Columbia Southern University Reviews

  • 193 Reviews
  • Orange Beach (AL)
  • Annual Tuition: $6,600
87% of 193 students said this degree improved their career prospects
78% of 193 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 5/14/2023
  • Degree: Business
"The majority of the coursework is garbage. Most coursework was taught in the same format that encouraged narrow learning instead of a deep understanding of material. I took a microeconomics and macroeconomics class and the material taught in both classes were identical including homework and test. Earned credits at Columbia Southern are not transferable or accepted at many public and non profit universities."
John Davidson
  • Reviewed: 3/12/2023
  • Degree: MBA in Public Administration
"I completed a MBA with emphasis on Public Administration in 2014 and it opened the door for my career which has put me at a six-figure salary. I was completing an MPA at a state school; however, I found it difficult to balance the scheduling options with working full time. I was aware of Columbia Southern University being a good value to utilize the GI Bill and knew they were very veteran-friendly. I took a job with huge upside potential as a graduate school intern with permanent placement contingent on finishing my graduate studies. Once I completed my MBA, I was made permanent and within four years my salary exceeded the six-figure threshold. I am still employed in this career today and I am very well aware that CSU facilitated this by allowing me to receive a quality education with the scheduling freedom that comes with online coursework. Furthermore, I find myself an individual that benefits from learning on my own as opposed to attending lectures and completing group projects. This was all around my style of learning without any detriment to the level of education that I was receiving. With their Regional Accreditation, they meet the gold standard for an employer to accept the validity of a degree and a potential student can have the assurance that regulating bodies have found the education being offered to be on par with set guidelines. Long story short, the education I received at CSU enabled me to establish a lucrative career and having been a state school student I can attest that the quality of the education being delivered at CSU was as good as any coursework that I had done at a brick-and-mortar. Completing a degree can be difficult when one must also work standard business hours. Even though I had the option to attend school in the evening at my state school, it was a rush and often times depending on my workload at my place of employment, I found myself to be mentally exhausted but yet I was prescribed the time that I was to receive my education and had to "grind it out". For me, the freedom of online education was exactly what I needed and CSU delivered. I have zero regrets about attending CSU and have plenty to show for the education that I received. Also, it is worth noting that CSU was excellent in dealing with the Post 9/11 GI Bill and even Gold Ribbon veteran benefits. I am glad that CSU is well discussed in veteran and active duty circles. Other schools have given me the run-around with my GI Bill benefits to the point of frustration."
  • Reviewed: 2/26/2023
  • Degree: Business Administration
"I am very happy to have graduated from CSU with my MBA. Education is what you vision it be for yourself. I have returned to CSU for my DBA recently. I can say from experience that I'm happy to have returned to CSU for another learning experience. CSU is a well rounded university for not only the working adult but also for anyone who desires an affordable education. CSU is no diploma mill. Whoever believes and says otherwise should do more research on accreditation standards for national and regional bodies before making false claims against a university who values its programs and student learners outcomes."
Maggie-MBA Professional
  • Reviewed: 1/30/2023
  • Degree: MBA
"Columbia Southern University truly changed my life. I was able to pickup right where I left off years ago when I had to stop school for medical reasons. The registration staff is very helpful and are constantly following up to ensure no questions went unanswered. The tuition prices are affordable without jeopardizing the quality of the education offered. I found the courses to challenging but rewarding for my career.The professors are engaged and available to answer any questions or concerns. The guidance and tools provided by both the school and the professors are very helpful keeping us as students in mind. Any emails sent are usually answered within 24-48 hrs. Students are also engage in helping each other out as needed and we create our support groups to help one another answer any doubts or questions. I completed my Bachelors and loved the university so much that I returned to complete my Masters as well. I strongly recommend CSU."
