On January 15, 1981, through P.D. 1778, the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) was created to cater to the aspirations of the people. The University has three (3) major campuses located in different towns of the province of La Union: the North La Union Campus in Bacnotan and the seat of the Central Administration; the Mid La Union Campus and the DMMMSU Open University System in the City of San Fernando, and the South La Union Campus in Agoo with the Institute of Agriculture in Rosario and Institute of Fisheries in Sto. Tomas.

The University has 105 academic programs broken down into: 12 doctorate degree programs; 30 masters degrees; 47 undergraduate courses; 13 diploma programs; and 3 certificate courses.

In its journey towards a World-Class University, DMMMSU is now:

      • A SUC Level IV
      • One of the 22 LEADING State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines
      • Top-ranking SUC with the most number of Accredited Programs (Levels I-IV)
      • Number 1 in Region 1 and 11th Nationwide, 2015 Bar Examinations
      • Center of Development in Teacher Education, SLUC & NLUC
      • Center of Development in Information Technology, SLUC & MLUC
      • Center of Development in Agriculture, NLUC
      • Sentro ng Wika at Kultura sa lalawigan ng La Union, SLUC
      • Producer of Topnotch Agriculturists, Fisheries Technologists, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (2015-2017)
      • Most Sustainable/Eco-Friendly School among all SUCs in the Philippines - NLUC
      • Number 1 in the Philippines with the most number of Re-Accredited Level III Academic Programs
      • National Research Center for Honey (National Apiculture Research Training and Development Institute)
      • National Research Center for Silk (Sericulture Research and Development Institute)
      • No. 1 School of Nursing in La Union

DMMMSU is currently headed by Pres. Benjamin P. Sapitula, a Forestry topnotcher and a lawyer.