The Virginia Military Institute (VMI), located in Lexington, Virginia, is the oldest state-supported military college in the United States. It is the only one of the six senior military colleges whose students are military cadets pursuing bachelor's degrees. VMI offers cadets strict military discipline; a spartan, physically and academically demanding environment; and degrees in 14 disciplines in engineering, the sciences and the liberal arts.
VMI has been called the "West Point of the South," but it differs from the federal service academies in several respects. For example, all cadets must participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and may accept a commission in any of the US military branches upon graduation, but they are not required to join the military.
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