Graduate Bulletin 2020 -2021 
    Apr 17, 2024  
Graduate Bulletin 2020 -2021 [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

General Information

Mission Statement

Columbia College prepares every student personally and professionally for success through strong liberal arts and professional programs emphasizing service, social justice, and leadership development. 

In service to this mission, the student experience focuses attention on developing critical thinking, a high standard of intellectual rigor, experiential learning, life-long learning, and acceptance of personal responsibility in a diverse world. 

Graduate School Mission Statement

The Graduate School at Columbia College offers master’s degree programs and advanced courses designed for professional women and men. Graduate learning in the liberal arts tradition integrates rigorous academic study with the development and enhancement of professional skills. The Graduate School draws on the expertise of the Columbia College faculty in all disciplines and on the extended academic community. Faculty respect diverse student life experiences and incorporate them into course design and learning. Graduate students are encouraged and supported in further studies, career leadership, and leadership in their communities.


Columbia College is located in Columbia, South Carolina, a metropolitan area with a population of 800,000. The 50-acre campus is on the north side of the city, with Highway 21 bordering the College’s west side. Columbia is the capital of South Carolina, and as such it offers to students advantages that many colleges do not have. Cultural and historical attractions are plentiful, and the accessibility of both mountains and beaches makes it possible for students to enjoy a pleasant weekend off campus whenever they desire.

Accreditation and Memberships

Columbia College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Columbia College. 

The following provide independent accreditation to individual academic programs:

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Council on Social Work Education
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Dance
National Association of Schools of Music

Upon request, accreditation documents may be viewed in the Office of the Provost or J. Drake Edens Library during normal business hours.

In addition to membership in the accrediting associations, Columbia College has membership in the following:

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of University Women
American Council on Education
Consortium for International Students
Council of Graduate Schools
Independent Colleges and Universities of South Carolina
National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church
National Council of Church Related Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges for Women
Southern Regional Honors Council
The University Senate of the United Methodist Church
Women’s College Coalition

Affiliation and Governance

Columbia College, a private college for women affiliated with the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, is a not-for-profit corporation chartered under the Laws of the State of South Carolina. The purposes of the College are set forth in both the Charter and the bylaws which govern the College.

Columbia College is related to the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, which, through its local churches, provides a measure of financial assistance for the programs of the College on a voluntary basis. Income is derived also from endowment, tuition and fees, as well as gifts from individuals and foundations.

Columbia College is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. The Board is solely responsible for the policies governing the operation of the College and for its legal and financial activities. Although the membership of the Board is elected by the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Board holds title to the College and exercises its own independent judgment with respect to its own affairs.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Policies regarding the confidentiality of student records are in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly referred to as either FERPA or the Buckley Amendment. A detailed statement of the College’s policy can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook below.


Columbia College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its evening-weekend adult programs or graduate programs, nor on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability in any of its educational programs, admissions procedures, or employment practices.

Facilities and Services for Students with Disabilities

Columbia College recognizes its responsibility to assist academically qualified students with disabilities in achieving their academic goals. The College makes every effort to ensure that its physical facilities are accessible to students with disabilities. Reserved parking spaces, properly equipped restrooms and ramps are available throughout the campus.

Columbia College is committed to ensuring access to academic programs and to non-academic programs where possible. Although the College will not lower its academic standards nor alter degree requirements, certain accommodations are available at no cost to students with disabilities, depending on their specific disability. Possible accommodations students may request include:

Extension of the time allowed to earn a degree or substitution of one elective course for another.

Adaptation of the manner in which specific courses, assignments, tests, and examinations are conducted.

Assistance with registration. Counseling, campus ministry, and career and placement services are also available.

The College will seek volunteers to assist as note takers, readers, typists, and attendants but cannot guarantee provision of personal services at no cost to the students involved.

After admission to Columbia College, students with disabilities may be required to document their disability to receive the special considerations cited above.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

See Student Handbook section in the back of this publication for the complete statement.

Foreign Student Information

It is the policy of Columbia College to encourage and support the development of the many aspects of international/intercultural education. Therefore the college has adopted the guidelines of the NASFA: Association of International Educators and is “authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien student.”

Student Complaint Process

Complaints about Columbia College policies, procedures, or practices should be discussed with the appropriate faculty or staff member in person prior to a formal written complaint. Concerns about academic issues should be reviewed with the faculty member involved, the division dean, then the Provost, in that order. Concerns about administrative issues should be reviewed with the area director, then the Vice President for Finance. Concerns about student life should be reviewed with the area director, then the Dean of Students. Concerns about admissions or financial aid issues should be raised with the appropriate director, then the leadership team member the area reports to.

If the problem cannot be resolved in person, written complaints should be sent to the Provost or the Vice President for Finance as appropriate. The resolution of written complaints will be communicated to the complainant in a timely fashion. If the complaint is impossible to address quickly, the Provost or Vice President for Finance will keep the complainant informed as to the progress of the resolution. Individual office responsible for the filing of the complaints.

Columbia College Intellectual Property Policy

Background: Columbia College is committed to free and vigorous intellectual exploration and expression. Hence the College is committed to providing an environment that supports the research and teaching activities of its faculty, students and staff. In the course of professional duties, faculty members create intellectual property. As a matter of principle and practice, the College encourages all members of the Columbia College community to publish without restriction their papers, books, and other forms of communication in order to share openly and fully their findings and knowledge with colleagues and the public. The long-standing academic tradition that creators of works own the intellectual property resulting from their research, teaching and writing is the foundation of the College policy.

Policy: It is the general policy of Columbia College that intellectual property shall be the property of the author or creator. Exceptions to this rule will be handled as described in the AAUP Policy Documents and Reports, Tenth Edition on pages 214-216. To resolve emerging issues and disputes concerning the interpretation of this policy and/or negotiation of intellectual property rights, the Provost will convene a panel of faculty and peers to submit recommendations to be considered by the College administration.

Students should note that all lecture and course materials are the property of the instructor and are covered by copyright laws both federal and state. Students may not distribute or reproduce these materials for commercial purposes without the written consent of the instructor. This does not prevent students from sharing notes on an individual basis for personal use. Violation of copyright laws may result in referral to the Judicial Coordinator.

Graduate Council

The development of programs and program requirements are the responsibility of the Graduate Council and are approved by the College faculty. The initial offering of a program off-site requires approval of Graduate Council. The Graduate Council is responsible for admission policy requirements; graduation requirements; curriculum and course approval; qualifications of graduate faculty; records; transfer credit; and all other relevant policies or standards (including student grade appeals).

The Graduate Council functions as the curriculum committee and the academic standards committee for the graduate programs. It is this group that hears requests for exceptions to academic policy and recommends changes to academic policies. All changes to curriculum and to academic policy should be approved by the full faculty.

When a student appeals to the Graduate Council for exception to academic policies include explanations of personal circumstances, the program director and division dean will work with one other Graduate Council member designated by the Council chair to review the situation. These three members will determine what personal information should be disclosed in presenting the student’s request to the Council so that the student’s confidentiality is respected and fair decision can be made.

Voting members are heads of the divisions with graduate programs, the program director of each graduate program, and three at large members from different divisions elected by the faculty. Non-voting members are the Provost, the Registrar, a representative from an academic division considering a new graduate program (upon the request of the relevant department), the Director of Extended Learning Programs, the Graduate Admissions Coordinator, one member from the Graduate Student Advisory Council, and a representative from the library.