Director of Admissions
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450



Fax: 540-464-7746




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Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, Virginia

College Description
The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the nation's oldest state-supported military college, founded in 1839 in Lexington, Virginia and located at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley. VMI offers qualified young men and women a demanding combination of academic study and rigorous military training that exists nowhere else, and grants B.A. and B.S. degrees in fourteen disciplines within the general fields of engineering, science, and liberal arts. The Institute's emphasis on qualities of honor, integrity, and responsibility contributes to its unique educational philosophy. Professional leadership training is provided to all cadets through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs, maintained at VMI by the Department of Defense. Cadets may pursue commissions in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps.

In every field of endeavor, whether it's leadership in business, industry, public service, education, the professions, or careers in the military, success comes early to a high number of VMI graduates. In an independent survey of college graduates seeking employment, armed forces commission, or admission to graduate or professional school following graduation, 95 percent of VMI graduates met their goal by the following October.

VMI’s breadth is diverse. The curricula for the selected major begins the first year. More than 20 percent of cadets major in civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering, and more than 50 percent of cadets major in liberal arts fields. The two most popular fields are economics/business and history.

The academic excellence of VMI and its stature among institutions of higher education are highlighted by the fact that U.S. News & World Report has named VMI the nation’s number one public liberal arts college for four years in a row. Its engineering programs remain in the top tier of best undergraduate accredited programs at schools offering only bachelor’s or master’s degrees. In separate rankings for engineering specialties, VMI’s civil engineering program ranked twelfth, and its electrical engineering program ranked seventeenth nationally

VMI’s alumni support is unparalleled in many ways, especially in their financial support. The National Association of College and University Business Officers has reported that VMI has the largest endowment per student of any public institution. The VMI Foundation closed a capital campaign in the summer of 2004 a year ahead of schedule and far surpassing its goal, having raised $206 million in four years.

VMI alumni include Nobel Peace Prize winner George C. Marshall, 10 Rhodes scholars, and 39 college presidents. VMI alumni have distinguished themselves in every American conflict since the Mexican War, and they include 7 Medal of Honor recipients and 265 general and flag officers. More than 600 alumni have served in war zones and in support of operations in the War on Terror since 2001. General John P. Jumper, chief of staff of the Air Force, and Lieutenant General Carl A. Strock, chief of engineers for the U.S. Army, continue a long line of VMI graduates in the highest positions of military leadership.

After nearly 160 years of preparing young men for distinguished leadership roles, VMI made the transition to being coeducation in 1997, successfully assimilating women in the Corps of Cadets. The Institute graduated its first women cadets in May 1999.

Today, 1,300 young men and women in the VMI Corps of Cadets represent forty-seven states and more than a dozen other countries. More than 100 cadets study abroad each year, one-third compete in intercollegiate athletics, and all have significant leadership opportunities.

VMI cadets uphold an honor system as old as the Institute. An oath of honor is taken by each cadet, “not to lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do,” and the oath is practiced in daily life. As it is basic to cadet life, it is ingrained, and builds strong character. Honor is at the cornerstone of every cadet's lifelong commitment to integrity, duty, self-discipline, and self-reliance.

One of the oldest VMI traditions is the orientation and instruction provided to new cadets by old cadets. Regardless of background or prior training, every cadet in his or her first year at VMI is a Rat, and each is a Brother Rat to the other. They live under the Rat System until Break Out in late winter, and their bonds formed by this experience are lifelong.

A member of the Southern Conference since 1924, VMI recently made the decision to move to the Big South conference.

Location and Community
Lexington is in Rockbridge County, Virginia, an area rich in history and natural beauty. VMI adjoins the campus of Washington and Lee University, the nation's ninth-oldest institution of higher learning. Both colleges are within walking distance to historic downtown Lexington, a popular tourism destination. Interstate Highways 81 and 64 intersect only minutes from VMI, north of Lexington's downtown area. U.S. Highways 11 (north-south) and 60 (east-west), the area's crossroads for two centuries, intersect in downtown Lexington. Air service to VMI is available from Roanoke Regional Airport, less than an hour's drive from Lexington.

Academic Life
VMI's demanding academic program reflects established needs and emerging trends of an ever-changing, global society. A newly funded undergraduate research initiative extends through summer, affording cadets and faculty members financial incentives and continuous support for a wide range of investigative projects. The Institute's international programs include faculty and student exchanges with more than a dozen international academies and universities, seven international internships, and numerous study-abroad programs each semester and during the summer.

