The University College of Medical Sciences was founded in 1971 by the efforts of the then Health Minister of Delhi. The Health Ministry proposed to provide medical education to every student who attained the eligibility criteria to study medicine. Even with the presence of two Medical Colleges in Delhi - MAMC and LHMC, many students were left out and denied the opportunity to study medicine. In 1971, classes for the new college initially started in the makeshift Department of Chemistry, Delhi University, North Campus. The students back then had their clinical postings (practicals) at the Meerut Medical College. Shortly afterwards, it was shifted to the Safdarjung Hospital in South Delhi. In 1986, UCMS shifted to its present location at Dilshad Garden and was associated with Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, a 1100 bed hospital, as its teaching hospital. UCMS and its associated GTB Hospital has its own 'Kulgeet ' (anthem) to be sung at solemn functions. It has been penned by Prof. S Dwivedi former Prof. and Head of the Department of Medicine and its musical rendering has been done by Dr. Ujjawal Rai PG Department of Medicine ( UCMS)
On 5 April 2006, Human Resources Development minister of India, Arjun Singh, announced to the media that the government intended to introduce reservations for OBCs by 27% in central colleges, including IITs, IIMs, NITs, AIIMS, MAMC, UCMS, JIPMER, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indraprastha University, Delhi University, and many others. Youth for Equality was conceived by students at the Boys Hostel of University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) expressing discontent over the proposal; other founding members include students from AIIMS, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi which later spread all across India.