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Columbia College


Since 1851, Missouri’s Columbia College has specialized in providing a quality education. At its inception, the institution was known as Christian Female College and it offered two year degree opportunities for its attendees. By 1970 it was time to make the transition to a four year college that was open to both female and male students. The name was changed concurrently, and Columbia College started to become the large, diverse institution that it is today.

Columbia College provides a liberal arts and sciences education and operates as a private, non-profit school. A total of approximately 29,000 students attend classes through the college each year. Many of these are enrolled in day or evening classes at the main campus in Columbia, Missouri. However, the school actually serves a much larger population through its satellite locations in more than a dozen states and one location in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Students also attend from all over the world via the institution’s many online programs. These students enroll to earn one of the 10 associate degrees, 67 bachelor’s degrees or five master’s degrees offered by Columbia College.

Columbia College Accreditation Details

Back in 1918, Christian Female College received its initial accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. That accreditation remains active today. A prestigious accreditation ensures that an educational institution maintains high standards for instruction and facilities. The Higher Learning Commission periodically reviews faculty and curricula at Columbia College to ensure that the school continues to meet or exceed its stringent standards.

Columbia College Application Requirements

Students interested in an undergraduate program must have maintained a 2.5 or higher GPA during their high school career and completed the ACT or SAT. Alternatively, students who ranked in the top half of their graduating class or have already completed 12 credits of college preparatory work may also be accepted.

At the graduate level, applicants must be able to demonstrate a 3.0 GPA during pursuit of their undergraduate degree to receive full admission, however conditional admission may be granted to students with a lesser GPA. These students may enroll for one course per quarter and must receive a B or better grade to receive full admission.

In addition to appropriate prior academic performance, all students must fill out an online application form and submit a non-refundable application fee. Candidates must also be prepared to submit relevant high school and college transcripts along with their application. Additional materials are required for admission to graduate programs; these typically include three letters of recommendation, a resume and an essay of 300-500 words regarding the student’s academic and career goals.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Columbia College offers an affordable education for online students. The average student in an undergraduate program will pay approximately $260 per credit hour. That amount is reduced to approximately $250 for individuals in the military. Graduate students pay about $350 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available for students who qualify. Candidates may fill out a Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) and turn it in at the same time they submit their admissions application. Additionally, Columbia College offers scholarships designed specifically for their online campus. Many of these are tailored for current or former military personnel, while others are open to all students based upon GPA and other criteria.

Online Degrees Available

Columbia College students have a wealth of online degree options from which to choose with approximately 13 undergraduate and five graduate programs available online. Of the undergraduate programs, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is among the most popular. Students may choose from among several specializations like accounting, healthcare management and public relations. Graduates of this program pursue entry level employment in a wide variety of organizations or go on to obtain an MBA. Regardless of the focus area they choose, all students must complete core classes relating to basic accounting skills, economics, statistics and finance. Attendees will also be introduced to the rudiments of business law and the technology that is prevalent in the workplace.

Columbia College’s Bachelor of Arts in English is another excellent program that offers students an opportunity to hone their critical thinking and writing skills, both of which are indispensable in the hiring marketplace. Many students use this program as an entrance to a legal degree. While Columbia College offers two areas of emphasis for on campus students, only the literature emphasis is available to online students. Required courses typically include literary theory, Shakespeare and American literature. Students may also choose from a wealth of electives ranging from poetry and mythology to technical writing and science fiction.

The institution also takes great pride in its Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program. Through completing courses that illuminate human development, abnormal behavior, relationships and memory, students may enter an exciting field of research and career opportunities. Some students progress beyond the undergraduate level with hopes of becoming a psychologist. Others put their learning to use in a wide range of industries including biological sciences, business and public affairs.

Columbia College boasts a particularly prestigious Master of Science in Criminal Justice Degree. The program is largely designed for professionals who already work within the criminal justice system. As they further their education with courses in legal and ethical issues, the development of criminal justice policy, crisis intervention and law enforcement’s role in the community, they improve their professional skills and become increasingly adept at meeting the challenges of the criminal justice field. If they desire, students may earn additional credits in either the Management Track in Law Enforcement Administration or the Management Track in Corrections Administration.

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership online degree program is focused on both theoretical and practical learning. Attendees may choose either the Principal Track or the Instructional Leader Track. Certain core courses are required for both tracks. These include classes related to the psychology of educational leadership, designing curriculum and performing academic evaluations. Students are also expected to complete an integrated project involving extensive research.

With so many undergraduate and graduate degree programs available online, Columbia College offers a quality education to students no matter where they study.