The Ball State University Undergraduate Course Catalog and Graduate Catalog provide information about programs, courses, admissions, academic policies and requirements, and unique student opportunities.

Faculty assignments and programs are subject to change, so consult your individual department for further information. Additional information on these and other academic resources and regulations may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, or with your particular department.

How to Use the Course Catalog

Information in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs is considered the official standard for course information, programs, policy and regulations of specific departments or degree programs. Because curriculum revisions and program changes could occur after the Catalogs are published, students should assume the responsibility of consulting the appropriate academic unit or advisor for more current or specific information.

The catalog mirrors the academic structure of the university. The university is made up of broad disciplinary colleges which house individual academic departments. Individuals may browse curriculum by viewing the departments within colleges to learn about the majors, minors, specialized programs, and courses taught in the department. Searches for specific programs can be initiated from the search engine incorporated into this site.

The minimum requirements for a Bachelor's degree program consists of the University Core Curriculum, a major, and a total of 120 credits. Some programs could have requirements which bring the total above 120 (see Academic Programs). If, by adding the University Core Curriculum and the major, the total is below 120, the remaining credits could be filled by electives (choice of student), or additional programs, usually one or more minors or possibly an additional major(s).

Teaching programs require standard professional courses and could include courses for additional licensing areas.

Associate degree programs require a minimum of 60 credits (exceptions, see Academic Programs) and include an abbreviated Core Curriculum and a concentration. In some instances, students may have a choice from options in the concentration. Some 2-year programs offer a choice for electives.

Descriptions of Programs

Each program for a department is described by courses and credits required. Often, courses are placed into various requirement groups:

  • courses making up a core of courses required for all majors (example: the Miller College of Business common core)
  • courses required for various concentrations of choice (example: Biology major: Genetics concentration)
  • directed electives (electives limited to courses selected by the department)
  • complimentary minors required (example: Graphic Arts Management—Business Administration minor)

For further information on the courses required for a program, the searcher may click on a course within the program to reveal a small dialogue box with the course description. The searcher may also find a list of all courses in alphabetical and numerical order in the courses folder. Courses at Ball State are identified by prefix and course number. Course descriptions are presented in the following format:

ENG 103 Rhetoric and Writing (3)
Introduces and develops understanding of principles of rhetoric; basic research methods; elements, strategies, and conventions of persuasion used in constructing written and multi-modal texts. Core Transfer Library: English/Literature (IEL 1240)
Prerequisite: appropriate placement.
Not open to students who have credit in ENG 101 or 102.

In course descriptions, the course number is immediately after the prefix, followed by the long title.

Course numbers are categorized as follows:

  • Courses numbered below 100 are not offered for credit toward graduation.
  • Courses numbered from 100 to 199 are primarily freshman courses.
  • Courses numbered from 200 to 299 are primarily sophomore courses.
  • Courses numbered from 300 to 399 are primarily junior courses.
  • Courses numbered from 400 to 499 are primarily senior courses.
  • Courses numbered 500 and higher are graduate courses.

A student who earns credit in a course under any other number may not earn credit in it under its current number except under the terms of course repetition. It is the responsibility of the student to not duplicate courses. 

The credits of each course are listed after the course description. The credits may also be listed as a range (for example, 1-5, which means a student can earn up to 5 credits in the course); or as two possibilities (for example, 3 or 6, which means a student can earn either 3 or 6 credits in the course).

Prerequisite refers to a course or courses that must be taken before the described course.

Parallel indicates a course or courses that can be taken at the same time as the described course.

Corequisite indicates a course or courses that must be taken at the same time as the described course.

Prerequisite recommended indicates a course that is not required but would provide additional preparation for the course described.

How to Interpret Prerequisites

A prerequisite may consist of a specific single course, multiple courses (or sets of courses), a choice of courses, class standing, or other criteria such as test scores or completion of a specific test or application approval, a minimum grade attained in a specific course, a minimum grade-point average, department permission, major or minor, acceptance into a major or minor.

NOTE: In some cases the stated prerequisite course can have its own prerequisites which are not necessarily stated within the course description. Checking each prerequisite course for additional information is a good practice for selection of appropriate courses.


BIO 452 Advanced Genetics (3)
Bacterial and eukaryotic genetics with emphasis on recent developments in molecular genetics. Topics include alternative structures of DNA, mechanisms of DNA replication, mutagenesis, DNA rearrangements, regulation of gene expression, RNA processing, and molecular and mutagenetic analysis of cell cycle.
Prerequisite: BIO 214; CHEM 231.
Prerequisite recommended: BIO 215.

Translation: A student must have the following before taking BIO 452:

  1. BIO 214
  2. CHEM 231