About Columbia, MO

Small Town Meets Big City

Columbia offers small-town friendliness with big-city features and a high quality of life for people of all ages and interests. Columbia is a great place to live due to a consistently lower than average cost of living, excellent public school system, outstanding health care facilities, abundant entertainment opportunities, beautiful parks and trails, and much more.

There are many people ready to help you if you are interested in Columbia. Start with the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau if you plan to visit and learn more about exciting attractions and upcoming events.  Hotel options can be viewed on the Chamber’s website. If you are looking to relocate a business, we encourage you to contact Regional Economic Development, Inc., (REDI) which specializes in business attraction, business retention, and entrepreneurism. If you are ready to make Columbia your home, click the button below for relocation information about Columbia, a great place to live, learn, work, and play!

Education In Columbia

Columbia is the home to the University of Missouri’s flagship campus which is the largest public research university in the state, two private colleges, a large community college presence, and other higher education institutions. Columbia also features a nationally-recognized public school system. 

Elementary and Secondary Education

Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools is a nationally recognized school district. As the seventh largest district in the state, enrollment is more than 18,000 students with approximately 80-90 percent continuing their education beyond high school. The average teacher in Columbia Public Schools has a master’s degree and 12 years of professional experience. For more information, please contact (573) 214-3400.

Christian Fellowship School (CFS)

Established in 1981, CFS is a well-established pre-school to 12th-grade private school alternative for families in the Columbia area. CFS provides an academically challenging curriculum with a Christian perspective, partnering with Christian parents from over 40 congregations to provide a nurturing, yet structured atmosphere for learning. Instructional goals are based on knowledge, faith, and character and are intended to develop the student’s mind as well as their spiritual life and character. For more information, please contact (573) 445-8565 or [email protected].

Columbia Independent School

Columbia Independent School offers an independent education to boys and girls in grades pre-K through 12. It is a robust experience, full of challenges, learning and a setting that encourages the fullest potential of every student. Through small classes, dedicated faculty, and a challenging curriculum our students acquire the basic knowledge and intellectual skills to be well prepared for higher education, For more information, please contact (573) 777-9250 or [email protected].

Fr. Tolton Catholic High School

Fr. Tolton Catholic is Columbia’s first Catholic High School, serving grades 9-12. The High School opened it’s doors to freshmen and sophomores in the fall of 2011. Offering a faith-based education along with a rigorous academic curriculum and a competitive athletic program, Fr. Tolton Catholic High School welcomes students of all faiths. For more information please contact (573) 445-7700.

Christian Chapel Academy

Christian Chapel Academy emphasizes a higher focus which inspires leadership through spiritual growth, academic excellence, personal responsibility and life-giving community.  CCA offers a nursery program for children 6 weeks-2 years old provides year-round nurturing care. It also offers preschool classes with flexible options ranging from 2 mornings a week to 5 day, full day care, as well as Kindergarten-8th grade education, where students have the opportunity to develop academically through challenging, hands on activities and Bob Jones University curriculum. For more information, please contact (573) 874-2325 or [email protected].

Higher Education

Central Methodist University

Central Methodist University (CMU) is a four-year, private, liberal arts university with a main campus in Fayette, Missouri with more than 1,100 students.  It also has a location offering classes and degree programs in Columbia.  Central Methodist University offers its College of Graduate and Extended Studies, attended by more than 4,000 students, through classes both online and at sites across Missouri and the region. CMU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and welcomes students of all faiths.  For more information, contact (660) 248-3391.

Columbia College

Proudly serves nearly 30,000 students each year at it’s Day Campus, Evening Campus, 35 Nationwide Campuses, Online Campus and Graduate Studies Program. The school offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees through on-campus and online classes. Students may attend class on campus, online or both. For more information, contact (573) 875-7352.

Moberly Area Community College

MACC is based in Moberly, MO with a large presence in Columbia. In 1999, MACC began offering college credit courses in Columbia. The MACC – Columbia Higher Education Center moved to the Parkade Center in July 2010. With a recent 16,500 square foot addition, MACC now occupies 53,500 square feet at the Business Loop location. In addition to new classroom space, offices, and computer labs, the expansion provided an art studio and Mechatronics lab. For more information, contact (573) 234-1067.

Stephens College

Founded in 1833 as Columbia’s first higher learning institution, Stephen’s College is a private college that offers undergraduate education for women in the liberal arts and provides solid preparation in the performing arts and pre-professional fields. Historic Senior Hall and the Firestone Baars Chapel located on its campus are Columbia landmarks. For more information contact (573) 442-2211.

The University Of Missouri

Mizzou was founded in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi. A land-grant institution emphasizing service to Missourians, MU is Missouri’s flagship university and the state’s major research institution. MU has a diverse enrollment with more than 30,000 students from every county in Missouri, every state in the nation, and 100 countries. For more information, please contact Visitor Relations (573) 882-6333.

Columbia’s Accolades

Columbia is consistently listed among the top cities in the United States by national magazines and organizations. It has an excellent public school system, access to quality health care and central location consistently earn Columbia’s position as one of the top places to live and do business.

Schools.com named Columbia as the No. 3 Best College Town in the country. (September 2018)

  • Apartment Guide ranked Columbia as the No. 9 Most Affordable Town in America. (August 2018)
  • Smartasset named Columbia the No. 5 Least Stressed City in America. (August 2018)
  • moveBuddha ranked Columbia as the No. 11 Most Popular Large Cities to Relocate. (July 2018)
  • Forbes listed Columbia as one of the Best Places to Retire in 2018. (April 2018)
  • Insurify ranked Columbia as the No. 2 Greenest City in Missouri. (March 2018)

Relocating To Columbia?

Columbia is a great place to live for many reasons. It has an excellent school system, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, entertainment opportunities, nationally known festivals, low cost of living, and much more. 

Columbia Chamber
of Commerce

 (573) 874-1132

300 S Providence Rd
Columbia, MO 65203

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