This website uses cookies. Learn more via our web privacy policy. For questions, please email
Undergraduate Admission - Columbus State University

{{ rssData.title }}

{{ rssData.description }}


Undergraduate Admission

General Requirements

Requirements for admission to Columbus State University are designed to admit and place students in a manner that will ensure them a reasonable chance of success in college. The Office of Admissions reviews all examination scores and academic records. Applicants are notified if an interview is required. A student is considered for admission without regard to race, creed, sex, marital status, age, or national origin. Application forms may be obtained in the Admissions Office or students may apply online at

When more applicants are eligible for admission than can be accommodated in programs with limited instructional space, such as nursing, applicants with higher probabilities of success are given preference. In addition, admission to some degrees or programs, such as Theatre, Music, or Teacher Education is based on criteria beyond those stipulated for entrance to the University. Refer to the catalog section covering undergraduate academic programs for admission to specific programs.

Acceptance or denial of admission for each application is determined by the Office of Admissions, and is subject to the right of appeal as provided in the bylaws of the University and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Every applicant must submit a formal application to the Admissions Office along with a $40, non-refundable, application fee. Georgia residents 62 years of age or older and soldiers serving on active duty are exempt from this fee. Documentation to support the exemption will be required when the application is submitted. All applicants, with the exception of foreign nationals, must provide Social Security numbers (social security numbers are required for institutional purposes only) that can be obtained at any Social Security office. As required under the University System of Georgia policy, a completed certificate of immunization must be received before enrollment. Forms are available in the Admissions Office or online at

Admission credentials for priority processing must be filed on or before May 1st for fall semester, November 1st for spring semester, and March 15th for summer term. Official consideration is given to an application only after all credentials are received. Ordinarily, application processing requires three to four weeks. Applicants who wish to defer their date of entry to the University should submit an Admission Application Change Form found at After a year has elapsed, a new application and all official transcripts must be resubmitted if the transcript is not already on file.

Students furnishing Columbus State University with false, incomplete, or misleading information relating to their application or academic record will be subject to denial or dismissal.

Entrance examinations An applicant who has fewer than 30 semester hours of transferable credit from a regionally accredited college or university must submit either an official SAT score report produced by the College Board or an official ACT report produced by the American College Testing Program. An official score report is secured by placing the Columbus State University code (5123 for the SAT and 0807 for the ACT) on the appropriate section of the SAT/ACT registration form.

Applicants whose high school class graduated five or more years ago, as well as applicants seeking admission to the certificate program, are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores, but may have to take compass exams in English, reading and mathematics. Results of these scores will be used to determine admission to the institution. These exams are administered by the Columbus State University Testing Center, (706) 507-8020, at no cost to the student. The Admissions Office must approve a student to take these exams before the student can schedule an appointment with the Testing Center.

Official transcripts Official transcripts of previous academic work are required. Applicants should request that the registrar of each college and university attended mail transcripts to the Admissions Office, Columbus State University. Applicants seeking admission as entering freshmen and transfer students with fewer than 30 semester hours of transferable credit (excluding non-traditional sources) must also request an official transcript from their high school verifying the date of graduation and the type of diploma awarded. Transcripts received from other institutions become the property of Columbus State University and will not be released to the student or a third party.

General Educational Development (GED) A General Educational Development (GED) test certificate will be considered in lieu of a high school transcript for non-traditional applicants. Applicants whose high school class graduated fewer than five years prior to the semester of enrollment must meet additional requirements (such as completion of College Prep or Required High School Curriculum courses) as a traditional entering freshmen.

Entering Freshmen

Admission to Columbus State University A traditional freshman is one who has graduated from high school within the last five years. All traditional applicants must meet the institutional grade point average of 2.5 and SAT minimum scores of 440 Critical Reading and 410 Math (ACT English 17/Math 17). Traditional freshman must also show successful completion of the Required High School Curriculum with 17 units.

Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) The following curriculum is required for students whose high school class graduated within the previous five years and who plan to enroll in programs leading to the baccalaureate degree. The curriculum must be completed at a high school accredited by a regional accrediting association or the Georgia Accrediting Commission, or at a public school regulated by a school system and a state department of education:

  • Four Required High School Curriculum units in English with emphasis in grammar and usage, literature (American, English, World), and advanced composition skills.
  • Four Required High School Curriculum units in mathematics including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and one upper level mathematics course.
  • Four Required High School Curriculum units in science including one life science laboratory course and one physical science laboratory course.
  • Three Required High School Curriculum units in social science including one course focusing on United States studies and one course focusing on world studies.
  • Two Required High School Curriculum units in the same foreign language emphasizing speaking, listening, reading, and writing

Applicants who have not completed the College Preparatory Curriculum may satisfy this requirement by taking the appropriate SAT Subject Tests and obtaining the required scores as follows:

  • English Writing with a minimum score of 520; and
  • English Literature with a minimum score of 530; and
  • Math Level IC with a minimum score of 500; or
  • Math Level IIC with a minimum score of 570; and
  • American History and Social Studies with a minimum score of 560; and
  • World History with a minimum score of 540; and
  • One foreign language test*; and
  • Biology with a minimum score of 520; and
  • Chemistry with a minimum score of 540; or
  • Physics with a minimum score of 590.

Students who successfully complete the above SAT Subject Tests in all required areas will be considered for admission to Columbus State University. The SAT Subject Tests are administered through the College Board. An official score report is secured by placing the Columbus State University code (5123) on the appropriate section of the SAT Subject Tests registration form.

* The CSU Department of Modern and Classical Languages will assess student competence in foreign language.

Non-Traditional Freshmen. Applicants whose high school class graduated five or more years prior to the semester of application will be asked to take the COMPASS exam. Non-traditional applicants may be exempt from the COMPASS exam in English and reading if they have scored 500 or above on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT or 21 or above on the English portion of the ACT. To be exempt from taking the COMPASS math exam, applicants must score 500 or above on the Math portion of the SAT or 21 or above on the Math portion of the ACT. The SAT or ACT testing date must be within 7 years of college enrollment to qualify. An official score report can be obtained by contacting the appropriate test agency (SAT:; ACT: If COMPASS score results indicate that additional support is needed, please see below for Admission to the Department of Basic Studies.

Admission to the Department of Basic Studies. (Please refer to the Basic Studies Section for further information.) An applicant who does not meet the above requirements may be referred to the Department of Basic Studies for further screening. To be eligible for referral to the Department of Basic Studies, applicants must reside in one of the following counties in Georgia: Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Meriwether, Muscogee, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor, or Troup. The minimum admission requirements to the Department of Basic Studies are:

Graduated high school prior to 2012:

  • 13 academic units of the Technology / Career Preparatory Curriculum
  • 330 Critical Reading and 310 Math (or ACT English 12 and Math 14)
  • GPA of 2.0 for a College Preparatory Curriculum or a GPA of 2.2 for a Technical Preparatory Curriculum

Graduating high school in 2012 or later:

  • 14 Required High School Curriculum units
  • 330 Critical Reading and 310 Math (or ACT English 12 and Math 14)
  • 2.0 High School GPA

Applicants who either score below minimum on the SAT Critical Reading (or ACT English) or who have a CPC deficiency in English will be required to take the COMPASS exam in English and reading. Those who either score below minimum on the SAT Math (or ACT Math) or who have a CPC deficiency in mathematics will be required to take the COMPASS exam in math.

Results of the COMPASS exams will determine whether or not the applicant will be admitted into Columbus State University and/or be placed into learning support courses in English, reading, or mathematics. To exempt the English subject area, an applicant must earn a minimum score of 60. To exempt the reading subject area, an applicant must earn a minimum score of 78. To exempt the mathematics subject area, an applicant must earn a minimum score of 37. To be accepted as a student in the Department of Basic Studies, an applicant may test into no more than two learning support areas.

