Columbia College


Nonprofit, Methodist Liberal Arts Education at Columbia

Columbia College appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in English Degrees.

Ranked the South’s 52nd best choice by the U.S. News & World Report, Columbia College is a private, four-year women’s AAC member in South Carolina that grants 45 bachelor’s, four 2+2 associate transfer, and eight master’s degrees, including 11 entirely online, at a 13:1 student-teacher ratio. For example, the English BA crafts a 120-credit, four-year curriculum headed by Dr. Nancy Tuten where undergrads can publish The PostScript, practice in the Pearce Communication Center, and attend the Hub City Writing Conference. Aligned to FESHE standards, the 120-credit Fire Science B.S. offers a State Firefighters’ Association discount on six-week $1,185 online courses like Hazard Mapping and Arson Investigation with free electronic textbooks for 96 percent job placement.

Online on Canvas, the Family Nurse Practitioner MSN builds a 45-credit, CCNE-accredited path for 100 percent of registered nurses to earn APRN certification after intensive eight-week Web courses from Trauma Medicine to Informatics with 525 practice hours at clinical sites like Providence Hospital. Chaired by Dr. Mona El Shazly, the Business Administration MBA specializes a hybrid 36-credit, 12-month sequence in Hospitality Management, Insurance, or Health Administration tracks with monthly on-campus sessions and capstone projects for Fortune 500 employment.

Other Columbia degrees include the Environmental Studies B.S., Exercise Science B.S., Mathematics B.A., Public Health B.A., Elementary Education B.A., Criminal Justice M.A., and Athletic Coaching M.S.

About Columbia College

Columbia College originated in 1854 when the Methodist Conference of South Carolina founded the United States’ 11th oldest women’s higher learning institution. In October 1859, President Whiteford Smith welcomed an inaugural class of 121 to its Plain Street building. In 1865, Columbia Female College was closed as General Sherman’s troops invaded the capital. Reopened in 1873, Columbia founded its prestigious Alumnae Association in 1882. In 1904, the Columbia College name was adopted though single-sex education remained. The next Spring, land was donated by F.H. Hyatt and John Sloan for an Eau Claire campus. Accredited in 1938, Columbia merged with Wofford College in 1948. However, President R. Wright Spears reinstated Columbia’s independence two years later. In 1961, Congresswoman Elizabeth Johnson Patterson graduated from Columbia College. Racially desegregated in 1966, Columbia launched the Evening College for men and women in 1999.

Endowed for $17.5 million, Columbia College now employs 81 full-time faculty teaching 1,379 Koalas from 12 countries online or on the 53-acre Midlands campus near the South Carolina Capitol with 40+ clubs like Kingdom Glory Ministries for 72 percent freshman retention. In 2011, Columbia had the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year Award recipient. In 2019, Columbia won its sixth AAC Champions of Character Award. Columbia College earned the 2013 National SSAC Exemplary School Safety Award too. The U.S. News & World Report applauded Columbia for the 194th best online bachelor’s degrees. On Niche, Columbia boasts America’s 301st best dorms and 313th most liberal academics. College Factual named Columbia the 269th top value and 50th best Methodist school.

Columbia College Accreditation Details

On June 13, 2019, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees publicly issued a warning for Columbia College’s Level III accreditation that will continue through another 2021-22 evaluation visit under President Carol Moore, Ph.D., an American Council on Education Fellow. Located 212 miles west via Interstate 20 in Decatur, this esteemed 11-state Appalachian Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE). The Academic Affairs Office also lists these current degree accreditations:

  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • National Association of Schools of Dance
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music

Columbia College Application Requirements

Admission to Columbia College is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s though 764 of the 880 Fall 2018 applicants were triumphant for less selective 87 percent acceptance. First-year Koalas must graduate from a licensed high school or complete the GED equivalent. At least 16 college-prep academic courses, including Geometry and World History, are suggested. The Class of 2022 had the Palmetto State’s sixth-highest GPA average of 3.71. The middle 50th percentile had SAT scores of 420-540 for reading and 420-510 for math. Mid-range admitted ACT scores were 18-24. The Honors Program mandates a minimum 3.5 GPA and 1200 SAT composite mark. Transfers are test-optional after 30+ accredited college credits graded C or higher. Foreign learners from non-English nations need at least 79 TOEFL iBT or 6.5 IELTS scores. The Graduate Admissions Office seeks four-year bachelor’s completion with cumulative GPAs above 3.0. Lower grades might be permitted with GRE scores of 300 or greater. Divergent Learning MEd and Higher Education Administration MEd cohorts must have current K-12 teacher certification.

Columbia College has rolling undergrad admissions with an April 15th preferential freshman deadline. For financial aid consideration, the priority date is June 30th. International students must file before June 1st for Fall or November 1st for Spring enrollment. The Graduate Admissions Office conveniently starts cohorts every six weeks. Accordingly, complete the Columbia or Common Application online with $50 by credit card or e-check. Forward official transcripts to 1301 Columbia College Drive in Columbia, SC 29203. Send testing reports via SAT/TOEFL code 5117 or ACT code 3850. Attach supplemental materials, such as the personal essay, two recommendation forms, teaching or RN license, certification of finances, and resume. Contact (800) 277-1301 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Columbia College charged traditional full-time undergrads $9,945 each term or $19,890 annually. Part-time Women’s College courses are $650 per credit. Living at the Capital Region campus’ dorms like McNair Hall adds $3,900 to $4,900 for yearly housing. Residential meal plans for Student Union Dining Hall are $1,460 to $4,000 extra each year. Columbia budgets $1,203 for textbooks and $4,520 for miscellaneous. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals about $33,123 on-site or $25,579 if commuting. The Evening College prices co-ed undergrad programs at $5,925 each semester. Online associate or bachelor’s study is $395 per credit. Graduate programs bill flat-rate tuition of $480 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office on the Allison Administration Building’s 3rd Floor connects 69 percent of full-time Columbia Koalas to tuition assistance averaging $11,251 each for $10.78 million combined. The Momentum Scholarship has a January 4th deadline for engaged community service volunteers to earn full-tuition coverage. The Academic Merit Scholarship gifts $1,000 to $3,000 annually for freshmen with 2.7 to 4.0 GPAs. Phi Theta Kappa members with 30+ credits and GPAs above 3.5 qualify for the $1,000 Transfer Scholarship. Since 1984, the Central Carolina Community Foundation has developed programs like the Sara Hempley Scholarship, Estelle Jones Memorial Scholarship, Gilbert Ruritan Scholarship, and Jacqueline Miller Scholarship. Federal resources, such as the Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, require FAFSA forms coded 002456. South Carolinians also pursue the Palmetto Fellowship, Life Scholarship, Hope Scholarship, Tuition Grant, Horatio Alger Scholarship, National Guard College Assistance, and more.

Explore eight academic areas with 55+ flexible, female-friendly degrees placed 180th overall by Washington Monthly at the Columbia College website.

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