Mission & History

Changing the future of oral health through excellence in oral health education, patient care and research powered by innovation and community.

College of Dentistry building with tree

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry is a worldwide leader in oral health educationclinical care and research that is patient-centered and evidence-based, with a foundation in preventive and public health sciences. We are a part of UI Health and the University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago’s largest university and is one of the nation’s top federally funded public research universities. Our strengths are founded in our college community, comprised of outstanding faculty, students and staff who share a commitment to the promise of public education, the advancement of knowledge, and the imperatives of doing good and giving back.


Our vision is to provide excellence in oral health education, research, and service, through improving the health and wellness of our communities, providing exemplary care for our patients, and advancing the knowledge to do so.


  • To educate oral health professionals and scholars who excel in a complex, multicultural and technologically changing world;
  • To discover and translate new knowledge at the boundaries of science, transforming oral health care practice, social systems and related technologies for the benefit of individuals, families and communities;
  • To provide oral and health education & clinical services of the highest quality with an emphasis on enhancing health equity and social justice for individuals and communities;
  • To prepare health professionals in addressing the challenges of access to care affecting underserved populations;
  • To collaborate with our urban and rural community partners in mutually beneficial ways; and
  • To advocate for public policies, perceptions, and practices that lead to inclusion of oral health as an integral part of the interprofessional emphasis on the health of the communities we serve.


In addition to University’s core values of knowledge, openness, access, excellence, collaboration and caring, The College of Dentistry has unique core values that include: professionalism, respect, beneficence, transparency, responsibility, curiosity, flexibility, commitment and inclusion.

  • Professionalism regarding the highest ethical principles in our research, teaching and helping those we serve.
  • Respect regarding the highest level of mutual respect of the person between all members of our communities,
  • Beneficence regarding the obligation for all college members to strive to do no harm, maximize benefit; minimize harm in a global, multicultural environment,
  • Transparency regarding all aspects of how the College addresses the vison and missions,
  • Responsibility regarding the most efficient and effective use of all human and related resources to fulfil our missions,
  • Curiosity regarding novel educational, research, service ideas leading to new discoveries,
  • Flexibility regarding how we achieve our aspirations through accountability of outcomes,
  • Commitment regarding the highest ethical values in serving our students and communities,
  • Inclusion regarding the role of diversity in engaging students, faculty and staff.

The College philosophy, thus evident in its Mission, Vision and Core Values place significant emphasis on education, research, community service and citizenship as being integral to who we are. As such, quality, innovative educational activities, and patient and community centered care and engagement are core to developing graduates that are competent to begin the practice of general dentistry in the 21st Century.

The college offers a range of degree programs to prepare the next generation of oral health professionals for clinical and scientific career paths, including the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), DMD Advanced Standing for foreign trained dentists, PhD and MS in Oral Sciences, and advanced dental specialty programs. Students train and conduct research along side faculty mentors through team-based learning, clinical simulation, patient care, research projects, and community-based rotations.

We are the largest oral health college and patient care provider in the State of Illinois offering outstanding education, research, and patient care. We continually invest in our clinical, research and learning facilities to improve student and patient experiences. We have an innovative, nationally recognized Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program led by world-class faculty and students who have achieved a 100% pass rate on the Part 1 and 2 ADA board exams. Our innovative curriculum integrates foundational and clinical learning through early access to patient care. Our state-of-the-art learning labs and patient care clinics offer a complete digital workflow, advanced imaging and digital diagnostic and care planning. Students gain valuable training experience while sharing in our commitment to public health and community engagement through extramural rotations in carefully selected community-based clinics throughout Chicago and other locations in the US and in other countries.  Students have the opportunity to learn and engage in general comprehensive training as well as advanced specialized training programs including EndodonticsOral and Maxillofacial SurgeryOrthodonticsPediatric DentistryPeriodontics and Prosthodontics, with multidisciplinary oral science research foundations.

Our innovative and comprehensive academic programsexcellent students and faculty, strong research and community health focus,  commitment to diversitydedicated alumni & friends and location in a world-class city set us apart from other oral health colleges.

Video: Changing the Future of Oral Health

College Quick Facts

college facts infographic

How We’re Changing the Future of Oral Health

Since 1913, UIC College of Dentistry has been a premier institution of oral health education, dental care and research.  Our students, faculty, staff and alumni are changing the future of oral health in Chicago, Illinois and beyond in several ways.

