The university was established as Chung Shan Dentistry Specialized School (中山牙醫專科學校) in 1960, by Dr. Chou Ju-chuan (周汝川), a Taiwanese dentist. At first it only provided four year dentistry education, and enrolled only 112 students. In 1962 it changed its name into Chung Shan Medical Specialized School (中山醫學專科學校), and provided medical education from then. In 1977, it was upgraded to Chung Shan Medical College (中山醫學院), and in August 2001 it was certified by the Ministry of Education as a normalized university.
There are 76 student clubs divided into six types: autonomy, learned, service, amity, artistry and sports. Students can join any of them. The university arranges instructors and offers subsidies to the clubs.