Application PROCESS

Applications for the Blindness and Low Vision Studies masters and certificate programs are accepted through the GradCAS centralized application service each semester with the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester - July 15
  • ​Spring Semester - November 30
  • Summer Semester - April 15

Once accepted, students can register for courses in the term immediately following matriculation, depending on the student’s course of studies.

If you are interested in applying to the BLVS degree programs or have questions regarding the application process, please email or call 215.780.1301.

Apply at GradCAS

Criteria & Prerequisites

All applicants must have completed their undergraduate studies and must hold a Bachelor's degree, or its equivalency, from an accredited college or university in order to be admitted to a program of studies in the Academic Affairs Division of Global, Interprofessional, and Specialized Programming.


Salus University is now accepting applications through the GradCAS centralized application service. Please follow all instructions as indicated on the application portal.

The following application items are required for submission:

  • Submit through GradCAS: If new to the GradCAS application portal, you will need to create a new account. Once your account is created:
    • Click Add Program at the top of the application home page.
    • Use the search filters to locate the Salus University, Blindness & Low Vision programs. Select the BLVS program application according to the term (Summer, Fall, Spring) to which you are applying. Note: Within the Program Materials section is where you will be able to indicate to which individual BLVS program and degree level (Master's or Certificate) you would like to apply.
    • Complete the application's four core sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials.
    • Utilize the GradCAS Applicant Help Center as a resource.
  • Application Fee: A non-refundable fee of $138.00 is required. Payment may be made through the GradCAS application portal.
  • Transcripts: All applicants are responsible for having official transcripts for every college or university attended sent directly to GradCAS centralized application service, regardless of whether a degree has been received from that particular institution or not. Please note, a transcript marked "issued to student" is not acceptable, even when delivered in a sealed envelope.
  • Letters of Reference: Applications must include three letters of reference highlighting your academic and professional skills and addressing applicant qualities in relation to working in the field of blindness and low vision, education and/or rehabilitation. Please follow the directions for submitting letters of reference through the GradCAS application portal.
  • Statement of Purpose (minimum 250 words): Applicants must submit a typewritten, double-spaced, two- to three-page personal statement through the GradCAS application portal explaining their purpose in undertaking graduate study in their program of interest. This is an opportunity to inform the Admissions Committee about the applicant's goals, interests, motivation, and background as they relate to their career plans and academic pursuits.
  • Job Resumé/Curriculum Vitae: All applicants must submit an educational and job resume/curriculum vitae through the GradCAS application portal. This should include the applicant’s education, work experience, publications, honors or achievements, and community /extracurricular activities to date.
  • License/Certificates: Applicants may submit a copy of any certificate or license held as it pertains to their current profession through the GradCAS application portal. Applicants to the Teacher of the Visually Impaired program who are currently certified teachers must upload a copy of a teaching certificate.
  • Background Clearances: Applicants to Blindness and Low Vision Studies programs must complete Child Abuse History, State Police and Federal FBI clearances at the time of matriculation to the program. The Office of Student Affairs will contact the matriculated student with further instructions on submitting these requirements prior to enrollment. More Information.
  • National Test Scores: Applicants have the option to submit exam scores (such as GRE or MAT) in order to enhance their application, but it is not required to be considered for admission into the BLVS programs.
  • International Students: Please review any additional requirements needed below.

Prerequisite Skills

Due to the nature of the coursework for all of the degree and certificate programs offered in the College, the following prerequisites skills apply:

  • Writing Skills
    Applicants are expected to demonstrate scholarly writing in their application essay, develop coherent and complete thoughts, and use correct grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
  • Computer Skills & Technology Requirements
    The Blindness and Low Vision Studies program requires graduate students have computer literacy skills upon entry into their respective programs. Most of the courses are online and require computer skills related to emailing, word processing, uploading and downloading files and assignments, conducting internet searches, and interacting online among others.
    • Prior to entering the program, students who lack basic skills in using the computer should complete a basic computer course from a computer education service, a community college, or university.
    • Master’s degree candidates participate in research courses that may require skills in setting formulas for calculations in spreadsheets or databases and creating graphic representations of data.
International Students


For applicants who have attended foreign and French-Canadian schools, please provide the Office of Admissions with the following information:

A course-by-course credential review from a NACES recognized agency which evidences all post-secondary studies completed. Please consult the agency’s web site for requirements to complete the evaluation.

