Everything You Need to Know Before Applying to University of San Carlos

As a university, USC is best known for its courses in science, engineering, and law.
by Hannah Lazatin   |  Apr 12, 2022
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Metro Manila might be a popular place for high school students to consider when looking at universities, but there are many other exceptional institutions outside of the NCR. A great example would be Cebu-based University of San Carlos (USC), a private university that has been educating students all the way back to its roots in 1595. Read on to find out how you can potentially be a student at USC.

History of University of San Carlos 

The university was first known as the Colegio de San Ildefonso, which was a Jesuit school founded in 1595. The Jesuits were asked to leave from the Philippines and the school was closed in 1769. It made a comeback in 1783 as the Colegio Seminario de San Carlos. In 1930, the school separated from its seminary and in 1948, it was accredited as a university and officially known as the University of San Carlos. 

After a long period of much growth, USC has expanded to also operate an all Boys High School, a Teacher Education Center, and a Montessori campus. The institution now boasts of five campuses to fit its nearly 22,000 students in basic to graduate education. These campuses situated in Cebu City include the Downtown Campus, the Talamban Campus, North Campus, and South Campus. The school for undergraduate students may be broken down into the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design, the School of Business and Economics, School of Engineering, School of Education, School of Healthcare Profession, and School of Law and Governance.

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The University of San Carlos campus

Top Courses the University of San Carlos Is Known For

The university offers education from kindergarten all the way to graduate school. As an institution for higher education, it offers 45 undergraduate programs for incoming college students to choose from. USC is also a renowned research hub in the Visayan region and was ranked between 451-500 in the QS University Rankings for Asia 2021.



As a university, USC is best known for its courses in science, engineering, and law. More specifically, their graduates have been known to top the bar and board exams for accountancy, law, chemistry, pharmacy, architecture, and mechanical engineering.  

How to Apply to the University of San Carlos

Like many other schools, there are some pre-requisite requirements incoming freshmen students need in order to have their applications processed. At USC, this list includes:

  1. Grade 11 and 12 report cards
  2. A copy of the School ID
  3. A 2x2 ID photo
  4. A personal statement of no less than 200 words

These requirements must be turned over to the Admissions Office, and after the application is processed, students may find their status over at this online platform. If a student is admitted, then they may proceed to enrollment. 



Tuition and Other Fees at the University of San Carlos

In order to become a Carolinian, undergrads must prepare to pay a tuition of around P70,000 to P90,000 per semester, depending on their course of study. There is also a long list from which prospective students may apply for in order to lighten the financial load. This consists of university-sponsored merit scholarships, non-merit financial assistance, alumni sponsored merit and non-merit scholarships, and more. See the full list here.



Famous Alumni From the University of San Carlos

Being a premier university in the South of the Philippines, USC has produced a number of notable graduates from that region. This exhaustive list includes political leaders, such as former President Sergio Osmeña Sr. and former senator Vicente Sotto, who was also a renowned playwright and known as "The Father of Cebuano Literature." The school bred many successful writers who would make great contributions to the country’s sphere of literature, such as journalist Napoleon Rama, politician and writer Mariano Jesus Cuenco, and poet and essayist Antonio Abad

When it came to big names in business, JG Summit founder and chairman John Gokongwei Jr. and former PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno are a couple of personalities in USC’s hall of fame.


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