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University of San Carlos

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1595
    • Size:
    • Large (>15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Religiously affliated
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Tropical
    • Location:
    • Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, 6000
    • Phone:
    • +63322531000
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of University of San Carlos (USC)

University of San Carlos (USC) is a Catholic educational institution administered since 1935 by Society of the Divine Word missionaries. A university since 1948, USC offers the complete educational package from kindergarten, including a Montessori academy, to graduate school.

Today, the University is one of the most respected higher education institutions in the Philippines, offering 57 undergraduate and 74 graduate programs. Nearly 22,000 students in basic to graduate education are enrolled in the University, with almost 200 international students. On average, the teacher-to-student ratio at USC is 1:20.

Academic Highlights

USC has about 22,000 students (otherwise called Carolinians) of which more than 200 are international students, enrolled in basic education, collegiate undergraduate and graduate programs and served by about 1,100 academic faculty and staff with a teacher to student ratio of 1:20. About 600 Carolinian students are academic scholars, 200 working student scholars and 300 non-academic scholars (e.g. athletic & sports, cultural & performing arts). 

USC consists of five campuses in different areas of Metro Cebu – the Downtown Campus (formerly the Main Campus) along P. del Rosario St.; the Talamban Campus (TC) along Gov. Manuel Cuenco Ave., Brgy. Talamban; the North Campus (formerly the Boys High Campus) along Gen. Maxilom Ave; the South Campus (formerly the Girls High) along corners J. Alcantara St. (P. del Rosario Ext.) and V. Rama Avenue; and the newest is the Montessori Academy along F. Sotto Drive (at the back of USC North Campus).

Life in University of San Carlos (USC)

USC is recognized as a research and innovation hub in southern Philippines. The university has drawn in external grants amounting to about PHP130M (US$2.5M) from 2011 to 2018. Internal research grants of about PHP37M (US$700T) have also been awarded from the University Research Trust Fund within the same time period, while an additional PHP350M (US$7M) has been earmarked for laboratory development anticipating the current changes in the Philippine educational system. 

The USC Press is the official academic publishing house of the University of San Carlos. Since 1975 to present the university had published about 500 volumes of research journals and about 110 books of academic researches of the faculty, scholars, alumni and partners.  

The official student publication of USC is Today's Carolinian (TC), which is run by its editorial board and staff composed of graduate and undergraduate students of the university. The official slogan of the publication is "Our Commitment. Your Paper."

School Ranking

USC is ranked among the top performing schools for 2008 to 2018 in the bar and board exams for law, accountancy, chemical engineering, chemistry, architecture, pharmacy, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and chemical technicians.


Interested students and parents may schedule an appointment with our Admission Offices located in all campuses or with the Chair of the Department that offers the preferred program of study.  

Notable Alumni

This is a list of some of notable alumni in their own right of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Philippines. 

  • Sergio Osmeña Sr. – (Elem & H.S., valedictorian 1892 and AB, highest distinction 1896 Colegio Seminario de San Carlos) fourth president and first vice president of the Philippines, second senate president pro tempore, former senator, first Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of Public Instruction, Health and Public Welfare, second elected governor of Cebu.
  • Mariano Jesus Cuenco – (AB, 1904 Colegio Seminario de San Carlos) fourth president of the Senate and former senator of the Philippines (1941–1964), former member of the House of Representatives, Governor of Cebu and Secretary of Public Works and Communication during the Phil. Commonwealth era.
  • Vicente Sotto – (Elem & H.S., 1891 Colegio Seminario de San Carlos) former senator of the Philippines, considered the "Father of Cebuano Literature" and he was the main author of the Press Freedom Law (now known as the Sotto Law, Republic Act No. 53).

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