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When was USM established?

Established as the second university in the country in 1969, University Sains Malaysia (USM) was first known as the University of Penang, before the University’s Act came into effect on 4th October 1971.

The university has been developing and expanding since its inception, which started with the enrolment of 57 science based students. Now, USM offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to approximately 20,000 students. USM has also become a well-known university locally and internationally.

USM was founded after an agreement made on a resolution approved by the Penang State Legislative Council in 1962, which suggested that a university college be established in the state. An area in Sungai Ara was identified and later the foundation stone was placed by the then Prime Minister, Y.T.M Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on the 7th of August 1967.

In 1969, the University of Penang was established in response to the need for a larger campus with a more conducive environment, appropriate to the needs of the future of the country.

In April 1969, Professor Hamzah Sendut was elected the Vice-Chancellor. Two months later, a group of 57 students was accepted to begin their studies. Since the area of Sungai Ara could not be developed as fast as required, the group was placed at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College at Bukit Gelugor on loan from the Education Ministry. In 1971, the campus, which was originally planned to be situated in Sungai Ara, moved to its present site, Minden, a beautiful location with an area measuring 500 acres. The green and hilly scenery facing the sea is truly captivating.

Since its beginning, USM has implemented a school system, as opposed to the traditional faculty system. What is unique about this system is that each school could fulfil the needs of a more focused degree in the chosen area of study and at the same time, students could have the opportunity to explore other areas of study offered by another school. The interdisciplinary approach ensures that USM, the first in the country to adopt this system, would produce trained, multi-skilled graduates.

Where is the locations?

USM main campus is located within a tropical island of Penang, Malaysia with a land area of 591.72 acres (240.13 hectares). There are two USM branch campuses, one at Kubang Kerian in Kelantan (approximately 300km from the main campus) known as Health Campus and the other at Nibong Tebal (approximately 50km from the main campus), known as Engineering Campus. The former houses the School of Medical Sciences, School of Health Sciences and School of Dental Sciences, while the latter houses the six Engineering Schools. To date, the total enrolment is more than 30,000 students.

Why choose USM?

Right from the time of its establishment USM has adopted an innovative approach to higher education and of significance is its departure from the traditional faculty system of academic organisation. In its place, USM implements the broad-based School system where related subjects are grouped into schools of study and within each school, the policy combines subjects and to organise courses in such a manner that a degree of specialization in a chosen subject was possible.
From the outset, USM was given the mandate to provide, promote, and develop higher education in the fields of Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, Medical and Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Building Sciences & Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education, as well as to provide for research and advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of such knowledge in these fields of study.

As one of the four Higher Institutions of Learning recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education as a Research Intensive University, USM offers educational and research opportunities to both students and staff. One of the key elements in the development of academic excellence at USM is the establishment of its research centres and units. This is due to the fact that the University has always been aware of the need for both research and teaching to remain as receptive as possible to the demands of society, and that the centres and units would provide better opportunities for integration and networking.

In addition, USM also provides consultancy, testing, and advisory services to industry. These services come under the ambit of USAINS Holdings Sdn Bhd, the University’s commercial arm.

What program do USM offer?

We have 3 campuses. We offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that are conducted by the following Schools:

Main Campus ( Penang Island )

School of Arts
School of Biological Sciences
School of Chemical Sciences
School of Communication
School of Computer Sciences
School of Distance Education
School of Educational Studies
School of Housing, Building and Planning
School of Humanities
School of Industrial Technology
School of Management
School of Mathematical Sciences
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
School of Physics
School of Social Sciences
School of Languages, Literacies and Translation
School of Graduate Studies

Engeenering Campus ( Nibong Tebal : Penang )

School of Aerospace Engineering
School of Chemical Engineering
School of Civil Engineering
School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
School of Mechanical Engineering
School of Materials & Mineral Resources Engineering

Health Campus ( Kelantan )

School of Dental Sciences
School of Health Sciences
School of Medical Sciences

The list of Research Centres, Services Centres and Units at USM are listed as follows:

Research Centres

Advanced Management Centre
Advanced Medical and Dental Institute
Biomedical and Health Sciences Research Platform
Centre for Archaeological Research Malaysia
Centre for Drug Research
Centre for Education, Training and Research in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Centre for International Studies
Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies
Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies
Centre for Policy Research & International Studies
Collaborative Microelectronic Design Excellence Centre
Doping Control Centre
Engineering and Technology Research Platform
Fundamental Sciences Platform
Human Genome Centre
Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine
Malaysia Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals
National Advances IPv6 Centre
National Higher Education Research Institute
National Poison Centre
Platform for Clinical Sciences Research
Platform for Information and Communication Technology Research
Platform for Life Sciences Research
Platform for Social Transformation Drainage Research Centre
River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre
Women’s Development Research Centre

Service Centres

Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia
Centre for Knowledge, Communication & Technology
Cultural Centre
Hamdan Tahir Library
Hamzah Sendut Library
Islamic Centre
Museum & Gallery Tuanku Fauziah
USM Press
Technical Facilities Centre

What are the facilities available?

We provide facilities such as:

  • Warm and cozy cafeterias, as well as well-designed pavilions
  • An impressive Museum filled with world-class displays & a state-of-the-art
  • Art Gallery with fine art pieces.
  • Lecture theatre and halls to facilitate classroom learning and teaching.
  • Banks, bookshop, pharmacy, a post office and retail outlet to cater to the needs of students
  • Anoutstanding research library of over one million items and an extensive network of electronic databases and internet access.
  • Students’ residences that accommodate their stay on campus.
  • Sport Centre that is equipped with indoor and outdoor facilities that caters to students’ sporting events and games.
What are the services provided for the students?

USM provides various services for its students such as hostel accommodation, counseling/motivational guidance, sport and recreational amenities like soccer fields, 8-lane synthetic running track, an Astroturf hockey stadium and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Cultural events/activities are organised at the Cultural Hall to foster closer ties among students. There are also various clubs and societies that cater to a wide array of interests. These include the Political Science Society, Computer Science Club, Indian Cultural Club, Navigator Society, Astronomy Club, Debating & Public Speaking Club, and Mass Communication Club to name a few.

The Counseling Unit at USM offers support services to help develop students’ potential and capabilities.

Besides contributing to the national research effort and advancement of knowledge in general, the University has also taken steps to identify and periodically assess areas of research which are deserving of special support in order to compete more effectively for external funds. In USM’s bid to provide better incentives for the development of new products and processes by its staff, it has recently drawn up specific rules governing the patenting and commercialization of research results

If you have any question please ask :

Pusat Media dan Perhubungan Awam
Aras 1, Bangunan E42, Canselori II, Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Tel.     : +604-653 3888  |  Faks    : +604-653 6484   |   Emel : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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