St. Joe’s is a Jesuit university located in northwest Philadelphia. USciences was a health care and science-focused university located in University City, southwest of Penn’s campus. The newly merged university will operate on both campuses.
The idea of a merger was conceived in the summer of 2020 when the USciences began the official process of searching for a collaborative partner, in part due to budget concerns. Eventually, it chose St. Joe’s for its proximity, mission, and scholastic programs and invited St. Joe’s to participate.
Potential plans to merge were announced by the two universities in February 2021, and a definitive agreement was reached in June 2021. In March 2022, the merger was officially approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Four different schools will make up the newly merged St. Joe’s. These include the College of Arts and Sciences, the Erivan K. Haub School of Business, the School of Education and Human Development, and the School of Health Professions.
The Erivan K. Haub School of Business will offer new programs in pharmaceutical business and management, while the School of Health Professions will house newly acquired programs in pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician’s assistant. In total, the merger added 26 new programs.
“Through this combination, Saint Joseph’s will now be able to offer students more academic offerings than ever before,” Cheryl McConnell, provost of St. Joe’s, stated in a press release.
The new, integrated University will enroll approximately 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students and will employ more than 400 faculty members. The merged University now has an alumni network of nearly 100,000 graduates and possess an endowment of half a billion dollars.
Student activities will be modified by the merger, with a unified student government and the dissolution of USciences' Divison II sports programs. However, USciences student-athletes who earned an athletic scholarship will retain their award. New students will attend a combined orientation this month.
“I’m incredibly optimistic and hopeful that this ultimately will lead to a wave of innovation, creativity, and accomplishments that we can’t even possibly conceive of at this point in time,” Mark C. Reed, president of St. Joe’s, told the Inquirer.