The University of California, San Diego was established in 1960 by the Regents of the University of California as an outgrowth of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During the last three decades, UCSD has steadily grown in size and excellence and risen to national prominence in education and research. It has about 17,000 undergraduate students and over 2,000 graduate students. Starting with a strong nucleus of outstanding faculty in biology, chemistry and physics, UCSD established its School of Medicine in 1964 and its Division of Engineering in 1982 (changed to the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering in 1998). UCSD was established with the principle that faculty work easily across departmental boundaries. The academic and intellectual environments are most conducive to interdisciplinary interactions in fields such as bioengineering.
The School of Medicine accepted its first students in 1968, and has continued to grow with the recruitment of outstanding faculty and the construction of new facilities. In addition to excellent departments in basic and clinical medicine, there are many interdisciplinary academic units relevant to bioengineering. Clinical facilities include the UCSD Medical Center in downtown San Diego, the San Diego Veterans Affairs Hospital at the main campus, and the newly completed Thornton Hospital and Shiley Eye Center in areas extending from the campus. Collectively, there exist a superb environment for training, research and clinical application related to bioengineering.
The excellence and flexibility of the engineering program in the Irwin & Joan Jacobs School of Engineering has made UCSD one of the leaders in education and research. The Irwin & Joan Jacobs School of Engineering is composed of the Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences (AMES), the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Structural Engineering, and the new Department of Bioengineering established in August 1994. In addition to the core programs in engineering, the School has established Organized Research Units that cross departmental and institutional boundaries, e.g. the Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBME). To meet the growing needs for education and research, the Engineering Building Unit 1 (with more than 178,000 square feet) was completed in August 1988, and the Engineering Building Unit 2 (with more than 80,000 square feet) opened in August 1994.
UCSD has excellent facilities and resources in its libraries, Office of Animal Research, Office of Learning Resources, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, and Office of Development. UCSD is the site of the NSF-funded San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) which provides superb computational support for bioengineering research.