UIC Urban Health Program is Changing the Future of Oral Health
UIC College of Dentistry

Changing the future of oral health through diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and Inclusion Starts at UIC
UIC is proud to be recognized as having one of the most ethnically and culturally rich college campuses in America.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is one of the nation’s most diverse public research universities. As a federally designated Minority Serving Institution, we are a living, learning, and working community that embraces our diversity. Our aim is to ensure that neither difference nor disadvantage impede the intellectual and professional achievement of our campus community. Every day we welcome students, staff, and faculty from a variety of racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities to achieve this aim. At UIC, diversity is not an end in itself, but a vehicle for advancing access, equity, and inclusion.


My favorite about being a student here is the diversity. I get to learn from people with so many different backgrounds, cultures and ways of life. It’s a very welcoming student experience.
Diversity at the College of Dentistry
The College is a community of diverse, life-long learners who embody and embrace the richness and value of diversity.
White Coat Group Photo
UIC College of Dentistry DMD Class of 2021

The UIC College of Dentistry prides itself on inclusion. In declaring that diversity and inclusion are our core values, we have dedicated ourselves in building a culture of excellence grounded in principles of equity and social justice.  We recognize and embrace professionalism, humanism, collegiality and diversity of age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, religious belief and thought, not only for our students, but also for our faculty, staff, and patients. 

Our welcoming environment and diverse student body engenders deeper learning and provides you with new perspectives on life. Diversity is fundamental to everything we do at the College of Dentistry. In declaring that diversity is a core value, we dedicate ourselves to building a culture of excellence that is grounded in principles of equity and social justice. The College, by policies, practices and spirit, is committed to maintaining a welcoming, inclusive and culturally vibrant learning environment.

Our learning environment recognizes and embraces professionalism, collegiality and diversity of age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, religious beliefs and thought not only for students, but also for faculty, staff, and patients.

The College engages in a continual review of its organizational culture and climate as we recognize the ever-changing world national and local cultural landscapes. The College has developed strategies, programs, and services that advance diversity and address the needs of diverse populations. This includes focused and sustainable programs to recruit and retain diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Office of Student and Diversity Affairs

The Office of Student and Diversity Affairs develops and implements policies and practices to achieve diversity and inclusion among our students, faculty and staff.  The Office of Student and Diversity Affairs serves as a resource for the College Community by creating a learning environment that promotes acceptance and appreciation of the differences in age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability and religion beliefs. The office coordinates trainings in diversity and cultural competency as well as provides assistance, feedback and information related to the student recruitment and enrollment, access to programs and activities. 

UIC College of Dentistry Urban Health Program
Expanding opportunities for underrepresented / minority students
40th Anniversary

The mission of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry’s Urban Health Program is to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students, specifically African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, 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:

  • Providing avenues for early exposure to the dental professions 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.
  • Partnering with the University’s Urban Health Program and other educational institutions and organizations to establish and maintain pipelines for admissions of traditionally underrepresented student groups into UIC’s health colleges and degree programs.
  • 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 pipeline 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.

The UIC College of Dentistry Student National Dental Association recently attended the National Dental Association Convention.   The chapter won an on-site competition for the category "For the Culture".  Congratulations SNDA!


Students Stories

Dental students share how UHP helped them in their journey to dental school




​Diversity Advisory Committee
Diversity Advisory Committee
College of Dentistry Staff and Faculty reaffirm their commitment to inclusion

The College's Diversity Advisory Committee plays a pivotal role in fostering inclusively and multicultural awareness at the College.  The Committee oversees the College's diversity strategic plan, goals and programs.  The Diversity Advisory Committee activities include sponsoring Diversity Day and diversity lunch and learns that showcase the diversity present in our students, faculty and staff with an emphasis on diversity in healthcare.




For more information on the College of Dentistry's Diversity Programs:

Dr. Darryl D. Pendleton
Associate Dean for Student and Diversity Affairs
801 South Paulina Street, Room 104B

Ms. Carolyn Feller
Director of Student and Diversity Affairs
801 South Paulina Street, Room 104D

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

Ms. Laura Macias
Admissions Specialist
801 South Paulina Street, Room 104