Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

VMI Admissions

For all aspiring leaders  parade photo


General. The Institute seeks to admit young men and women who aspire to both an academic degree and a military commission as the hallmarks of a complete VMI education. Applicants are normally not less than sixteen (16) or more than twenty-two (22) years of age at matriculation and may not be married and/or the parent of a child. An age waiver may be granted for an applicant who has served on active duty in the armed forces, or if other circumstances dictate a waiver of the policy. VMI is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and endorses the association’s Guide to Ethical Practice in College Admissions. For more information please visit https://www.nacacnet.org/.

Medical. If an applicant is offered a Conditional Appointment on the basis of academic credentials presented, he or she must be approved medically to complete the reservation process and enroll. Cadet life is a rigorous four years of mental and physical challenges. Cadets must fully participate in all required activities including the intense fourth-class year, Institute and ROTC physical fitness tests, and mandatory Human Performance and Wellness and ROTC courses. The Institute will evaluate each applicant’s medical and physical condition to ensure they can complete all elements of VMI’s rigorous co-curricular program. The specific program requirements are enumerated on the VMI Admissions website. All potential applicants should review them carefully. VMI will also consult Department of Defense medical standards for reference. However, each application will be reviewed individually to ensure that the program requirements can be met, and that the prospective cadet can safely and successfully enroll at VMI.

If the Institute Physician determines the applicant may not be able to meet the established program requirements, additional information will be requested from the applicant. If the Institute Physician’s concerns persist, the applicant’s medical information will be sent to the Commandant of Cadets and the Head of the Department of Human Performance and Wellness (Fitness Review Panel). Each member of the panel will submit a recommendation on eligibility to the Superintendent. The Superintendent’s decision will be final.

Admission to VMI does not guarantee that a cadet will be eligible for commissioning. Only ROTC departments can determine eligibility for commissioning. Any questionable medical condition should be directed to the appropriate ROTC department.

Applicants are advised that failure to report previously existing medical conditions will be grounds for termination of their cadetship with forfeiture of appropriate tuition and fees. Cadets who become unable to participate fully in all aspects of cadet life will be evaluated for retention on a case by case basis by Institute officials.

Academic Record. A college preparatory program comparable to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Advanced Studies Program, or higher, is preferred. The applicant should present a secondary school record showing at least 16 academic units earned by the time of graduation. The 16 units must include at least four in English, two in algebra, and one in geometry. The distribution cited is desirable, but minor exceptions may be made if the record is otherwise sufficiently promising.

English 4 units
Algebra 2 units
Geometry 1 unit
Advanced Mathematics 1 unit
Social Studies 3 units
Laboratory Sciences 3 units
Foreign Language
(3 years of one, or two years of two each)
3-4 units
Electives 2 units
TOTAL ACADEMIC UNITS 19-20 desirable

Equally important is the quality of the applicant’s record as measured by grades, class rank, and the school’s evaluation of leadership and academic promise. VMI has not set rigid minimum requirements in these respects, but in general it is expected that the applicant will rank in the top half of the class with grades substantially above passing and that College Board and other test scores will be above average or better.

Standardized Tests.

For 2023-2024, VMI remains test optional. Applicants may submit SAT and/or ACT scores to the Institute, but are not required to do so. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit evidence of English proficiency to the Office of Admissions.

Applicants to the Institute Honors Program  must submit SAT and/or ACT scores.

Information about the SAT or ACT may be obtained from the applicant’s high school guidance office. VMI’s code for the SAT is 5858. VMI’s code for the ACT is 4418.

Essay. Although an essay is not required, it is encouraged. The applicant may wish to submit a one-page essay on a topic of their choice or a graded essay from a high school class.

Extracurricular Achievements. Since the VMI cadet is being trained for leadership, extracurricular achievement indicative of leadership potential, physical and moral stamina, and adaptability to a disciplined environment are important, as are significant academic honors. A partial list of significant achievements would include membership in student government organizations, the National Honor Society, editorship of student publications, athletic awards, JROTC participation, significant civic or church work, and honors in such organizations as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Such achievements are not a substitute for academic qualifications, but they do represent an important supplement.

Character Recommendations. Satisfactory character and personality evaluations must be furnished by the secondary school or schools attended by the applicant unless precluded by school policy. One or two letters of recommendation may be helpful if written by persons who know the applicant well, especially if the writer’s relationship to the applicant has been that of teacher, employer, or leader in some significant activity, or if the writer is a VMI alumnus.