Healthcare Professional in search of additional journeys
  • Reviewed: 11/1/2022
  • Degree: Emergency Management
"I am a long-time (thirty-plus years) healthcare professional who currently still works at the bedside doing bedside care and diagnostic testing in a federal medical facility. I desired to pursue a master's degree outside my current profession. However, I wanted there to be some relationship in a broader sense in terms of safety, mass casualty events, hazmat concerns, public administrations, etc. These types of events are unfortunately becoming more prevalent everywhere! It is essential that the program would allow me to maintain my full-time employment, especially during COVID. I do not have a job where I can call off and stay at home. I also work predominantly off-tours, every weekend, extended night shifts, and an occasional emergency call-in. Additionally, I have an elder parent in a bordering state that I frequently travel home to check in on. In other words, nuances that make a traditional brick-and-mortar institution frown upon those of us who have the desire to further our education but need a pathway forward. WE ARE GOOD EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS when allowed to forge ahead! I embarked on a somewhat unfamiliar major, but after reading about it, I wanted in! MS Emergency Services Management was perfect for me. I learned something new, so it kept me engaged, and the field is an eye-opener to some of the thought processes behind the realm of terrorism and homeland security. I should mention that Columbia Southern University has these courses and related degrees for those who wish to take their knowledge in that direction. My journey was extremely positive. Coming home to an empty house in the prime of the COVID pandemic after wearing a sweat-filled mask and other gear was a depressing gut punch physically and psychologically. There were times when I could not come home for days/nights, let alone visit family members...especially an elder parent. Going to school online at a positive institution that encouraged me in my demise saved my sanity!!! Starting off is always a bit scary, and technology was unkind to me initially! Expect this when you haven't been in school for decades! Yes, several decades! This institution works with the willing! HAVE YOUR CRY and GET BACK UP! Let yourself being PISSED OFF MOTIVATE YOU, and by golly get the HECK back up, and CRUSH IT! This institution is not for everyone but does fill an enormous void for working professionals, single parents, hard-working two-parent households, deployed men or women, someone who perhaps is homebound for any number of reasons, and for the person who cannot even get home!!! Let THAT sink in! I am proud of my accomplishments at this institution. At some point, I plan to pursue another degree. It may or may not be at this institution, but it will not be because I did not achieve what I set out to do at Columbia Southern University. This place is WONDERFUL, and I want everyone to know this. It's also affordable...say what? say what! Say What! I am an Army of one, with my financial and motivational support system comprised of what I see when I look in the mirror. I know I am not the only one in this boat. I am over the moon that I kept at it and got my degree. YOU can too, and I sincerely wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Find an institution that will work with you in your circumstance and one that will not leave you with insurmountable debt, regret, depression, and wanting to meet your professor in the parking lot!!! Look how much my writing has improved since going back to school?!?! Shut my mouth!!! Yes, I did that! Good Luck, BYE :)"
John Beckett Brown
  • Reviewed: 10/22/2022
  • Degree: Occupational Safety
"Glad that I completed my degree at CSU. The courses and the faculty were great. I am much better prepared for my professional career thanks to CSU. The skills that I improved on by attending CSU included research, writing and learning about current advancements in the field of Occupational Safety and Health."
Steven Gillet
  • Reviewed: 8/19/2022
  • Degree: Occupational Safety
"I have attended this school for over 6 years. Graduated with honors. Retired military(submarines), have attained degrees from other schools with not as high of learning potential. I am a go getter and good study habit has given me great benefit. You get back what you put in. I believe CSU to be top notch curriculum. This school is no degree mill. The courses have had much difficulty and have provided success. My resume proves this school has given me a good benefit. Many naysayers that have no idea what they are talking about."
Steve Riggs
  • Reviewed: 7/12/2022
  • Degree: Information Technology
"The instruction at the school was less than adequate. I had to complete degree there because traditional schools wouldn’t take all transferred credits. Would prolong the education and go deeper in debt. Instructors just seemed to pass you on without really critiquing the homework to improve your skills. Once in the field you realize that your unprepared for most jobs you were hoping to get."
Tyler Hardy
  • Reviewed: 6/25/2022
  • Degree: Public Health
"Let me just start off by saying that I could have received the same education by going to one of those online services that basically prints off a fake diploma and fake transcript. I have two academic integrity violations. One was because I missed a citation and the other was because a pop up blocker popped up during my exam which was from the proctor company and the SUC looked at my review and denied my appeal. And get ready to write, and write, and write, and write and write. You will write a 2-3 page paper every week sometimes more it is the least effective program ever. Then I went to try and get hired in public health and they said I would need a real degree in public health. This program does not meet the accreditation requirements for the Council on Public Health Educations and as such will not be accepts in any of the 50 US states, any World Health Organization Region, the CDC or CSTE. In other words do not do it. Also by taking 3 courses per term will get you through the program in less than a year. No public health degree can be or should be taken that quickly. Point being steer clear or get robbed"
  • Reviewed: 5/12/2022
  • Degree: Occupational Safety
"First off, I'm not here to put down CSU. There were a lot of good things that came from my time here. For example, they allowed me to be the first in my family to get a degree higher then an A.S. They also gave me credits that I just by chance were able to transfer to a good grad school. However, there are too many negatives to count so I'll just hit a few of the biggest. First, they are a for-profit university and they are not regionally accredited. I'll put it this way, when an interviewer sees a school name on your resume, and ask if it's accredited, this isn't good (kind of makes you feel like Joe Pesci). Also, the whole learning experience is not great. I didn't realize this until I went to another school for my masters but there is almost no support, and you are extremely on your own. All in all, it did get me a pretty good raise at the time."
