Middle States Commission on Higher Education Approves Merger of Salus University with Drexel

Exterior of the Salus campus

The following message was sent to the Drexel community.

Dear Members of the Drexel and Salus Communities,

I am happy to report that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has approved the merger of Salus University with Drexel. With institutional accreditor, Pennsylvania Department of Education and judicial approvals granted, we can officially welcome Salus students, faculty and professional staff to the Drexel community. I want to recognize our MSCHE Institutional Liaison Officials, Joseph Hawk at Drexel, and Gerry O’Sullivan at Salus, for successfully navigating a very complex regulatory and accreditation process.

As part of this approval effective June 30, Salus non-academic, operational units will become part of Drexel’s structure. We are currently awaiting approvals from the U.S. Department of Education for the merger and combination of our two universities for purposes of participating in federal financial aid programs. We expect to receive the second of those two approvals on or about June 30, 2025. Until that time, Salus will maintain its student programs/course offerings, registration, billing and financial aid systems.

As of July 1, Salus academic units — with the exception of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, which will remain a standalone college — will begin the transition process to fully merge into Drexel’s colleges by next summer.

This is a historic day for Drexel for two reasons: We warmly welcome 1,187 Salus students, 362 faculty and professional staff, and more than 14,000 alumni to the Drexel family. And we significantly strengthen Drexel’s national leadership in preparing future interprofessional health sciences practitioners. This merger brings together the strengths of both institutions in graduate health sciences, including Drexel’s medical, biomedical, public health, nursing and health professions, and Salus’ optometry, audiology, biomedicine, blindness and low vision studies, physician assistant studies, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and orthotics and prosthetics programs.

We could not have completed this historic merger without the commitment and dedication of so many colleagues. I extend my sincere gratitude to Salus President Mike Mittelman for all he has done to integrate our two great institutions, and I am honored to welcome him to Drexel’s Board of Trustees. I would also like to recognize Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, chief strategy officer and dean of the Graduate College and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, and Beth Moy, chief of staff at Salus, for leading this massive effort and all of the faculty and professional staff who served on the Integration Council and brought this initiative to fruition.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Drexel will be hosting a flag-raising ceremony at the Elkins Park campus later this summer. More details will be shared as they become available. You can also keep up with the latest information on the integration website. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming our Salus colleagues, students and friends to the Drexel community.


John Fry