Interviews and Visits. It is strongly recommended, though not required, that applicants visit VMI for an interview and a tour of the post. Both usually can be accomplished within a morning or afternoon. The Admissions Office will arrange for interviews and tours as far as possible to suit the convenience of the applicant, who should cite a preferred date when writing for an appointment. Preferred times Mon. - Fri. are 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.

New students at VMI (rats) take an oath on their first day.

Matriculation Agreement

Every cadet, upon matriculation, is required to sign the following pledge, which is binding upon the cadet from the day it is signed until all official connection with the Institute is severed:

“I hereby engage to serve as a cadet in the Virginia Military Institute for the term for which I have entered, and I promise, on my honor, while I continue to be a member of the Corps of Cadets, never to lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do. I will, to the best of my ability, discharge all of my duties as a cadet with regularity and fidelity, and I will obey all the legal orders and constituted authority of the Institute. I further affirm that I am an unmarried person; that I am not a parent; and that never, during the term of my cadetship, will I join or affiliate with any secret society, fraternity, or sorority.”

How and When to Apply

Applications can be submitted electronically at www.vmi.edu. Beginning August 2023, seniors may also apply to VMI using the Common App. VMI does not charge an application Fee. New cadets, whether first time freshmen or transfers, are enrolled only at the beginning of each new session in August. The application and all required supplemental forms must be received between August 1 and February 1 for those applying for regular decision. Applicants should submit the following items:

  1. The completed application form.
  2. An official transcript of the high school record.
  3. Secondary School Report Form.
  4. Guidance Counselor/School Administrator Recommendation Form.
  5. College Report Form (Transfer students only).

Required Documents for Asylees/Refugees

The Institute encourages asylees and refugees to apply for the VMI educational experience. To learn more about cadet life as an international student or asylee/refugee at VMI, contact the Offices of Admissions and Global Education.

Asylees/refugees will be asked to provide the following documentation to the Offices of Admissions and Global Education:

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of original entry visa
  • Copy of I-94 form
  • Copy of I-767C filing receipt of the I-589 application
  • Copy of EAD (if available)

Processing of Applications

Decisions. Applicants meeting the November 15 deadline for early decision will be notified no later than December 15. On a rolling basis, decisions will be made on all applications for regular decision and those applicants deferred from early acceptance. Although some outstanding applicants may be offered appointments during this initial review process, most applicants will be notified of a decision by 1 March. A waiting list may be necessary.

Reservations. Accepted applicants will be sent appointments which are tentative pending establishment of a reservation. A reservation requires approval of satisfactory medical and dental reports, a signed acceptance of the appointment, and payment of a $300 advance deposit. The advance deposit is deducted from the total charges for the first year of enrollment. It is refundable if requested in writing before May 1, or if the applicant is found physically disqualified.

Conditions. VMI reserves the right to cancel any appointment or reservation if the recipient is found to be physically disqualified or if a subsequent academic or conduct record is found unsatisfactory. Entrance requirements must be fully met before the date of matriculation. No one will be admitted on probation.

Advanced Standing Credit

Advanced standing credit is defined as the assignment of new cadets to advanced courses, with or without semester hours credit, for which they have qualified by one or more of the following means:

  1. College Board Advanced Placement Examinations. The College Board offers Advanced Placement Examinations annually in May, each based on a typical college-level course. These examinations are designed for students who have had special secondary school preparation. Elective credit is given for grades of 3, and selective semester hour credit may be awarded for grades of 4 or 5 (honors and high honors). VMI Advance Placement Examination Award Credit:
    Advanced Placement Credit - Revised May 2023
  2. International Baccalaureate Courses. VMI recognizes the advanced level of academic preparation of students completing the IB Diploma or IB courses and encourages participation in the program. Academic credit and/or advanced placement is determined by the appropriate academic department head. Generally, semester hour credit may be awarded for exam scores of 5 or higher. Elective credit is awarded for scores of 4. VMI International Baccalaureate Awards:
    International Baccalaureate Credit - Revised May 2023
  3. Cambridge International Exams. Based on an evaluation of the 2012 Cambridge International Exam syllabi, the following VMI course equivalents are acceptable for credit for incoming Cambridge International A-Level transfer activity. A grade of “C” or better is required unless otherwise indicated.
    Cambridge Credit - Revised May 2023
  4. VMI Placement Examinations. All new cadets are tested for placement in the proper level mathematics course. Cadets who have taken two or more years of a modern foreign language while in grades 9 through 12 are tested for language placement, regardless of their curricular choice. The test results, the high school record, foreign residency, and in some cases, a personal interview will all contribute to the recommendation for placement into an appropriate level course. It is possible for a cadet to place out of a portion or all of the language requirement. Placement credit means that a designated course does not have to be taken. However, semester credit hours are not awarded with placement credit and the required hours must be earned by taking elective courses.
  5. Dual Enrollment or Attendance at Another College. Subject to approval by appropriate curricular head, VMI will accept credits earned in another accredited college in advance of the applicant’s matriculation, provided the course grade has been at least a “C” or the equivalent. Applicants should get advanced approval of course selections from the VMI Admissions Office. VMI/Virginia Community College Course Approvals:
    VCCS VMI Course Equivalencies - Revised May 2023

