The Department of Modern Languages and Classics offers both departmental majors and minors and teaching majors and minors. Language programs are open to all students who meet Ball State's general admissions requirements. While it is entirely possible to complete any of the university programs in foreign languages in four years, it is recommended that you begin your language study as early as possible in order to be able to combine it, when feasible, with a semester or two of foreign study abroad. Ball State University regularly sponsors several foreign study abroad programs in different countries in which numerous Ball State students participate each year.

Normally, two or three years of high school foreign language experience equals one year of college study. If you have already studied a foreign language in high school, you may be awarded up to 14 semester hours of credit (4 semesters of foreign language study) through advanced placement examination. If you do not take the placement exam, no placement credits can be awarded. However, this credit is not available to native speakers who have completed high school in their respective countries. For majors and minors in commonly taught languages (excluding minors in Chinese and Japanese), only courses taken above the university first-year language level apply toward credit-hour requirements.