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Silliman University

Silliman University is a Protestant institution of higher education located in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines. It was the first Protestant school founded in the Philippines. The university holds the distinction of being one of the 30 private higher education institutions in the Philippines that have been granted autonomy by the Commission on Higher Education.


Silliman University was founded on August 28, 1901, making it the oldest American university in Asia. Originally named Silliman Institute, an elementary school, it was established by Protestant missionaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and started through a gift from Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman, a retired businessman and philanthropist from Cohoes, New York. He was an active layman in the Presbyterian Church. The school was thus named after him.

The school began with 15 male students, four long desks, two tables, and two chairs. The First President of the University, David Sutherland Hibbard of Lyndon, Kansas. He has a statue in front of the CAP Building, Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete. The first faculty was the Reverend Hibbard and his wife Laura. From 1901 to 1912, it was a boys school. In 1910, Silliman was given the right to confer degrees. In 1912, girls were admitted for the first time. In 1938, Silliman became a university, the first school outside of Manila to be granted university status.


Silliman has a main campus near the center of Dumaguete City, dotted by large acacia trees. The campus has a land area of 61 hectares. It faces the sea to the east and its gates are flanked by the portals which are now symbols of the university.

Dumaguete has earned the distinction of being known as "the center of learning in the south," or a "university town" due to the presence of these universities that have made their mark nationally and abroad. The city has become a melting pot of students, professionals, artists, scholars and the literati coming from different parts of the country and the world.

Silliman University is the dominant institution of higher learning in Dumaguete, providing the city with a distinct university town atmosphere. It is the oldest Protestant university in the country and the oldest American-established university in Asia. The 610,000 m² campus is adjacent to and intermixed with the city's downtown district.

Academic Programs

College of Agriculture

  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Majors in Agronomy and Animal Science
  • Master of Applied Science in Systems Agriculture

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Bachelor of Arts Majors in Anthropology, Creative Writing, English, Language, Literature, Filipino, History, *Political Science, Sociology, and Speech and Theater Arts.
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics (with emphasis in Computer Application, Medical Application, and Educational Technology)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
  • Master of Arts Majors in Asian Literature, Creative Writing, English and American Literature, Teaching English as a Second Language, Anthropology, History, Sociology, Extension in Administration (MAREXA), and Filipino.
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Science Teaching in Physics
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Majors in Chemistry, General Scoence and Mathematics (College, High School and Elementary)
  • Master of Science in Biology
  • Master of Science in Marine Biology
  • Master of Science Major in Social Work
  • Master of Science in Coastal Resource Management
  • Master of Science in Environmental Science
  • Master of Science in Environmental Policy
  • Master of Science in Physics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in English and Literature
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology

College of Business Administration

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
    Majors in Entrepreneurship, General Business, and Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Applications Associate in Commercial Science (with 15 units of the latest office automation and hands-on training on the latest business office machines)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Health

School of Public Affairs and Governance

  • Bachelor of Science in Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration (specializing in Fiscal Administration and Local Governance)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Science

College of Education

  • Bachelor of Elementary Education Majors in General Education, Early Childhood Education, Mathematics, Filipino, Reading, Hmoe Economics and Technology, Science and Health Education, Social Studies, and Work Education.
  • Bachelor of Secondary Education Majors in Biology, Chemistry, English, Filipino, General Science, Library Science, Mathematics, Music Education, Physics, Physical Education, Health and Music (PEHM), Practical Arts, Home Economics and Technology, Social Studies and Values Education.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Master of Arts in Education Majors in Educational Management, English Teaching in High School and Elementary School, Guidance and Counseling
  • Doctor in Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education

College of Engineering

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

College of Computer Studies

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information System
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

College of Law

  • Bachelor of Law

College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy
  • Master in Nursing [non-thesis] Majors in Family Nursing Practice, Administration, Public Health, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing.
  • Master of Science in Nursing Majors in Parent-Child Nursing, Nursing School Administration, Nursing Service Administration, Public Health Nursing, Medical Surgical Nursing, Psychiatric-Mental Nursing, Family Nursing Practice, Community Health Nursing and Adult Health.
  • Ph.D. in Nursing

College of Performing Arts

  • Bachelor of Music Major in Choral Conducting, Composition, Music Education, Piano and Other Instruments and Voice
  • Master of Music Major in Choral Conducting, Instrument Conducting, Ethnomusicology, Music Education, and Voice

Divinity School

  • Bachelor of Theology
  • Master of Ministry [Off-Campus]
  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Ministry [Off-Campus]
  • Master of Theology

College of Mass Communication

  • Bachelor of Mass Communication

Medical School

  • Doctor of Medicine

School of Public Affairs and Governance

  • Master of Public Affairs specializing in Fiscal Administration
  • Master of Public Affairs specializing in Local Governance

Vision and Mission


A leading Christian institution committed to total human development for the well-being of society and environment.


