Mental and Physical

Discover your strength. Literally.

When you enter VMI, you enter the Rat Line. Upper-class cadets called “cadre” will be telling you what to do every minute of every day, at first. You’ll look to your Brother Rats for support. And you’ll offer your support in return.

The Rat Line introduces you to the mental and physical challenges of VMI. It starts with an intense week of workouts – several a day. Later, as an upper-class cadet, you will be required to take PE and participate in physical training at least twice every week. Time management will be your key to survival because every hour of every academic day is scheduled.

You’ll learn to study when you can and train when you’re tired. You’ll learn to concentrate amid chaos and to do things right because it’s the right way to do them. You’ll learn that to achieve more, you have to find more in yourself. Where you’re strong, you’ll learn to focus that strength, and where you’re weak, you’ll learn to be strong.

Academic Support

There are numerous academic support resources available to cadets at VMI. 

Services include cadet advising, miller academic center, math resource center, disabilities services, writing center, and career services. 

Academic Support

First Class Mentors

A rat’s greatest ally during and after the ratline is his or her first class mentor known as a dyke.

Dykes offer advice, moral support, and a haven on the first stoop (“floor”) of barracks. Friendships resulting from this partnership often last a lifetime.

Friendships at VMI