Columbus State University Debuts Two Online Degrees That Feature Affordability, Convenience and Credibility

COLUMBUS, GA – Columbus State University is dispelling the notion that higher education is an intimidating, high-cost adventure littered with options so confusing that students get lost or quit altogether.

CSU, an accredited member of the University System of Georgia, is combatting these stereotypes with new online programs in communication and criminal justice – both affordably priced and streamlined to easily guide students to a bachelor’s degree in just three years. Applications are now being accepted at

The new programs feature:

  • Discounted tuition to make college accessible to any student. With full financial aid, most students can finish with little or no student debt.
  •  A laptop computer for all enrolled students that is theirs to keep if they finish the degree.
  • Class schedules that are easy to follow, and which eliminate nonessential  courses that delay degree completion.
  • Assigned advisors who will help with everything from registration to graduation, and will monitor progress of each student.
  • The full resources available to any other student of Columbus State University, ranked by US News & World Report as one of the South’s top comprehensive public universities.

The university’s new degree programs are supported by a national grant designed to encourage the development of programs that are more affordable and easier to access for many different populations.

CSU officials consider the new degree an atypical approach from other online degrees offered in the University System of Georgia. The program allows students to work around their own schedule, shortens the time it takes to earn the degree, and recognizes prior learning opportunities.

The website,, details the complete schedule and pricing for students in each program. Tuition for each 7-week, two-course term is $1,200, meaning students who are receiving the full benefits of financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, may have almost no out-of-pocket expenses.

The programs provide students multiple avenues that complement each other, such as on-line courses, opportunities to create portfolios for credit, service learning, and some work that can be self-paced to a student’s knowledge. Students will advance through a series of key achievements that include the opportunities to receive certificate credentials within the first year, an associate’s degree by the end of year two, and the bachelor’s degree upon completion.

The degree is well-suited for those in the military, those out of school for a few years, working adults or those looking for a degree that is streamlined to take only the essential or fundamental courses  needed to complete a degree. Students who have already accumulated numerous credit hours from other colleges or universities will not be able to transfer most of those credits into this new program.

The communication degree, which includes a civic leadership focus, provides marketable skills that offer a practical and economical pathway to a successful career in numerous professions such as community relations, public affairs, non-profit management, and organizational leadership. CSU's online communication program is carefully crafted to prepare students for the professional and interpersonal challenges of today's workplace. CSUDegreein3’s civic leadership focus will train students who are exceptionally well qualified for today's professional environment, said Ramesh Rao, chair of the Degreein3 program.

The criminal justice degree can lead to career opportunities in law, public service or law enforcement. Graduates often find jobs with local, state and federal government agencies such as city and state police and sheriffs' departments, probation and parole departments, FBI, drug enforcement agencies, the Secret Service, correctional institutions, juvenile justice agencies and in private, industrial security.

The grant behind the new degree programs is from Next Generation Learning Challenges, a national initiative to improve college readiness and completion. Led by Educause and principally funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the grant was awarded to the University System of Georgia for implementation at Columbus State University.

For more information, go to or contact Dr. Ramesh Rao at 706-507-8618 or