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About the College for Public Health and Social Justice

Our Mission

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. 

It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States. Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the college offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.

Thomas Burroughs, dean of Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice

Thomas Burroughs, Ph.D., became interim dean of Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice on July 1, 2017. 

A Message From the Dean

A Message From the Dean
July 1, 2017

At the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, we are inspired by our Jesuit tradition to promote health and well-being locally and globally through teaching, research and service, with a focus on individuals and groups most affected by poverty and injustice.

The disciplines within our college  – applied behavior analysis, criminology and criminal justice, health administration, public health and social work – are united in a unique and extraordinary academic family, with an interdisciplinary perspective that is truly exceptional.

As interim dean, I am privileged to be a part of this mission-driven community. In some ways, my appointment feels like a natural move. I have been connected with the College for a long time as a colleague, as a professor in health management and policy and as a mentor for students.

Yet, this appointment feels like a new beginning too, as I contemplate the exciting ways our students, faculty and staff are working to advance our shared mission. The innovative work that is coming out of the College – from community-based programs to reduce child maltreatment to computer modeling of a Zika virus outbreak – is making a positive impact in St. Louis and beyond every day.

I am also inspired by the energy and passion of our students, who demonstrate excellence inside and outside the classroom. Through nationally recognized internships, practica and service projects, our students are in the community making a difference. I am excited to continue building partnerships that provide opportunities for students to do this important work.

We are at a pivotal moment in the College’s trajectory: we have the vision, infrastructure and, most importantly, the people to make a healthier, more just world. We hope you join us as we launch into this next chapter. Together, we can do more.

Thomas Burroughs, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice

Strategic Plan

In 2015, the College put forth a three-year strategic plan describing our goals and cross-cutting strategies to achieve them.

Our History

The College for Public Health and Social Justice came to fruition in July 2013, combining the School of Social Work, founded in 1930, the School of Public Health, established 1991, and the criminology and criminal justice program, under the auspice of then-sitting dean Edwin Trevathan, M.D., M.P.H., and Donald Linhorst, Ph.D., 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."

Reputation and Rankings

The College for Public Health and Social Justice is ranked No. 23 by U.S. News & World Report and 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.

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks SLU’s Master of Health Administration among the top graduate programs in the country. The graduate program in social work ranks among the top 20 percent in the nation.