Are you ready to embark on an intellectual adventure? The Honors College will inspire and challenge you. To stay in the program, however, you must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.33 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). In order to graduate, you must complete the following robust curricula:

  • Freshman seminar
  • Honors Core Curriculum
  • Two Honors Colloquia
  • A senior project or thesis

Other honors course options are available but not required. Refer to info for current students to see which courses are offered in upcoming semesters.

When my mom suggested I apply to the Honors College, I wasn't sure if it would be a good fit for me. It ended up being one of the best decisions I made during my time at Ball Sate. The professors were amazing, and I truly benefitted from the smaller classes focused on critical thinking and open conversation.

—Emma Hagenauer, '15

Freshman Seminar

All new Honors College students must take the freshman seminar (0.5 credit) in the fall semester. This course will orient you to the Honors College and Ball State. It is supervised by an advanced honors student (Peer Mentor) and offered on a credit/no-credit basis only.

The sessions are organized around a topic or activity selected by the peer mentor and include discussion of university resources, curriculum planning, and social activities.

Honors Core Curriculum

Six honors core courses may substitute for courses in the University Core Curriculum for Honors students in most majors. Required honors core courses are:

These classes emphasize the relationships of the sciences to human concerns and society, including social and ethical consequences of scientific discovery and the application of science to issues confronting contemporary society.

Honors College students must select one of the following three courses to fulfill part of the University Core Curriculum science requirement:

For nearly five decades, the humanities sequence has been fundamental to honors work at Ball State.

Taught by faculty from a wide range of departments (such as architecture, classics, English, history, and modern languages), the humanities sequence lies at the heart of the Honors curriculum.  These courses explore the major intellectual, artistic, and cultural achievements of cultures from across the globe.  The courses include class discussion, journals, essays, and creative projects. 

Honors College students must take all three of the following courses:

Honors College students must take two upper-division honors colloquia (2-6 credits total). These special classes, available for a maximum of 15 students, explore topics not normally offered, or not offered in depth, in the Ball State curriculum. Some colloquia are offered year after year, but many may be offered only once while you’re at Ball State.

  • Jane Austen's England
  • Civil War in American memory
  • Sustainability
  • Math and Art
  • Photography and Visual Culture
  • Thor, Ragnarök, and the End of the World
  • The Politics of Terrorism
  • Cold War Culture
  • Cuba: Culture, History and the Cuban Revolution
  • Twenty-First Century Appalachia
  • Robin Hood
  • Risk, Improbability and Gaming
  • Reality TV
  • Otherness and Empowerment in Literature and Theory
  • Music of the Holocaust
  • Science on the State
  • Scheming to Cap Global Warming

The required capstone experience for each Honors College student is a senior honors project or thesis (3 credits), which is normally completed in the seventh or eighth semester.

This is an individualized opportunity to work in-depth, one-on-one with a professor of your choice on a topic that is meaningful to you. The project or thesis is usually—but not always—within your major or minor, and the form it takes depends upon your abilities and interests.  Please refer to info for current students for forms and information regarding your senior project or thesis.

Requirements for staying in the Honors College

Students admitted to the Honors College must make regular progress in the Honors curriculum.

Each student’s grade-point average must be at least 3.0 at the end of freshman year and 3.15 at the end of sophomore year.

Each student should complete at least one Honors core course by the end of the first year and at least three Honors core courses by the end of the second year. The Honors core courses include HONR 189; 199; 201; 202; 203; and one of 296, 297, or 298.

In order to graduate with an Honors diploma, students must complete the Honors curriculum and finish with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.33.



On top of the dozens of funding options Ball State offers its students, those in our program have scholarships specifically for them. Learn more.


Two full-time academic advisors in the Honors College specialize in working with honors students: Amanda Ballenger or Sarah Haley.

You may also call the Honors College at 765-285-1024 with questions or to get an appointment with an advisor or dean.

Ready to Apply?

Have you decided that you’re ready to truly test yourself intellectually and discover new ways to look at the world around you? Then it’s time to apply.

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