Aright hand representing the concerted efforts of the USM administration, faculty, staff, and students to pursue and uphold a culture of excellence in carrying out the four-fold functions of the University, namely: Instruction, Research, Extension, and Resource Generation, in the service of the Almighty God and the nation, as symbolized by the four lighted candles that it firmly holds;

A spur gear depicting the ‘halo’ that wreathes the four lighted symbolic candles which exudes the resulting remarkable progress in commerce and industry in the operationalization of the aforecited mandated four-fold functions of the University that helps accelerate the socio-economic development of its service area and bring about lasting peace and harmony among its populace, thereby hastening the integration of Christian, Muslims and other cultural communities therein, which is expressive of the principal mission of the institution.

A Map of Mindanao at the background shows the extent of the service area of present USM over which radiate, after the gear-shaped ‘halo’ of unity and progress, the aural rays of peace and sustainable socio-economic development emanating from the glowing candles of quality and relevant education, thus exulting the immense far-reaching impact of the University in this part of the country.

An open book embleming the institution’s altruistic pursuit for truth and knowledge at the foreground below the right hand with inscriptions “MIT”, representing the old name of the Institution, Mindanao Institute of Technology, on its left page, and “USM” on its right page, which proudly illustrates its transformation into a premier institution of higher learning that it is today, and its relentless quest for a culture of excellence and dynamism in the performance of its four-fold functions from its inception to the present.

A pair of corn leaves and a panicle of palay at the left side of the book and a microscope and other laboratory equipment at the right side, representing agriculture and science and technology, respectively, the two major fields of specialization of the University.

An inscription “1952” below, representing the year of our Lord the institution was first established as then Mindanao Institute of Technology, now the University of Southern Mindanao.