The Graduate School aims to become the center of excellence in graduate education in this part of the country. It was established on June 1976 by virtue of Resolution No. 65 series of 1975 which was approved by the Board of Trustees of the then Mindanao Institute of Technology (now University of Southern Mindanao). The establishment was approved during the presidency of Dr. Jaman S. Imlan (1975-1988) with the support of the Assistant to the President for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies, the late Venancio G. Garagan (1976-1980).

Because of its growing enrollment, it became one academic unit of the university in 1981 with its first Dean, Dr. Teofilo C. dela Cruz, assisted by Dr. Lydia P. Oliva and Dr. Emerson D. Pascual as Associate Dean and Secretary respectively. The GS office was first housed at the second floor of the College of Engineering building, then at the College of Arts and Sciences building. It was situated at the University Laboratory School building before its final location – the DD Clemente building.

After passing its first accreditation survey in 1997, the Graduate School was renamed as Graduate College per BOR Resolution No. 30, series of 1997.


Initial program offerings of the Graduate School were Master of Science in Agronomy and Horticulture and Master of Arts in Education. The MA in Science Education (MASE) program began in 1978 in cooperation with the Science Foundation of the Philippines. In 1982, the Master of Professional Studies in Rural and Economic Development (MPS RED) was offered, followed immediately by the MPS-Public Affairs Management, MPS Educational Management, MS in Agronomy, Animal Science, Soil Science and Masters in Social Sciences in Agricultural Education and Extension Education. It was during the presidency of Dr. Kundo E. Pahm (1991-1992) that the doctoral programs in Educational Management, Extension Education, and Agricultural Sciences with various major fields were instituted.

The PhD in Rural Development under the management of the Institute of Development Economics and Management, now the College of Business Development, Economics and Management was first offered during the first semester of SY 2003-2004. It was on the same academic year that the Provincial Government of Cotabato through the Honorable Governor Emmanuel F. Piñol offered a scholarship program for 23 scholars enrolled in Master of Science in Rural and Economic Development (MSRED). The following semester of the same school year, the Local Government Unit of Kabacan, through the Honorable Luzviminda J. Tan funded 21 scholars for the MPA program.

In 2006, two new curricular offerings were added as: Master of Science in Plant Breeding and the Master of Arts in Islamic Studies. Only 14 students enjoyed the Harry Stine Grant of Iowa, USA scholarship. Another welcome development was the one-semester stint of the visiting professor, Dr. Sall Habana-Hafner of the University of Massachusetts whose specialization was Participatory Action Research.

In Summer of 2014, the University Academic Council approved the following proposed graduate degree programs for CHED endorsement and USM Board of Regents approval to offer: 1) Master in Information Systems; 2) Doctor of Philosophy in Biology and Mathematics Education; and 3) Doctor of Education major in English and Filipino.

After over four decades of giving quality education to its graduate students, the GS continues to fulfill its mission of producing competent, updated and innovative professionals who excel in their area of specialization and contribute to the upliftment of the quality of life of the people in Southern Philippines.


The college now has eight doctoral programs and twenty-one master’s degree curricula. All of which underwent thorough evaluation processes via the Evaluation of Graduate Education of the Philippines and the Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines in order to meet, maintain and/or enhance the Graduate School’s standards. With the conduct of its periodic evaluation, four (4) passed the Level II accreditation while thirteen (13) were re-accredited.

Moreover, the Graduate School is a CHED Delivering Higher Education Institution (DHEI) for PhD and MS Agriculture programs and Master of Science in Teaching (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics).


The Graduate School has embarked on varied extension projects. It adopted barangay schools to undertake improvement projects on infrastructure, classroom facilities and capability training, and rural communities to uplift socio-economic conditions through integrated development programs. Linkages with health service providers addressed health conditions and provided medical services (FBS, cholesterol and anti-oxidant screening and bone scanning) of USM faculty and staff.

As peace, gender and development are parts of the GS curriculum, the Mothers for Peace Movement was launched to harness women power in the quest for peace. This women empowerment was further enhanced by seminar-workshops on gender and development.

To address local needs, partnership with the United Bangsamoro Movement for Peace and Development, Inc (UBMPDI) was created. This partnership resulted in the GREAT CARE project which caters the educational needs of 500 officially enrolled out-of-school youth from 12 barangays in Pagalungan and Datu Montawal, both in Maguindanao Province. Furthermore, the Gs also forged linkages with the Institute for Training and Development based on Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. This partnership led to the conduct of an International Conference on Islamic Education in Contemporary Indonesia and the Philippines on December 11-18, 2006 at USM. Madsarah Education was the focus of the conference.

