The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson is the health sciences campus of the University of Mississippi. The Medical Center opened in 1955, but its beginnings date to 1903 when a two-year medical school was established on the parent campus in Oxford. In that era, certificate graduates went out of state to complete their doctor of medicine degrees.
Finally, in 1950, the Mississippi Legislature - by a one-vote margin - enacted a law to create a four-year medical school. On July 1, 1955, the state's new University Medical Center, or UMC as it was commonly called, opened in Jackson, initially as a four-year medical school with medical and graduate students, interns and residents. As it had in Oxford, the School of Medicine offered both medical and graduate degree programs. The campus included a teaching hospital and a library.
The Oxford campus' nursing department moved to the Medical Center in 1956 and it was granted school status in 1958. The School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) was added in 1971 and began offering baccalaureate curricula in 1973. The School of Dentistry was authorized in 1973, and its first students were admitted in 1975.The graduate program was elevated to school status in 2001 and designated the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences. A seventh school on the UMMC campus was dedicated during a September 2016 ceremony officially announcing the John D. Bower School of Population Health.
The Medical Center functions as a separately funded, semi-autonomous unit responsible to the chancellor of the University of Mississippi and, through him, to the constitutional Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, which governs all eight state institutions of higher learning in Mississippi. The Medical Center's chief executive officer is the vice chancellor for health affairs.