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Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Gelugor, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  • Ranked 57 2014 QS University Rankings: Asia
  • Ranked 309 QS World University Rankings 2014
  • Ranked 355 QS World University Rankings 2013
  • Ranked 289 QS World University Rankings 2015
Campus setting Information not available
Living cost Information not available
Student population Information not available
International students Information not available
Institution type Public

About Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was established in 1969 as the second university in the country. USM offers excellent opportunities for research, innovation and education to both local and foreign undergraduates and postgraduates. Its main thrust in the development of higher education are in the fields of natural sciences, applied sciences, medical and health sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, building sciences & technology, engineering, social sciences, humanities and education. The University's core competencies include: teaching, research and consultancies, which relate directly to the advancement of human resource development and capacity building, knowledge and industrial competitiveness. 

USM was granted the APEX status in 2008. The APEX agenda among others is to propel the university to be one of the best institutions of higher learning in the world. USM is also a premier Research Intensive University in the country and has adopted an innovative approach to higher education, departing from the traditional faculty system to the broad-based school system. 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. 

In line with the move towards internationalization, the University has also made available a limited number of places to non-Malaysian citizens to undertake undergraduate courses on a full-time basis with the aim of earning USM degrees in selected disciplines. With around 28,300 postgraduate and undergraduate students in 2009, USM is one of the biggest universities in terms of enrollment in Malaysia. 

Campus information

USM has 3 campuses, with the main campus located in the tropical island of Penang, just a few kilometres outside the world Heritage Site of George Town. USM also has 17 dedicated research centres for a wide range of specialisations which includes:Archaeology, Medicine & Dentistry, Molecular Medicine, Science & Technology, Islamic Development & Management Studies, and Policy Research & International Studies. Faculties on campus include:

Applied Sciences

  • School of Housing, Building and Planning
  • School of Industrial Technology
  • School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • School of Computer Sciences

Applied Arts

  • School of Educational Studies
  • School of Management
  • School of Housing, Building and Planning
  • School of Communication
  • School of the Arts

Pure Arts

  • School of Languages, Literacies and Translation
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Social Sciences

Pure Sciences

  • School of Biological Sciences
  • School of Chemical Sciences
  • School of Mathematical Sciences
  • School of Physics


  • School of Health Sciences


  • School of Medical Sciences


  • School of Dental Sciences


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

The main campus located in the tropical island of Penang, just a few kilometres outside the world Heritage Site of George Town. This makes it easy to be accessed by a few ways to anyone who is interested in getting there.

  • By Air
    Getting to Penang via flight makes is easy as they have daily flights from a few major capitals in the region. It has direct links with cities like Bangkok & Phuket (Thailand), Singapore, Medan (Indonesia), Xiamen (China) and Madras (India). All these flights are operated by Malaysian Airlines. However, several international flights to Penang will also usually transit in Kuala where passengers will be transferred to a domestic flight to Penang. The Penang airport (Bayan Lepas International Airport) is situated roughly 10 to 20 km away from USM.
  • By Road
    Students can drive along the Penang Bridge to get to the Island and from there head straight to the campus. There are also coaches or buses that travel to the Island, allowing for alighting at a nearby town called Gelugor, taxis are readily available to be hired and they will take students into the campus area. 
  • By Ferry
    Ferry service is available from the mainland to the island. Once there on the island, students can either drive, get a taxi or a bus to the USM campus. 


USM provides male and female hostels to accommodate students in a safe and comfortable environment. Some blocks in hostels are equipped with facilities for handicapped students.

Facilities in hostels includes:

  • Wifi
  • Cafeteria
  • TV rooms
  • Pantry
  • Washing machines

There are single and shared rooms available. Rent varies from as low as RM 2.20 per day per student to RM 13.


Courses available 10

Accounting and Finance 1 Applied and Pure Sciences 2 Architecture, Building & Planning 2 Computer Science and IT 1 Engineering 1 English Language 2 Humanities & Social Sciences 1


Reviews 7

How is the academic life at this university/college? It's great! I get to learn a lot of stuff h... Read more
How is the academic life at this university/college? The academic is good in USM. It's just like... Read more

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