Columbia Southern University (CSU) is a privately owned, purely online institution of higher education with headquarters located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The first completely online university in the United States, CSU was established by Dr. Robert Mayes in 1993 for the purpose of providing an alternative to the traditional university experience. Through CSU, individuals who had demanding and unpredictable schedules found a way to pursue their dreams of a higher education. To achieve its goal, many new features like open enrollment, flexible course structures and maximum transfer credit were introduced by CSU.
Accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), a nationally-recognized accrediting agency, CSU is considered a premier online university whose degree programs are all designed for busy adult students who can enroll and then complete their degree programs at home or at the office. It offers Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs in a wide-variety of fields such as fire science, criminal justice, business administration, information technology, human resources management, organizational leadership, and occupational safety and health. Also offered are undergraduate and graduate certificate programs to provide focused training in specialized areas.
Tuition at CSU is moderately priced in keeping with its mission to provide higher education to as many students as possible. Tuition rate per credit hour for undergraduate students is US$200; for graduate students US$265; and for doctoral students, US$300. Tuition and fees are payable in U.S. dollars and are accepted in the form of cash, checks, money orders and credit cards. Financial aid is extended in the form of Federal loans, grants, military educational benefits and merit-based scholarships.