Unifying two renowned legacies of innovation, education, research and professional excellence, Jefferson (Philadelphia University +Thomas Jefferson University) has more than three combined centuries of history. Driven by this newly united and robust past, Jefferson delivers unique and high-impact professional education to our students in the areas of architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion, health, medicine, science, textiles and more.

Thomas Jefferson University was founded in 1824 as Jefferson Medical College, and Philadelphia University was founded in 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School. Both were ahead of their time and focused on the importance of experiential learning. The new Jefferson was established on July 1, 2017 as a result of the merger of these two renowned universities.

Today, we are a professional university that defies convention and dedicates itself to collaborative, transdisciplinary and interprofessional approaches to learning that offer a vibrant and expandable platform for education. Through this unique model, we are preparing our students for current and yet-to-be-imagined careers – setting tomorrow’s standards by breaking today’s.

PhilaU + TJU - Redefining What’s Humanly Possible

View our Complete History

A new University with 328 years of experience

  • 1824

    In 1824, Jefferson Medical College was founded by Dr. George McClellan.

  • 1884

    In 1884 Philadelphia University was founded as the Philadelphia Textile School to educate America’s textile workers and managers.

  • 1891

    In 1891, the Jefferson College of Nursing was created as the Jefferson Hospital Training College for Nurses.

  • 1941

    In 1941, the Philadelphia Textile School was granted the right to award baccalaureate degrees and changed its name to the Philadelphia Textile Institute (PTI).

  • 1949

    By 1949, PTI began conducting classes in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. That same year, Jefferson Medical College included advanced degrees in anatomy, bacteriology, immunology, etc. in its curriculum.

  • 1961

    In 1961, PTI changed its name to Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science.

  • 1969

    In 1969, Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) was established, incorporating Jefferson College of Health Professions and Jefferson College of Graduate Sciences (now Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences).

  • 1991

    The College of Architecture and the Built Environment was founded when the architecture program joined the existing interior design program at Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science.

  • 1999

    To better reflect the institution’s breadth and depth, the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science applied for and was granted university status by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1999. The Board of Trustees voted to change the School’s name to Philadelphia University on July 13, 1999.

  • 2008

    In 2008, Philadelphia University adopted a bold, innovative Strategic Plan and directed efforts on advancing our mission and vision: to be the model for professional university education. The University reorganized its offerings into three colleges and three schools.

  • 2008

    Thomas Jefferson University launched Jefferson College of Population Health and Jefferson College of Pharmacy in 2008.

  • 2012

    Kanbar College of Design Engineering and Commerce was founded in 2012, named after alumnus Maurice Kanbar ’52, H’03, who donated $15 million in to Philadelphia University.

  • 2012

    The Office of Continuing and Professional Studies at Philadelphia University was renamed the School of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2012.

  • 2012

    In 2012, Philadelphia University launched its PhilaU Online offering, which formalized and expanded its reach in online education.

  • 2014

    In 2014, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation bestowed a $110 million gift to Jefferson Medical College, now known as Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

  • 2015

    In 2015, TJU was the largest free-standing health sciences university in Philadelphia.

  • 2017

    In 2017, Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University combined to create one university focused on redefining humanly possible.