Western Mindanao State University is the only state university in Zamboanga City. It has two campuses: the main campus of 79,000 square metres and 9,147 square metres is located within the city (Barangay Baliwasan), and the satellite campus of 200,000 square metres occupied by the College of Agriculture and the College of Forestry located at 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 Dumingag 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.
College of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports
College of Public Administration and Development Studies
College of Science and Mathematics
College of Social Works and Community Development
College of Asian and Islamic Studies
Integrated Laboratory School- Secondary Department
Integrated Laboratory School-Elementary Department
Department of Extension Service
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
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) - Ladderized
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) Ladderized
Bachelor of Laws
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 Counselling Center
Center for Instructional Development
University Training and Review Center
Knowledge for Development Center
Women’s Research & Resource Center
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)
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, 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 RA 3272 on June 26, 1969 by RA 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-pledged 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. 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 fulltime employee since June of 1982.
Notable faculty and alumni
Grace Rebollos - peace advocate and president of the University.
Evangeline Macaraeg-Macapagal - the former First Lady of the Republic of the Philippines and Mother of the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She is an allumna of the College of Education of the University.
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.
Milabel 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,and the Philippine Population Association.
Mahmor N. Edding - National President, Anak Mindanao Party-List