The GS offering of EdD and MPS in Teaching Agriculture by virtue of Resolution No. 95, s. 1999 under the deanship of Dr. Rogelio S. Tabora (2000-2005) paved its way to work in consortium with Sulu State College. It was under the same leadership that GS extended its linkage with the DepEd catering the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP) where elementary school teachers enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching Basic Education Program for Social Studies, Filipino, Science and Administration and Supervision. Finally, the GS got its final linkage with the Department of Agriculture as it catered the DA scholars to acquire their MS in Rural Economic Development.

While these extension activities were on their full implementation, the construction of additional function rooms for the Dean, Secretary and Staff at the same time sourced out its expense from the local funds and savings from the Advanced Education Foundation. This expansion became functional after it was inaugurated on December 2003.


With its desire to reach and serve more graduate students, the Graduate School Outreach Program (GSOP) started to conduct graduate classes in its five sites: the Summer Institute for Teachers of Agriculture in Jolo, Sulu (1984-1987) with Dr. Teofilo C. dela Cruz as project coordinator; the weekend graduate classes in Cotabato City (1989) with VPAA Dr. Kalinggalan B. Abdulsani as project coordinator after Dr. dela Cruz retired in 1992; the training-seminar schedule of classes in Mati, Davao Oriental (1991-1992) with Dr. Florecita G. Tabora as project coordinator; and in Digos, Davao del Sur lanced on June 1995 upon the request of the Southern Mindanao Agricultural Project (SMAP) management to offer the MPS – Rural Extension and Development program for its field technicians. Two other graduate course offerings were MPS-PAM and MAEd coordinated by Dr. Rosa Fe D. Hondrade.


On June 2006, the Cyber Nook provided the Graduate School its worldwide connectivity. Not only are graduate students but undergrad students with laptop could access the internet at a very minimal rate. In fact, online accessibility of the GS update is made available by the USM Webpage.

On September 11, 2006, the GS Policies, Rules and Regulations were revised during its GS Council meeting. Approved revisions were confirmed by the Board of Regents on December 23, 2006.

To help the unit sustain and augment its operation, the GS converted its three-classroom-AVR into a furnished Function Hall ready-for-rent which eventually now becomes a source of income of the college.

The following served as stewards of the institution:


The Graduate School, with its competent professors in their individual field of discipline generally targets to help improve the quality of life of the teachers from all levels, researchers, development-oriented agencies both public and private, managers, school administrators and other individuals or leaders in the fields of agriculture, industry, rural and economic development, science and technology whose oozing interest to grow professionally and innovatively is notably high.


The Graduate School aims to:

  1. Produce MS and PhD graduates who can meet the highest standards of performance in their various professions whether in the areas of research, instruction, extension and research generation;
  2. Be at par, if not well above average in knowledge, skills and values with other professionals or colleagues in the specific disciplines as offered by the Graduate School, among others:
    Education, Agriculture, Extension, Public Affairs Management, Mathematics, Industrial Arts, Language Teaching and Rural Development;
  3. Produce authorities or experts in their own respective disciplines and thus can be depended upon by the community and the clientele they serve;
  4. Produce graduates who can generate new knowledge, innovations, technologies and strategies through research in their fields of expertise; and
  5. Produce graduates who can establish, demonstrate or showcase their own leadership, new technologies, innovations and strategies through outputs but not limited to invention, production, project conduct or implementation and publication.
Doctoral Programs
  1. Doctor of Philosophy in Education, major in:
    1. Biology
    2. Mathematics
  2. Doctor of Education, major in:
    1. Educational Management
    2. English
    3. Filipino
  3. Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences
  4. Doctor of Philosophy in Education Extension
  5. Doctor of Philosophy in Rural Development
Master’s Programs
  1. Master of Arts in Education Major in Educational Management
  2. Master of Arts in Home Economics
  3. Master of Arts in Language Teaching
    • English
    • Filipino
  4. Master of Science in Teaching Industrial Arts
  5. Master of Science in Teaching
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
  6. Master of Engineering in Rural Infrastructure Engineering
  7. Master of Science in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
  8. Master of Science in Agronomy
  9. Master of Science in Animal Science
  10. Master of Science in Biology
  11. Master of Science in Crop Protection
  12. Master of Science in Extension Education
  13. Master of Science in Horticulture
  14. Master of Science in Plant Breeding
  15. Master of Science in Rural and Economic Development
    • Master in Public Administration
    • Master in Information System