  • Reviewed: 4/29/2022
  • Degree: Business Administration
"I graduated from CSU with a BSBA in 2020. Many people are making comments about how the degrees "aren't worth the paper they're printed on" or how other schools will not accept their credits or recognize their degrees. I can speak from personal experience and say this is not true. After graduating from CSU, I pursued my master's degree at Indiana University (obviously not some hole in the wall school) and had no issue whatsoever with them recognizing my BSBA degree. CSU is a decent school for the working adult, especially with their LifePace Learning option. I'd recommend."
Mike Anderson
  • Reviewed: 2/9/2022
  • Degree: MBA
"I recently obtained my MBA at Columbia Southern. I was delighted with the life-paced learning. The course is structured with a 10-week completion deadline. You are provided all the material up-front and can work at your own pace. I have seen other online programs where the students are provided with busy work, complete peer reviews, etc. The courses require a lot of writing; however, the work is reasonable for a master's degree. Columbia structures the study, so you are challenged, however, not overburdened with busy work. An MBA education is a general education; it exposes you to concepts, theories, and tools that you can draw on in your career. The MBA will not "open doors" for you as some have stated it should. The program gives you a solid education that you can take to "open doors" for yourself with the confidence of good quality education. The instructors are fair to understand that most students are working professionals. I would highly recommend this school to anyone looking for a solid education using an online format. The instruction was focused on practical education while providing a challenge to the student. We need more educational institutions providing affordable options as government-backed student loans have allowed the cost of education to become hyper-inflated."
  • Reviewed: 1/10/2022
  • Degree: Occupational Safety
"This school will not support you or help you. They will hit you with rules and regs that benefit them only. Much better and cheaper schools out there. Look to a real school for an online program. My experience is from a working person who has life issues due to the pandemic. Absolutely no support from staff, but they all say they are there to help you, so far, everything goes through the board and people on the phone can do nothing for you but forward your call to VM."
  • Reviewed: 11/29/2021
  • Degree: Homeland Security
"It took me some time but I finally finished my B.S. Will be starting a Masters in Homeland Security. I found the instructors pleasant 90% of the time. I really only had issues with an Academic Advisor but overall great experience that I think will help me in the future. I don't think it matters if this school is nationally accredited because most government jobs don't care about nationally versus regionally accredited schools... if your GI bill will pay for it, it will not matter in the long run."
Changed My Life
  • Reviewed: 5/18/2021
  • Degree: Business
"I had an excellent experience with CSU. I was able to earn my bachelors degree at a scedule that worked for me. Upon graduation in 2002, I was hired at IBM. Because the degree is accredited, they had no issues with it. Later, I used this same CSU bachelors degree to get admitted to Benadictine University, where I earned my MBA. Contrary to what some are suggesting here, most RA schools WILL accept a nationally accredited degree. In fact most say it right on the admissions page. Please check and see for yourself. Here's why . .Almost all universities have online degrees now - it's no longer a novelty. There's too much competition now for them to turn away graduates from NA schools - which is why they dont. Anyway, after earning my MBA, I earned a Doctor of Information Technology at Middle Georgia University. Admissions was based on my bachelors and MBA. Today, I teach college courses in business and computer science at a RA community college part time. I'm also a data scientist at Lockheed Martin. So please, enough with the crap about how CSU isn't accepted. The jury has long since been in on this. Go to the alumni page on Linked In. Look at where graduates work. We're talking major corporations, government and education. Some are in high leadership positions. I'm proud I'm an alumni. The school offered me an opportunity to improve my standing in life and pull myself out of abstract poverty at a time when "online" was looked at skeptically."
  • Reviewed: 4/21/2021
  • Degree: MBA in Healthcare Management
"Yes CSU is nationally accredited, and yes not all schools will accept them. There are however many that will, including top ranked schools for master's degrees. Some of these include Liberty Univ, UMGC, Florida International Univ, Webster Univ, Colorado Christian Univ, and more. I don't think my bachelor's from CSU is worth much though, but no degree is without experience. That being said, it's no worse of a degree than from any other school save an Ivy league school. There are a lot of ridiculous comments on here about accreditation, all mostly from elitist folks that probably had mommy buy their way into college. Don't listen to them , they are naysayers, silver spooners, and know it alls. The bottom line is you get good grades, get experience in your field, you can get wherever you want eventually, even if you started at CSU. There is always a way, anyone who says anything else is merely trying to discourage you or sell you something you don't need."
