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Piecing Together the UIC History

UIC's rich history can be traced back to several private, Chicago-based health colleges founded during the late nineteenth century.

In 1913, these colleges incorporated with the University of Illinois (in Champaign-Urbana), as the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. By 1961, these colleges and several others became the University of Illinois at the Medical Center (UIMC).

In 1946, U of I created a temporary, two-year branch campus on Navy Pier, to accommodate student veterans on the G.I. Bill. Students who successfully completed the first two years of requirements could go on to Urbana and finish their degree. After the first wave of veterans passed, demand for a public university education remained high. In 1961, Mayor Richard J. Daley offered the Harrison and Halsted site for a new, permanent campus.

In 1965, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (UICC), a degree-granting institution, opened its doors. Within five years, virtually every department offered graduate degrees.

In 1982, the U of I Medical Center (on the west side of campus) and Circle Campus (on the east side of campus) consolidated to form the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This merger strengthened the University's potential for scholarly excellence, and pushed UIC to Carnegie Research 1 institution status in 1987.

In 2000, UIC launched its South Campus initiative, providing increased resident living space and additional research facilities. The South Campus unites the school with the neighborhood, creating a more vibrant community, all around.

Throughout its history, UIC has served as a leader in developing a new model of higher education: the comprehensive urban research university.

For more information, visit the UIC History website or learn more about the history of UIC's architecture by visiting the Historic Netsch Campus virtual tour.

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