Two universities, Thomas Jefferson and Philadelphia, both in the named city, have reached a preliminary agreement to merge together into one university. There are hopes that the deal, expected to close by the end of next summer, would give Philadelphia University more visibility in a very competitive marketplace. Through the merger many students may have better chances of getting into the medical school at Jefferson.
School administrators said that the unanimous agreement to merge will create “a combination that will drive innovation in health, science, architecture, design, fashion, business, and engineering.” Jefferson already has plans to merge with two hospital systems, and those mergers and the new one with Philadelphia will nearly double its student headcount.
“By integrating two financially and academically strong universities that already have incredible synergies and significant complementary programs, we can create a model that further disrupts and challenges higher education to deliver great outcomes for 21st century students, employers, patients, and our communities,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.
Both institutions acknowledge that the merger means they will be able to offer programs focused on real-world problems rather than traditional academic disciplines. Philadelphia University will not change its name, but it will be a part of the Jefferson system.
“Our vision for Jefferson’s 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,” Klasko added. Jefferson currently has 1,072 students enrolled at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and 281 at its School of Pharmacy; the university’s schools of nursing and health profession programs have almost 1,700 students. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has 2,300 full-time undergraduate students.
A signing ceremony for the letter of intent will occur on the Philadelphia University campus sometime soon.