Incoming freshmen and transfer students pursuing a major in art must go through a selection process that requires you to apply to both the university and the art program.

Please note: The art program application is included with the undergraduate application to the university when you indicate art as your intended major.

How to Apply


Incoming freshmen and transfer students interested in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree or art scholarships must undergo a portfolio review. This includes presenting 10 to 15 examples of your work. 

We host a portfolio review day for high school seniors, juniors and transfer students, where you may present your portfolio for admission to the BFA degree program, art scholarships, or for constructive feedback.

Cardinal Preview Day Open House

We will host an open house type event for high school seniors, juniors and transfer students where you can learn more about our different program areas, meet our faculty, and tour our facilities. Learn more.

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First-Year Program

All students admitted to an undergraduate School of Art program complete a common first-year program of study comprised of required courses in drawing, design, computer art, and art history.

If you are a student who is currently enrolled at Ball State pursuing another major and would like to become an art major, you may begin taking first-year foundation courses in the spring or summer.

All art majors are required to take the core courses below.

ADS 101 - Foundations 1
Exploration of basic art principles, elements, and concepts emphasizing spatial organization of the two-dimensional plane. Also employs basic media, techniques, and tools emphasizing craftmanship. Parallel recommended: AFA 101. Open only to art majors and minors.

ADS 102 - Foundations 2
Continued exploration and application of basic art principles and elements to organize three-dimensional space. Also employs basic media, techniques, and tools with emphasis on artisanship. Prerequisite: ADS 101. Parallel recommended: AFA 202.

AFA 101 - Drawing 1
Introduction to drawing, the application of basic principles and elements of art as they relate to drawing concepts. Emphasizes development of perceptual awareness and familiarity with a broad range of media and techniques. Parallel recommended: ADS 101. Open only to art majors and minors.

AFA 202 - Figure Drawing
Life drawing. Intensive study of the human figure. Descriptive, expressive, and interpretative methods of imaging the figure are explored, and a variety of materials and techniques will be introduced. Prerequisite: AFA 101. Parallel: ADS 102.

ART 100 - Art Orientation
Introduces departmental, collegiate, and university courses, programs, practices, and policies. Explores majors, facilities, safety procedures, careers, and services available that concern art majors. Parallel: ADS 101; AFA 101. Open only to art majors.

ART 200 - Introduction to Computer Art
Introductory studio experience in the use of digital technology in the fine arts. Topics include digital imaging, motion graphics, editing and computer animation. This course will also trace technologically driven art from pioneering efforts to current trends, and the central role played by computers in the field of electronic art. Open only to art majors.

AHS 101 - History of Art Survey 1
Introduction to art and architecture as social products of a global human history. Both the similarity and diversity of human social organizations and the role of visual culture in time will be discussed. Prehistoric, tribal, Asian, Ancient and European to the end of the Middle Ages. Open only to art majors and minors.

AHS 102 - History of Art Survey 2
Continuation of history of art survey sequence. Western art from the fifteenth century to the present. Prerequisite: AHS 101. Open only to art majors and minors.

School of Art Laptop Policy

The School of Art at Ball State University requires all School of Art Students to have a laptop. The laptop will serve as a creative tool and portable studio, allowing students to work fluidly between the studio classroom and other workspaces on campus. For more information and policy click here.

Financial Assistance


Scholarships are a terrific way to help with costs. On top of the university‚Äôs scholarships available to you, the School of Art has several programs of its own. Search for scholarships.

Graduate Assistantships

One of the best ways to put yourself through graduate school is to obtain an assistantship, which will cover the costs of your tuition at Ball State. Search for assistantships.