The country’s most comprehensive aquatics degree programs is here at Ball State. Established in 2002, the bachelors (4 year) degree in aquatics was the first truly aquatic specific program in the United States.  Those seeking a major in aquatics ( BA or BS in aquatics) dive into a well-rounded curriculum aimed at diverse and satisfying aquatics careers. Course work ranges from facilities design/management and pool operations to aquatics-focused biomechanics to lifeguard training and aquatics staff development. This degree provides aquatic education opportunities for future aquatic professionals.  Example aquatic leadership positions include aquatic directors, supervisors, managers, coaches and instructors.  Often the aquatic industry employers expect management staff to hold certifications that include aquatic administration, pool operations, aquatic technician, lifeguard instructor, swimming instructor as well as a host of emergency care credentials.  Just a few examples of the diversity of electives include sailing and kayaking, teaching diving and synchronized swimming, scuba instruction, and camp waterfront administration. Certifications are available in such areas as scuba, swimming instruction and lifesaving. 

An 18-hour minor in aquatics or scuba offers valuable career preparation. Minors take a set of core courses that include water safety and pool operations, and choose to build on focused areas of study such as aquatics teaching, administration, or scuba. Aquatics minors combine their studies with a wide range of majors across the university.

The Aquatics School is an intensive, week-long program in water-oriented learning, generally offered in May. Ball State students may take the course work for credit, but the Aquatics School is also open to noncredit students.

Aquatics Program Points of Distinction

  1. The only comprehensive bachelor’s degree in aquatics in the United States. (Since 2002)
  2. Students in the bachelor’s degree have the opportunity to earn at least 8 industry specific external agency certifications or licenses (This places them in a position to earn $7K to $10K more per year compared to 25% of the workforce that enters the profession with no prior aquatic experience). {based upon a 2002 analysis}
  3. The student’s capstone experience during the 12 credit hour internship provides “real world” hands on work opportunities in national and global locations.
  4. Our students have the opportunity to take part in stroke evaluations using the departmental Flume (swim in place unit), this unique opportunity allows students to receive immediate feedback and rapidly apply knowledge representative to the profession.