Department of Basic Studies exit requirements All students referred to the Department of Basic Studies for further screening and subsequent enrollment must meet exit requirements before they are eligible to apply to a four-year University System of Georgia institution. These include the completion of all learning support course requirements and the earning of a minimum grade of "C" in a course used to satisfy a CPC deficiency. Traditional freshmen must also complete 30 semester hours of degree level credit with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Department of Basic Studies students are limited to courses offered by the Department of Basic Studies and courses in Areas A through F of the core curriculum.

Admission to Career Associates Program. Columbus State University offers the Associates of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. Applicants seeking admission to the career associate program are not held to CPC requirements. However, applicants must have graduated from an accredited high school and meet the regular CSU SAT/ACT score requirements. Students admitted to this program must complete all associate degree requirements before they may seek a baccalaureate degree.

Testing. After being accepted to CSU, students required to take the math placement test will be sent a letter from the Department of Mathematics.

Dual Enrollment/Early Admission

The Dual EnrollmentProgram is designed for students who wish to enroll concurrently in high school and college level courses. Early Admission is designed for students who wish to enroll in college full-time following the completion of the junior year in high school. Applicants must:

  • Be recommended by a high school counselor or the principal
  • Be granted approval by a parent or guardian if the student is a minor
  • Be enrolled in college preparatory curriculum (CPC) courses which would lead to completion of all requirements by the end of the senior year in high school
  • Have a minimum SAT total score of 970 (minimum SAT Critical Reading score of 440 and Math score of 410) or a minimum ACT Composite score of 20
  • Meet Entering Freshman test score requirements for SAT Critical Reading
    and Math or ACT English and Math
  • Have a minimum high school academic grade point average of 3.0, based on CPC units
  • Be in his/her junior or senior year of high school

Students should consult with their high school counselor before applying for admission. Students who enroll in joint enrollment programs offered by another college or university will not be awarded transfer credit for course work completed in that program unless they would have met the admission standards listed above at the time of their joint enrollment.

Accel Program. The Accel Program is for students classified as high school juniors and seniors at accredited public or private high schools in the state of Georgia and is operated in all school terms except summer. The program allows students to pursue postsecondary study while receiving dual high school and college credit for courses successfully completed. Students must apply online for the Accel Program at Courses pursued by students under this program must come from the approved course directory and only in the areas of the core graduation requirements for college preparatory students: English, mathematics, social studies, science, and foreign language. The program pays for tuition and allows a minimal amount to off set mandatory fees. Students will be responsible for the remainder of their balance. For more information about the Accel Program, visit the Georgia Student Finance Commission's website at Search for "Accel".

Alternative Requirements for Home-Schooled Students and Graduates of Non-Accredited High Schools

Home-schooled students and graduates from non-accredited high schools who wish to attend Columbus State University must submit the following documents:

  • Application for Admission along with $40, non-refundable application fee
  • Certificate of Immunization
  • Combined SAT Critical Reading and Math score of 1000 which includes the institutional minimum for each area or ACT Composite score of 21
  • Official transcripts from any conventional public/private high school and colleges attended
  • High School transcript or Supplemental application for home schooled and non-accredited school, which includes a Home School Credit Evaluation Table available at
  • Letter from primary teacher certifying completion of high school and date of high school graduation to provide documentation that the student has met the college preparatory curriculum requirements or final high school transcript with graduation date.(Document is needed after the student has graduated.)

Transfer Students

To be considered for admission, transfer students must be eligible to return to the institution last attended. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. Transfer students who have earned fewer than 30 semester hours of transferable credit must satisfy all requirements for admission as Entering Freshmen. Transfer students who have earned 30 or more semester hours of transferable credit (excluding non-traditional sources) must have a minimum transfer grade point average of 2.0 and have completed any learning support requirements and/or Required High School Curriculum deficiency requirements.

