Academics & Research

60 Years of Groundbreaking Ideas in Virginia Barely Scratches the Surface

GW’s academic roots in Virginia go back to the opening of the university’s Hampton Roads Center nearly 60 years ago. Since then, GW has also established graduate education centers in Alexandria and Arlington, and the state-of-the art GW Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Ashburn in 1991.

Six decades of academic partnership between GW and the Commonwealth has produced an immense amount of groundbreaking research and scholarship, educational opportunities and diversity of ideas and backgrounds in both the student body and university’s regional workforce.

In short, with the help of thousands of fellow Virginians, GW has developed a unique role as the largest private research university in Northern Virginia.

Some highlights:

School of Nursing (SON)

Recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary, the School of Nursing is the only GW School headquartered in Virginia. It has a significant—and rapidly growing—presence in the Commonwealth. In fact, GW confers more Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees than any other school in the Commonwealth. 

The School of Nursing’s success is particularly remarkable given the fact that it was only first chartered in 2010. The school has achieved great success in its first decade and looks poised to continue to flourish in the years ahead. 

In addition to boasting several highly ranked programs, the School of Nursing is also pioneering an innovative, accelerated veterans bachelor’s degree (VBSN)—a new program where veterans can translate their military service to academic credits and a career. 

Thanks to the Commonwealth’s Tuition Assistance Grants (TAG), the GW Nursing program is able to address the region’s impending future nursing shortage. Ultimately, the Tuition Assistance Grants benefit all Virginians: not only does the Commonwealth ensure that leading students at one the nation’s very best nursing programs stay to live and work in Virginia, but also the fellow Virginians they serve will literally feel better by their expertise for years to come.

Virginia Science & Technology Campus (VSTC)

For nearly 30 years, GW’s Virginia Science & Technology Campus has served as a world-class center of innovative research in engineering, physics, and chemistry, as well as providing outstanding educational opportunities with two-dozen degree programs.

Strategically positioned in the Northern Virginia technology corridor, VSTC’s 17 cutting edge research labs advance GW investment in the Commonwealth's fastest-growing county with interdisciplinary research in many growing fields including cybersecurity, Big Data, computational biology, and health sciences.

Here are just a few examples of the knowledge being advanced at VSTC:

Big Data and Colonial One

VSTC houses the university’s data center and Colonial One— a leading authority in high-performance reconfigurable computing. Active projects in GW’s High Performance Computing Laboratory (HPCL) are sponsored by organizations including NASA, National Science Foundation, IBM, and Microsoft. 

Earthquake Engineering and Structures Laboratory

In partnership with the National Science Foundation, the lab features the largest earthquake simulator on the East Coast. Using this sophisticated, leading-edge technology, cross-disciplinary teams of researchers work to improve methods for assessing and enhancing infrastructure safety, including understanding what happens inside a nuclear reactor during an earthquake.

Avenir Foundation Conservation & Collections Resource Center

The Avenir Foundation Conservation & Collections Resource Center is a state-of-the-art support facility for several university art and artifacts collections, including the textile museum collections, GW’s fine art collection, and the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana collection.

Alexandria Graduate Education Center

In addition to serving as the home of more than a dozen bachelors, masters and doctoral programs, GW’s Graduate Education Center in Alexandria is the first in the nation to offer a degree in Art Therapy. The Alexandria campus has long been a pioneer of the discipline of art therapy. As a result, GW students, faculty and graduates provide vital mental health services for trauma victims in local schools, hospitals, veterans facilities and clinics.

Arlington Graduate Education Center

Home to nearly 20 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs, the Arlington Center also runs GW’s Integrated Information, Science and Technology (IIST) Program. Recently, IIST was awarded a $600,000+ grant from the National Science Foundation to support non-traditional students, community college graduates and adult learners with financial need as they complete their bachelor’s degrees in IIST to create a more diverse and inclusive STEM-heavy workforce.