Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University is a private health sciences university in Philadelphia (130 South 9th Street).

"Although formally established in 1969, Thomas Jefferson University actually dates back to 1824 when Jefferson Medical College (now the Sidney Kimmel Medical College) was founded by Dr. George McClellan. At the beginning of the 19th century, only four colleges in the United States possessed medical Colleges – Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Dartmouth. For several years, Penn alumni and supporters successfully blocked all efforts to form an additional College. Led by Dr. McClellan, a group of men hit upon a strategy to bypass the situation.

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In 1824, McClellan and others petitioned Jefferson College at Canonsburg to add a medical College. While technically part of Jefferson College, Jefferson Medical College was located in Philadelphia with administrative and financial responsibility in the hands of the faculty. Although challenged by the University of Pennsylvania, in 1826 the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill that ratified the actions of Jefferson College. This allowed the College to grant medical degrees — graduating students with experience in supervised participation in the care of patients, a revolutionary approach to medical education at the time.

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With the growth of Jefferson Medical College, the College constructed the Ely Building in 1828 – complete with a lecture hall in the lower floor and the “Pit”, a 700-seat amphitheater to allow students to view surgeries. Jefferson’s first free-standing hospital and the second hospital in the nation connected to a medical College, admitted 441 inpatients and treated 4,659 outpatients during its first year of operation. (…)

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In 1891, Jefferson created Jefferson Hospital Training College for Nurses. Now known as Jefferson College of Nursing, it offers a continuum of fully-accredited nursing degree programs, from baccalaureate through doctoral levels.

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By 1949, Jefferson Medical College included advanced degrees in anatomy, bacteriology, immunology, etc. in its curriculum. The formation of the College of Allied Health Sciences in 1967 began a move toward the integration of other health professions into the Jefferson curriculum. Now known as the Jefferson College of Health Professions (JCHP), it is comprised of six health professions programs – Bioscience Technologies, Couple & Family Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, and Radiologic Sciences – and the Professional & Continuing Studies department, which offers general education courses, including bachelor degree programs. JSHP students earn degrees ranging from Bachelor of Science through clinical doctorate.

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The Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences (JCBS) offers courses and programs across a wide field of basic and translational biomedical sciences leading to the PhD degree, the MS degree, and to graduate certificate programs.

The Jefferson College of Pharmacy was founded in 2008. It has an innovative curriculum that effectively advances health through teaching, research and service. Its Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education.

As the first designated school of Population Health in the country, the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH), also founded in 2008, is dedicated to the exploration of policies and forces that determine the health and quality of life of populations, locally, nationally, and globally. Accordingly, the JCPH mission is to prepare leaders with global vision to develop, implement, and evaluate health policies and systems that improve the health of populations and thereby enhance the quality of life.

Today, [Jefferson is] the largest free-standing health sciences university in Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson University, along with its clinical partner, Jefferson University Hospitals treats more than 46,000 inpatients and 1,000,000 outpatients every year"1.

  • Photos by Alessia Sallemi (August 2016)

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