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Western Mindanao State University

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Western Mindanao State University is the premier and only state university in Zamboanga City. It is also said to be one if not the oldest university in Mindanao. It has two campuses: the main campus of 79,000 square meters and 9,147 square meters is located within the city (Barangay Baliwasan), and the satellite campus of 200,000 square meters occupied by the College of Agriculture and the College of Forestry and Environmental Studies located in Barangay San Ramon, 20 kilometers away from the city. Campuses comprising the external studies units are located in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay, including the newly-integrated formerly CHED-supervised institutions in Molave and Tampilisan. It has a student population of over 22,000, regular faculty members of over 600 and over 150 administrative personnel.

It has 12 colleges, three institutes and two autonomous campuses offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses specializing on education, engineering, nursing, arts and humanities, social work, science and mathematics. Along with these major fields of concentration, WMSU offers courses in agriculture, architecture, forestry, home economics, nutrition and dietetics, social work, criminology, Asian and Islamic Studies and special degree courses for foreign students. It also offers external studies and non-formal education courses.

WMSU ranked sixth among 68 universities all over the country, according to a survey on the Top Academic Institutions in the Philippines conducted by the Commission on Higher Education. The University's College of Education is a Center of Excellence; the College of Architecture as a Center of Development and the College of Social Work and Community Development was awarded the Best School for Social Work in the Philippines.


General Information


With the cessation of the hostilities that marked the end of the Spanish American war in 1898, Filipino and American educators agreed that the best way to rebuild a devastated nation was through the establishment of a sound educational system.

Eight Normal schools were then established in the Philippines by the Americans. One of them was the Zamboanga Normal School established in 1904. As a secondary school, the ZNS offered a general academic curriculum under the Department of Mindanao and Sulu primarily designed to cater to the needs of cultural minorities in the provinces of Cotabato, Davao, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, and Zamboanga.

In June 1921, the secondary normal curriculum of the Zamboanga Normal School had to be phased out for lack of enrollees. It was re-opened the following year and eventually producing its first batch of graduates in 1926. Until the end of School Year 1939-40, the general secondary academic and normal curricula continued to be simultaneously offered. As a result of the opening of the Zamboanga City High School in 1940, the general secondary academic curriculum was discontinued but was offered at the college level. It was briefly disrupted with the outbreak of the Second World War.

After the war, the school resumed operations enabling those who started first year in the two-year collegiate normal curriculum before the war to continue as sophomore students. In April 1946 they were awarded the Elementary Teacher's Certificate (E.T.C.) The secondary normal curriculum was offered only during the summer term until 1952.

Upon its conversion to the Zamboanga Normal College on June 17, 1961 by virtue of Republic Act (RA) No. 3272, the ZNC was placed under the direct supervision of the Bureau of Public Schools (BPS) until its autonomy in 1963. Gradually, it started to offer new programs new degree programs.

The amendment of R.A. 3272 on June 26, 1969 by R.A. 5492 resulted in the conversion of the Zamboanga Normal School into the Zamboanga State College (ZSC). Considering the demands of a growing population in a rapidly changing society, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed P.D. No. 1427 on June 10, 1978, marking the birth of the Western Mindanao State University.

Since its conversion into a state university, three university presidents have taken its leadership: Dr. Juanito A. Bruno, in an acting capacity from 1977 to 1986; Dr. Bernabela L. Ko as first full-fledged president from 1986 to 1991 and Dr. Erdulfo B. Fernando, who served from 1991 to 1997. Dr. Eldigario D. Gonzales, DPA, CSEE had served as its University President from 1997 to 2007. Dr. Grace Jimeno Rebollos has been the current president since 2007. Today, WMSU has a total of 1,000 teaching and administrative support staff catering to over 20,000 students.

WMSU now has 12 colleges and three institutes. It has become the Center of Excellence (COE) and for Teacher Education and Project for Basic Education (PROBE) Center.

WMSU's University and Board Secretary is Engr. Armando A. Arquiza, who was a recipient of the first ever Loyalty Award given by the WMSU Alumni Association. Engr. Arquiza finished his Pre-Elementary, Elementary, High School and Bachelors Degree in this institution in 1964, 1972, 1976 and 1981 respectively, and now serving as a full-time employee since June 1982.


The Western Mindanao State University shall be the Center of Excellence and leading institution in human resource development and research in the country and the ASEAN region with international recognition.


