Everything You Need to Know Before Applying to Manila Central University

by Maxine Nava Valdez   |  Mar 11, 2023
Image: Facebook/Manila Central University
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Home to the purple owls, Manila Central University is most known for its outstanding academic programs and state-of-the-art facilities, especially in the areas of medicine. MCU is more than capable of giving  you the quality education you deserve and desire.

If you want to become a Centralino, here are the things you need to know before pursuing an education at the university:

History of Manila Central University

MCU started as a private review class for pharmacy students. The review classes were so successful that more students became interested in joining the discussions. Due to this high demand, the Escuela de Farmacia del Liceo de Manila came about. It was the first Filipino-led pharmacy school founded and directed by Dr. Alejandro Albert.

In 1908, the institution produced its first batch of fresh graduates. Renowned botanist Dr. Leon Ma. Guerrero took his place as the school director, and  Atty. Filemon D. Tanchoco became a teacher and administrator in 1910. Five years later, the school was re-established as the Manila College of Pharmacy and implemented post-graduate and doctoral degrees in pharmacy in 1917.

A spike in the number of registered pharmacies in the country came about in 1918, and in 1920, the Philippine Pharmaceutical Association was formed. The College of Dentistry was launched in 1929, which resulted in changing the institution’s name to Manila College of Pharmacy and Dentistry. This point signaled the expansion of more health science courses in the college.

In 1938, the MCPD pushed the Albert High School through and began effectuating secondary education. Initially, it made laundry and medicated soap.


The college performed excellently until 1941 when its facilities were damaged by the Japanese occupation. Four years later, Atty. Tanchoco rounded up their savings and reopened the institution with the College of Liberal Arts as a new wing. It was then re-instituted as the Manila College of Pharmacy and Liberal Arts.

A year later, the school had Atty. Tanchoco as chairman and was renamed Manila Central Colleges. At the time, the college offered Liberal Arts, Commerce, Business Administration, Education, and post-graduate courses in Pharmacy.

In 1947, The College of Medicine and the College of Nursing finally opened. It was the first school to offer a four-year course in Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Philippines. At that time, the construction of the MCU Hospital led by Mrs. Purificacion Gallego-Tanchoco began. MCC also achieved its university status in 1948 and was finally renamed to Manila Central University.

Fast forward to 1970, the Project Lingap sa Nayon (LINA) of the World University Service Philippines became the government’s model for its Youth Civic Action Program (YCAP).In the following years, the MCU Medical Alumni Foundation USA was assembled, the MCU Bagong Silang Health Center was put into action and the college’s Philippine Scientific Journal was published. 

In 1990, MCU initiated the University Integrated Community Extension Programs and Services (UNICEPS) composed of seven colleges. Afterwards, the Commission on Higher Education granted MCU the privilege to implement curricular programs.

Top Courses to Take at Manila Central University

One of the best courses to take at MCU is its Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program, seeing as it was  the first Filipino-operated pharmacy school in the country. The College of Pharmacy has a Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) Level III status and provides its own Animal House for students to produce high-caliber research and experimentation. The college has also consistently surpassed the national passing rate for the Pharmacy Licensure Examinations.

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If you are an aspiring nurse, you can also consider the  College of Nursing's 100% passing rate in the 2021 Philippine Nurse Licensure Examination and 96% passing rate in 2022. The college is also tied to prominent organizations in the medical field such as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). They are one of PRC’s pioneer schools in forming the Institute for Public Health Emergencies and have a Level II PACUCOA status.

Its College of Medical Technology has a Level III status from PACUCOA as well. It is among the founding schools of the ASEAN Association of Schools of Medical Technology (AASMT) and an active affiliate of the Philippine Association of Schools of Medical Technology and Public Health (PASMETH).

For those  interested in the field of optometry, Manila Central University’s College of Optometry was dubbed a CHED Center of Excellence and also has a PACUCOA Level IV status. You’ll be able to master important skills with the guidance of their top-notch set of educators shaping you to become one of the best in the field.

Another college you can expect the best out of is Manila Central University’s College of Medicine. Accredited with a Level I status by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU), the college has acquired top-of-the-line technology to provide students with quality education even during the pandemic. An additional perk is that you’ll be able to perform clinical clerkships in the institution’s hospital. 

How to Apply to Manila Central University


According to MCU’s official website, below are the admission requirements to prepare if you wish to apply to the institution.

For new applicants:

  • 1 Piece Passport Size ID Picture
  • Copy of PSA Birth Certificate
  • Original Grade 12 Report Card (SF9/Form 138)
  • Original Certificate of Good Moral Character

For transferees: 

  • Passport Size ID Picture
  • Copy of PSA Birth Certificate
  • Original Transcript of Records (TOR)
  • Course Description of all subjects taken from the previous school
  • Original Certificate of Good Moral Character
  • Original Transfer Credential/Honorable Dismissal

Note that the College of Dentistry and the College of Medicine may have additional admission requirements.

To start your admission process, you must register at MCU’s Admission Application System first. After registering, you must check your email account to see your log-in credentials, and don’t forget to check your spam messages just in case it ends up there. You’ll be able to follow the next steps on the application portal. The next procedures depend on what program you’re applying to.

MCU’s Admissions Office is also open to walk-ins from Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. For any admission-related concerns or queries,  you may contact them via email at admission@mcu.edu.ph.

How Much Tuition and Other Fees Cost

Based on Edukasyon.ph, fees vary for different programs, and tuition fees range from 35,000PHP to 90,000PHP per semester. You’ll be able to gain access to specific amounts once you’ve gotten into the application portal.

The university also offers financial assistance to those who will meet the qualifications for scholarships and grants. Quarterly and monthly payment options are also offered as part of the financial assistance programs.

Notable Alumni from Manila Central University

Among the first batch of graduates were  the first Filipina pharmacists, Filomena Francisco-Guerrero and Matilde Arquiza-Arroyo. Initially, pharmacy and any medical-related programs were exclusive to men. The two were the only women to take the 1908 examinations for pharmacists and achieved two of the leading ranks, with Filomena attaining the first standing and Matilde taking the third. 

Manila Central University is located at EDSA, Caloocan City 1400, Philippines. For more information, you may visit their official website, Instagram, or Twitter. You may also contact them at (+632) 8364-10-71 up to 78 and email them at hello@mcu.edu.ph.


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