Midwestern University: A Legacy of Growth and Development

Midwestern University has a proud and impressive history. Founded in 1900 as the American College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery by J. Martin Littlejohn, Ph.D., D.O., M.D. (1865-1947), the organization was incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, to train physicians in a not-for-profit environment. 

Dr. Littlejohn hired talented faculty that enabled the College to establish a reputation as a leader in medical education, research, and clinical practice. The early faculty mentored their students in the art and science of osteopathic medicine while teaching surgery, principles and practices of osteopathy, anatomy, and basic science. The growth of our osteopathic college is intertwined with that of the osteopathic medical profession itself. Ever since 1874 when a country doctor, Andrew Taylor Still, announced his new theory of osteopathy and began the first college in 1892, the profession has grown in reputation and acceptance around the country and many international settings.

Today, Midwestern University is still governed by the strong principles of the founding administration and faculty. We are an independent, not-for-profit corporation organized primarily to provide graduate, and postgraduate education in the health sciences. We are dedicated to the education and development of our students, faculty, and staff in an environment that encourages learning and personal development.

From the earliest days of our founding college, the development of the University has been impressive. The vision of the University leadership is to serve the needs of society by developing the healthcare team of tomorrow, while students learn the art and science of the health professions within a safe and secure campus environment.

The Downers Grove Illinois, Campus was purchased in 1986, and the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) moved from its prior home in Hyde Park, Illinois, to this western suburb. Following the relocation of the College, the Board of Trustees voted to begin the development of new academic programs within the health sciences. The College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove (CPDG) began in 1991, the College of Health Sciences (CHS) in 1992, the College of Dental Medicine - Illinois (CDMI) in 2009, the Chicago College of Optometry (CCO) in 2014, and the College of Graduate Studies (CGS) in 2018. In 1993, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a single, educational mission for the institution, and Midwestern University emerged. Today the Downers Grove Campus, located on 105 acres, has 19 buildings that include academic classrooms, laboratories, a state-of-the-art library and auditorium building, science building, student commons, recreation center, and student housing. The University also opened the Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic in 2013.

The Glendale Arizona, Campus was founded in 1995 when the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of land and the building of this new campus. The Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) began in 1995, the College of Health Sciences in 1996, the College of Pharmacy-Glendale (CPG) in 1998, the College of Dental Medicine (CDMA) in 2006, the Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) in 2008, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in 2012, the College of Graduate Studies (CGS) in 2018, and the Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine (AZCPM) in 2020. The campus has seen rapid growth in the number of buildings, academic programs, faculty, staff, and students. Today the Glendale Campus, located on 156 acres, has 50 buildings that provide for academic classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, student commons, auditorium, recreation center, student housing, a Multispecialty Clinic, the Dental Institute, the Eye Institute, the Animal Health Institute, and the Therapy Institute, .

Midwestern University has developed strong partnerships with healthcare providers and facilities around the country to aid in the education of students in all of its academic programs. The history of the institution is reflected in the many alumni who have successful careers and a deep affection for their college and University. The Administration and the Board of Trustees are dedicated to fulfilling our mission of excellence and service. We remain committed to our tradition of providing quality health care education. We are educating tomorrow's healthcare team.