Bruce W.
  • Reviewed: 1/18/2021
  • Degree: Occupational Safety
"I’ve completed both my associates and bachelor’s in Occupational Safety and Health with Columbia Southern University (CSU). CSU’s Occupational Safety and Health program is recognized by both the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM). Both of these agencies are the credentialing authorities for Safety Practitioners and CSU is the only nationally accredited institute recognized by BCSP for having a Qualified Academic Program (QAP). What this means is that the same rigor found in regionally accredited QAP’s are administered at CSU, essentially you are learning the same BCSP & IHMM approved course material as any other qualifying university. There seems to be a lot of conflicting “first hand” accounts regarding the accreditation value of this degree that I hope I’ve been able to clear up. Upon completion of a bachelor’s in Occupational Safety and Health, you can apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) designation through BCSP. This designation can be applied toward the eligibility to sit for testing of the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) without having to attain the Associate Safety Professional credential. Additionally, you can apply for the Associate Safety and Health Manager (ASHM) credential through the IHMM once you are completed with your bachelor’s. Lastly, at the writing of this review, the IHMM has begun a pilot program with CSU that allows students to apply for the Student Hazardous Materials Management (ST-CHMM) credential. The value of education you receive at CSU for completing the bachelor’s in Occupational Safety and Health is recognized by all major credentialing authorities and the U.S. Department of Education. If you want a solid education in Occupational Safety and Health administered by leading industry professionals, this is a great place to start that journey. -AM1, USN, Ret."
  • Reviewed: 1/13/2021
  • Degree: Public Health
"Sucked they moved my credits from 42 to 54. If you never want top graduate this is the school. They did a poor job explaining if you dont continuously go to school you will have to take additional classes. Hard to graduate in your Active Military...."
Lamont R
  • Reviewed: 1/2/2021
  • Degree: Business Administration
"Columbia Southern University is a nationally accredited university. As such, regionally accredited colleges (most) will not accept the credits earned at this institution. All its faculty as I understand must possess degrees from regionally accredited schools. I have many degrees – ALL from regionally accredited colleges. I chose CSU’s MBA in Project Management because I am a seasoned professional and I already have a viable career. What CSU offers me is a low stress course of study where I can earn the ‘sheep skin’ and check the block should I want to move within my organization. I would not recommend this school for a student coming out of high school looking to make their mark on the world. However, for adult learners who are already experienced – this school great! How much you learn is totally up to you. I know that to pass the PMP exam, I better study and take all my assignments seriously. At CSU (as with any school) how much you learn is largely up to you. I don’t agree that it’s a diploma mill as you must complete your work. The courses are NOT as challenging as DePaul University – and thank God for that! This degree is recognized and accepted by all government agencies and most large corporations that I am aware of that offer their employee’s tuition assistance will pay for your degree at CSU. That itself is a strong indication that it’s NOT a diploma mill. Let’s put it in its proper perspective: DePaul MBA vs CSU’s MBA, DePaul wins hands down in every respect! DePaul’s MBA may cost you over $100K, CSU will cost you much less than $10K. I already have a job and some of the positions at my organization will require an MBA – they did not say from WHERE the MBA must be earned! The only requirement is that the degree must be accredited, and national accreditation is good enough! For all of you complainers out there, I suggest that you get yourself back to the program. If some of your instructors are extra soft, then oh well – get the sheep’s skin!"
  • Reviewed: 10/4/2020
  • Degree: MBA in Healthcare Management
"I completed an MBA program that had a concentration in healthcare administration within the past year with CSU. I thought that after completing this degree it would be beneficial to my career, but at this point it has not really landed me any new interviews nor any promotions. I already had a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers in Public Health and I thought this additional degree would get me thru the door with various companies for a better position, but at this point, it has not. Landing a higher job in many cases is more so who you know and the connections you have, rather then your education or even your skill level. There are many cases that I have seen with people in higher positions who do not have a master’s, but only a bachelor’s degree and they make it higher up in an organization because of who they know or even their skin color rather then their skill level or contribution to a company. Before going to this school be cautious and do your research thoroughly."