Transfer From Another College

VMI welcomes applications from students wishing to transfer from another accredited college or university. The transfer policy may be summarized as follows:

  1. Residence. VMI is a four-year undergraduate experience, and it is expected that all cadets complete a majority of their requirements in residence. Cadets must complete a minimum of six semesters in residence at VMI (fall and spring semesters).
  2. Decisions. The academic department heads determine the acceptability of courses taken at the previous institution(s).
  3. Secondary school record. All transfer applicants must submit an official transcript of their secondary school record. Students whose first language is not English are required to submit evidence of English proficiency to the Office of Admissions. Importance of the secondary school record will vary depending on how long the student has been enrolled in an accredited college program of study and its course content. In general, it is expected that the secondary school record will meet the VMI entrance standards.
  4. The college record. Transfer applicants must submit official transcripts on ALL college work attempted. They must be in good standing with respect to their academic and conduct records and eligible to return to the college, which must be regionally accredited.
  5. Credit transfer. Credit transfer will require a grade of “C” or better in the course without regard to grades achieved on other courses of the same sequence or the average grade for the sequence. Credit transfer will also require that content of the course be acceptable by the appropriate VMI curricular head toward fulfillment of baccalaureate degree requirements in that curriculum. Transfer courses that can be applied to degree requirements at VMI are determined by the curriculum selected. Transfer students are encouraged to review curriculum requirements in the VMI Catalog to ensure appropriate course selection. No more than one-half of the total hours required for VMI graduation may be transferred. Quality points are not transferable. Quality points earned at other colleges before transfer to VMI are not counted in the computation of the 2.0 quality point average required for VMI graduation.

    Those students enrolled in another college must submit an official college transcript and catalog in order to have these courses evaluated by the appropriate academic department head. Students enrolled in courses offered by the Virginia Community College System are directed to view the VCCS course listing in the VMI Transfer Guide to determine transferability of credits prior to enrolling in any course. Foreign students are encouraged to have their transcripts evaluated by a company providing foreign credential services to ensure the maximum number of credits transfer.

    All others should send a copy of the college catalog with the course(s) you intend to take to the Director of Admissions, VMI Admissions Office, Lexington, VA 24450-0304. A summary report of transfer credit will be mailed to individuals after the applicant has been appointed.

  6. Class standing. Transfer students are classified academically the same as entering first-time freshmen (fourth class) until they return for their second year at VMI. At that time they may request reclassification based on the total number of semester hours earned and prevailing academic standards for the upper classes.
  7. Waiver of transferable credits. An applicant may waive transferable credits, with the exception of cadets using VA Education Benefits who are required to accept all transferable credits, and follow a regular fourth class (freshman) curriculum, but exercise of this option does not exempt the transfer from meeting all entrance standards for transfer applicants.
  8. ROTC credits. If the applicant is a transfer student and desires to pursue an Army commission, he/she can receive credit for the AROTC Basic Course (1st/2nd year) by completing one of the following: attending a four-week Leadership Training Camp at Ft. Knox, KY, having participated in a Junior ROTC program during high school or having been prior enlisted in which credit will be given on a case-by-case basis. Transfers may also arrange to take first and second-year Basic ROTC courses simultaneously at VMI if they lack credit for the first year. For additional information on each service’s requirements, contact the individual ROTC offices.
  9. Matriculation of transfers. Accepted transfer applicants are matriculated only at the beginning of the academic year in August. Mid-year transfer is not possible.

Applicants Whose First Language is Not English

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language to be admitted to VMI. Applicants may demonstrate their proficiency through any of the following:

  • TOEFL - VMI’s institution code is 5858
    • iBT (test center, in person, or home edition)
      • Minimum composite score of 84
      • No section subscore lower than 17
    • TOEFL Essentials
      • Minimum composite score of 8.5
      • No section subscore lower than 7
  • IELTS Academic
    • Minimum composite score of 6.5
    • No section subscore lower than 6.0
    • VMI does not accept the IELTS General Test
  • PTE Academic (in-person or online)
    • Minimum overall score of 64
    • No communicative skills subscore lower than 59
  • Secondary Education in English
    • Completion of a minimum of two years of instruction at an accredited secondary school where the language of instruction is English with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Completion of at least two English courses with a grade of B or better
  • Tertiary Education in English
    • Completion of a minimum of one year of instruction at an accredited college/university where the language of instruction is English with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Completion of the equivalent of ERH 101  (Writing and Rhetoric I) & ERH 102  (Writing and Rhetoric II) with grades of C or better

