Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia University Integration FAQs

General Questions

WHY DID THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY & PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY DECIDE TO COME TOGETHER?

This is an integration of two educational institutions focused on creating a comprehensive university to transform professional education.  Together, we can provide students with interprofessional, transdisciplinary and experiential learning that better prepare graduates to anticipate and address the changing needs of 21st century employers, patients and society.  Long before we announced our intent to integrate last December, leadership from TJU and PhilaU had met frequently to discuss potential partnership opportunities.  It was determined through these conversations that great synergies and complementary programs exist within the distinctive, diverse academic offerings of our two academically and financially strong universities.

For example:

  • Jefferson is recognized as one of the first health professions universities to require students to have hands-on clinical experience in the care and treatment of patients; Philadelphia University is renowned for its experiential, hands-on learning and its commitment to professional education in all areas of study.
  • Philadelphia University is nationally recognized for its transdisciplinary learning and collaborative discovery; Jefferson is known worldwide as one of the first institutions to develop an interprofessional approach to healthcare education in the U.S.

Together, this allows us to reimagine education and launch our students into the careers of their passion in a bigger, bolder way.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING NOW & WHY DO THE TWO INSTITUTIONS WANT TO INTEGRATE?

Integrating Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University to form a distinctive comprehensive professional university will drive innovation, enhance both universities’ current offerings and create unprecedented opportunities of value for students and employers of the 21st century. By coming together we will be known nationally and internationally for preeminence in transdisciplinary, experiential education in architecture, business, design, fashion, engineering, health, medicine, science and textiles. Our desire to integrate is based on our commitment to addressing and reimagining the future of work, the future of health and the future of education for the benefit of our students, alumni, employers and society. 

WILL THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY OR PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY UNDERGO A NAME CHANGE?

The name of the integrated university will be Thomas Jefferson University – this decision was a result of extensive research conducted with prospective students, students, alumni, faculty, staff, employers, and trustees of both Universities; while the name will be Jefferson, the new institution will build on the strengths and legacies of both institutions.  

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE INDIVIDUAL UNIVERSITIES – PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY & THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY?

Once the definitive agreement is signed and finalized, which will occur over a period of months, we will launch the new combined university. Our vision is to create a singular comprehensive university including all of the renowned programs and colleges of both institutions: health, medicine, science, architecture, design, fashion, textiles, business and engineering. This will create a new standard for interprofessional, transdisciplinary learning and collaborative discovery.  Through an active, engaged, and real-world approach to education, we will continue to develop professionals with the robust skill set and cross-functional fluency they need to tackle complex problems when they enter the work force.

THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY & JEFFERSON HEALTH ARE ALL ABOUT HEALTH CARE. DOES THIS COMBINATION MEAN THEY ARE BROADENING THEIR SCOPE BEYOND HEALTH?

Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health are indeed leaders in healthcare delivery, discovery and education. The Jefferson vision for its academic pillar has been to develop forward-thinking education that integrates new learning models and delivers programs that meet the evolving needs of today’s students, employers, patients and society.  The integration of Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University creates a comprehensive university to transform professional education through transdisciplinary, experiential learning.  And the synergies and breadth of real-world learning that can be achieved by the complementary programs within our distinct, diverse academic programs will benefit graduates in health, science, design, architecture, fashion, engineering, textiles  and business.

HOW WILL THIS INTEGRATION AFFECT OTHER TJU & PHILAU PARTNERSHIPS?

The integration retains the partnerships that TJU and PhilaU already have in place as they provide students with more opportunities for educational pursuits, networking, clinical and career placement.

WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTH ORGANIZATIONS?

Jefferson encompasses Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, representing our academic and clinical entities. Together, the people of Jefferson, 23,000 strong, provide the highest quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,800 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy and Population Health, and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Jefferson Health comprises nine hospitals, 32 outpatient and urgent care locations, and physician practices that deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania, and Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. Together, these facilities serve nearly 97,000 inpatients, 363,000 emergency patients and manage 1.9 million outpatient visits annually. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. Aria-Frankford Hospital and Aria-Torresdale Hospital comprise the largest healthcare provider in Northeast Philadelphia. Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; Abington-Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township; Aria-Bucks County Hospital in Langhorne; and Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital in Bensalem.

For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit www.jefferson.edu.

Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,750 students enrolled in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. As the model for professional university education, the University, through its award-winning Nexus Learning approach, prepares students to be leaders in their professions in an active, collaborative and real-world learning environment infused with the liberal arts.

With nationally ranked programs in physician assistant studies, architecture, fashion design, graphic design, strategic leadership and occupational therapy, and opportunities for industry partnerships and internships with top companies, PhilaU graduates have achieved a job success and graduate school placement rate of 95 percent.

Philadelphia University includes the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts; the School of Continuing and Professional Education; and PhilaU Online. For more information, visit www.PhilaU.edu.

HOW WILL THE INTEGRATION PROCESS WORK AND WHEN WILL IT BEGIN?

PhilaU recently announced the reaffirmation of the University’s accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. With this necessary step now complete, PhilaU and Thomas Jefferson University can commence with our formal submission to Middle States to recognize our planned integration. The timing for this submission is November.

Since the beginning of the year, Jefferson and PhilaU have developed an inclusive planning structure of integration work teams, with representation from both organizations, to help us identify synergies. Hundreds of faculty and staff have been collaborating on key initiatives that will help set the stage for a strategic planning process and successful launch of our combined university once the formal legal process is completed. 

The signing of a definitive combination agreement is expected this fall, followed by a final signing that officially makes us one.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN INTEGRATION OF PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY AND THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY FOR STUDENTS?

The integration of PhilaU and Thomas Jefferson University will result in increased visibility and recognition in higher education that we have created a world-class, comprehensive university that gives students real-world professional education that prepares them to build successful 21st-century careers.

Students will have access to:

  • more state-of-the-art programs and facilities
  • increased Nexus Learning, interprofessional and transdisciplinary opportunities
  • more internship opportunities
  • programs designed for emerging professions
  • enhanced expertise across all disciplines, in architecture, business, design, fashion, engineering, health, medicine, science and textiles
  • multiple campuses/locations that will provide students with suburban-like and Center City experiences
  • more studio, clinical and active-learning spaces
  • more opportunities for undergraduate scientific and applied research
  • a combined alumni base of 78,000
  • a student base of more than 7,800
  • nearly 4,000 combined faculty
  • more employers who will continue to regard the profession-ready skills of our graduates, particularly within the context of our combined and innovative approach to education plus the continuation of an intimate living and learning community with small class sizes, connected and involved faculty and innovative curriculum

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO TJU- & PHILAU- SPECIFIC PHILOSOPHIES & PROGRAMS LIKE NEXUS LEARNING AND INTERPROFESSIONAL EDUCATION?

It is important to emphasize that the reason both organizations are seeking to integrate is because there is such depth and breadth of complementary programmatic and academic strengths at both TJU and PhilaU. A combination that emphasizes the strengths of our existing programs can only further drive the reach of these approaches for the benefit of our faculty, staff, students and communities.

WHAT TUITION RATE SHOULD I REFERENCE TO UNDERSTAND THE COST?

The integration of our two institutions will be a three-year process.  At this point, you will pay the tuition of the institution to which you are accepted.  The Board of Trustees at each institution will evaluate budgets and set tuition pricing in the spring for their respective institutions.

WILL I CONTINUE TO CONTACT THE SAME ADMISSIONS PERSONNEL AND/OR PROGRAM DIRECTOR OR FACULTY?

It’s important to remember that the integration of our two universities will require a three-year transition period.  Until that process is complete, you should continue to contact the admissions personnel and program staff at the institution to which you are applying.  Continue to communicate with them to make sure that you are meeting deadlines and for answers to any questions or concerns.

Prospective Physician Assistant Student Questions

WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR THE THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY & PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY INTEGRATION?

We expect to complete the legal combination of the institutions in summer 2017. We are currently working with a variety of agencies, including the Department of Education, to complete all necessary regulatory processes.  

WHICH INSTITUTION WILL CONFER MY DEGREE?

In May 2017, degrees will be conferred from the institution in which students are currently enrolled. Regulatory and accrediting agencies are guiding the institutions in determining the timeline for degree conferral from the combined institution.

WHAT DOES THE INTEGRATION MEAN FOR STUDENTS ENTERING THE M.S. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDIES PROGRAM IN PRE-FALL 2018?

