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Research Institutes and Intellect

 "The colleges and universities in Hampton Roads constantly strive to innovate. Our nationally recognized institutions of higher learning produce graduates capable of driving the economy forward. Students and faculty conduct cutting-edge research in our many incubator labs, and fill many workforce development programs. Our commitment to creating and maintaining a dynamic learning community, with a rich mix of cultures and experiences, is at the very heart of the region’s education culture. Education continues to be a key piece of the puzzle as it ensures a prosperous future for Hampton Roads and beyond."
-John R. Broderick, Old Dominion University

Through partnerships with local businesses and providing a fertile environment in which innovative ideas can thrive, these institutions are actively engaged in cultivating a vibrant, talent-rich workforce. From trade school apprenticeship programs to post-graduate STEM research and medical schools, Hampton Roads has the unique ability to both attract and develop the human capital vital for a modern workforce. The region is also home to many research labs and innovation clusters, several of which partner with industry. This unrivaled alliance between industry and education is the catalyst behind the region’s prosperity.

University Highlights

Over 100,000 students attend Hampton Roads’ eight universities and four community colleges. Approximately 19,000 students graduate every year.

University Enrollment
4 Year Colleges and Universities Number of Students
Christopher Newport University 5,081
College of William and Mary 8,740
Norfolk State University 5,305
Old Dominion University 24,375
Eastern Virginia Medical School 1,320
Hampton University 4,619
Regent University 10,633
Virginia Wesleyan College 1,476

State Council for Higher Education of Virginia, Fall 2017 Enrollments

Community College Enrollment
Community College Number of Students
Paul D. Camp Community College 1,404
Rappahannock Community College 3,229
Thomas Nelson Community College 8,286
Tidewater Community College 22,776

State Council for Higher Education of Virginia, Fall 2017 Enrollments

Major Independent Research Institutes

Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC)

  • VMASC is affiliated with Old Dominion University and works to develop M&S curricula for local industries
  • Home to 9 independent research labs, VMASC is able to tailor its research to mod-sim’s many applications to the business, industrial, and medical world
  • Actively working with local businesses and municipalities to train workers and solve complex problems in a timely and cost effective manner

NASA Langley Research Center

  • Established in 1917, it is NASA’s oldest field center.
  • Focus more than two-thirds of its efforts on aeronautics.
  • More than 40 wind tunnels and state-of-the-art equipment is utilized. The facility has won 7 Collier Trophies, the American aviation community’s highest honor.

The National Institute of Aerospace

  • A non-profit research and graduate education institute
  • Conducts leading-edge aerospace and atmospheric research
  • Develops new technologies for world’s space programs
  • Trains the next generation of scientists and engineers. Students conduct their own research at NASA’s labs and are assigned a faculty advisor and a NASA research mentor.

The Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS)

  • VIMS is a state-mandated research facility
  • The School of Marine Science at VIMS is the graduate school in marine science for the College of William and Mary
  • At 43,000 square feet, the Seawater Research Laboratory is the largest facility of its kind in the nation

The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

  • World-leading nuclear physics research facility funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science
  • First large-scale application of superconducting radiofrequency technology in the United States
  • Annual budget of over $220 million dedicated to cutting-edge research and manufacturing applications
  • A $338 million facility upgrade has tripled CEBAF's original operating energy.

The Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics at Old Dominion University

  • Founded in 2002, the CBE is the first research center for bioelectrics in the world
  • Old Dominion University is one of only 4 schools in Virginia to be designated a Carnegie Research University
  • 70 scientists from more than 10 countries conduct research applied to medical diagnostics, therapeutics, and environmental decontamination
  • 55 patents associated with the CBE
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