The Virginia Military Institute (VMI), located in Lexington, Virginia, is the oldest state-supported military college and one of six senior military colleges in the United States. In keeping with its founding principles, all VMI students are military cadets pursuing bachelor degrees. VMI offers cadets a spartan, physically and academically demanding environment combined with strict military discipline. VMI offers degrees in fourteen different disciplines in engineering, the sciences and the liberal arts. Although VMI has been called the 'West Point of the South,' it differs from the federal service academies in several respects. For example, while all VMI cadets must participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), they are not required to serve in the military upon graduation. Instead, VMI graduates may either accept a commission in any of the US military branches or pursue civilian endeavors upon graduation.
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