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Urban Health Program

UIC College of Dentistry Urban Health Program Heading link

diversity collage of students smiling and working together

Expanding opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students

The mission of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry’s Urban Health Program is to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented students, in the oral health sciences, and to expand educational opportunities for these populations at the pre-college (K-12), undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.

We are committed to:

  • Partnering with the University’s Urban Health Program and other educational institutions and organizations to establish and maintain pathway for admissions of traditionally underrepresented student groups into UIC’s health colleges and degree programs.
  • Providing avenues for early exposure to the dental profession for students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • Providing academic enrichment opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from underrepresented populations who are interested in or pursuing degrees in the Oral Health Sciences.
  • Supporting and participating in community health initiatives and programs, particularly those that are concerned with addressing oral health disparities and community health.
  • Actively recruiting African American, Latino, and Native American undergraduate students throughout Illinois, and encouraging them to apply to dental school.
  • Conducting ongoing research related to underrepresented dental student experiences and outcomes, particularly for those students in the pathway programs at the University of Illinois campuses.
  • Encouraging urban health experiences for all students interested in and committed to practicing in dental underserved urban areas, especially in Illinois.

Urban Health Programs Heading link

The College of Dentistry Urban Health Programs are focused on providing programming, resources and support for underrepresented students, which gives them early exposure to the dental profession.

The Urban Health Programs include:

Student Testimonials Heading link

Daniel Morales

My name is Daniel Morales and I am a third year dental student.

“… The first few months of the program, I had a tough time trying to figure out how to study the material. After completing the program, I transformed my poor study habits from undergrad and exceled in the advanced science courses offered by the program. I am very grateful for this exposure since dental school is even more rigorous, but I can manage my time more effectively and know exactly how to study because of this experience…”

Sydney Patterson

My name is Sydney Patterson and I am a third year dental student.

“…I have been welcomed into a warm, supportive community that advocates for my success in dentistry. It is a space that I feel safe to come to when I am struggling academically but a community that I am also excited to share my accomplishments with. I am truly appreciative for the program and I hope to be able to provide the same support that I was given to future pre-dental students…”

Devin Crockett

My name is Devin Crockett and I am a fourth year dental student.

“… looking back on it now, I could not imagine entering dental school without UHP Post-Bacc. The academic material is similar to what you will see during the first year of dental school. The pace of the UHP Summer Pre-Matriculation Program helped me gauge where I needed to improve or become more efficient in my studies. Overall, it was a great experience and I made lifelong friends/colleagues along the way…”

Urban Health Program Student Plans to Give Back to Chicago Neighborhood Heading link

Contact Heading link

For more information on the College of Dentistry’s Urban Health Program:

Dr. Darryl D. Pendleton
Associate Dean for Student and Diversity Affairs
801 South Paulina Street, Room 102GD

Dr. Patrick Smith
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
801 S. Paulina Street, Room 104

Ms. Braulia Espinosa
Director of Student and Diversity Affairs
801 South Paulina Street, Room 104B

Ms. Meah Rogers
Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
801 South Paulina Street, Room 104C