Saint Louis University

About SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice

We are dedicated to helping communities achieve health and wellbeing

Saint Louis University is located in the heart of of the city, close to the Arch

Quick Facts

Location: St. Louis, MO, and Madrid, Spain

Dean: Donald Linhorst, PhD, Director of the School of Social Work, became interim dean of the College for Public Health and Social Justice on April 1, 2015.

Religious affiliation: Catholic, Jesuit

Alumni: 10,000+ worldwide

Students: 1,096 (527 undergraduates)

How we became One College

The College for Public Health and Social Justice came to fruition in July 2013 under the auspice of then-sitting dean Edwin Trevathan, MD, MPH, of the School of Public Health and Donald Linhorst, PhD, Director of the School of Social Work.

They charged the college to "boldly lead in teaching, researching, and providing services to those most affected by the complex factors that undermine health and welfare."

The College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University offers a total of: 6 undergraduate degrees, 3 accelerated degrees, 7 masters, 13 dual-degree masters, 1 executive master's, 2 PhDs, and 3 certificates in applied behavior analysis, criminology and criminal justice, public health, and social work.

As the United States' only accredited school of public health at a Jesuit/Catholic university, social justice and sustained service that benefits humanity is the moral foundation of the college's disciplines.

Reputation and Rankings

U.S. News and World Report ranked the College's Master of Health Administration program No. 7, and the College for Public Health and Social Justice earned the No. 23 spot in the 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

The College is one of 51 schools of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) - the field's highest accreditation; it is the only accredited school of public health in Missouri and the only school of public health at a Jesuit/Catholic university in the United States.

The College's School of Social Work was established in 1930 and has been continually accredited since 1933. It is currently accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 

The College is part of Saint Louis University, founded in 1818 by the Most Revered Louis Guillame Valentin Dubourg. It is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest Jesuit university in the nation. 

A 2016 us news and world report best graduate schools

Our History

1929 - The economic and social turmoil following the stock market crash presented new challenges to the emerging social work profession and expanded demand for professionally trained social workers, one that the 10 academic social work programs extant could not meet. The social turmoil of the early thirties also stimulated one of the pioneers in Catholic social thought, Father Joseph C. Husslein, SJ, to propose a new program of social work education at Saint Louis University.

1930 - SLU's School of Sociology launched an undergraduate program in social work headed by Father Husslein, who oversaw the program until 1940. 

1933 - The social work program is accredited by the American Association of Schools of Social Work. Recognizing the need for further professionalization of social work, and following a recommendation from the accrediting body, the University converted the program from an undergraduate degree to a master's level degree that same year.

1939 - The social work program became the first department at SLU to accept an African American student, consistent with its mission and that of the University. 

1947 - The health administration program was launched to meet leadership needs for the extensive number of Catholic hospital systems in the U.S.

1952 - SLU becomes a charter member of the Council on Social Work Education.

1968 - SLU was in the first group to receive accreditation by the just-established Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration (ACEHSA).

1971 - The School of Social Work moves into its new and current home, Tegeler Hall. The structure is named in honor of Jerome F. Tegeler, a 1929 SLU graduate and Board of Trustees member; Timothy Tegeler, his son, continues the family's commitment to the School and his financial contributions have assured the Hall is maintained as a modern, state-of-the-art building. 

1974 - Undergraduate social work education is re-established at SLU with a bachelor of science in social work program. 

1979 - SLU begins offering a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

1991 - The School of Public Health is established - the first of its kind at a Catholic, Jesuit university.

1995 - The School of Public Health becomes fully accredited.

1996 - The Doerr Center for Social Justice Education and Research is created thanks to a generous gift from Emmett J. and Mary Martha Doerr.

2000 - The Institute for Biosecurity is established.

2001 - The School of Public Health moves to its current home, the Salus Center.

2011 - The School of Social Work added programs in Applied Behavior Analysis

2013 - The College for Public Health and Social Justice began full operation as an academic unit.

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