  • 1.Infuse into the academic learning the Christian faith anchored on the gospel of Jesus Christ; provide an environment where Christian fellowship and relationship can be nurtured and promoted.

  • 2.Provide opportunities for growth and excellence in every dimension of the

University life in order to strengthen character, competence and faith.

  • 3.Instill in all members of the University community an enlightened social

consciousness and a deep sense of justice and compassion.

  • 4.Promote unity among peoples and contribute to national development.

Facilities & Benefits


Silliman recognizes the importance of a strong athletics program. In addition to physical education courses that are part of the General Education program. The Athletics Department supervises a full program of intramural sports in which all students are encouraged to participate. The program runs through the school year and includes all organized competitive sports.

Sports Facilities

• Gymnasium • Ballfield • Swimming Pool • Basketball Court • Volleyball / Badminton Court • Tennis Court • Archery Range


The SU Career and Placement Office aims to facilitate the professional and personal aspiration of students by providing information and promoting programs that develop personal and career competencies needed to enter and advance in their chosen fields of work.

The Office takes care of the University’s online career search engine, SU Joblink, for Silliman students and alumni.


The Silliman University Church is a member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, but it serves everyone regardless of church affiliation. It is located in the heart of the campus, reminding us that what we do in and out of the classroom must be related to God’s purpose for our lives. Everybody is invited to be part of this common search for this integration of life.


Since Silliman University’s founding in 1901, a very important part of campus life has been its cultural fare. In 1905, the Cultural Affairs Committee was founded. Every week, there is always a concert, a literary workshop or poetry reading, a play, a dance, an exhibit, a film showing, or some other cultural activity taking place in a number of exhibition halls and performance spaces within its campus. The Committee continues its mission by exposing students to all the arts—with a subsidized fee, perhaps the most generous of its kind in the country, allowing students and the Dumaguete community to see cultural presentations, join in the lectures, and view art exhibits by such national companies as Ballet Philippines, the Manila Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Manila, Dulaang U.P., the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, the Bayanihan National Dance Company, the Ramon Obusan National Dance Company, the New Voice Company, and others. The Committee functions to help promote Philippine culture by especially promoting Filipino artists, and to screen or audition University performing groups who wish to perform outside and inside of the University.


The provision of living facility is as essentially a part of the work of the University as the provision of classrooms, libraries and laboratories. The dormitories offer a diversity of programs such as lectures and discussions, athletics, social and cultural programs, and other experiences. The dormitory staff are eager to get to know each student on an individual basis and are available to give help and aid whenever needed. A wide variety of personal and group experiences are offered through which the individual can interact naturally with others for his personal development.

Silliman operations regular and cooperative dormitories. These dormitories provide comfortable living conditions for approximately 800 students.

Regular Dormitories – There are four well-equipped regular dormitories for women and three for men. Lodging in the regular dormitories is payable at the Student Personnel Office. Fixed board is paid two months in advance at the University Business and Finance. There is also a regular dormitory for high school girls. High school boys are accommodated on one floor at Doltz Hall.

Women • Edith Carson Hall • Ethel Chapman Hall • Larena Hall • Woodward Hall

Men • New Men’s Dorm • Doltz Hall • Occidental Hall

Cooperative Dormitories – There are three cooperative dormitories for women and three cooperative dormitories for men on the main campus. The residents undertake housekeeping and the planning of the food. The adviser is authorized to collect the board money, which is payable two months in advance, and other incidental fees prescribed by the Office of Student Affairs. Lodging is paid at the Office of Student Affairs.

Women • Azucena Cottage • Rosal Cottage • Sampaguita Cottage

Men • Ipil Cottage • Molave Cottage • Narra Cottage


Aside from the main University Cafeteria, dining services are available at some dormitories. These dining halls are under the supervision of the University Food Services.


The guidance and counseling program at Silliman complements the instructional program and is geared towards fulfilling the academic, psychological or personal needs of students.

This unit of the Office of Student Affairs adopts the centralized set-up but a qualified counselor is assigned and holds office in each of the University’s academic unit. The GTD head who holds office at the Guidance Center coordinates and supervises all activities.


• Counseling • Testing • Individual Inventory • Group Service • Career Development • Placement and Follow-up • Research and Evaluation


The Silliman University Library caters mainly to the book needs of its faculty, staff and students. It is considered as one of the most notable libraries in the country, with a comfortable seating capacity of 490 readers at any given time. The Main Library holds over 200,000 volume of books, with enough space to accommodate 400,000 more. It also subscribes to 500 periodicals. Some courses provide instruction in the location of books and publications for research and other school work. Instructions on how to search for library materials through the On-Line Public Access Catalogue are posted at computer stations outside the CyberLibrary. Students pay a semestral fee for Internet through the CyberLibrary.


