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Neuronal subtype-specific transcription factors (TFs) instruct key features of neuronal function and connectivity. Activity-dependent mechanisms also contribute to wiring and circuit assembly, but whether and how they relate to TF-directed neuronal differentiation is poorly investigated. Here we demonstrate that the TF Cux1 controls the formation of the layer II/III corpus callosum (CC) projections through the developmental transcriptional regulation of Kv1 voltage-dependent potassium channels and the resulting postnatal switch to a Kv1-dependent firing mode. Loss of Cux1 function led to a decrease in the expression of Kv1 transcripts, aberrant firing responses, and selective loss of CC contralateral innervation. Firing and innervation were rescued by re-expression of Kv1 or postnatal reactivation of Cux1. Knocking down Kv1 mimicked Cux1-mediated CC axonal loss. These findings reveal that activity-dependent processes are central bona fide components of neuronal TF-differentiation programs and establish the importance of intrinsic firing modes in circuit assembly within the neocortex.