The USM Graduate School aims to become the center of excellence in graduate education in Southern Philippines. It was established in June 1976 by virtue of Resolution No. 65, s. 1975 which was approved by the Board of Trustees of the then Mindanao Institute of Technology (now University of Southern Mindanao).  It became a regular and full-pledged academic unit in 1981.  After passing the 1st accreditation survey in 1997, the Graduate School was renamed Graduate College per Resolution No. 30, s. 1997 by the Board of Regents.  In 2006 the name of the college was changed back to Graduate School per Resolution No. 53, s. 2006 by the Board of Regents.

The pioneering graduate program offerings in 1976 include MS in Agronomy, MS in Horticulture and MA in Education.  The Master of Arts in Science Education (MASE) program began in 1978 in cooperation with the Science Foundation of the Philippines.  Since its operation in 1976, the Graduate School has offered 55 graduate degree programs with different majors.  Thirty-four (34) of these programs remained offered in 2022 but eight were renamed.   Twenty-one (21) degree programs became inactive. Some of these shelved programs may no longer be offered as they are replaced with programs that meet clients’ demands and accreditation standards.

The present offerings of the Graduate School include ten (10) doctoral programs and twenty-four (24) master’s degree programs.  Twenty-seven (27 or 79%) of these programs passed AACUP accreditation.  Only the newly opened programs remain to be accredited.  In 2021, the Graduate School was granted Level IV Phase 1 accreditation status for its pioneering MS in Agriculture program offerings in Agronomy, Horticulture, and Crop Protection.

The USM Graduate School is a Delivering Higher Education Institution (DHEI) for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) graduate scholarships during the K to 12 Transition Period (2016-2020).  Its DHEI status is extended to CHED’s Scholarships for Instructors’ Knowledge Advancement Program (SIKAP) in 2021 for the following programs:   PhD in Agricultural Sciences major in Animal Science, Crop Protection and Crop Science, PhD in Education major in Mathematics, Biology, Applied Linguistics and Filipino, PhD in Extension Education, EdD major in Educational Management, MS in Agronomy, Horticulture, Animal Science, Plant Breeding, Crop Protection, Crop Science, Biology, and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, MST in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics, MALT major in English and Filipino, MAED major in Educational Management and Social Sciences, and Master in Public Administration.

In addition, the Graduate School is also a DHEI for other scholarship grants such as the Graduate Research and Education Assistantship Program for Technology (GREAT) of DOST-PCAARRD, the SIDA Scholarship Program under Sugar Regulatory Commission (SRA), the Workers Organization and Development Program Scholarship of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the DA-BAR’s National Research and Development System for Agriculture and Fisheries (NaRDSAF) Scholarship, and the Local and Provincial Government Units’ scholarship programs for graduate studies.

After over four decades, the Graduate School continues to line up to its mission of producing competent, updated, and innovative professionals who excel in their area of specialization and contribute to uplift the quality of life of the people in Southern Philippines.

The following served as Deans of the Graduate School.


  1. Competent professionals who will be leaders in the fields of agriculture, industry, rural and economic development, science and technology, and education, and thus help improve the quality of life of the people in Southern Philippines.
  2. Updated and innovative professionals equipped in the state-of-the-art and cutting- edge technologies of their respective fields of specialization.


The Graduate School aims to produce MS/MA and PhD/EdD graduates

  1. who can meet the highest standards of performance in their various professions whether in the areas of Research, Instruction, Extension, and Resource Generation;
  2. at par if not well above average in knowledge, skills and values with other professionals and colleagues in the specific disciplines where they belong as offered by the Graduate School, among others: Education, Agriculture, Extension, Public affairs management, Mathematics, Industrial Arts, Language Teaching, and Rural Development.
  3. who can be authorities or expert of their own respective disciplines and can thus be depended upon by the community and clientele they serve;
  4. who can generate new knowledge, innovations, technologies, and strategies through research along their field of expertise;
  5. who can establish, demonstrate, or show case their own leadership, new technologies, innovations, and strategies through outputs as in but not limited to invention, production, project conduct or implementation, and publication.


All applicants for admission to graduate work must take the Graduate Level Test (GLT).  The passing score range in GLT is 474 to 524 with a quality index of “Average” (2.50) for any of the master’s degree programs and 525 to 572 with a quality index of “High Average” (1.75) for any of the doctoral programs.   GS applicants with GLT scores below the specified passing score can still be admitted but they will be required to take additional courses equivalent to 6 units.

Graduates of master’s degree at USM who opt to proceed to any doctoral program may be exempted from taking the GLT, provided their previous GLT score is between the range of 525 to 572. and a weighted grade point average of 1.75; and provided further, that he or she enrolled on the 1st semester immediately after graduation.

For 2021, the GLT will be administered by the Center for Educational Measurement (CEM) using the online proctored version. 


Admission Documents:

Original copies of the following documents must be filed at the Office of the Registrar

  1. Duly accomplished application form – done online
  2. Notice of admission – filed at the Graduate School
  3. Latest Copy of Official Transcript of Records (TOR) marked “Valid for transfer” or “Issued Upon Request”
  4. Honorable Dismissal (for non-USM Graduate)
  5. A copy of the Graduate Level Test (GLT) – will be available after the exam
  6. PSA birth certificate and marriage certificate (for married female applicants)
  7. Two (2) passport-size photographs (2” x 2”).
  8. Sealed letters of references from two former professors or supervisors

All GS forms, prospectus, and thesis templates available here:

  • Prospectus
  • Enrollment
  • Application for Qualifying Exam
  • Application for Comprehensive Exams
  • Application for Defense
  • Outline/Manuscript templates
  • Application for Comprehensive Exam

For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), please click the icon below:

DD Clemente Building
USM Main Campus
Kabacan, Cotabato