The University of San Agustin, Iloilo City was founded by the Augustinian friars in 1904 under the inspiration of St. Augustine, Doctor, and Father of the Church. The campus is located at General Luna St, Iloilo City.

Initially, the institution was opened as an elite school for boys known as Colegio de San Agustin on July 12, 1904. The institution evolved from an exclusive school for boys into one leading to a degree in Arts, which later on the University has become a premier learning center of excellent programs in diverse fields, encompassing science and arts, technology commerce, law health a related science, theology, and other disciplines, which is in keeping with the Augustinian philosophy on education. 

This is emphasized in the words of Fr. Czar Emmanuel V. Alvarez, O.S.A., currently Director of the Institute of Theological Studies of the University, “Education is neither an end in itself but must be rather seen as an instrument that can enable one to be of service to others.”

The growth of the University accelerated after the school was conferred its university status in 1953, making it the first University in Western Visayas. In the succeeding decade, massive investments in infrastructure enabled the University to open new programs and cater to a larger number of students mostly coming from the Western Visayas Region.

 In the 1990s, the university became a two-campus university with the acquisition of a site in Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City. The new campus was developed to house the Basic Education Department, which by that time the student population of the University exceeded 10,000.

In 2004, the Commission on Higher Education granted autonomous status to the University as it embarks on its second century of Augustinian Christian formation. The autonomous status was given to the University of San Agustin in recognition of “its enormous contribution in the growth and prominence of tertiary education in the country and in the Asia Pacific’: With the autonomous status, the University was able to offer new programs and establish campuses without detailed approval from CHED. The University of San Agustin was able to offer extension classes and distance education programs to expand access to higher education and establish an affiliation with recognized foreign higher education institutions.


The first college to open in the University was the College of Liberal Arts (now College of Arts and Sciences) in 1937. It is also the first College to be accredited by PAASCU in this part of the region. Presently the University has nine (9) colleges: The College of Education, which has been certified as Center of Development by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); the College of Pharmacy and Medical Technology and the College of Nursing, which has been consistent top performers in board examinations; the College of Management and Accountancy; the College of Law recognized as one of the top ten performing law schools the College of Engineering and Architecture which pioneered the offering of Architecture program in the region, and the Conservatory of Music that produced a number of good performing artists in the region and in the whole Philippines.

 Instruction, research, and extension converge in publication projects and other advocacy projects of the university. Libro Agustino, the publishing label of the University, has already published 35 books on Western Visayas literature and cultural studies. The USA publishes three research journals (Augustinian, Augustinian Legacy, Scientific Augustinian) in addition to SanAg, the Fray Luis de Leon Creative Writing Institute’s creative writing journal. The Institute holds the annual San Agustin Writer’s Workshop and writing forums. The USA Coordinating Center for Research and Publications (UCRP)serves as a research laboratory that allows USA personnel to concentrate on research work, free from administrative, financial, and clerical concerns. The center works on research education, training, publication, and consultancy.

USA’s extension service center, the Tilipunan (“gathering place”) Center, provides poor families in rural and urban areas in the city and province of Iloilo with basic social services, alternative community education. The Augustinian is pivotal in history and is bound to assert its presence in the region, and eventually, people’s history, forming persons of faith and character who, by their work and example, have chartered the services, and microenterprise development services.

The Augustinians’ one hundred and nineteen years of felt presence has shaped and re-shaped people’s history, forming persons of faith and character who by their work and example have chartered the course of countless other lives, as it continues to serve Panay, Western Visayas, and the world.


University of San Agustin Main Campus
General Luna Street, Iloilo City, Philippines
University of San Agustin Extension Campus scaled
Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines