You must first apply and be approved to Ball State’s Graduate School or International Admissions. Be sure to note that not all documents are sent to the same place.

Prepare and submit these materials directly to the Graduate Program Director, Department of Geography at the following address:

                                        Jason Yang, Graduate Program Director
                                        Department of Geography
                                        CL 425 Cooper Life Sciences Building
                                        Ball State University
                                        Muncie, IN 47306

  1. A statement of interest letter (500-750 words) detailing your academic and intellectual biography and your purpose in seeking a graduate degree at Ball State University. Please include information on your professional goals and general research interests.

  2. Three letters of recommendation, to be sent by the recommenders directly to the Graduate Program Director at the postal address or e-mail address listed above.  Through an electronic link, referees may also be submitted directly through the Graduate School ADMIT system.  Ideally, two references should be able to discuss your academic ability and another attesting to your character and/or professionalism. 

  3. Resume or curriculum vita noting your educational background (including undergraduate GPA), work experience, honors and special accomplishments, and any professional skillsets.

Submit the following materials to either the Graduate School or International Admissions

  1. Official transcript(s) from all universities and colleges attended are to be submitted directly to the Graduate School (universities or colleges in the United States). International transcripts must be submitted to International Admissions through WES (World Education Services). The WES review process does take time (7-10 business days once the required documentation is received), so plan ahead to meet all of the application deadlines. To be considered for admission, a minimum GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required.

  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

    For applicants sending GRE scores electronically, the score must be submitted directly to Ball State University from Educational Testing Service (ETS), Ball State University's code is 1051.
    The Rinker Center for International Programs lists these testing/score requirements on their Admissions page: Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly to Ball State University from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Ball State University's code is 1051.
    For information about standardized tests, contact the Educational Testing Service: Graduate Record Examination (GRE), 609-771-7670


Assistantships deadline:
  If you wish to be considered for an assistantship, complete your application by March 15 for admittance in the following academic year.  Assistantships are on a competitive basis and include a nine-month tuition coverage and a stipend.  If you are a new applicant and wish to be considered for an assistantship, be sure to indicate this on the Graduate School application and in your statement of interest letter; there is no separate assistantship application for new applicants.  Decisions about assistantships are generally made in late March.

Other:  Students are encouraged to apply for a fall semester start; however, applications will also be considered for spring admittance.  We do not admit students for a summer start.  For those not necessarily seeking departmental assistantship support, applications are due six-weeks prior to the start semester (i.e., July 15 for fall semester and November 15 for spring).  Departmental assistantship support is not likely for applicants after the March 15 deadline (for the following fall semester admission) or for spring admissions.  Applicants are encouraged to seek potential assistantship or funding opportunities through other academic and university divisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When can I expect to get news of an admission decision? We notify applicants about admission decisions as quickly as possible. For those not seeking an assistantship, students can reasonably expect to get news within 4-6 weeks after the application is complete; however, decision times may vary, especially during the summer months.   Those applying by the March 15 assistantship deadline can expect to get a decision in late March.

  2. How can I make sure my application is complete? For all programs, departmental approval for admission is based upon evaluation of these criteria.  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.  While we cannot routinely contact you about missing items, you may contact the Graduate Program Director to check the status of your file.  International applicants, contact the Rinker Center for International Programs at 765-285-5422 or by e-mail ( 

  3. Are there any specific undergraduate course prerequisites for entering the graduate program? Officially, no. We have students coming from a variety of undergraduate major backgrounds where geography or atmospheric science was not their major or minor (e.g., science education, natural resources, telecommunications, geology, anthropology, to name a few).   Students seeking coursework in applied atmospheric science though are strongly encouraged to have two semesters calculus, two semesters calculus-based physics, and one introductory meteorology course in order to take full advantage of our atmospheric science course offerings.  Those considering an applied GIScience specialization would benefit from an introductory GIS or map reading course prior to entering the program.