  • Recommended agencies include:
  • An official credential evaluation (not a copy) must be sent from the evaluation service directly to: Office of Admissions, Salus University, 8360 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027.
  • Applicants also have the option to submit their credential evaluation directly to GradCAS. If you choose this option, please view GradCAS foreign transcripts instructions for more details.


Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in a Salus University academic program as well as to help ensure patient/client/student safety and/or effective communication with members of a healthcare or education team.

Official results from the TOEFL iBT, TOEFL Essentials, IELTS or Duolingo examination are required of all non-native English speakers. One of these approved exams must be taken within two years prior to the start date of the entering class to which an applicant seeks admission.

  • If submitting TOEFL iBT scores, please use the GradCAS code of B886.
  • If submitting an approved alternate English proficiency exam, please send official scores directly to Salus University, Office of Admissions.

While we recommend that applicants submit TOEFL iBT, TOEFL Essentials, IELTS or Duolingo, exceptions will be considered for foreign applicants who meet one of the following criteria*:

  1. successfully completed a degree or diploma held from an accredited, post-secondary institution where the coursework was entirely in English, and provide evidence that it was conducted in English; or
  2. successfully completed, and provide evidence of, an approved English language learner’s program

*Note: All exemption materials and other appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and subject to the admission committee’s final discretion. Should any exceptions not be accepted toward the English language requirement, the Office of Admissions will inform the applicant of an alternative to fulfill it.

Admissions Selection Process

Admission to a program of studies in the Academic Affairs Division of Global, Interprofessional, and Specialized Programming is based upon the candidate profile of individual applicants. The candidate profile is comprised of three indices: (1) Academic Achievement, (2) Personal Index and (3) Interview Index.

Academic Achievement

The criteria for evaluating academic achievement consist of grade point averages, major, college or university attended, number of college credits completed and degree status. The objective criteria are weighed according to recommendations of the Blindness and Low Vision Studies Admissions Committee. The weighing of each criterion is privileged information, which is restricted to Admissions Committee members.

Personal Index

These criteria are a subjective measure of an applicant’s acceptability. The index is comprised of letters of reference and extracurricular activities, and the applicant’s Statement of Purpose.

Interview Index

The Blindness and Low Vision Studies Admissions Committee recommends that at least one faculty member and/or the director of the program evaluate the applicant’s knowledge, interest and motivation to work in the field of vision impairment. Each interviewer provides written information to the Admissions Committee. In-person interviews are preferred; however, telephone or online interviews can be arranged when necessary.

After the interview, the Academic Affairs Division of Global, Interprofessional, and Specialized Programming evaluates the findings of the candidate profile (academic achievement + personal index + interview index), and makes a recommendation regarding the applicant’s acceptability status. Every effort is made to provide decisions to applicants within two weeks of the scheduled interview. The University’s Office of Admissions will send final notification to the applicant, along with information on how to matriculate and reserve a seat in the program.


Salus University, by choice, declares and reaffirms its policy of complying with federal and state legislation and does not in any way discriminate in educational programs, employment, or in-services to the public on the basis of race, color, creed or religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or intellectual disabilities, or veteran status. In addition, the University also complies with federal regulations issued under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Program Directors & Representatives

Blindness and Low Vision Studies Programs
Dr. Fabiana Perla, Chair

Low Vision Rehabilitation Program
Kerry Lueders, Director

Orientation & Mobility Programs
Jamie Maffit, Director

Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Katherine Alstrin, Director

Vision Rehabilitation Therapy
Lachelle Smith, Director

Candida Mulligan, Assistant Director of Admissions

To be connected to the Blindness and Low Vision program directors and representatives or for further information regarding individual BLVS programs, please contact the Office of Admissions by email at or by phone at 215-780-1301.

Non-Degree Seeking Students


Non-degree student status is appropriate for the applicant who may desire to take one or more of the courses offered in these programs, but is not enrolling in the full Master's degree or certificate programs.

Non-degree students may take up to nine credits before being admitted as a fully enrolled, matriculated student. A student is considered matriculated once they have completed the application process, are offered acceptance and confirm their intent to enroll by completing the matriculation supplement form.

More information