Vision, Mission, Guiding Values

Founded in 1819

Norwich University was the first private military college in the United States. Here the idea of the “citizen soldier” developed, a guiding philosophy that later became the impetus for the creation of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Norwich was the first private college or university to offer engineering. Norwich was also the first school to offer military training to women, in 1974, preceding the armed service academies by two years.

The Vision for Norwich University

Norwich University will be a learning community, American in character yet global in perspective; engaged in personal and intellectual transformation, and dedicated to knowledge, mutual respect, creativity, and service.

The Mission of Norwich University

To give our youth an education that shall be American in its character – to enable them to act as well as to think – to execute as well as to conceive – “to tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them” – to make moral, patriotic, efficient, and useful citizens, and to qualify them for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen in this free republic.

Statement of Guiding Values

Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge, US Army, and is the oldest private military college in the country. Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional age students in a Corps of Cadets or as civilians, and adult students. Norwich identifies the following as our guiding values:

  1. We are men and women of honor and integrity. We shall not tolerate those who lie, cheat, or steal.
  2. We are dedicated to learning, emphasizing teamwork, leadership, creativity, and critical thinking.
  3. We accept the right to diverse points of view as a cornerstone of our democracy.
  4. We encourage service to nation and others before self.
  5. We stress being physically fit, and drug-free.
  6. We live the Norwich motto, "I will try!" — meaning perseverance in the face of adversity.
  7. We stress self-discipline, personal responsibility, and respect for law.
  8. We hold in highest esteem our people and reputation.
Two Lifestyles. One University

Norwich University is unique among institutions of higher education.  No other university combines a military tradition of nearly two centuries, a broad range of undergraduate degree programs, and innovative on-line graduate programs.  Since 1993, Cadets and civilian students have shared the same campus at Norwich University, creating a college culture set apart from the usual in the nation. While students in The Corps of Cadets participate in intense military training, all of our students benefit from a distinctive and structured learning environment that promotes academic success as well as leadership development.  Our students choose Norwich because it is the best "fit" for them. Students from both lifestyles choose Norwich for similar reasons - rigorous academics, a robust athletic program, a variety of extracurricular activities, and a safe environment.

For the majority of the day, students in both lifestyles are completely integrated. All of our students attend the same classes, play on the same athletic teams and are involved in the same clubs and extracurricular activities. Although Cadets and civilian students have separate residences; a walk through the library, the dining hall or the gymnasium will show all of our students living, learning, working and playing together without regard for the lifestyle choice each student has made.


Norwich students have come from 50 states and numerous foreign countries. The university’s minority enrollment is consistently one of the largest representations by percentage of any Vermont college or university.

Opportunity at Norwich

The student-to-faculty ratio is low and the vast majority of our faculty holds terminal degrees. The University offers students 33 undergraduate academic majors and a Master of Architecture that follows the completion of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies for its on-campus students. Norwich also offers online Master degrees as well as degree-completion Bachelor's programs through the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Equal Opportunity

Norwich University is committed to providing equal opportunity in education and employment to qualified persons. The University admits students without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, or qualified disability and does not discriminate in the administration of its educational and other admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, employment practices, athletic and other university administered programs.

Implementation of this policy shall be in compliance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1992; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act; the American with Disabilities Act of 1990; and other pertinent federal and state non discrimination laws and statutes. Contact Title IX Coordinator, 802-485-2144, with questions, compliance concerns, or discrimination complaints regarding gender equity. Contact the Director of Human Resources, 802-485-2075, with questions, compliance concerns, or discrimination complaints regarding gender equity.