A bonafide student of the University automatically becomes a member of the Silliman Medical Care Plan. The Silliman University Medical Center Foundation, Inc. is a major hospital located on campus, with comprehensive services available to students at all times. Benefits under the Medical Care Plan include the following when rendered at Silliman University Medical Center: 1. Free annual physical examination and specific immunizations 2. Free hospital accommodation for a specific period 3. Free medical profession services [consultations] 4. Free minor dispensary treatments 5. Fifty percent discount for X-ray, laboratory services, and other special treatment procedures.


Silliman University has a strong program of student activities. These activities vary from student organizations to student publications, and from dramatics and music to athletic groups.


The museum houses contemporary ethnographic materials and archaeological artifacts. The collection were acquired through fieldworks, excavations, purchases or donations from the students, alumni, faculty, missionaries and other individuals who are friends of Silliman University.

The exhibits on the first three galleries are those which have been collected from known cultural or ethnic groups all over the country. These artifacts include basketry, agricultural and aquatic tools, weapons, clothing and ornaments as well as musical instruments. These are displayed according to two general parameters – the type of social organization (incipient, tribal or sultanate) and the type of economic subsistence (hunting, and gathering, marginal agriculture or farming) under which ethnic group is categorized.

The archaeological artifacts on exhibit in the last four galleries are those which have been excavated from the different parts of Negros Island and the highlands of Cotabato. The collection includes the different mortuary vessels and urns which were used by prehistoric Filipinos for burying their dead. Students are encouraged to participate in as many activities as possible provided these do not interfere with the greater goal of good academic work. Students are encouraged likewise to consult the SOAD on matters concerning student activities.


The Silliman Post Office is a mail distribution center located at the ground floor of the Hibbard Hall. Private boxes are for rent. If you do not have a post office box, you may get your mail through your dormitory or directly from the postal clerk.


The University Press primarily serves the University and the Silliman community. It also accepts orders for personalized letterheads, printed envelopes, birthday cards and/or invitations, souvenir programs, posters, certificates, binding of magazines and manuscripts, and repair of old books.


Campus journalism and creative writing opportunities are available through various publications. The Weekly Sillimanian is one of the first weekly student papers in the country. Its creative outlet is the semestral Silliman Magazine. The high school department puts out the Junior Sillimanian. The Sands and Coral, a literary journal, is published with the cooperation of the Department of English and Literature. Portal is the yearbook of the graduating class.

Key positions in these publications carry honoraria and are available to all students through competitive examinations. These publications are supported by the students through a publication fee.

Miscellaneous facts

  • The school is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as being a "Center of Excellence" in nursing, teachers' education, and Coastal Resources Management.
  • Silliman University is CHED Center of Development in Physics, Biology, Marine Sciences Mechanical Engineering, Business and Management Education, and Information Technology.
  • Silliman College of Nursing prides in it’s tradition of 100% passing average in the licensure exam since 1952 up to 2006, and 99.9% passing average in 2007.
  • The school is host to the annual Church Workers Convocation, a gathering of hundreds of members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines— from around the country.
  • It is among the top 3 schools in physical therapy with outstanding board exam performance. The PT Department has produced graduates who made it to the Top 10.
  • Silliman also consistently leads in accountancy as to the percentage of successful board examinees, and it is among the country’s top 3 centers for development in Business Education.
  • The College of Agriculture ranked among the Top 3 schools in the country with highest passing averages at the recent First Professional Agriculture Board Examinations. One of its graduates made it to the Top 10. While the national passing average was 22%, Silliman Class of 2003 had a passing rate of 100%.
  • The College of Performing Arts (formerly School of Music and Fine Arts) has produced great names in Philippine Music Education history. Among them are ethnomusicologist Priscilla Magdamo, violinist Gilopez Kabayao and baritone Elmo Makil. Silliman is also a pioneer in Choral Music Education in the country.
  • The Silliman Information Technology program received 100% rating from CHED.
  • Silliman is also recognized as one of the leading schools in marine biology in Asia with the Marine Laboratory as its home.
  • Silliman is among the country’s Top 10 schools included in the annual BPI Science Awards for student achievers.
  • Silliman has a continuing exchange student program with three Japanese Universities (International Christian University, Shikoku Gakuin University and Ferris University).
  • Silliman is on the Top 10 List of schools in the Philippines listed as No. 4.
  • Starting in 2005, The medical school is to open as part of Silliman University.
  • Silliman University College of Law is ranked 7 on the Top Law Schools in the Philippines.

Noted alumni and professors

External links

Famous Alumni: Dr. Angel C. Alcala, Dr. Efren N. Padilla, Former Philippine President Carlos P. Garcia, Edelmiro Amante

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