High School Preparation

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


Maj. Jeff Kozak welcomes cadets to the final Fieldwork class of the semester May 3 in Preston Library.—VMI Photo by Kelly Nye.Applicants are required to complete 16 academic units, with a recommended distribution of:

  • English:  4 units
  • Algebra:  2 units
  • Geometry:  1 unit
  • Advanced Math:  1 unit
  • Social Studies:  3 units
  • Lab Science:  3 units

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 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.

Cadets completing fitness test with pull-upsPHYSICAL FITNESS

The physical demands at VMI require cadets to be healthy and active. Interested students and applicants should review VMI’s weight and body fat standards and ensure they are in compliance. Additionally, once a student is enrolled, fitness at VMI is further measured 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.


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.

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

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.