About Columbia College

Establised in 1854, Columbia College is affliated with the United Methodist Church and opened with just over 13 women. Today, our student body has grown to nearly 1,600 and includes men at the graduate level and in some undergraduate programs. Columbia College prepares students personally and professionally for success through strong liberal arts and professional programs emphasizing service, social justice, and leadership development. At 162 years and counting, Columbia College is still going strong.


Academic Programs


  • Students come from 22 states and 11 countries
  • Graduate enrollment: 132
  • Multicultural students: 50%



  • Over the past three years, 96% of graduates are employed or pursuing graduate study within a few short months of graduation
  • 85% of our graduates would choose Columbia College again
  • 93% of our graduates were satisfied with their academic experience
  • Graduates living in all 50 States and abroad: 14,915


  • One of only three colleges in the nation to receive the Exemplary School Safety Award from the National School Safety Advocacy Council
  • Chosen as one of five schools across the nation to receive the 2012 Washington Center and New York Life Foundation Higher Education Civic Engagement Award.
  • Awarded a $600,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to help increase the number of women and minorities who graduate with bachelor degrees in the areas of chemistry, math and computing.

Special Programs

  • Study abroad include semester-long programs in France and Spain, with additional opportunities worldwide including Ireland, Germany, and Korea. 
  • Honors program offers special classes, individualized study and research, travel opportunities, and enrichment activities.
  • Internships are available in all areas of study.
  • The Center for Leadership supports and champions personal leadership among our students and serves as an advocate for both pre-college, young women and post-college, professional women.

Campus and Facilities

  • Columbia College is located in Columbia, South Carolina’s capital city. Cultural and historical attractions are plentiful. The accessibility of both mountains and beaches makes it possible for students to enjoy a pleasant weekend off campus whenever they desire.
  • Historic 50-acre campus includes, six residence halls, student center, indoor swimming pool and fitness center, athletic field and track complex.
  • J. Drake Edens Library has more than 177,000 volumes and 400 subscriptions to journals and magazines with full-text access to thousands of others through online databases. The library’s media collection contains more than 30,000 items.
  • The Bush Science Center, Breed Leadership Center, and the Spears Center for the Arts include varied classroom settings and specialized laboratories, visual arts studios, and performing arts practice and performance spaces.

Campus Life

  • Columbia College's Koalas compete in nine NAIA Division II sports: lacrosse, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, softball, golf, swimming, and cross-country/track and field.
  • A member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference since
  • Columbia College sponsors frequent lectures, student exhibitions and presentations, concerts, and exhibitions featuring professional artists.
  • The Institute for Leadership and Professional Exellence touches every Columbia College student combining a liberal arts education with leadership skills and real-world experiences.


Columbia College is recognized as one of the safest college campuses in the state. Duty officers patrol 24/7 in vehicles, on foot, on bicycle and on Segway scooters to ensure the safety of the campus community. Campus police officers maintain the highest level of training and are well-equipped with state-of-the-art technology. In 2009, an emergency notification system (ENS) was deployed on campus to provide rapid alerts via siren/phone/email and text message in the event of any campus emergency.

Accreditation and Degrees

  • Columbia College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097; telephone 404-679-4501) to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Columbia College is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, Council on Social Work Education, Council for Interior Design Accreditation, North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association, and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
  • Students participate in dance performance troupes and a variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Tuition and Financial Assistance

  • Tuition and fees for full-time undergraduate students in 2017-18 is $19,500, a savings of $9,400 from 2016-17 tuition.

For More Information

Women’s College Admissions
1301 Columbia College Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29203
803.786.3871 or 1.800.277.1301
fax: 803.786.3674


The landmark Fountain of the Classes was the gift of 1925-1928 graduating classes and is the second oldest structure on campus.



Columbia College reduces tuition by nearly $10,000

Columbia College recently announced it will reduce its tuition price to $19,500, a decrease of nearly $10,000 from the current tuition price, for full-time students in its traditional undergraduate program starting with the 2017-18 academic year. This move aligns the institution’s “sticker price” more closely with the average net cost to attend.

