Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 DesignWorks Academy is canceled this summer.

Next Workshop:

July 11-23, 2021

The DesignWorks Summer Academy is an opportunity to experience Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning. Over the course of two weeks, high school students will experience a variety of design fields such as architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. Attendees will work closely with both faculty and current college students, who take an active role in the learning process and engage individual students to teach the basics of structural and environmental design.

During the two-week academy, students will be tasked with a variety of design scenarios that test their creative problem-solving abilities. By the end of the course, they will have learned the essential skills required for 2D drawing, 3D model building, and presenting concepts to clients. This academy is meant to emulate the design studio experience and maybe more rigorous than the average high school student might expect. However, the studio environment is both social and educational, and students will grow closer to their peers by working through design problems together. The academy also includes multiple field trip which showcases the ideas and principles of design that students are learning in the classroom, providing tangible references to draw from in the future. Although the coursework will keep you busy, there will still be time to relax and have fun. Students will stay in the on-campus residence halls overnight (supervised by teaching assistants) and can socialize after class, providing a genuine college experience. After this academy, students will have a body of work that can be showcased in their portfolios.

If you want to find out if a career in architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning is right for you, attend DesignWorks Academy during the summer of 2021. 

On the first day, you should plan to arrive at the residence hall in the afternoon. Class sessions begin first thing the following morning, and instructional activities are planned each day, including on the weekend.

You will be housed in double-occupancy rooms in a Ball State residence hall on campus, supervised by trained staff members. You may choose roommates, so bring a friend!

The residence halls have their own recreational facilities. You also can enjoy other campus activities, such as movies, plays, and lectures, during your free time. DesignWorks Summer Academy features weekend recreation and entertainment activities as well.

The college provides instruction in environmental design and planning, which is segmented into independent professional disciplines, including architecture, landscape architectureurban planning, interior design, and construction management. Ball State is located in Muncie, Indiana, just an hour northeast of Indianapolis.

Student Requirements

The academy is open to high school students of all backgrounds and professional interests. To attend, you must

  • have completed your sophomore or junior year of high school
  • a.) rank in the top 20 percent of your high school class with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better on a 4.0 scale or b.) have a combined PSAT score of 1100 and a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better on a 4.0 scale

If you don’t meet these criteria, you may still apply. But we may ask you to submit supporting materials such as a portfolio or a letter of recommendation from a teacher.


The estimated total cost to attend DesignWorks Summer Academy is $1,500.

The fee includes:

  • all instruction and materials
  • housing
  • linens
  • meals and snacks
  • transportation and entrance fees for field trips

The fee does not include transportation to and from campus, although transportation to and from the Indianapolis International Airport can be arranged at an additional cost.


Dining services are provided on campus, and a meal plan is part of the cost. The meal plan works on a debit basis, starting with a balance that will cover the meals a typical student would choose. More food is available—the dining service accepts cash and credit cards for expenses beyond the meal plan. 

Payment Options

For your convenience, we have two payment options for attending the academy.

1. Major Credit Card

Credit card users will have access to an online payment system. Students who have completed their application materials and have been admitted will receive information via email with details about how to pay.

2. Check

Make it payable to Ball State University and include the student's name in the notation line. Mail checks to:

Ball State University
R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning
Attn: DesignWorks Summer Academy
Muncie, IN 47306


If you want to learn more about the DesignWorks Summer Academy, contact Lori Pence.