At this time there is no change to the application process for those who are interested in Thomas Jefferson University’s M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program for Pre-Fall 2018. Accepted students who enroll in this program will complete the existing ARC-PA accredited program. 

HOW WILL THE INTEGRATION AFFECT MY DIDACTIC EDUCATION?

For the foreseeable future, Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University Physician Assistant Studies programs will remain separate, each continuing to deliver the curriculum outlined on their respective websites.

HOW WILL THE INTEGRATION AFFECT MY CLINICAL EDUCATION?

For the foreseeable future, the Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University Physician Assistant Studies programs will remain separate, each delivering the clinical rotations outlined on their respective websites.  Clinical faculty from both programs are collaborating on new clinical site development to meet each program’s needs.

I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING TO THE PROGRAMS AT BOTH INSTITUTIONS. DO I FILL OUT APPLICATIONS FOR BOTH SCHOOLS?

Yes, each program will maintain its own application form through CASPA under their current institution names for the 2018 CASPA cycle.  We are working with ARC-PA and CASPA to make any necessary changes to our CASPA program pages as we continue with the integration process. 

WILL I PAY THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY OR PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY TUITION?

Students enrolling for the 2017-18 academic year will follow the tuition and fee schedule approved by each institution’s  Board of Trustees. This means that PA Studies students at Thomas Jefferson University will pay the TJU-established tuition which can be referenced here.

Prospective Occupational Therapy Student Questions

What does the integration mean for students entering into one of Thomas Jefferson’s Occupational Therapy degree programs in fall 2017?

Students accepted into any of Thomas Jefferson University’s Entry Level Degree Programs would enter and complete the program into which they matriculated. Entry-level programs include the Combined BSMS, Master’s and Doctorate.

Students accepted into Thomas Jefferson University’s Post-Professional Doctorate or Advanced Practice Certificate Programs would enter and complete the program into which they matriculated. 

What does the integration mean for applicants to Thomas Jefferson’s Occupational Therapy degree programs fall 2018?

The current Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University’s Occupational Therapy Programs will continue to exist in the new University for fall 2018 applicants. These programs include:
 

Thomas Jefferson University’s currently existing programs:

  • Combined Bachelors and Master’s in Occupational Therapy (Transfer and High School applicants)
  • Master’s in Occupational Therapy (Traditional and High School applicants)
  • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Entry Level (OTDe)
  • Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy
  • Advanced Practice Certificate Programs


Philadelphia University’s currently existing programs:

  • AAS in Occupational Therapy Assistant Studies (OTA)
  • MS in Occupational Therapy
  • Combined BS/MS in Occupational Therapy (High School Applicants)

Both Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University offer a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, what are the differences?

Thomas Jefferson University’s program is delivered in a full-time, day format.

Philadelphia University’s program is delivered in a blended-learning format where students attend classes, on-campus, during two weekends a month (Friday-Saturday). The remaining teaching and learning occurs online.

Both Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University offer a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, how will the integration impact these programs?

Each program is separately accredited by ACOTE. For the foreseeable future both programs will continue to be offered, delivering the curriculum outlined on their respective websites. 

I am interested in applying to the Master’s Degree programs at both institutions. Do I fill out applications for both schools?

Yes, however both programs will be listed under the Thomas Jefferson University name on OTCAS for fall 2018.  You will need to apply to each respective Master’s program by selecting one or both entry-level degree programs under Thomas Jefferson University. You will also need to meet each program’s requirements/criteria for admission. 

I am interested in applying to the Master’s and the Doctorate programs. Can I?

Applicants can apply to both Thomas Jefferson University’s and Philadelphia University’s Master’s programs; however, they cannot simultaneously apply to the Master’s and Doctorate programs at Thomas Jefferson University. We request, at the time of application, for applicants to make the determination between the Master’s or Doctoral-level coursework. 

How will the integration affect my classroom education?

For the foreseeable future, Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University Occupational Therapy programs will continue to deliver the curriculum outlined on their respective websites.

How will the integration affect my fieldwork education?

For the foreseeable future Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University Occupational Therapy programs will continue to deliver fieldwork experiences as outlined on their respective websites.  

Will I pay Philadelphia University or Thomas Jefferson University tuition?

Students enrolling in academic programs during the 2017-18 academic year will follow the tuition and fee schedule approved earlier this year by their respective Boards of Trustees.