VMI is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, is a member of American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges, the College Entrance Examination Board, and the Association of Virginia Colleges. VMI's engineering programs are ABET accredited; the chemistry program is accredited by ACS.

All VMI faculty members teach in the classroom, and 97 percent hold doctoral or terminal degrees. The cadet-faculty ratio is 12:1, permitting a close, mentor relationship between a cadet and instructor, and faculty research is conducted in partnership with cadets. ROTC instructors are experienced military officers and make an outstanding contribution to cadet leadership training.

Majors Offered:
VMI offers the baccalaureate degree in fourteen curricula. The B.S. is awarded in chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and physics. The B.A. is conferred in economics and business, English, history, international studies, modern languages, and psychology. A B.S. or B.A. can be earned in biology and mathematics. A course of study leading to a B.S. or B.A. is chosen upon entering VMI, but a transfer from one major field of study to another is permitted.

Campus Life
All cadets reside in Barracks, at the centerpiece of the VMI Post. The original structure was built in 1850 and is a National Historic Landmark. An additional wing was added in 1949. All cadet rooms are equipped for computer technology. Adjoining Barracks are offices and meeting areas for dozens of VMI clubs and organizations, the cadet visitors' center and lounge, a snack bar, and a Barnes & Noble–operated bookstore.

VMI has two systems of student government. The regimental system oversees cadet accountability for conduct, appearance, military training, and all ceremonial functions. The regiment of the Corps is divided into two battalions of four companies each, plus a band company.

Although Institute regulations govern the discipline of cadets, a large measure of supervision resides in each of the four closely knit classes within the Corps. The class system administers the Corps' standards and privileges accorded each class and governs with the regimental system to oversee cadet appearance and conduct.

Representatives to the Honor Court are elected from the Corps, by the Corps, to enforce the rules of the honor system and prosecute Honor Court cases.

Facilities and Resources
The VMI Post covers 134 acres, of which 12 acres is designated a National Historic District. VMI's academic facilities, Superintendent's quarters, library, alumni hall, and other administrative buildings, along with Barracks, encircle a 12-acre parade ground used for marching drills, weekly parades, training exercises, and social gatherings. The physics department has X-ray and nuclear physics laboratories, and operates both an observatory and planetarium. The George C. Marshall Research Museum and the VMI Museum are located on Post.

Sports / Varsity Athletics
VMI places great emphasis on physical fitness and training programs, whether cadets participate in athletics, ROTC training, or physical education programs. VMI offers seventeen intercollegiate athletics programs at the NCAA Division I level, and supports several club sports and intramural activities. The VMI “Keydet” Club is one of the oldest and most productive athletic foundations in the country, raising more than $1 million annually for athletic scholarships and grants-in-aid to 185 cadets in all sixteen sports. Athletic grounds and facilities are within easy access to the Post.

Charges at VMI are based on a cadet's classification as a Virginia or out-of-state resident. Total charges cover most direct expenses, including tuition, room, board (twenty-one meals per week), fees, uniforms, laundry, routine medical care, and barber services.

Financial Aid / Scholarships
Although aid is generally awarded on the basis of financial need, numerous scholarships are awarded for academic and athletic excellence and as room and board supplements to ROTC scholarship recipients. Persons interested in financial assistance should write to VMI's Director of Financial Aid.

Admission Requirements / Application
Applicants must be unmarried, 16 to 22 years of age (a one-year age waiver may be granted for an applicant who has served in active duty in the armed forces, or in certain other circumstances), physically fit for enrollment in ROTC, and graduated from an accredited secondary school with 16 or more academic units. Recommended course credits include 4 English, 3 social studies, 3 laboratory sciences, 3 foreign language, 3 mathematics (including 2 years of algebra and 1 of geometry), and 2 electives. The average GPA of incoming freshmen is approximately 3.1. Other qualifications include rank in the upper 50 percent of the senior class (significance of rank depends on class size and other factors), above-average scores on SAT or ACT, and satisfactory character recommendations. Extracurricular activities are viewed as favorable indicators of leadership and character traits. Transfer students are accepted, but two years of residency at VMI are required. Admissions standards are applied without regard to gender, race, nationality, or religion, and all factors are weighed in the final determination of the applicant's qualifications.

An application may be submitted anytime between September 1 and February 15 of the senior year in high school and should be accompanied by a nonrefundable $35 application fee, a transcript of the school record for grade 9 through the last completed semester, and SAT I or ACT scores. Visits to the Institute are highly recommended. Open House visits are held throughout the academic year.

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