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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.



A Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program, designed to bridge the public health training gap in the areas of optometry, audiology, blindness and visual impairment, and physician assistant studies - professions currently under-represented in the public health workforce - is launched.

2010 - East Falls


The Eye Institute’s Strawberry Mansion The Eye Institute’s Strawberry Mansion satellite clinic moves to a newly renovated space in East Falls.

2011 Renovation


Completion of an $11.2 million renovation - upgrades include a modern appearance, state-of-the-art equipment, more enhanced optometric technology and integrated electronic medical records.

2012 - OT


A doctoral and master’s degree in Occupational Therapy program welcomes its first class. The University’s first PhD degree program in Biomedicine is offered.

A Closer Look: Occupational Therapy at Salus
2012 Chestnut Hill


The Eye Institute’s Mt. Airy satellite clinic relocates to a new and enhanced space in Chestnut Hill.

2013 Mittelman


Dr. Michael H. Mittelman ‘80 becomes the sixth president. A retired Rear Admiral and former Deputy Surgeon General of the US Navy with more than 30 years of inter-professional healthcare administration experience, Dr. Mittelman is a 1980 graduate of PCO and holds a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) from the University of Alabama–Birmingham.

Full Steam Ahead: Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, President
2015 SLI and SLP


In July, the University’s Master of Science (MS) degree program in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) was awarded Candidate for Accreditation status by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree program welcomes its inaugural class of students in August.

A Closer Look: Speech-Language Pathology Program
2015 - SLI Opens


In July 2015, the Speech-Language Institute (SLI) opened its doors for client care. SLI was established as a clinical training site for speech-language pathology (SLP) students in the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation. SLI offers treatment and therapy services for speech, language, feeding and swallowing difficulties.


The two-year Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease residency program starts in 2015 as well. This residency program is fully accredited by 2017, prior to the inaugural residents’ completion of the program.

The Neuro Legacy


The first class for the University's Doctorate of Occupational Therapy begins.

2017 Signing


The University partners with the Community College of Philadelphia to bring an Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate Program to Philadelphia.



The Eye Institute celebrates 40 years of service to the Oak Lane community while Salus University celebrates its tenth anniversary as a multidisciplinary institution.



Salus University continues a legacy that began 100 years ago in Philadelphia when our founding College, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), was established. Please join us in celebration at our Centennial Gala on April 27, 2019.

Gala Event Details