Created under RA 1387 as amended through authorship of Senator Domocao A. Alonto, the Mindanao State University was established in Marawi City on September 1, 1961. Dr. Antonio Isidro, former Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of the Philippines, was its founder and first president.
Formal classes opened in June 1962 with 282 students, 19 faculty members and staff, and three core colleges: Community Development, Liberal Arts and Education.
After more than three decades of operation, the University has grown into a multi-campus University System with seventeen colleges and degree-granting units in the Marawi campus alone.
The Marawi campus enjoys a triple-center distinction as the Regional Science Training Center, the Regional Carabao Center and one of the country’s Centers of Excellence in Teacher Education. The University has also opened itself to the outside world through her cooperative linkages with major universities of Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. When it comes to the educational dimension of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), MSU is among the leaders of the Philippine universities.
There are six other autonomous campuses with different thrusts distributed in strategic locations throughout Mindanao: MSU IIT, MSU General Santos, MSU Sulu, MSU Maguindanao, MSU Naawan and MSU Tawi-Tawi. Under the propulsion of a unique and noble mission, each campus is making strides towards excellence.