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Virginia Military Institute

Boys & Girls
Age Undergraduate
Lexington, VA

Virginia Military Institute, or VMI, was the first state supported military college in the United States. Today it continues to produce cadets who possess a strong academic background along with military training. Located on 134 acres, of which 12 are designated as a National Historic District, in Lexington, Virginia, VMI is steeped in history as it continues its dual mission of military training and education in the twenty-first century. Graduates leave VMI for careers in both the civilian and military world.

History of VMI

Founded in 1839 on the site of an arsenal, VMI is forever linked with General Thomas Jackson, better known as Stonewall Jackson, who is buried in Lexington. He joined the faculty in 1851 as an instructor in natural philosophy, or physics, and remained at VMI until April 1861 when he joined the army of the Confederate States of America. He remains a large presence on campus with the cadets passing his statute on a daily basis.


The class of 2016 at VMI consists of 508 cadets. A total of 2,146 individuals applied to be part of that class. Of those 2,146, VMI accepted 968 applicants with 52% of those enrolling. The class includes 462 males and 46 females. Just over 52% of the class is from Virginia.

Academics and Education

Academics at VMI are focused on a limited number of majors with emphasis on math, science and engineering. The 14 majors offered include applied mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering and computer and information science. Other majors available to cadets are economics and business, English and fine arts, psychology, history, modern languages and cultures and international studies and political science.

VMI is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its engineering program is recognized by ABET, its chemistry department by ACS and its school of economics and business by AACSB. All majors lead to either a B.A. or B.S. undergraduate degree. Approximately 90% of cadets graduate in four years.

Athletics & Sports

Athletics are a big part of VMI. The school sponsors 18 intercollegiate sports including football, men’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, rifle, cross country and swimming. The school is a member of the Big South Conference. The athletic teams at VMI are known as Keydets although the actual mascot is a Kangaroo.

ROTC Programs

VMI offers cadets the opportunity to be part of Air Force, Navy and Army ROTC. These programs lead to commissioning as an officer in the United States Armed Forces.

Cost of Education

The fee structure at VMI covers everything but books. It includes living in the barracks with 21 meals per week provided along with clothing, laundry, medical services, athletics and haircuts. The total cost for the academic year 2012-2013 for residents of Virginia is $21,768. Non-residents pay a fee of $41,744. Other than books there are no other expenses.

An education at VMI is the opportunity to experience a special place that offers great academics along with military training that will equip the graduate for either a civilian or military career.