Office of Institutional Advancement

Philadelphia University Integration FAQs


Our Transformed University

On December 17, 2015, the Boards of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to exclusively pursue the integration of the two universities. Our vision is to be a comprehensive university with preeminence in transdisciplinary, experiential professional education, research, and discovery, delivering exceptional value for 21st-century students with excellence in architecture, business, design, fashion, engineering, health, science and textiles, infused with the liberal arts.

General Questions

1. Why did Thomas Jefferson University and 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.

2. Why is this happening now and 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. 

3. Will Thomas Jefferson University or Philadelphia University undergo a name change?

Together, we will conduct a thoughtful brand study to make the determination that is best for our students and alumni and that is within the guidelines and standards required by the Department of Education and the accrediting bodies for both institutions. 

4. What happens to the individual universities – Philadelphia University and 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.

5. Thomas Jefferson University and 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.

6. How will this integration affect other TJU and 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.

7. 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

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

8. 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.

9. 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