To educate and produce well-trained, development-oriented and forward-looking professional and technical manpower for the socio-economic, political and technological development of the Philippines. It shall endeavor to expand the frontiers of knowledge and its uses to society through research in technology, the natural resources, physical and social sciences.

Music of Western Mindanao State University

Western Mindanao State University HYMN
Western Mindanao State University Graduation Song

Composed by: Angelina 0. Aquino

Composed by: Norma Camins Conti
Western Mindanao State University
Beautiful emblem of the southern seas
Meant to mould the youth for human dignity
The pillar of peace and unity

Firm she stands and stalwart she looks
With its crimson and white in the sil’vry light
As she glides to guide the beaming faces upright
She whispers the tune of the Old Normal School

Hail, Oh Alma Mater dear!
The beacon light of a million fold
Praise be to them that nurtured thee,
Who fought and died let their laurels be
br<>Shout aloud in triumph, we
For God has granted His decree
Born the State University
Long envisioned for eternity

(Repeat 1st and 2nd stanza)
Today the hands of time paint glory
As gladness fills our graduation day
Dear Western Mindanao State University
We thank you and keep you in our hearts to stay

A Center of Excellence, your cherished halls.
The voice of Wisdom that nurtured us all.
Our lives, now richer and fuller
Your children so grateful we are


Let's lift our voices in joy and praise
To our Alma Mater, the priced WMSU name
Ever trusting in God's loving grace
Well make a difference for her honor and fame.

(Sing from 1st stanza)

Coda: We thank you and keep you
in our hearts to stay!

Graduates' Pledge

Invoking the aid of Almighty God, I pledge to pursue knowledge as a sacred calling; to act as guardian and promoter of the best and highest ideals of my people; to mould the aspirations, character and lives of the Youth in the light of progressive thoughts and ideals thus, fashion them into enlightened and responsible citizens.

I feel that it is my solemn duty to act as the best instrument of good against evil, to live an upright life and dedicate myself to the fulfillment of the highest ideals and principles of the profession as embodied in the Code of Ethics.

I further pledge that I shall maintain true faith and allegiance to my Alma Mater, the Western Mindanao State University, the living symbol of what I am and what I expect to be in the profession.

Alumni Oath

I, __________________________ a graduate of the Western Mindanao State University, do solemnly swear to uphold the lofty ideals and noble principles of my Alma Mater. I shall endeavor at all times to bring honor and glory to my Alma Mater by uplifting myself to higher social, moral and spiritual levels; that I shall help my fellowmen in all ways, never to do them injustice nor to ever let injustice be done unto them. I impose these obligations upon myself voluntarily and without purpose of personal gain.


Zamboanga City

  • WMSU-Main Campus (Baliwasan), Zamboanga City

Satellite Campuses

  • WMSU-San Ramon, Zamboanga City
  • WMSU-Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur
  • WMSU-Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Molave, Zamboanga del Sur
  • WMSU-Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
  • WMSU-Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur
  • WMSU-Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay
  • WMSU-Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay

Academic Units

Undergraduate Courses

  • Bachelor of Science in Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture
  • Bachelor of Agricultural Technology (BAT)
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering
  • Bachelor in Agricultural Technology
  • Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED)
  • Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED)
  • BS in Ecological & Environmental Engineering
  • BS in Geodetic Engineering
  • BS in Industrial and Management Engineering
  • BS in Sanitary Health Engineering
  • Bachelor of in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Four-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Major in Information Technology
  • Four-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Major in Software Technology
  • Five-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Forestry
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Arts in Filipino
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication - Journalism
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication - Broadcasting
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Food Processing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (BSND)
  • Bachelor of Science in Food Technology (BSFT)
  • Bachelor of Science in Home Economics (BSHE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Special Program for Registered Nurses - BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Statistics
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)
  • Bachelor of Science in Community Development (BSCD)
  • Bachelor of Science in Islamic Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Asian Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology
  • Certificate in Sports
  • Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE)
  • Bachelor of Laws

