Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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Spring Break

The University will remain open during spring break (4/3 - 4/7). All clinical facilities will be closed, reopening on 4/10.

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History of Salus/PCO


Today the University is a diversified, globally recognized, health professions university that offers a wide range of accredited post-graduate and professional degree programs. Currently, the University has more than 1,200 students and more than 14,000 alumni worldwide. 
PCO founder, Dr. Albert Fitch, was considered a visionary by his peers and a revolutionary by others in the healthcare community. His goal in establishing the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry (our original name) as a nonprofit educational institution in 1919 was to create a professional school of optometry comparable to those of medicine and dentistry. His desire was to “obtain a higher standard of proficiency and to enlighten the public mind on the subject and science of optometry and its relationship to the conservation of vision.” That desire to set and maintain a higher standard of education is evident today at Salus University, where the institution continues to break new ground with creative and innovative curricula for all of its degree programs. 
The name Salus University may still be young, however, the history and reputation of our founding institution - the Pennsylvania College of Optometry - is known and respected around the world. Changes in the nation’s healthcare delivery system are significantly altering every facet of our diversified medical and health science professions. Central to the Salus mission is keeping pace with the rapidly expanding healthcare issues, setting national trends and standards and being the leader in providing the nation’s top health science, education and rehabilitation professionals.

1920 - Clinic Room


The first clinical facilities of the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry officially open on May 6, 1920. The optometric and ophthalmological clinics each occupy one room in the original College building at 1809 Spring Garden Street and operate two afternoons a week.

1922 Commencement


In June 1922, the inaugural class of 26 graduates attend the very first Commencement Exercises held at the Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., in Philadelphia. Entrance requirements are raised to include graduation from a four-year high school course.



The Pennsylvania State College of Optometry becomes the first to confer the degree of Doctor of Optometry. The program of study is increased in length from two to three years.

More PCO Firsts
1924- Brandywine


PSCO completes the construction of a building extension to house the new clinical facility located at 1810 Brandywine Street. Patients are examined every afternoon in eleven refracting rooms and one ophthalmological treatment room. The clinical faculty includes the director, two chiefs and eight unpaid assistant chiefs. Students in their final year complete all of the refracting and fitting of eyeglasses under the direction of the faculty. Patients are referred to the clinic by social welfare agencies. Optical manufacturers and laboratories donate both lenses and frames. When a prescription is ordered, the glasses are fabricated by students and dispensed to the patient at no charge. Night classes are discontinued.