Salus University

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The courtyard of Salus University

Salus University is a private nonprofit university in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, United States, specializing in postgraduate degree programs for the health care professions. The university's name comes from the Latin word salus, which means "health and well-being". The university has more than 1,000 students and offers degree programs in Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Biomedicine, and Occupational Therapy.[1]


Salus was founded on July 1, 2008, by the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), one of the oldest colleges of optometry in North America, which on that date transformed itself from a standalone institution into one of several colleges of the new university. PCO had established several of those colleges, with degree programs in other disciplines, during the preceding 25 years. The university currently consists of four colleges:

  • Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO): the university's founding college, established in 1919.
  • George S. Osborne College of Audiology: named for the late founding dean of the PCO School of Audiology, established in 2000.
  • College of Education and Rehabilitation: new home of Graduate Studies in Vision Impairment Programs; established in 1983 and the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) and Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) programs; established in 2012.
  • College of Health Sciences: the Physician Assistant program, established in 2007, is located in this college.


In 1929, Henry W. Breyer, Jr., purchased an abandoned Lindenhurst property once owned by John Wanamaker in Cheltenham Township on York Road, below Washington Lane. He donated the 11 acres (45,000 m2) of land to the Boy Scouts of America for use as a wildlife preserve.[2] Camp Henry W. Breyer was operated by the Philadelphia Council of the Boy Scouts until 1990, when they sold it. The property is now the site of Salus University.

Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO)[edit]

PCO was the first school in the United States to confer the Doctor of Optometry degree after a four-year educational program.

The Eye Institute (TEI)[edit]

The Eye Institute (TEI) is the main clinical facility of PCO. TEI, from its inception to the present day, is a clinical facility that includes adult primary care, pediatric, vision rehabilitation, laser procedures, sub-specialty optometry services, and sub-specialty ophthalmology services. This training facility is open on a 24-hour basis and all graduates spend time in this facility beginning early in their studies. TEI is essentially like a teaching hospital, providing the clinical element to complement the academic program.

Within the Eye Institute is the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center. The center is concerned with low vision and receives patients from around the world. It remains today the leading low-vision research center in the world.[citation needed]

TEI has three clinics: the main clinic in West Oak Lane, plus two satellite clinics in Chestnut Hill and East Falls.

PCO administers one of the country’s largest extern programs, where doctors-in-training rotate through private practices, clinics, government facilities, veteran’s hospitals, Department of the Interior Indian reservation clinics, and other clinical settings to afford their graduates the widest range of experience.

The College of Education and Rehabilitation, Department of Occupational Therapy[edit]

In 2012 the College launched Occupational Therapy programs (OT), which offers an embedded Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree in an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree program.

The degree program for our Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree requires 56 semester hours delivered over a 21 month period. With an MSOT degree, students are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) examination required to meet state licensing requirements.

The degree program for our entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree program requires 86 semester hours for completion over a period of 32 months.

On May 10, 2012, the Accreditation Council for Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) granted Developing Program Status to the University’s new Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree and Master of Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree programs. All new programs seeking accreditation by ACOTE are required to apply for Developing Program Status as the first step in the three-step accreditation process for new programs to ensure commitment to the development of quality programs, and to review the potential viability of an applicant occupational therapy educational program prior to the admission of the first class of students. Accreditation

College of Health Sciences[edit]

The Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing today. Salus University offers a 25-month, full-time degree program at the Elkins Park campus. Graduates of our fully accredited program receive a Master of Medical Science degree (MMS). (Class of 2011 PANCE pass rate: 95%. National average: 90%).

In March 2010, the Salus University Physician Assistant program was granted continuing accreditation status by ARC-PA (Accreditation Review Commission for Education of Physician Assistants, ARC-PA is the accrediting agency that defines the standards for Physician Assistant (PA) education and evaluates PA educational programs within the territorial United States to ensure their compliance with those standards.

Public Health Programs

Salus offers a web-based Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program, Public Health Certificate Programs. All applications for both degree and non-degree students are processed on-line. The university accepts applications for the public health programs year round.

The Master of Public Health program was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on May 4, 2010. PDE has authorized the University to offer a distance MPH degree program designed to meet the needs of students and practitioners both domestically and internationally. On June 29, 2010, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE) granted approval to include the online Master of Public Health degree within the scope of Salus University's accreditation.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°05′07″N 75°07′52″W / 40.0853°N 75.1311°W / 40.0853; -75.1311