As you make plans for completing the requirements of your degree at Ball State, you will need to make sure that you are earning and accumulating credit hours.

The terms credits, hours, and credit hours are used interchangeably to describe a unit of academic work equal to 50 minutes of instruction per week. Thus, a 1 credit-hour course typically meets for 50 minutes, once a week, for 15 weeks with the addition of a final exam period. The most common number of credit hours for a course is 3.

There are several options at Ball State that provide you with alternative ways to earn credit. One of the most common ways that students earn college credit outside of the university setting is through the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program. Other alternate ways to earn credit include: transferring credit, departmental examsplacement exams, online classes, and studying abroad. You can learn more about alternate ways to earn credit by speaking with your academic advisor.


Many students elect to take online classes at times when they are not already taking classes on campus, for instance, during the summer months or during a semester when living at home is the only option. In addition, for a main campus student, online courses can sometimes offer more options when flexibility is needed in the schedule. The Division of Online and Distance Education offers more than 150 online undergraduate courses, so there are a lot of course options.

Any student taking an online course to satisfy a major, minor, or University Core Curriculum requirement should talk to his or her advisor to insure that the class will fulfill those requirements. Registration for online classes and main campus classes are a part of the web based Self-Service Banner system. Use the "Look Up Classes" link in the Registration section under the Student Tab to find course offerings. Courses offered on campus and online are listed together. Online sections of courses are normally designated as OL and the time frame for completing the course is included in the information.

Students wishing to earn a Ball State degree exclusively through online and/or distance education should apply directly to the Division of Online and Distance Education. For information on procedures and offerings, consult the Division of Online and Distance Education, located in LB 131, 1-800-872-0369 or 765-285-1581

The cost for online courses can be part of the block fees paid by on-campus students. Consult the Office of Student Financial Services for block tuition rates. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in Lucina Hall 245, 765-285-5600, is the source for information on financial help available.

The Rinker Center for Global Affairs is Ball State’s central facility for international activity on campus. Study Abroad programs are open to all Ball State students and give the opportunity to explore intercultural issues outside the classroom.  There are over 230 different study abroad programs available. No foreign language experience is necessary.

Some of the more popular study abroad programs at Ball State include locations in England, Australia, Mexico, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Programs vary in length, location, cost, and duration. Academic credit is offered on all study abroad programs. Financial aid can be applied to help defray the costs. Contact The Rinker Center for Global Affairs (Student Center 102, 765-285-5422) to set up a personal advising session. You can search the various Ball State study abroad opportunities online.

If you wish to Study Abroad and earn Ball State credit for the classes you take as you learn about a new culture, then The Rinker Center for Global Affairs will guide you through the process from start to finish. Students should schedule an appointment with a coordinator at the Academic Advising Center (NQ 340, 765-285-5490) to complete the “Request to Study Abroad Credit” (available in the Rinker Center for Global Affairs, SC 105) form before they travel.

Many students find that the summer months are a great time to continue to take classes on campus, or to continue with classes by studying abroad. Other students will try to find ways to earn credits and stay on track with majors and degrees by taking Ball State classes online or by taking classes at other colleges or universities which will transfer back to Ball State.

Summer on campus... courses are offered in three different terms. Most courses are taken in the 5-week Summer Sessions but some are offered in the 10-week Summer Semester. Students can enroll for either or both sessions and can also take courses concurrently on the sessions and on the semester. To find out which terms the course(s) you are interested in are offered, check the "Look Up Classes" link in Self-Service Banner, making sure you have used the correct drop down menu for the term. Also check carefully for the start and end date of the course and meeting times.

Summer online… courses are a good option for students who don’t have the ability to be on campus over the summer. Ball State offers more than 200 online undergraduate courses through the summer online program administered by the Division of Online and Distance Education. Course offerings and Registration for online courses can be accessed through Self-Service Banner at the announced date to open summer registration. After you register for an online course, it is important to check your Ball State e-mail account often for important communication from staff or instructors.

Summer on other campuses… may be an option for students needing to take classes from a location near home. Taking courses at other schools to have them transfer back to "count" at Ball State is possible, but there are some things to keep in mind.

If you want a transferred course to apply as a specific University Core Curriculum (UCC) course, or as a course in your major or minor, or as a specific course, you should have the course pre-approved by your advisor or at your Advising Center. Some Indiana schools have agreements on acceptance of courses; you can access this information online through the Transfer Indiana website. You will also want to make sure Ball State will accept credit from the school in question. Your academic advisor or the Ball State Office of Admissions (765-285-8300) can help.

In addition, grades in courses must be a "C" or better to transfer. When the course is transferred, the credit counts, but the grade is not computed into your Ball State GPA; that's why you should only repeat a class for grade replacement at Ball State.

Every year hundreds of undergraduate students transfer credits to Ball State from other colleges and universities. Some undergraduate students start out somewhere else and then find that their academic journey leads them to come to Ball State after taking a semester or two (or more) of classes at another school. If you are transferring from another school, you will want to make sure that the first thing you do is apply to Ball State. Perhaps you have always been a Ball State student but just want to try to take a few classes close to home over the summer and then transfer them back. Whether you have lots of classes to transfer or just a few, the process is the same.

  1. Once you have taken and passed (earned a C grade or higher) a class at another school, you will want to request that your official transcripts be sent directly to the Office of Admissions, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 47306.
  2. When your transcripts have been received, the Office of Admissions will enter them into your current academic record at Ball State.  You can find out if this information has been entered by contacting your academic advisor.
  3. Your academic advisor can tell you how your transfer credits apply at Ball State. For example, if you take a speech class at a local community college, you probably would like to know if that will “count” as your required core curriculum public communications course. Besides your academic advisor, another resource for finding this information is through the Transfer Indiana website.

If you are planning to transfer out of the university, you will want to contact the admissions area and/or an academic advisor at the school that you wish to transfer to.