Verification of Academic Credentials in a Language Other than English

Applicants whose prior academic work was completed outside the United States, and/or whose academic documents are not in English, must submit their academic records for credential evaluation. VMI recommends applicants use one of the organizations listed below to evaluate their credentials. However, the Institute will accept credential evaluations from any organization that is currently a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

  • WES (World Education Services)
    • VMI requires a Course by Course Evaluation (WES ICAP)
  • ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.)
    • VMI requires a High School and University Level Course by Course Evaluation


The following immunizations are compulsory for entrance to VMI:

  1. Tetanus. After primary immunization, a booster must have been administered within six years of the date of matriculation in August. The booster should include pertussis.
  2. Poliomyelitis.
  3. Measles - Mumps - Rubella (MMR). Two immunizations are required. The first must have been administered after the first birthday; the second immunization no sooner than one month later and any time thereafter.
  4. Meningococcal Vaccination. 
  5. Hepatitis B (series of 3 vaccinations) 
  6. Varicella (chicken pox) - vaccination required if applicant has not had the chicken pox.


VMI uses computers extensively in classes across the entire range of curricular offerings. Because substantial resources have been committed to the effective use of technology in teaching, communication, and information management across post, prospective cadets are required to have achieved basic competency in core computer skills and the following Microsoft Office applications: Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. Individual departments may require competency at higher levels in additional areas or with particular software suites.

Cadets are required to have a laptop computer for their academic work. In order to satisfy Institute-specific requirements regarding space efficiency, low power consumption, and portability, cadets are only authorized to bring laptop computers with them for use at VMI. Purchasing IT-recommended laptop models will ensure prompt priority support and quick turn-around time for any parts ordered. All cadets benefit from the Institute’s Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) agreement, which allows cadets to used VMI-licensed Microsoft Windows and Office software on their laptops at no cost while enrolled at VMI. Financially qualifying cadets may be loaned an Institute owned laptop for the duration of their cadetship.

The Barracks IT Help Desk is the central location for technical support for cadets. The Barracks IT Help Desk provides answers to technical questions, lost password assistance, troubleshooting, and repair for all cadet-owned computers. The Barracks IT Help Desk is open from Monday through Friday.

VMI furnishes numerous computers along with free printing for cadet use in its academic buildings, including the Barracks Study Room, a computer lab in the barracks (adjacent to the Barracks Help Desk) that is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Barracks rooms are configured to allow cadets access to the VMI network and the Internet via wired or wireless connection.

For additional information regarding support of cadet-owned computers, please visit VMI’s Information Technology department at http://www.vmi.edu/about/offices-a-z/it/, or contact the IT Help Desk at help@vmi.edu.

Readmission of Former Cadets

Cadets separated from the Corps by resignation, failure to pre-register, suspension, medical furlough, or failure of eligibility must apply to be readmitted. The readmission of any cadet is based on the merit of the application, and the likelihood for successful completion of the military and academic components of the program. A full assessment will be completed as to whether the cadet could safely return to fully participate in all academic and physical components of the VMI program, and successfully integrate into the VMI military and class structure. Cadets seeking readmission must be able to meet weight/body fat standards and be able to pass the VFT. Those not meeting standards will not be allowed to re-enroll.

VMI reserves the right to deny readmission to a cadet who has been separated from the Institute longer than two years, or if a cadet cannot successfully integrate into the Corps to complete the requirements as stated above.

For a complete outline of the readmission standards, deadlines and forms, see VMI’s website at https://www.vmi.edu/academics/support/miller-academic-center/readmission/.

Readmission Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester - June 1
  • Spring Semester - November 1

Completed applications and supporting paperwork must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office, 303 Shell Hall by the designated deadline. All deadlines will be strictly enforced, and late applications will be considered for the next eligible semester based on the date of submission.

Cadets dismissed for disciplinary reasons may petition for readmission after being absent from VMI for one full calendar year. The status will be reconsidered based on the presentation of new evidence or extenuating circumstances.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

Applicants are admitted entirely on the basis of their academic record, physical fitness/condition, and character without reference to national origin, creed, color, or gender. If you have questions regarding the admissions process, please contact the VMI Admissions Office, 800-767-4207. See full non-discrimination statement .

VMI cadets in various uniforms at hallmark events.