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:

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