  • We are Illinois’ largest dental school. We graduate more new dental professionals than any other institution in the State of IL ~125 DMD students and ~100 post-graduate students each year. We have over 430 students seeking dental degrees including DMD, PhD and MS programs. Almost all (96%) of our students are Illinois residents and roughly 75% go on to practice in IL, mostly in the Chicago metro area.
    Explore our academic programs
  • We are Illinois’ largest provider of dental care. We see over 30 thousand patients in over 120 thousand visits annually.  We have over 530 faculty, students and specialty program residents providing clinical care. We have 286 faculty and resident general and specialist dentists providing care, many of which are board certified.
    Become a patient
  • Our students and faculty are top achievers. Our students have achieved a 100% pass rate on national board exams the past 3 years, and perform significantly higher than national average on the basic science and clinical science exams – top 20% and 8% respectively. Many of our 100 full-time and 121 part-time faculty have received national recognition for their expertise in the areas of general and specialty dentistry and the oral sciences. Forty-two (42) of our faculty are actively involved in research.
    More our students
  • We are a top oral science research institution. UIC is a Carnegie level-1 research institution, and the College has a research portfolio of 42 full-time research faculty, 14 visiting researchers, 280+ faculty published papers, and $5M in current NIH/DOD funding, as well as other private funding. Over half of our faculty are engaged in scholarly and research publications. The College is one of only 15 out of 70 institutions with DMD/PhD or PhD training grants from the NIDCR.
    Discover our research
  • We improve access to dental care where it is needed the most.  UIC’s dental clinics treat over 56 thousand State of IL Dental Medicaid recipients each year. Almost all (92%) of the children treated are Medicaid eligible. Additionally, we extend access to care into communities of need — UIC dental students serve over 3,750 days of extramural rotation in more than 11 thousand patient visits at 17 community sites in IL, plus other US and international locations– each year.  And, our students provide preventive education to over 2,200 elementary students each year in underserved Chicago neighborhoods.
    Our community health programs
  • We are committed to diversity and social justice. We are a community of students, staff, and faculty representing 20+ countries and 17 languages from 5 continents. Our values and culture reflect a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities – all contributing to our strength in diversity. We are committed to a culture of excellence grounded in principles of equity, respect, and inclusion. One in five of our students are under-represented, and many are first in their family to attend college.
    Our commitment to diversity and urban health
  • We have highly engaged alumni and a community that supports our mission.  We are proud to have the support of many of our 6,200 alumni as well as graduates from the Loyola and Northwestern University dental programs. In addition, we have created strong partnerships with many components of organized dentistry, corporations that impact the dental profession, professional associations, and foundations that practice and advocate on behalf of the dental profession and those in need of quality oral health care. From their generous support, the College has renovated clinic spaces, improved educational experiences, provided scholarship for students and faculty, and opened new research opportunities funded by over $40 million in private fund raising and gifts over the past ten years.
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Location and Directions

801 South Paulina Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612

Google Map Directions

The UIC College of Dentistry offers a convenient location with easy access via expressways, public transportation (CTA Pink line) across the street, and Metra train a short distance away. From the Eisenhower Expressway, take the Ashland Street exit, south. Visitor parking is available in a lot across the street from the College of Dentistry, at the corner of Polk and Paulina Streets, and in the Paulina Street parking garage south of the College of Dentistry. The CTA Pink Line train stops at Polk Street/Medical Center, just outside the front door of the College of Dentistry. The number 7 Harrison bus, the number 9 Ashland bus, the number 12 Roosevelt bus all stop nearby, and the number 157 Streeterville/Taylor bus stop right at the Pink Line station.

Clinic Hours

Clinic hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

College History

Celebrating a proud past; centennial of the university of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry 1913 to 2013

The College of Dentistry has a long and proud tradition of training the next generation of dentists and leading research. Read the College Centennial Book for an informative walk through the past 100 year history of the College of Dentistry.

In the Centennial Book you’ll learn a lot about our history such as:

  • The evolution from the Columbian Dental College, founded in Chicago in 1891
  • Affiliation with the University of Illinois in 1901, an eventual charter as an official College of the University in 1913

Did you know?

Dr. John Borden

The College in 1913 became the first dental school in the country to have all-electric equipment.

Dr. John Borden, a 1939 alumnus of the College, is the inventor of the modern air turbine dental handpiece. It was introduced in 1957 and is responsible for dentistry as we know it today.

Chicago Cubs baseball field

The former (1937 to 1972) college site at 808 S. Wood St. was also the former home of the Chicago Cubs, who played there at the West Side Grounds from 1893 to 1915 before moving to Wrigley Field.

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