Columbia Southern University

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Coordinates: 30°19′45.26″N 87°39′9.4″W / 30.3292389°N 87.652611°W / 30.3292389; -87.652611

Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University.png
Motto Flexible. Affordable. Online.
Type For-profit
Established 1993
President Robert Mayes, Jr.
Provost Jeffrey Barksdale, Ph.D.
Students 21,442[1]
Undergraduates 15,530
Postgraduates 5,912
Location Orange Beach, Alabama, United States
Colors Navy Blue and Gold
Nickname Knights[2]
Columbia southern logo.gif

Columbia Southern University is a for-profit college specializing in distance education, headquartered in Orange Beach, Alabama, United States.


Columbia Southern University was founded in 1993 by Robert G. Mayes, Sr.[3][4] The university developed its first degree programs in Environmental Engineering and Occupational Safety and Health in 1994. By 1996 additional degree programs were developed and offered: The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, followed by Computer Science, Criminal Justice Administration, and Health Administration.[3]

Mayes headed the institution until his death in 2005, when his son, Robert Mayes, Jr., assumed the presidency.[4]


Columbia Southern has been accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC), formerly the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), since 2001.[5][3] DEAC is an accreditation agency recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Columbia Southern is also a member of the Higher Education Transfer Alliance (HETA), a voluntary group of accredited institutions that are concerned with the importance of student mobility, enhancing success in transfer of credit, and affirming the responsibility and prerogative of individual institutions with respect to acceptance of transfer credits.[6]

Faculty and agreements with other institutions[edit]

Currently, Columbia Southern has more than 1,000 full-time faculty and staff. It enrolls and graduates thousands of students annually on both national and international level. Columbia Southern also offers online degrees through partnerships with Waldorf University.[7] The university is one of approximately 140 schools approved to offer up-front tuition assistance through the U.S. Army’s centralized tuition assistance portal, GoArmyEd.[8]


Columbia Southern consists of three colleges, offering a total of 26 degrees at the associate, bachelor, and master levels, as well as 21 certificate programs online. Columbia Southern University offers a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree program, which is a terminal degree program requiring a master's degree as a prerequisite.


  1. ^ National Center for Education Statistics
  2. ^ "University adopts mascot". Columbia Southern University. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Barron's Guide to Distance Learning: Degrees, Certificates, Courses by Pat Criscito (2002), ISBN 0-7641-1791-2, page 179
  4. ^ a b History of CSU, Columbia Southern University website (accessed February 24, 2008)
  5. ^ Distance Education and Training Council Directory of Accredited Institutions 2007-2008, June 18, 2007, page 11
  6. ^ Six Institutions gain Accreditation Distance Education and Training Council website (accessed May 24, 2010)
  7. ^ Online Degree Program ,, Retrieved 23 Feb 2014
  8. ^ List of GoArmyEd partner Colleges, GoArmyEd website (accessed March 28, 2009)

External links[edit]