mostly online. This refers to all students at Columbia Southern University regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of Columbia Southern University majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Allied Health Professions 18%
Business Administration & Management 1%
Computer & Information Sciences 23%
Computer Information Systems 14%
Finance & Financial Management 80%
Fire Protection 9%
Health & Medical Administrative Services 6%
Health Professions 8%
Homeland Security 31%
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 7%
Information Technology 51%
Public Administration 10%
Public Administration & Social Service 10%
Public Health 32%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at Columbia Southern University ranks compared to all other mostly online schools that offer a specific major.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Quality Control Technology #4
Allied Health Professions #9
Fire Protection #12
Hospitality Management #12
Engineering Technologies #12
Natural Resources Conservation #14
Health & Physical Education #14
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies #15
Natural Resources & Conservation #17
Homeland Security #22
Public Health #26
International Business #27
Mental & Social Health Services #29
Finance & Financial Management #30
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities #40
Liberal Arts General Studies #40
Public Administration #41
Marketing #53
Computer Information Systems #53
Information Technology #59
Public Administration & Social Service #62
Human Resource Management #69
Computer & Information Sciences #74
Criminal Justice & Corrections #79
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting #82
Health & Medical Administrative Services #85
Business Administration & Management #107
Health Professions #115
Business, Management & Marketing #117

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

Columbia Southern University Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Basic Certificate Associate’s Bachelor’s Graduate Certificate Master’s Doctor’s TOTAL
Business Administration & Management 31 424 1,144 17 1,211 17 2,844
Quality Control Technology 39 502 661 22 363 0 1,587
Fire Protection 9 638 408 0 0 0 1,055
Criminal Justice & Corrections 0 251 294 0 52 0 597
Health & Medical Administrative Services 0 89 195 3 0 0 287
Homeland Security 0 0 70 0 185 0 255
Human Resource Management 21 0 153 14 0 0 188
Liberal Arts General Studies 0 180 0 0 0 0 180
Natural Resources Conservation 27 0 107 9 0 0 143
Computer Information Systems 8 0 123 0 0 0 131
Public Administration 0 0 0 5 100 0 105
Mental & Social Health Services 0 0 97 0 0 0 97
Public Health 0 0 0 0 68 0 68
Allied Health Professions 0 0 44 0 0 0 44
Information Technology 0 0 43 0 0 0 43
Finance & Financial Management 4 0 0 1 0 0 5
Hospitality Management 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Health & Physical Education 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
International Business 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Marketing 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 145 2,084 3,339 71 1,979 17 7,635

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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