The Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering & Sciences (SBES) is a fully joint graduate program, formed in 2003, which brings together three prestigious academic institutions: the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, the Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Each of these separate entities contributes unique strengths to the combined enterprise so that students are offered a wide spectrum of first-class educational and research opportunities in a beautiful part of the country. In summer 2008, SBES students and faculty on the Blacksburg campus will move into the new ICTAS building shown above.
Virginia Tech's College of Engineering at Blacksburg, Virginia is consistently ranked among the top undergraduate engineering programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Its research expenditures rose significantly enough between 1965 and 1985 to place it among the top 10 percent in spending of all accredited engineering schools. It remains in that position today.
Also located in Blacksburg is the main campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, one of 27 in the United States. The College of Veterinary Medicine, created in 1978, brings together the resources and academic excellence of two major land-grant universities - Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland at College Park. Offering comprehensive degree programs, it not only produces future veterinarians but provides a significant venue for advanced clinical practice and progressive biomedical research here in Virginia.
In nearby Winston-Salem, NC is Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center consisting of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine which ranks 32nd in NIH funding among American medical schools, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best hospitals. Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, ranks 33rd in the nation for the number of top-ranked physicians on faculty, and currently has more than 1000 research studies and clinical trials being conducted.
As a result of this unique collaboration between both public and private institutions across two states, graduate students can pursue the following degrees: an M.S. or a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, and 2 combination degrees offered through the two medical schools involved; a combination M.D./Ph.D. through Wake Forest Medical School, and a D.V.M./Ph.D. degree through the Veterinary School on the VA Tech campus. Students graduating from SBES earn a diploma carrying the names of two major universities - Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. There is also an Option in BME offered on the VT campus for engineering students in other disciplines.
One campus is chosen as "home base" but students have the opportunity to experience both environments and the faculty of each through courses taught by video broadcast, and by inter-campus visits. Many research projects are collaborative efforts between faculty and students across the two locations. All PhD students experience a required Clinical Rotation course much of which is given at Wake Forest's Baptist Hospital, traditionally ranked as one of America's top 50 hospitals.
Between the two universities SBES has approximately 73 tenured or tenure-track faculty with either Primary/Core or Affiliate appointments to the school. They represent more than a dozen different engineering, life science, veterinary, and medical departments on the two campuses combined. They are engaged in many different areas of biomedical-related research, and numerous collaborations exist among them - even those from fairly diverse specialty areas.
Many opportunities exist for SBES students to participate in activities and events other than their classes and individual research projects. Professional conferences and research symposiums provide students with chances to interact with other researchers and with faculty from other institutions. The Clinical Rotation experience gives engineering students a unique and unforgettable face-to-face look at the medical world, and is, in their own words, simply awesome.
Financial support is available for students on both campuses. Traditionally first-year students are offered either a full fellowship or a Graduate Teaching Assistantship which provides a competitive stipend and pays full tuition. Students are also hired by faculty to be graduate research assistants, and often summer internships in select programs become available.
SBES is a strong biomedical engineering program and continues to grow - seeking to increase the faculty, add to the physical facilities, and attract top-notch undergraduate students through ground-breaking research which will enhance the health and well-being of people both here and abroad.