Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University Integration

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Thomas Jefferson University & Philadelphia University decide to come together?

This is a combination of two educational institutions focused on creating a national comprehensive university designed to deliver high-impact education and value for students in medicine, science, architecture, design, fashion, textiles, health, business, engineering and more. The new Jefferson creates a unique model focused on interprofessional and transdisciplinary approaches to learning supported by design and systems thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship, empathy, and the modes of thought central to the liberal arts and scientific inquiry. It provides a vibrant and expandable platform for professional education and the ability to prepare students for current and yet-to-be-imagined 21st-century professions.  Long before we announced our intent to combine in December 2015, 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.

When was the merger of Philadelphia University & Thomas Jefferson University finalized?

The merger of Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University was effective as of July 1, 2017, creating a comprehensive university focused on 21st-century professional education and designed to deliver a high-impact academic experience and value for students in architecture, business, design, fashion, engineering, health, medicine, science, textiles and more.

To finalize the combination, notices were provided or consents obtained from approximately 30 accrediting agencies, including Middle States Commission of Higher Education, the Departments of Education of the United States of America and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the NCAA and the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

This integration was initiated in December 2015 when the two universities signed a Letter of Intent, followed in September 2016 with a signed Definitive Agreement to move forward with the combination.

What is the name of the combined University?

The name for the combined institution is Thomas Jefferson University and will be referred to as Jefferson in common usage – Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

In considering the name for the combined university, a comprehensive study was conducted that included more than 200 personal interviews and a quantitative survey of 3,100 faculty, staff, alumni, current and prospective students, trustees and hiring managers. The research took into account the important contributions of both universities to the new brand, including Philadelphia University’s 133-year reputation for excellence in design, architecture, textiles, engineering, fashion and business, and the nearly 200-year-old Thomas Jefferson University, with world-renowned expertise in the health sciences, research and clinical care. In addition, we have established the Philadelphia University Honors Institute of Thomas Jefferson University.

The name of the combined university is Thomas Jefferson University and will be referred to as Jefferson in common usage. The Honors Program will be housed in one of the newly formed Philadelphia University Honors Institutes. All existing academic programs and degrees from both Universities will continue and many will be expanded.

How will the merger affect academic programs from both institutions?

All existing academic programs—more than 160 in all—and degrees from both legacy universities will continue and many will be expanded. The University is also considering new programs in a variety of disciplines to meet emerging needs that will add value for students and society.

How does a Jefferson education create added value for students?

The new Jefferson provides a unique model for professional education focused on interprofessional and transdisciplinary approaches to learning supported by design and systems thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship, empathy, and the modes of thought central to the liberal arts and scientific inquiry. It provides a vibrant and expandable platform for professional education and the ability to prepare students for current and yet-to-be-imagined 21st-century professions.

Jefferson also is committed to providing students with these critical competencies considered essential to succeed in the workplace both today and in the future: to communicate and collaborate; identify and solve problems; to be creative, diligent and resilient; and to be lifelong  learners.

In addition, the combined University has even greater ability to meaningfully expand research and discovery in the spheres of basic, translational, clinical, health policy and applied research. Research faculty already have begun collaborating to create joint grant applications to federal agencies, industry and foundations.

What are the benefits of a combination of Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University for students?

The combination of Philadelphia University with Thomas Jefferson University results in increased visibility and recognition in higher education by creating a world-class, comprehensive university that gives students real-world professional education that prepares them to build successful 21st-century careers.

Students 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
  • global opportunities involving study abroad, research and community engagement
  • a combined alumni base of 63,500
  • 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

Physician Assistant & Occupational Therapy

Jefferson offers several options for our Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapy programs, depending on entry point and campus of interest.