On June 9, 1919, what would eventually be the Philippine Women's University opened its first classes. The vision of seven forward-looking Filipino women—Clara Aragon, Concepcion Aragon, Francisca Tirona Benitez, Paz Marquez Benitez, Carolina Ocampo Palma, Mercedes Rivera and Socorro Marquez Zaballero—the nascent university had an initial enrollment of 190 students. The goal was to prepare young Filipino women for a life of service and leadership. The original site was a three-storey house on A. Flores Street, Ermita, Manila.In 1932, thirteen years after opening, the college achieved university status, becoming henceforth The Philippine Women's University and thus the first university for women in Asia founded by Asians. Two years later, 1934, the University moved to its present site on Taft Avenue.Historically, the university is credited with a number of 'firsts' and pioneering innovations. Some of the 'firsts' came before the school earned university status. The organization of the Student Council, the first such council in a Philippine private school, in 1922. Pharmacy in 1924. Business Administration, four-year course in a private school in 1926. Home Economics as a bachelor's degree course in a private school in 1928. The Graduate School in 1931.The tradition of educational innovation continued after elevation to University status. Child Development Center and Social and Civic training in 1938, the latter evolving into the present MSCED (Moral, Social and Civic Education) course required at all levels in all courses and disciplines as a hallmark of PWU education. The College of Music and Fine Arts in 1947. The Institute of Human Relations and the Family Life Workshop of the Philippines in 1948. The Community College, first late afternoon and evening school for working women, in 1949. The Philippine School of Social Work in 1950. Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1952.The University is now completing its ninth decade of institutional life and is moving toward its centenary in 2020. It has coped with many vicissitudes, including being burned and razed to the ground during the battle for the liberation of Manila in 1945. But, phoenix like, PWU arose from the ashes, grew and flourished, even more vigorous, innovative and determined to continue serving the youth of the land to make them be the best they can become.From the Manila campus, PWU has branched out to two other campuses, Davao City in Mindanao and Quezon City in Metro Manila. The Davao City campus, the Philippine Women's College of Davao, was established in 1954, as the University's expression of its commitment to the youth of Mindanao. The Quezon City Campus was established in 1956. It has likewise assembled a network of career development and continuing education affiliates to further widen its reach and presence.
The PWU: A University that develops individuals through excellence in teaching, dynamic and relevant research and responsive service supported by evolving technology for global competence..
An enduring commitment to prepare the learner to continuously search for knowledge through a holistic education which treasures heritage, imbued with the core values of personal integrity and spirituality, family solidarity and community participation.