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Academic Programs

A cadet asks a question during a Corps Lab presentation in Burruss Auditorium.
A cadet asks a question to a Corps Lab speaker during a presentation in Burruss Auditorium.

The leader development program of the Corps is made up of three legs — academic, experiential, and physical fitness. The academic program is supervised by the Maj Gen W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development and consists of 17 accredited courses and a range of training that span the four-years of the cadet experience.

Corps Lab

Corps Lab offers a progressive course of instruction in practical and theoretical aspects of leadership. First-year cadets focus on followership and self-discipline, sophomores learn to lead immediate subordinates, juniors address unit level leadership, and seniors explore strategic level leadership.

All cadets must complete four semesters of Corps Lab, usually as first-year and sophomore cadets. Cadets seeking the Corps’ minor in leadership studies are required to take additional Corps Lab courses, and all cadets are encouraged to take all eight courses.

Pro Lab

Pro Lab is for cadets in the Citizen-Leader Track and prepares them for careers in business, industry, nonprofits, and government. These courses are required for all cadets in that track and are equivalent to the courses the Military-Leader Track cadets receive through their ROTC programs.

Leadership Training

Leadership training is provided both formally and informally throughout the four-year cadet experience. The Corps presents a 24/7 leadership laboratory that includes focused practical instruction prior to assuming the next higher level of leadership. This practical training, in conjunction with the academic, experiential, and physical aspects of the Corps, prepares cadets to lead at ever increasing levels of responsibility within the Corps.

Corps Minor in Leadership Studies

Cadets have the opportunity to demonstrate a higher degree of engagement and leader development through their pursuit and completion of the Corps' academic minor in leadership studies.

Gunfighter Panels

Each semester, Corps alumni from all walks of life are invited to campus to address the regiment on their experiences during and after their time on campus. Their focus is on the lessons learned as a cadet and how those lessons have served them in their pursuit to be a global, ethical leader in their careers. 

Three men speak from a stage to an audience of cadets.
Three Corps alumni share their career experiences with cadets during a Gunfighter Panel.

Cutchins Distinguished Lecture Series

Endowed by a generous alumnus and named for another distinguished alumnus, Clifford  A. Cutchins III ’44 (’47), this speaker series brings to campus nationally known personalities who speak on the topics of leadership and ethics. Past speakers include: Gen. Colin Powell, Bob Schieffer, Stephen Ambrose, Gov. Tom Ridge, and Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. Open to the public and usually held in Burruss Auditorium, these events are held three times per semester.

Virginia Tech Honors College

The Corps works closely with the Honors College to help cadets work toward honors diplomas, prestigious scholarships, and other certifications. Any cadet with a 3.6 or higher GPA is eligible to apply, and many of the activities in the Corps can be used to fulfill the requirements for the Honors College.