Thomas Jefferson University is a private university in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The university consists of six constituent colleges and schools: Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Jefferson College of Nursing, Jefferson College of Pharmacy, and Jefferson College of Population Health.
The first class was graduated in 1826, receiving their degrees only after the disposition of a lawsuit seeking to close the school. The first classes were held in the Tivoli Theater on Prune Street in Philadelphia, which had the first medical clinic attached to a medical school. In 1828, the Medical Department moved to the Ely Building, which allowed for a large lecture space and the “Pit,” a 700-seat amphitheater to allow students to view surgeries. This building had an attached hospital, the second such medical school/hospital arrangement in the nation, servicing 441 inpatients and 4,659 outpatients in its first year of operation. The relationship with Jefferson College survived until 1838, when the Medical Department received a separate charter, allowing it operate separately as the Jefferson Medical College.
A 125-bed hospital, one of the first in the nation affiliated with a medical school, opened in 1877, and a school for nurses began in 1891. The Medical College became Thomas Jefferson University on July 1, 1969. As an academic health care center, Jefferson is currently involved in education, medical research, and patient care. Jefferson Medical College is the 9th oldest American medical school that is in existence today.
In January 2007, the University sold Thomas Eakins’ painting The Gross Clinic, which depicts a surgery that took place at the school, for $68 million, to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A reproduction hangs in its place at Jefferson University.
On June 17, 2014 Sidney Kimmel donated $110 million to Jefferson Medical College, prompting the announcement that Jefferson Medical College would be renamed Sidney Kimmel Medical College
In May 2017, the university officially announced that it will be merging with Philadelphia University. The combined institution will retain the Thomas Jefferson University name.
Thomas Jefferson University is also the primary academic affiliate of the Jefferson Health System. Jefferson Health System was founded in 1995 when Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Main Line Health System signed an agreement establishing a new, nonprofit, corporate entity known as the Jefferson Health System.