Columbia International University

Updated December 1, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Columbia international University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Studying Counseling and Psychology at CIU

Columbia International University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the South.

The College of Arts & Sciences presents a Psychology Major (B.A.) through the framework of Scripture for Columbia International University undergrads to examine the complexity of human nature and pursue societal betterment. Chaired by Dr. Stephen Farra, the 42-credit major builds atop the theological-based core to study people's mental and spiritual processes. An average class size of 20 allows active discussion in Social Psychology, Multicultural Counseling, Psychology in the Psalms, Biopsychology, and more. Bachelor's students must fulfill 200 clinical practicum hours at diverse Columbia settings, including Oliver Gospel Mission, St. Lawrence Place, Richland County Social Services, and South Carolina Mentor. Other CIU opportunities include joining Mu Kappa, studying at the Germany extension, attending the SCPA Conference, and entering the Honors Program.

Named an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider, Columbia International also offers South Carolina's sole Christian Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling with a whole-person clinical mental health focus. Headed by Dr. John Harvey, the 66-credit, non-thesis curriculum draws upon His Word to train licensed counselors who nurture personal and spiritual growth. Grads take CACREP-accredited courses like Progress of Redemption, Counseling Techniques, Diagnostics of Psychopathology, and Groups Assessment. Off-campus, aspiring LPCs spread God's message in 150 practicum hours and a capstone, 600-hour internship for full-time completion in six terms. Continuing for the Postgraduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Counseling is possible. Students might also take mission trips to Uganda, attend Prayer Days, join the Grad Life Council, and engage in Christian Mental Health Network workshops.

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About Columbia International University

Columbia International University was opened in Fall 1922 by Robert C. McQuilkin following Moody Bible Institute alum Emily Dick's vision of seminary training for mill workers. Initially located in the Colonia Hotel, the soul-winning evangelical school developed its 400-acre Denny Terrace campus along the Broad River in 1960. Recently donated $22 million for further expansion, CIU has seen enrollment spike by 84 percent to teach 1,036 Rams from 40 states who abide lifestyle standards. Home to the Ben Lippen School, the nonprofit, Protestant CIC member seeks "To Know Him" in five academic divisions that feature psychology and counseling degrees. Linked to 4,365 LinkedIn alumni, Columbia International has trained Laura Story, Philip Yancey, Doris Bartholomew, and others.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia International University the 32nd best Southern college with 77 percent retention. On Niche, CIU is America's seventh best religious studies school. Christian Universities Online placed Columbia third nationally. According to WalletHub, Columbia International is the 100th best collegiate value. In Washington Monthly, CIU was recognized for the 52nd best buck, 56th most Peace Corps participation, and 83rd highest graduation rate. Victory Media honored Columbia in the top 20 percent of military-friendly universities. On College Factual, CIU was declared the country's 345th best liberal arts school with the 30th best Biblical studies, 777th top psychology program, and 69th best male-female diversity.

Columbia International University Accreditation Details

In January 2010, Columbia International University had its Level V accreditation renewed for another decade by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) under president Mark A. Smith, Ph.D. This regional agency is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to cover all of Columbia's 19 baccalaureate, 25 master's, and seven doctoral majors without sanctions. The Christian university is regularly reviewed by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The Master of Arts in Counseling is specifically accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) too.

Columbia International University Application Requirements

Declaring the Psychology Major (B.A.) at Columbia International University will involve passing the "selective" admission rate that was 36 percent in Fall 2016. First-year Rams need a high school diploma from a 16-unit, college-prep curriculum or the GED equivalent certificate. On average, freshmen present a 3.77 GPA, 1110 SAT score, and 23 ACT score. Undergrads can transfer up to 49 percent of baccalaureate credits graded "C" or higher too. The M.A. in Counseling requires a four-year bachelor's with prerequisites in Introductory Psychology and Developmental Psychology. Missing transcript courses could be fulfilled with CLEP exams above 55. Unconditional admission mandates a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Exceptions could be made for GPAs down to 2.7 if GRE scores rank in the top 50th percentile or 18 master's credits transfer.

Columbia International University has final undergrad deadlines of August 1st for Fall and December 1st for Spring. Note foreign learners must apply by July 1st or November 1st. The Graduate & Seminary Division established Master of Arts in Counseling deadlines of March 16th, June 29th, and November 24th. Hopeful students create CIU accounts to submit the application wholly online. Assistance is available by email at or at 7435 Monticello Road in Columbia, SC 29203. Psychology and counseling majors need the following:

  • One-time $25 fee by check or credit card
  • Official transcript requests from every school
  • Standardized test scores via the College Board
  •  One church leader and one teacher reference
  • Chronological résumé or CV of experiences
  • Typed, self-examination essay of under 2,000 words

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time B.A. in Psychology students at Columbia International are charged $23,690 for annual tuition and fees. Living at the South Carolina campus adds $8,150 for room and board. Budgets should leave $600 for texts, $1,000 for transportation, and $2,630 for personal supplies. Total annual attendance is $34,690 for residential and $27,500 for commuter undergrads. The Master of Arts in Counseling currently bills $550 per credit with a $150 technology fee each term. Estimated graduate tuition is $10,450 yearly or $36,300 total.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 93 percent of full-time CIU Rams share $8.3 million in annual financial packages averaging $12,214. Psychology students could obtain the Board Scholarship, Dean Scholarship, Servant Leader Scholarship, R.C. McQuilkin Scholarship, Achievement Award, Legacy Grant, Church Matching Grant, and other institutional funds. The FAFSA form sent via code 003429 opens Federal Pell, FSEOG, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant money. William D. Ford Direct and Graduate PLUS loans can award $5,500 to $20,500. Palmetto State natives can receive the South Carolina Tuition Grant, South Carolina Life Scholarship, or HOPE Grant. M.A. in Counseling students with 3.0 GPAs at Columbia International University qualify for 12-hour graduate assistantships.

Learn more about Columbia International University at the College of Arts & Sciences' website.

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