With this tuition reduction, Columbia College is addressing the national issue of college affordability, while also taking steps to simplify the price of tuition. The tuition reboot will ensure the value of a private education can be accessed by any student who seeks to obtain a higher education degree. Just as we challenge our students to be change agents for good, we commit ourselves to shifting the current academic and fiscal climate to focus on real value in terms of both cost and quality of outcomes.

This new tuition level of $19,500 will position Columbia College with one of the lowest prices of any four-year private college or university in the region and is comparable with total costs at premier public universities both in and out of state. Institutional scholarships and need-based financial aid will continue to be awarded to Columbia College students, lowering the cost for some students even further from the published price.

Fact sheet:

  • The tuition price for fall 2017 will be $19,500 for the full-time traditional undergraduate program.
  • The room and board price for fall 2017 will be $7,900.
  • The reboot applies to the tuition “sticker price.” A students actual cost may be lower for qualifying students through federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
  • The tuition reboot is accompanied by a decrease in the amount of institutional scholarship and financial aid that is awarded. This new model creates an opportunity for the cost of a college degree to be more affordable for our students over the four years they spend earning a degree.
  • No student will pay more in the 2017-2018 academic year than she paid for the 2016-2017 academic year (important to note that some students will pay the same amount, if already receiving a discount greater than $9,400).
  • The tuition reboot only affects the pricing of the traditional undergraduate program. The pricing of the Columbia College online, evening, associates to bachelors or graduate programs will not be affected as those sticker prices already closely align with average net prices.
  • The reboot gives Columbia College one of the lower undergraduate tuition prices of any four-year private college or university in the region.
  • The reboot puts Columbia College total cost of attendance at $27,400 (for tuition, fees, room & board, before applying any scholarships or financial aid), which is comparable with the total costs of premier public universities, both in and out of state.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Who is affected by the tuition reboot?
A: The tuition reboot does not apply to Columbia College’s online, evening, associates to bachelors and graduate programs which have a specialized pricing matrix. All new and returning full-time students in the traditional undergraduate program will be impacted.

Q: When does the tuition take affect and for how long?
A: The tuition reboot begins with the 2017-18 academic year. During subsequent years, any incremental increases will be applied to the current reboot figure.

Q: How does the tuition reboot affect students and their families?
A: Columbia College students and their families will all benefit. Students who receive federal and state need-based aid may see a higher percentage of aid coverage for their tuition cost. Students who do not qualify for these aid categories will experience a savings due to the lowered price. Finally, students who qualify for a mix of need-based and merit-based institutional aid will remain qualified.

Q: Why is Columbia College rebooting tuition?
A: Columbia College is addressing the national issue of college affordability. We want anyone we seeks to obtain a high quality 4-year private degree to in fact, obtain it. We want to remove barriers to success and lowering our tuition price will ensure that families can focus on the outcomes and not the cost.

Q: Will this result in any modifications to the Columbia College educational experience?
A: The College will continue to deliver high-quality, personalized education both in and out of the classroom and continue its tradition of consistently providing strong results and outcomes for graduates.

Q: What impact will the tuition reboot have on the value of a Columbia College degree?
A: Quality experiences and successful results will remain high and the return on investment in a Columbia College education will only improve.

The Reasons:

  1. Your needs became our priority. So many families today are concerned that rising tuition prices are putting private higher education out of their reach. At a time when average family income has remained stagnant, tuition at 4-year private colleges has increased. Today, the average price of tuition at 4-year private colleges is $32,405. Columbia College understand the current market trends and has committed to make a private-4 year college degree affordable to everyone.
  2. We are Columbia College. Columbia College would like to ensure that the value of a private education can be obtained by any student who seeks a higher education degree. We are taking a bold step, much like our founders did in 1854, to ensure that a high-quality liberal arts education continues to be possible for aspiring young women who want to make a difference in the world. Just as we challenge students to be change agents for good, we commit ourselves to starting a new conversation in higher education—one that focuses on real value in terms of both cost and quality of outcomes.
  3. Our commitment. Columbia College’s culture of creative and visionary thinking allows us to take this step. Our efforts have produced an energy and excitement that is rare in today’s colleges. As a result, we have the opportunity to dramatically decrease our tuition price while still maintaining and improving the high quality and lasting value that a Columbia College degree holds.
  4. The value of your Columbia College degree. The launch of this initiative, with its dramatic reduction of tuition will place Columbia College in the educational forefront as an institution recognized for quality, affordability, and value. Based on a formula that factors in quality and success as well as cost, the return on investment in a Columbia College degree will only improve with the tuition reboot. As our value is enhanced, so is Columbia College’s reputation.