Transfer students must demonstrate proficiency in communication technology and information literacy. Competency must be demonstrated within one year of admission. Courses taken at previous institutions to satisfy deficiencies in CPC requirements will not transfer for credit in baccalaureate programs.

Admission on probation. A student on academic exclusion or suspension from another institution must sit out the mandatory exclusion period as set forth by CSU (see academic standing section) and meet transfer admission requirements to be considered for admission on academic probation (see Transfer Student section). To be eligible for continued enrollment, the student must attain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or higher for the probation semester.

Provisional admission. When all required transcripts have not been received in the Admissions Office, provisional admission may be granted for one semester upon receipt of a transcript from the last institution attended. This transcript must show that the student is eligible to return to the last institution. Provisional admission is granted on a case-by-case basis. Not all transfer students are eligible for provisional admission. No evaluation of transfer credit will be completed until all official transcripts are received in the Admissions Office. Provisional admission may affect Financial Aid. Check with the Financial Aid Office to determine how this affects your individual student aid.

Transfer Credit

The university makes every effort to transfer credit for academic work completed at other institutions. In general, courses completed at a regionally accredited college or university will transfer. Credit is allowed for English 1101 and 1102 if the grade in each course is C or better.

Recognition for placement in advanced courses will be given for previous work that is substantially equivalent to, and at the same level as, prerequisites at Columbus State University. Regardless of the total number of semester credit hours allowed in transfer, a minimum of 30 semester hours must be taken in residence at Columbus State University after the student has qualified as a junior.

Requests for transfer credit will be considered for persons who have gained admission as transfer students and will be based on official transcripts supplied by colleges previously attended. For use in satisfying requirements for a degree, all work evaluated as valid transfer credit is subject to approval by the dean or chair of the appropriate academic unit. Quarter hours are converted to semester hours by using the formula of one quarter hour equals two-thirds of a semester hour. Students may view their academic record showing transfer course work online by visiting CougarNet.

Additional Sources of Academic Credit for Prior Learning

Columbus State University has several options through which students can seek academic credit for prior learning. The registrar will evaluate records of work completed through non-residential settings from any combination of the sources listed below, correspondence courses, and extension work. The credit, which may be used to satisfy degree requirements, is limited to 60 semester hours toward a baccalaureate degree and 30 semester hours toward an associate degree. Deans of colleges and department chairs determine the applicability of all evaluated credits toward degree requirements. Additional sources of credit include:

Standardized tests. Successful completion of the general examinations and subject examinations offered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), Dantes Subject Standardized Test (DSST), Excelsior, and International Baccalaureate (IB) may result in college credit. Students should check with the Office of the Registrar for minimum acceptable scores for each exam. Up to 24 credits may be awarded for IB coursework and will be awarded only if the student has completed the diploma program. Official score reports are required before credit will be evaluated.

Military service experience. A maximum of 21 semester hours of credit for successful completion of work in military service schools is awarded for 12 consecutive months or more of active duty service. Students must provide a copy of their DD 214 or a military transcript (AARTS or SMART) for an evaluation of transfer credit. The three-credit wellness/physical education requirement will be waived.

Professional certification. A maximum of 12 semester hours of credit for successful completion of recognized certification courses or examinations may be awarded. The professional certification courses or examinations must relate directly to the program or course of study the student is pursuing. Credit is granted on an individual basis with the determination of the appropriate number of hours of credit accepted toward a degree and the relevancy of the work to the degree program requirements made by the dean of the college awarding the degree.

Columbus State University Credit by Examination. To demonstrate educational achievement attained outside the traditional classroom, students may arrange to take credit examinations. Examinations are available for some courses in the core curriculum. Deans and department chairs may also approve the preparation of examinations for credit in other courses offered in their departments. Instructions for arranging credit examinations are available in the dean's office of the college offering the course.

Courses taken by examination are identified on the student's academic record by an X following the course designation. A grade of K indicates the examination was passed; W indicates the examination was not taken or was not passed. In determining the enrollment status of students receiving veterans' benefits, credit-by-examination courses are not counted as hours taken.

