Presidential Decree 1436, signed on June 11, 1978 created the Cagayan State University by merging two existing state colleges: the Cagayan Valley College of Arts & Trades (CVCAT) at Tuguegarao and the Northern Luzon State College of Agriculture (NLSCA) at Piat.

The CSU Central Administration Office was established in the CVCAT unit until the Gonzaga unit was developed as a main campus (though it was never made a seat of governance) where operation was supposed to be centralized.

Several years passed until the transfer of CSU Central Administration from Caritan campus to the Carig campus, the new site of CSU at Tuguegarao, was undertaken on June 11, 1984. This has been the seat of governance until the first term of Pres. Roger P. Perez.

A lot of things changed under the time of President Perez. Special attention has been given to the development of infrastructure and the offering of new programs while closing down others that are way beyond the current demands among Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The impact was tremendous especially in the growth of student population. This significant increase in enrolment in the Tuguegarao (both in Caritan and Carig) has prompted the administration to split it up into two (2) separate campuses to hasten the operational burden.

On September 22, 2009, Engr. Arthur G. Ibanez was designated as the first Campus Executive Officer of the newest Campus of the University System situated at Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City within an area of 19.8 hectares. Under his administration are seven (7) colleges offering a total of 24 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These are distributed in the College of Industrial Technology, College of Engineering, College of Medicine and Surgery, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Information Technology (now the College of Information & Computing Sciences), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Public Administration. To further balance the enrolment between the Andrews (Caritan) and Carig campuses, the College of Human Kinetics from the Andrews campus was moved to Carig in June 2010.

Among these colleges, the College of Engineering has been building a name not only of the campus but for the entire University producing topnotch engineers in the licensure examinations and consistently reaping an institution's passing mark above the national level. The College of Medicine and Surgery has also been equally consistent in producing medical practitioners being one of the Top 10 Medical Schools in the Country.

At present, foreign students mostly coming from the Commonwealth countries are also pursuing medical degrees in the same college. In April 2010, full fiscal autonomy was granted to this campus. This marked the beginning of infrastructure development in the campus known as the home of the "red eagles". Among the important landmarks include the biggest gymnasium in the region and upgraded road networks connecting the different buildings highlighted by the state-of-the-art gate that welcomes every guest both from the private and public sectors. Its proximity to the Tuguegarao City proper (approximately 5.3 km from the Andrews campus) and being at the regional center makes this Campus as first preference for the youth to access low-cost but quality education coupled with the highest standards and principles of management.

With the designation of Dr. Archimedes C. Articulo as the new Campus Executive Officer in June 9, 2014, the Campus continued and heightened its partnership with Local Government Units and other agencies with its belief that convergence with these institutions will open more opportunities to the Cagayan State University Carig Campus to the fulfillment of its objectives along the four-fold functions of the campus.

In September, 2012, the Food Innovation Center, the very first in Luzon and the flagship project of the Department of Science and Technology R02 and the Cagayan State University was formally launched. Known to be a one-stop-shop food research and development center, it aims to improve the regionís local food products with the ultimate aim of reaching a sizeable share of the local and national markets. At present, FIC is the No. 1 Food Innovator in the Country because of its innovative products.

Moreover, the 24 curricular programs in the campus have been awarded Level 1, Level II and Level III Phase 1 accredited status by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines, Inc. The Level 1 programs are AB in English, AB in Political Science, AB in Guidance and Counseling, BS in Physical Education, BS in Environmental Science, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, BS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Engineering, BS in Information Technology, BSIT major in Animation and Games Development, BS in Electronics and Communications Engineering, BS in Industrial and Commercial Communication, BS in Chemical Engineering. The programs with Level II Re-accredited status are: BS in Biology, BS in Chemistry, BS in Mathematics, BS in Psychology and AB in Economics.

The Level III Phase 1 programs are BS in Agricultural Engineering, BS in Civil Engineering, BS in Electrical Engineering, BS in Industrial Technology, AB in Public Administration and AB in Mass Communication. With the programs now accredited at Levels 1, 2 and 3, the campus has strengthened the standards of excellence expected from the institution.

Aside from this, the Campus has also taken steps in complying with the requirements of the Commission on Higher Education by subjecting its programs to the Certificate of Program Compliance and the Institutional Sustainability Assessment.

On June 1, 2016, Dr. Lina Garan was designated as the Officer-in-Charge and in November of the same year, Dr. Arthur G. Ibanez was designated as the Campus Executive Officer of the Campus. With their administration, there were massive physical developments - the improvements and rehabilitation of offices and structures of the different Colleges, landscaping of the Campus and the completion of infrastructure projects. Likewise, the research undertaking of the Campus was strengthened through series of writeshops.

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