Auxiliary Units

  • The University Digest (Official Student Publication of WMSU)
  • University Testing and Evaluation Center
  • University Center for Local Governance
  • Regional Science Teaching Center
  • University Research Center
  • University Guidance and Counseling Center
  • Center for Instructional Development
  • University Training and Review Center
  • Knowledge for Development Center
  • Women’s Research & Resource Center
  • University Press
  • Center for Peace and Development (Women and Children's Desk)
  • External Support Services (WESMARRDEC, ZCPAC, etc.)
  • Networks and Linkages / Hands of Goodwill (HANDOG) Volunteer Program
  • Center for Extension Services and Community Development (COPBA, AEOP, BIDANI)
  • Research and Evaluation Center (Research & Project Development, Statistics & Databank)
  • Center for Development Information & Communications (Materials Production & Publication, Advocacy and Promotions)

Accreditation Ranking

Annual Events

  • WMSU Palaro - WMSU holds a sportfest during the month of September
  • Hanging of the Greens - A tradition a decorating the campus in festive holiday lights
  • Alumni Homecoming - this is a time for the old and the new to meet, mingle and have fun

Clubs and Student Organizations



Western Mindanao State University Python Judo Club

Notable faculty and alumni

Grace Jimeno Rebollos - Peace advocate, and President of the Western Mindanao Sate University. She was the first summa cum laude of WMSU.

Evangeline Macaraeg-Macapagal - the former First Lady of the Republic of the Philippines and Mother of the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She is an alumna of the College of Education of the University.

Esnaen M. Catong - He was the first Student Regent of WMSU---elected President of the University Student Council (1997–1998) while studying at the Law School. He was a recipient of the Most Outstanding Student Leader Award given by the University during the Presidency of Dr. Eldigario D. Gonzales in 1998. He graduated his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Laws from WMSU in 1995 and 1999, respectively.

Prof. Catong pursued and earned a Masters Degree in History, Cognate in Political Science at the University of the Philippines in Diliman under the university's Faculty Development Program. He was the first faculty member of WMSU to earn such a graduate degree from the time of its inception in 1904. Prof. Teng Catong also completed all the academic requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy in History, Cognate in Political at UP-Diliman, Quezon City. His rigorous research trainings in the fields of Social and Political Sciences, History and Culture at the country's premier university exposed him to various international engagements as research presenter and lecturer in leading universities in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, et al. Prof. Catong has earned a distinction as the first scholar from the Philippines to have won a $5,000.00 (US) grant/fellowship in a research competition under the auspices of AMAN and the Rockefeller Foundation. The humble Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Political Science of WMSU also appeared on national and international TV as socio-political analyst on issues of national concern.

Prof. Catong is currently President of the WMSU Faculty Union and Faculty Regent (2010).

Pengiran Amir Muhammad Yusoff Ibn Pengiran Haji Abbas - a Brunei educator and owner of a private school in Bandar Seri Begawan. In early 1990s, he was awarded by the University Board a Doctor of Education honoris causa. He endowed an undergraduate scholarship program named after him.

Norma Camins-Conti - Professor of Music and Philosophy and an award winning singer-song writer. She is the Director of The WMSU Grand Chorale and also the director of High Hatters orchestra and choir. Garnering numerous awards such as National Council of Women of the Philippines' “Woman of Achievement Award” and Zamboanga A.E. Colleges - Plague of Recognition (Outstanding Alumni in the field of Arts and Humanities ) to name a few. She has written more than 30 Chavacano songs and has successfully released 4 albums.

Milabel E. Ho - nurse-educator and leader. She is the Executive Vice President of the University, active in promoting quality and responsibility in nursing education. She received the 2007 Anastacia Giron Tupas Award, the highest award given by the Philippine Nurses Association.

Noor Mohammad Saada (Class 1989) - peace education and development advocate. Currently Deputy Australian Coordinator of the AusAID-funded Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Project. He is working with DepEd to provide a space and opportunity for Muslim Filipinos in the mainstream education system through the institution of the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) Program in the government schools and the piloting of the DepEd-authorized, 'ulama-developed Standard Madrasah Curriculum for selected private Madaris across Regions XI, XII and the ARMM. Among others, he is also instrumental in developing the 23-day Language Enhancement and Pedagogy (LEaP)to enhance the English proficiency of the ALIVE teachers; Accelerated Teacher Education Program (ATEP)to equip the ALIVE teachers with strong "professional education" foundation and prepare them to qualify and take Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Both the LEaP and ATEP are now DepEd training prototype.

He is a member of the US-based National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) with the aim of fostering a world of conversation, participation and action; the Philippine Population Association and the only Asian in the 10-member Training Panel of the Peace, Conflict and Development (PCD) Program of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

Mahmor N. Edding - Political Science Professor, and National President, Anak Mindanao Party-List.

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