The Results

  • With a substantially lower tuition price, we hope to eliminate the “sticker shock” of the past tuition costs and reach even more prospective students, including those who previously concluded the cost of a Columbia College education to be beyond their means.
  • Those who receive federal and state need-based aid will see this aid cover a higher percentage of cost. Families who do not qualify for need-based aid and consequently have a net cost closer to the sticker price will also benefit. Families that qualify for a mix of need and merit-based institutional aid will continue to qualify.
  • The appeal of quality education at lowered tuition should result in increased campus visits with prospective students quickly recognizing the dynamic opportunities available and the improved return on their potential investment (a ratio where our quality remains high but our price is lowered). We can reasonably forecast increased student enrollment as well.
  • The “high-tuition/high-discount” model that is so prevalent among private colleges across the nation has surpassed what is reasonable to the general public, even institutions with only annual increases to match the cost-of-living index.

Statue of young Andrew Jackson
by Anna Hyatt Huntington

1973President R. Wright Spears approached renowned sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington early in his tenure with hopes of commissioning one of her works for the campus. Ms. Huntington graciously donated the Jackson statue from her personal collection. It resides in a shady spot between Alumnae Hall and The Columns.


Columbia College welcomes members of the news media to our campus. Prior to arrival, we strongly encourage media representatives to notify the office of public relations and facilitate the visit by calling (803) 786-3298. Unauthorized visitors are greeted by campus police.


Columbia College provides the news media reasonable access to campus. However, the College may regulate media access so as not to disrupt teaching or research; to protect the health and safety of students and staff; to protect the privacy of students and others who live on campus; and to comply with state and federal laws on student and personnel data.


Parking: Reporters and news crews may park in Parking Lot A (corner of Colonial Drive and Columbia College Drive) or call the public relations department to coordinate alternative parking. If your vehicle is not marked with a station or publication logo, place a media business card on the driver's side of the dashboard. Although vehicles are generally not permitted on the core campus, the media can drive into the core through arrangements with the public relations office. 


Classrooms: Reporters, photographers and news crews may be able to visit a class. In fairness to instructors and to respect the privacy of students, please make advance arrangements with the public relations office.


Residence and dining halls: Any reporter or news crew wanting to interview, photograph or record inside residence halls or Student Union must first receive permission from LaNae Briggs Budden, dean of students, and must then be accompanied by an assigned escort while in these halls. Time in the halls may be limited. 


For further information, please contact Rebecca Munnerlyn at 803-786-3298 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Plan a Visit!

The best way to learn about Columbia College is to schedule a visit. We'd love to show you around campus, introduce you to students and faculty and answer your questions about our undergraduate majors, financial aid, campus life and more.

The Office of Admissions is open for tours and interviews from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call (803) 786-3871 or (800) 277-1301 to schedule an appointment. 

While you're visiting Columbia College, we encourage you to take time to explore the city of Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. The metropolitan area offers Columbia College students a wide variety of exciting activities and attractions. Learn more about Columbia here.




Columbia, S.C., is at the intersection of Interstates 26, 20 and 77.

From I-20 W (toward Augusta): Take exit 70 to merge onto US-321/Fairfield Road and go about one mile. You will see the College directly in front of you. To reach the main entrance, take a right onto North Main.

From I-20 E (toward Florence): Take exit 70 for US-321/Fairfield Road toward Winnsboro. Turn left at Fairfield Rd/US-321 South and go about one mile. You will see the College directly in front of you. To reach the main entrance, take a right onto North Main.

From I-26: Take exit 107B to merge onto I-20 E toward Florence. Turn right onto Fairfield Road/US-321 and go about one mile. You will see the College directly in front of you. To reach the main entrance, take a right onto North Main.

From I-77: Take exit 16 to merge onto I-20 W toward Augusta. Take exit 70 to merge onto Fairfield Road/US-321 and go about one mile. You will see the College directly in front of you. To reach the main entrance, take a right onto North Main.