Are you interested in our master’s or doctoral programs?

Admission to our graduate program means you need to meet the criteria of and apply to both Ball State’s Graduate School and the department itself.

How to Apply


Application Deadlines

Please note: All required application materials need to arrive at the University by the deadline. Be sure to plan your submissions in advance so that they will arrive before the deadline.

Master's Programs

  • Fall admission: July 7
  • Spring admission: November 11

Doctoral Programs

  • Fall admission: January 15

Graduate Certificates

  • Fall admission: July 7
  • Spring admission: November 11
  • Summer admission: April 15

Graduate Assistants

If you are applying for a graduate assistantship, apply to the program by January 15 to receive full consideration.

Application Process

Applicants must submit:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Sample of Scholarly or Critical Writing

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and have an undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.75. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation.

Non-native speakers of English must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores of at least 79 or International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) of at least 6.5 for MA programs and 81 for PhD programs.

Applicants applying for the Teaching Writing Graduate Certificate must submit two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Applicants for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Graduate Certificate need not fulfill additional requirements.

International Applicants

International Applicants must fulfill additional requirements. Please click here and view Step 1: Apply Online under the Graduate tab to view additional application requirements.

Detail your academic and intellectual biography and your purpose in seeking a graduate degree at Ball State University.

Preferably, provide a paper written for a class. The writing sample should exemplify your best work.

The writing sample can be a revised class paper or a section from an undergraduate or master’s thesis. It should reflect your ability to write well, analyze, and engage with scholarly debates and research.

If you do not have a sample of academic work, write a new paper on a subject related to the previous or proposed field of study.

MA Creative Writing applicants should submit a creative writing sample in either fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or some combination of genres (8-15 pp double-spaced; poetry can be single-spaced, of course).

Page Length Requirements

  • All master’s programs: 8–15 pp double-spaced for all MA applicants
  • English PhD in Literature: 15-20 pp double-spaced
  • PhD in Rhetoric and Composition: 15-25 pp double-spaced

Complete the Application

You will need to determine if your program is delivered online or on campus. Please contact your program director to determine your delivery mode.

If you will be an online student and you live outside Indiana, this information regarding State Regulatory Authorizations might apply to you.

Apply Now


You can pay your application fees (nonrefundable) with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. Or you may pay online with an electronic check from a U.S. bank.

  • applications for degree and nondegree programs: $60 per program
  • applications for certificates and licensures: $20 per certificate or licensure

Reduced rates for additional applications: Each additional degree application costs $20 and certificate $10. Please remember you must use the username and password from your initial application to receive the discounted rate for multiple applications.


The Graduate School must receive all of your application materials no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of the academic term you wish to start.

However, your desired program might have different deadlines. Check with the program director for those dates.

Special Announcement: To best serve prospective graduate students and those needing courses for licensure, certification, professional development, etc., Ball State University has adjusted the application deadline for the Summer II 2019 semester (June 17 - July 19) for non-degree study. Applications for Summer II 2019 semester for non-degree study will be accepted through June 10, 2019.

Submit Your Transcripts

Ball State must receive your official transcript before the university can process your application. Request transcripts from all colleges and universities you attended (this includes dual credit courses earned while in high school). You do not need to submit Ball State transcripts. 

The university or college that issued your degree must send an official copy of your transcript directly to Ball State. You can often request your transcripts through an institution’s website. Also, official transcripts must include a college seal, date, and appropriate signature. All transcripts become Ball State property.

Transcripts may be submitted by:

  • Mail – Send official copies to Admissions, Ball State University, 2000 W. University Ave., Lucina Hall, Muncie, IN 47306.
  • Electronic – Official electronic transcripts may be submitted by an institution directly to

If you have earned a degree from a non-US institution, you must select one of the following evaluation agencies to get your transcripts and degree(s) evaluated:
(this includes any earned certificates, diplomas, or degrees)

Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE):


World Education Services (WES)

  • Check country-specific requirements:
  • Make sure to create an account:
  • Make sure to choose ICAP Course By Course report
  • Choose Ball State University as a recipient so we can get an electronic copy of your report

If you have studied at a non-US institution, from which you have not earned a degree, you must submit a scanned copy of the official transcript to Ball State University's International Admissions office with an official translation.

After Applying to the Graduate School

Graduate admissions is a shared process at Ball State. When the Graduate School has determined you’ve met minimum admission criteria, your application will be made available to the department for review. 

Programs often require additional application materials. Check with the program director about additional requirements. Keep in mind that an admission decision will not be made until all required materials have been received.

Frequently Asked Questions

We notify applicants about admission decisions as quickly as possible. Those taking advantage of rolling admission can reasonably expect to get news within 4-6 weeks after the application is complete; similarly, those applying by the January 15 deadline can expect to get a decision mid- to late March.

For all programs, departmental approval for admission is based upon evaluation of our application materials.

No incomplete files are considered. You are responsible for ensuring that your admission file is complete.

Apply early—transcripts and test scores take weeks, often months, to arrive.

Status Updates

While we cannot routinely contact you about missing items, you may check on the status of your file by:

  • visiting the English graduate office (Robert Bell Building, room 2115)
  • emailing
  • calling us at 765-285-8415

International applicants should contact the Rinker Center for International Programs at 765-285-5422 or by email.

The English Department does not offer conditional admission to any applicants.

No. Applications are reviewed by discipline-specific faculty committees and the director of graduate studies does not serve on these individual committees.

Please contact us if you have any questions.