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Classes that Will Change Your Life

In high impact classes, you can gain life-changing, resume-building experiences while in college working towards your degree. Travel the world. Do innovative research. Make a difference in your community. Work on a team. Gain cultural competencies. Find a mentor. Have fun!

Students choose Ball State to work with our world-class faculty, and they know that they will be challenged, learn, and grow in each class they take. There are particular classes at Ball State labeled as “high impact” that have such extraordinary benefits for students that we want every undergraduate to be able to take at least one before they graduate.

For any inquiries regarding high-impact classes, please contact our Director of Immersive Learning and High Impact Practices.

High Impact Classes

Many colleges offer hands-on learning experiences, but Ball State University is known for its high-impact classes. Other colleges might offer a few opportunities for a few select students, but at Ball State, any student who wants to participate can do so. It is something that makes your time as a Cardinal unique and sets you apart from other graduates. You will have the experience and skills that employers are looking for. We encourage you to take at least one of the following during your time at Ball State.

Immersive Learning

Want to make an impact in the world now? Take an immersive learning course! Each immersive learning class works with a community partner on a project that addresses a real-world problem. Over the last two decades, more than 50,000 Ball State students have taken an immersive learning course learning leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills through collaboration with their faculty, peers, and community partners. See recent projects and find out more here.

Undergraduate Research

At some universities, only graduate students and faculty do research. Not at Ball State. Undergraduate research courses are offered in departments all over campus. Students in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, design, and arts all engage in cutting-edge research under the mentorship of dedicated faculty. Many students present their research at the annual Ball State Student Symposium or at other regional and national academic and professional conferences. Learn more here.

Diverse Perspectives

Recognition and respect for different cultural traditions, beliefs, and worldviews are some of the most important things you can learn in college. Diverse perspectives courses have at least one major assignment solely focused on issues in US diversity or world cultures, and students are expected to take an active role in their learning with many opportunities for deep discussion and reflection.

Study Abroad and Away

Each year, hundreds of Ball State students leave our beautiful campus to work on their degrees from elsewhere in the world. With faculty-led study abroad and study away, Ball State students get to experience new geographies, cultures, and customs with fellow students and Ball State faculty. Students who haven’t traveled before college like having a group to share their adventures with. Our Office of Study Abroad can help every student find a trip that fits with their interests and major.


Students who take a high-impact class gain:

  • Collaboration and communication skills
  • New friends and a sense of belonging
  • Appreciation for diversity and global awareness
  • Higher GPAs and graduation rates
  • Meaningful connections with their community in college and after
Two female students posing for a picture

What Students Say

Donni: “My experience with immersive learning is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my professional career. It has taught me how to work and manage a team, plan and organize my tasks, and how my major can contribute to my community. Working on the project made my work feel like it was making a difference!”

Asher: “Deciding to study abroad in Europe was one of the best decisions I have ever made! As I ventured through Spain, Italy, and France, I learned how to appreciate new cultures through food, photography, architecture, and dozens of other fun experiences. I would highly recommend taking part in a study abroad trip before you graduate college!”

Most high-impact courses do not cost students extra. However, because we want every student to be able to take one or more high-impact class, we have scholarships available to offset costs for those classes that do require travel, equipment, or supplies.
CHIRP Scholars: Study Abroad

This scholarship is for students participating in study abroad at Ball State. Any undergraduate student who is participating in a study abroad trip led by a Ball State faculty member (for credit) is eligible to apply. Preference will be given to students of color, first-generation college students, and students with high financial need. Awards will be up to $1,000. Find the application and more details on Infoready; look under the category “BSU Student Application.”

CHIRP Scholars: Immersive Learning, Undergraduate Research, and Diverse Perspectives
This scholarship is for any undergraduate student who is participating in an undergraduate research, immersive learning, or diverse perspectives course. Preference will be given to students of color, first-generation college students, and students with high financial need. Awards will be up to $500. Find the application and more details on Infoready; look under the category “BSU Student Application.”

Research, Creative Works, and Conference Travel Student Grants
Funding is available for students at Ball State to conduct research projects, create artistic works, and present on those projects at professional meetings from the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects. Find more details here.

Rinker Center Study Abroad Scholarships
The Rinker Center for Global Affairs offers over a dozen additional study abroad scholarship opportunities for Ball State students. Students who register for Study Abroad will automatically be considered for these scholarships if they indicate their interest; there is no separate application required.

You can see which courses are high-impact classes when you look for courses in the registration portal (Banner). Here are the steps:

  1. Log into Self-Service Banner.
  2. Select “Course Search and Registration.”
  3. Then select “Browse for Available Classes.”
  4. When you get to the search page, you’ll enter the term you are looking for. Then, you will arrive at the search page.
  5. Here, you click “advanced search.” If you click in the attribute box, you will see all of the high impact class options: High Impact Diverse Perspectives, High Impact Immersive Learning, High Impact Study Abroad, High Impact Study Away, and High Impact Undergraduate Research. You can add one or more of these to your search.
  6. You can narrow your search by one or more department if you want.
  7. Then you click the “search” button at the bottom of the page and you’ll see all of the options available.

You can also: 

  • Ask your department and faculty about current offerings.
  • Talk to your advisor.
  • Ask fellow students if they have taken a high impact course that they would recommend.

Faculty Spotlight