Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, with nearly half of all women experiencing at least one UTI in their lifetime. This high frequency of infection results in huge annual economic costs, decreased workforce productivity and high patient morbidity. At least 80% of these infections are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). UPEC can reside side by side with commensal strains in the gastrointestinal tract and gain access to the bladder via colonization of the urethra. Antibiotics represent the current standard treatment for UTI; however, even after treatment, patients frequently suffer from recurrent infection with the same or different strains. In addition, successful long-term treatment has been complicated by a rise in both the number of antibiotic-resistant strains and the prevalence of antibiotic-resistance mechanisms. As a result, preventative approaches to UTI, such as vaccination, have been sought. This review summarizes recent advances in UPEC vaccine development and outlines future directions for the field.