South Western University​

South Western University​

Former names


Motto in English














Southwestern Colleges(1946-1959)


Science Integrity Fidelity

Private, Co-educational


MatiasHipolito C. Aznar I and AnunciacionBarcenilla Aznar

Chito B. Salazar, Ph.D

Noe G. Quiñanola


Urgello Street, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

3 campuses:Main Campus Aznar Coliseum Complex South Campus (Basak Campus)

Maroon  and  White




The Southwestern University (SWU), officially the Southwestern University PHINMA, is a private university in Cebu CityPhilippines founded on 1946 by two pharmacists. It started as Southwestern Colleges in the summer of 1946 and became a university on December 11, 1959. It has three campuses in Metro Cebu.


In summer of 1946, when the Philippines was in the rehabilitation process after World War II, Southwestern University was founded with the name Southwestern Colleges. The founders were husband and wife pharmacists MatiasHipolito Chavez Aznar II and AnunciacionBarcenilla Aznar.

Southwestern colleges started with 18 faculty members and 509 students in three two storey buildings on an approximately two hectare lot. It had the following courses: elementary, high school (day and night classes), first two years of arts and sciences (Associate programs), education and commerce, and first-year Law. In the school year 1946–47, the colleges of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and the graduate school were opened. The college of nursing was added in school year 1948–1949.

The school became a university on December 11, 1959 with its formal inauguration and the investiture of the co founder and second president Anunciacion Barcenilla Aznar on February 13, 1960. The school year 1959–1960 also started with two new courses: Engineering and Optometry. The college of optometry then became a world class education for primary eye care physicians. Lots of foreign students come to study optometry here, due to its outstanding education. The college of medical technology was opened in 1962. Agriculture and veterinary medicine came after a few years. The latest colleges added were computer studies, physical therapy, maritime, and criminology. In 2009, the university had 20 colleges and departments.

Southwestern University has continuously expanded its curricular offerings and its physical plant. The university now occupies more than 2 hectares. The Aznar Coliseum with a seating capacity of approximately 7,000–8,000 is the venue for sports and cultural activities.

In April 23, 2015, the Aznar clan of Cebu has given up the family’s flagship business as it completes the sale of 56.83 percent share worth P1.9 billion of the seven decade old Southwestern University to publicly-listed conglomerate PHINMA Corporation, an investment firm with interests in including property, energy, education, and business process outsourcing.


Southwestern University is in the South of the city of Cebu, Philippines. The university has three campuses. The main campus is located on Urgello St.; the Aznar Coliseum Complex is on Aznar Road; and the Basak campus on Sabellano St., Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City.

Academic programs

Current programs since PHINMA acquisition (Graduate School inclusive):

  • School of Medicine
  • Pre-Medicine
  • School of Health & Allied Health Sciences
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Education (includes Elementary, Junior High School, Senior High School)
  • School of IT & Engineering
  • School of Law & Government
  • School of Business, Management & Accountancy
  • School of Design & Communications
  • SWU “Next” Programs

Former programs

Professional programs

  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Law
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Optometry
  • Graduate School
    • Doctorate degree programs
    • Master’s degree programs

Allied Medical

  • College of Medical Technology
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Physical Therapy
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

Non-allied Medical

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Computer Studies
  • College of Criminology
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • SWU Maritime Regiment
  • School of Business

Basic Education

  • Pre-school, Elementary, Junior High, Senior High

Continuing Education

  • English Language Program
  • Certified Public Education (CPE)
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