Students with a SAT Critical Reading score of 650 or above and a writing sample approved by the Department of English will be placed into ENGL 1102. Students will receive credit for ENGL 1101 by registering for ENGL 1101X their first term of enrollment. Courses taken by examination are identified on the student's academic record by an X following the course designation.

Students whose secondary education was conducted in a language other than English may be awarded up to nine semester hours of foreign language credit toward a BA degree. Students who think they may qualify for this credit should contact the chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Tuition and fees will be charged for credit awarded.

Portfolio Assessment. The student may develop a portfolio to document prior learning through relevant experience which clearly demonstrates the satisfactory accomplishment of the learning outcomes of the desired course. This option is available only if the following conditions apply:

  1. no other prior learning assessment options exist for the course under consideration; and
  2. the department which has academic authority for the course has agreed to participate in the portfolio development process. The student should contact the department chair responsible for the course for more information.

Each student must satisfactorily complete the Prior Learning Documentation course before submitting a portfolio for consideration. An assessment fee will be charged for each portfolio reviewed.

Transient Students

A student who has taken work in an accredited or approved college or university and is eligible to re-enroll at that institution may apply for temporary admission at Columbus State University as a transient student. This student must be advised at their home institution prior to registering for courses at CSU. Applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application for admission and pay the non-refundable $40 application processing fee.
  • Present an official statement signed by the registrar or other designated official of the institution in which the student is enrolled approving enrollment as a transient student. The student must be eligible for enrollment at the previous institution the same semester admission is sought at Columbus State University.
  • Submit a completed immunization form.

When there is doubt about the qualifications of an applicant seeking admission as a transient student, the University may require the applicant to comply with all regulations for the admission of transfer students. Transient status is approved for one semester only. Applicants who wish to attend Columbus State University for more than one semester consecutively must follow application procedures for transfer students.

Audit Students

Applicants who wish to audit courses are required to submit an application for admission, the non-refundable application fee, a high school transcript certifying graduation or GED, completed immunization form and pay all regular tuition and fees. Audit students are not required to take entrance examinations. Credit will not be granted at a later time for courses in which a student was registered as an audit student. Class participation and assignment requirements are left up to the instructor.

Post-Baccalaureate Students

An applicant who has a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution may enroll under the classification of post-baccalaureate student by submitting an official transcript from the institution that conferred the baccalaureate degree. The core curriculum regulations do not apply to students in this category. Students pursuing an additional baccalaureate degree must satisfy degree requirements and must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours at Columbus State University.

International Students (and Non-Native Speakers of English)

International students must provide all credentials required of U.S. students. In addition, professional transcript evaluation of all non-US accredited institutions, and an acceptable level of proficiency in the English language are required. All applicants whose native language is not English must provide one of the following:

  • Official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) showing a minimum paper-based score of 550, a minimum computer-based score of 213, or a minimum Internet based score of 79, or
  • Official results of the ILETS exam showing a minimum of 6.5, or
  • An SAT Critical Reading score of 440 or an ACT English score of 17, or
  • Successful transfer coursework of English 1101 and 1102 from a U.S. accredited institution of higher learning

If the applicant will be attending Columbus State University on an F-1 student visa, a financial guarantee and supporting bank documents are also required.

Application forms and detailed procedures for enrolling as an international student can be obtained from the Admissions Office at Columbus State University or on the web at

Readmission Requirements

Former students who wish to enroll in Columbus State University after an absence of one year or more must submit an application for re-entry to the Registrars Office. Students who have registered at other institutions must request that official transcripts of records be sent to the Registrars Office. Procedures for students academically ineligible to enroll following the completion of the last semester at Columbus State University are found in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations section under the heading Academic Standing.

Georgia Residency Requirements

See Definition of Legal Residence under Expenses section of this catalog.

Ask Cody

Ask Cody