Important Dates 

Cohort Admission

Our graduate programs use a cohort model. A cohort is a group of co-ed students who begin and complete the program together. We operate on a rolling admission basis, which means we make admission decisions as applications are completed. An invitation to join a cohort is extended to the first 24 qualified applicants, so some target start dates may vary. 

You don't have to wait to start your degree. Our cohort start dates vary by major but typically begin every five weeks. View our current Academic Calendar.

Please contact us at 803.786.3871 with any questions about cohort start dates. 

How Do I Apply? 

1. Complete Your Application

You can use our institutional application. Creating an account is simple and straightforward. Plus, you can always take a break and come back to your online application.

2. Submit an Application Essay 

Choose one of the essay scenarios that applies to your program. Be sure to review the essay scoring rubric before you write your essay. The rubric is used to score your essay

3. Request Your Official Transcript 

Request copies of official undergraduate transcripts and graduate transcripts that are applicable. Transcripts should be sent directly from each school you've attended. At least one transcript must have a baccalaureate degree posted from a regionally accredited college.

Indicate on your application if you are interested in having your previous graduate studies evaluated for transfer credit. You may receive up to nine hours of credit.

4. Submit Recommendations

Submit two recommendations. Please follow the instructions on the recommendation form.

5. Eligibility Requirement Documentation

Graduate students must submit one of the following:

  • Official documentation of a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official documentation of an earned graduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0

Divergent Learning, Organizational Leadership, and Higher Education applicants may also submit the following if they don't meet the GPA criteria above: 

  • Copy of a teacher’s certificate that is current on the first day of class of the semester of enrollment
  • MAT (Miller Analogy Test) score with a date no older than 5 years prior to the first day of class of the semester of enrollment
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score with a date no older than 5 years prior to the first day of class of the semester of enrollment

Please use the following address for transcripts, recommendations, and other application documents: 

Office of Graduate Admissions
Columbia College
1301 Columbia College
Columbia, SC 29203

Admission Decision 

In most cases, we evaluate an application and respond with an admission decision within five days of receiving all the required documents. Admitted students are notified by mail and will receive follow up information about next steps, like financial aid, orientation, and registration. 

Financial Aid 

If you would like to apply for Stafford Federal Loans (the only financial aid available to graduate students), we recommend that you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. Submissions are accepted beginning October 1. Learn more about our low tuition rates and your financial aid options.