Students Meeting

The Rinker Center is here to help guide and connect you with the appropriate academic advisor and advising center throughout the process. We are happy to share academic success tips and strategies, plus connect you with the many campus resources available here at Ball State.

Academic Advising

Depending on your path, you will work with multiple advisors and staff to support you through your academic pursuits.

Your international student academic advisor will help make your journey toward graduation smooth and successful. Whether you are starting as an Intensive English Institute (IEI) student, have a conditional admission to an academic program, are at Ball State for a short time as an exchange student, or will take academic classes during your first semester, we will work together to ensure you know whom to contact and are familiar with the academic registration process and campus resources.

If you are a current IEI student and eligible to register for academic classes, please contact the Rinker Center at 765-285-5422, email Laurie Cox, or stop by the Student Center, Room 102, to schedule your required academic preparation meeting.

Your Intensive English Institute (IEI) advisor welcomes you to the program and shares important information about your time as an IEI student. They will talk to you about IEI policies and help answer your questions.

For more information, email Shane Lanning.

All freshmen are assigned a freshman academic advisor who offers one-on-one support in areas such as course selection, choice of major, college transition issues, and referral to other support services.

You will be assigned to an upper-level advisor in that major once you have completed 30 credit hours and declared a major.

Learn more about freshman advising.

Once you complete 30 credit hours and declare a major, you will be assigned to an upper-level advisor in your department.

The name and contact information for your upper-level advisor will be listed on your DegreeWorks audit and can also be found by selecting “Current Degree and Advisor” under the “Student Records” link in Self-Service Banner (SSB).

You will also receive support from the Upper Division Advising Center in the Arts and Communications Building, Room 224.

Learn more about upper-level advising.

As a graduate student, you will work very closely with a faculty advisor in your department. This will typically be an instructor or another faculty member who knows your program well.

Your advisor will meet with you multiple times throughout the semester and academic year. These meetings will help you to register for upcoming courses, plan for your graduation, and meet degree requirements.

Sometimes, your graduate advisor may be someone you would like to work with on a research project for your degree. If this is the case, ask your advisor if your interests align and if they would be interested in working together—they are a great resource to your studies.

Learn more about graduate advising by finding your advisor here.

At Ball State, we have a wide variety of resources to help students understand U.S. academic culture and promote academic success.

We hope that you use these free and convenient resources.

The Learning Center offers free tutoring in mathematics, writing, and many of the other courses that are part of the University Core Curriculum.

Learn more about the Learning Center.

The Writing Center provides free one-to-one tutoring on writing projects for any member of the Ball State community.

You can meet in person or schedule an online session at your convenience.

Learn more about the Writing Center.

Bracken Library is the university’s main library. In addition to access to its book collections, it offers a wide variety of online resources to support your research and studies. Additional services are available, such as private rooms that you can reserve and the ability to borrow digital media and equipment. Looking to buy a new laptop? Bracken library houses the Ball State Technology Store so you won’t even have to leave campus.

Learn more about Bracken Library.

Benny Link serves as the primary calendar for the Office of Student Life and has every registered student organization, residence hall, and living-learning community on campus as well as a variety of university departments, programs, and resources.

Access Benny Link.

In the U.S. university classroom, you may experience different elements and classroom expectations. Remember that there are many people and resources available to answer questions you may have and assist with problems that may arise.

We hope you will enjoy your time at Ball State and take advantage of the many opportunities inside and outside of the classroom to become more familiar with academic culture within the US.


  • Meet with your advisors regularly.
  • Become self-motivated and establish good study habits.
  • Read your textbooks and manage your time wisely.
  • At the beginning of each semester, read your syllabi (your professors’ plans for the courses) carefully to look for deadlines and projects.
  • Know how to contact your professors and when they hold office hours.
  • Use the many campus resources available.
  • Adapt to the pace of classes, which is essential for success.
  • Check your Ball State email daily.
  • You will make friends, but you need to put yourself out there from the very start.
  • Always consult with your advisors to get the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Class Structure

  • Ball State uses the semester system.
  • Some of the required classes are offered only one semester per year. Plan your classes well. Discussing them with your academic advisor is critical.
  • Review our course catalog.
  • Find out who your advisor is and make an appointment
  • As an international student, you are required to register for a full course of study each academic semester (summer term is excluded from the requirement). The number of courses credit varies by academic program and level.

In the Classroom

  • Ask questions. Instructors are willing and ready to help you. They will try their best to understand you.
  • Be honest — no cheating and no plagiarizing. Read our student academic ethics policy.
  • Try to be active in class. Your opinion and thoughts are important. Help your classmates and professors understand you.
  • Participate in campus activities. They can help you understand U.S. culture and practice English for free. The more you practice English, the more comfortable your will be with it. 
  • Practice English as much as you can. It will benefit your performance in classes and your adjustment to daily life.