Admissions Requirements

Columbia Southern University (CSU) establishes admission criteria to ensure that students who enroll are capable of successfully completing and benefiting from the educational offerings.  CSU admits students to its programs regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age.  The University administers its educational policies, scholarship programs, and other programs while providing reasonable accommodations for applicants and students with disabilities to the extent required by applicable laws.  Applicants under the age of 18 are required to provide parental consent when entering into signed agreements with the university.

Please refer to the CSU website for additional details regarding Title IX.

Undergraduate Programs

Applicants for admission must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent at the time of admission.  To be considered for unconditional admission to an undergraduate program, applicants must submit the following:

Conditional admission allows applicants who have self-certified graduation from an approved high school program or the equivalent on the CSU application for admission to enroll in a program for 12 semester hours pending the receipt of required admission documents. To learn about other conditional admission statuses please refer to the LifePace Learning Conditional Provisional Admission and Conditional Probation Admission policies further below.

Homeschooled students must demonstrate successful completion of homeschooling at the secondary level as defined by state law in which the high school credential is earned.  A detailed guide for meeting the CSU admission requirements is available in the CSU Homeschooled Admission Guidelines.

International students must self-certify as to successful completion of the equivalent of grade 12 in a U.S. secondary school and provide evidence of successful completion of a program considered to be equivalent to an accredited high school diploma or GED certificate. In addition, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency.  A detailed guide for meeting the CSU admission requirements is available in the CSU International Admission Guidelines.

Master’s Programs

Applicants for admission must:

  • A complete application, which includes, but not limited to, a valid phone number, email, physical address, and Social Security Number (SSN), of applicable.
  • Possess an accredited baccalaureate degree from a post-secondary institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or equivalent
  • Meet all Admission Documentation Guidelines

Conditional admission allows applicants who have a conferred bachelor’s degree from a recognized post-secondary institution or the equivalent to enroll in a graduate program for 6 semester hours pending the receipt of required official transcripts. To learn about other conditional admission statuses please refer to the LifePace Learning Conditional Provisional Admission and Conditional Probation Admission policies further below.

Doctor of Business Administration

Applicants for admission must:

  • A complete application, which includes, but not limited to, a valid phone number, email, physical address, and Social Security Number (SSN), if applicable.
  • Possess an accredited baccalaureate degree and a master’s of business administration, or a business related master’s degree from a post-secondary institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or equivalent
  • Have two years of business related professional experience post baccalaureate
  • Meet all Admission Documentation Guidelines

Conditional admission allows applicants who have a conferred bachelor’s and master’s degree from a recognized post-secondary institution or the equivalent to enroll in a doctoral program for 7 semester hours pending the receipt of required official transcripts.  To learn about other conditional admission statuses please refer to the LifePace Learning Conditional Provisional Admission and Conditional Probation Admission policies further below. 

Other General Requirements

Student Identity Verification

CSU must establish the identity of the student who registers in distance education programs to assure it is the same student who participates in and completes courses and receives academic credit.  Applicants are required during the admissions process to submit a color image of a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a state driver’s license, state identification card, or U.S. passport.  CSU reserves the right to require additional sources of identity verification, such as the following:

  • SSN card
  • Color, valid, unexpired U.S. Passport
  • Utility bill less than 90 days old
  • W-2 tax form
  • Voter registration card
  • Current lease or rental agreement
  • Vehicle registration
  • Current Homeowner’s insurance policy with name and address

International applicants are required to submit a color image of a valid international government –issued driver’s license, national/state/province identity card (including European ID card), or a valid international travel passport.  Additional identity verification sources may be required, such as but not limited to the following:

  • Permanent Resident card
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Authorization Card (I-766) (for those working in the U.S.)
  • Border Crossing card

LifePace Learning Conditional Provisional Admission

These programs are designed for adult students with commitments, obligations, and schedules that require additional flexibility beyond that offered in standard cohort online programs with weekly deadlines. Because of the additional flexibility, these programs are not eligible for FSA, and students must be disciplined and committed to a rigorous study schedule to ensure successful course completion with the ten weeks allotted. All students enrolling in these programs for the first time at CSU are admitted conditionally and in a provisional academic status for twelve (12) semester hours in undergraduate programs and 6 semester hours in graduate programs to demonstrate successful academic progress. Upon continuation in the program beyond this period, the student may be admitted unconditionally into the declared academic degree program if all other admission and document requirements are met.  Students enrolled in the doctoral program are not eligible for this online enrollment option.

Denial/Conditional Probation Admission Decision and Appeal

CSU reserves the right to deny admission to applicants who do not meet admission requirements.  Applicants may be admitted conditionally, in a probationary status and the enrollment may be limited in order to demonstrate their ability to successfully complete college level course work. Factors considered in admission decisions may include, but are not limited to, high school GPA, past academic performance at other post-secondary institutions, excessive course withdrawals, and other indicators of success.

Applicants who wish to appeal the admission decision have the right to do so by providing additional information to support the earned high school diploma or equivalency or supporting documentation which demonstrates extenuating circumstances during the period of substandard performance to registrar@columbiasouthern.edu.

Admission Decision Appeal Form pdf icon

Technical Requirements

Curriculum at CSU is delivered completely online using the Blackboard learning management system. CSU students must have access to the Internet and an appropriate individual (non-shared) e-mail account in order to complete a program of study at CSU. If personal Internet service is unavailable, you are encouraged to contact local libraries, schools or a public business to locate access to the Internet. The course syllabus, study guide, and examinations are all provided within the online course.

Computer Requirements

Operating System: Windows XP or later; Mac OSX10.6 or later (for a list of OS/browser compatibility, visit help.blackboard.com) Internet Connection: Minimum Download Speeds of 128Kbs, Minimum Upload Speed of 128Kbps

Software: Students must have software capable of creating, editing, and saving Microsoft Office document files (.doc, .docx), Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files (.xls, .xlsx), and Microsoft PowerPoint presentation files (.ppt, .pptx).

Plug-ins: Java, Acrobat Reader, Quick Time, Flash Player Internet Browser: A list of certified and compatible browsers can be found at the following site: help.blackboard.com