Prepare to Join the Corps of Cadets

VMI wants all incoming students to succeed. To do so, they must be physically and mentally prepared for the rigorous challenges of the Institute.


It is important that you begin practicing good study habits and self-discipline early. Putting time and effort into your academics will help you excel each year and take courses that will help you be competitive in the college admission process.

VMI encourages you to take strong college preparatory courses. Applicants are required to complete 16 academic units, with a recommended distribution of:

SUBJECT English Algebra Geometry Advanced Math Social Studies Lab Science
UNITS 4 2 1 1 3 3

Additionally, the Institute recommends, but does not require, a second language. A well-rounded candidate for acceptance will also have at least 2 units of electives.

VMI also awards academic credits through AP Credit and IB Credit.

If you are transferring from another college , or applying as an international student (first-year or college transfer), be sure to review any additional academic preparations and requirements.

Maj. Jeff Kozak welcomes cadets to the final Fieldwork class of the semester May 3 in Preston Library.—VMI Photo by Kelly Nye. VMI students, known as cadets, sit in a classroom during a course lecture.

VMI is unique in many ways, and one of these is the fact that applicants declare their intended major at the time of application. The Institute provides a variety resources to help you decide on your academic path. These include information about each academic department, a detailed course catalog, access to Focus2 self-assessment tools for exploring how your interests match career paths, and access to a customized MyMajors account to find your best-fit major(s) at VMI.


The physical demands at VMI require cadets to be in good health. Individuals planning to apply to the Institute should review VMI’s weight and body fat standards and start training to be physically prepared. Building a high state of physical fitness takes time. A matriculant should be able to complete the following when they arrive on their first day at VMI.

Pull-ups 5 20 1 8
Sit-ups 60 92 60 92
1.5 Mile Run 12:30 08:30 14:20 09:46


Fitness at VMI is further measured once cadets enroll by the VMI Fitness Test (VFT), which is administered twice each semester. Finally, cadets are expected to meet ROTC-specific requirements. Each ROTC program conducts two or more service-specific fitness tests each year and has service-specific height/weight and body fat standards of their own.

New students at VMI (rats) perform push-ups as part of their fitness test under supervision of cadet leadership and instructors.

New students at VMI (rats) run one and a half miles as part of their fitness test under supervision of cadet leadership and instructors.

New students at VMI (rats) perform sit-ups as part of their fitness test under supervision of cadet leadership and instructors.


Scholarship and walk-on athletes are required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center for determining eligibility. You may obtain a Student Release Form from your high school counselor.


Did you know? You can learn more about the Institute and its cadets by reviewing the Class Profile and the Institute Profile from SCHEV, but the best way to learn about the Institute is to attend an open house or schedule a personal interview with an admissions counselor.


VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders