By statute, the Ball State University Board of Trustees is authorized to “prescribe the conditions for admission of students to the university, provided that graduation from a commissioned secondary school or its equivalent shall be required.” Specific admissions policies and practices are subject to change as the institution adjusts to enrollment patterns.

In order to maintain high academic standards and to ensure that students receive the best education possible at Ball State, the university limits enrollment to students meeting specific admissions requirements. In addition, the university reserves the right to determine the semester to which students are admitted on the basis of students’ academic qualifications as well as availability of space. The university also reserves the right to limit the number of nonresident students.

To be considered for admission to Ball State, a student must have graduated or be on track to graduate from an accredited secondary school or have earned a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Students who are not high school graduates may be considered for admission to the university after they have presented evidence that they have earned GED certificates.

Both the quality and the content of secondary school academic programs are important in admission decisions. Students graduating from high school in Indiana are required to complete the academic component of the Core 40 curriculum. Students from other states should pursue strong college prep curricula. All students are encouraged to complete state academic honors diplomas where available. For questions related to curricula, write or call the Office of Admissions at 800-482-4BSU; 765-285-8300; or TTY users only, 765-285-2205.

Applicants should obtain the most recent edition of Ball State University’s Admissions Viewbook. This information bulletin for prospective students is available from their high school guidance offices or from Ball State’s Office of Admissions. Interested applicants should also obtain the most updated application. An electronic application is also available on the Admissions Web site.

Ball State University is not responsible for problems that may arise if students fail to submit complete admissions materials, including official transcripts from other institutions. Such problems may include duplication of credit and enrolling in courses without the proper prerequisites. All admission materials submitted, including transcripts, become the property of Ball State University and will not be returned.

Note: Ball State University practices rolling admissions. Admission to a particular semester may depend on date of application and space available. When enrollment goals are met for each term, admissions will close.

Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to a particular academic program. Consult the section of this catalog that applies to the appropriate department to determine admission requirements for specific programs.


Students with No Previous College Experience
Students who have had no previous college experience will be considered for admission to Ball State University after the Office of Admissions has received the following:

  1. An application for admission. Applicants submit a completed application for admission before March 1 for priority consideration for fall semester, before December 1 for spring semester, before April 1 for summer semester and first summer term, and before May 1 for second summer term. Applications submitted later than the priority deadlines will be considered as space is available. Applications may be submitted up to one year in advance.
    Students seeking admission to academic programs in art, dance, interior design, music, theatre, or the first-year program in the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) must submit supplemental applications to those programs. In addition, a supplemental application is required to be considered for admission to the Honors College. For information about the supplemental application process, students should contact the Office of Admissions. Students are strongly encouraged to apply early, as a limited number of students are admitted to these
  2. A $50 nonrefundable application fee. Applicants must send a check or money order (made payable to Ball State University) to the Office of Admissions with the application for admission. In cases of financial difficulties, a guidance counselor may request, in writing, that the application fee be waived for a student. 
  3. Secondary school record (official transcript) or General Education Development certificate. Students should ask their high schools to send official copies of the secondary transcripts to the Office of Admissions, including lists of courses in progress. Students who have been home schooled or who have attended unaccredited high schools may be required to submit official General Education Development (GED) certificates. Transcripts or GED certificates must show that applicants meet the standards for certification as secondary school graduates. If schools send partial transcripts, students must make certain that complete official transcripts showing the specific date of graduation are submitted as soon as possible after graduation. Failure to do so will result in a registration barrier and university hold placed on the student’s record. Students who have not produced certification of high school graduation are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. If admitted, the quality of students’ academic achievement must remain the same or improve, or the admission classification may be changed or admission rescinded. 
  4. Standardized test scores. Applicants under the age of twenty-three must take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and/or the American College Testing Assessment (ACT). Applicants who take the ACT must take the writing portion of the test in order to be considered for English placement and advanced credit. The test scores should be sent directly to the university. Some students twenty-three years old or older may also be required to take the SAT or ACT. For additional information, review the admission testing requirements.

Campus Housing . All entering freshmen must live in university housing unless they are twenty-one years of age, married, living with their parents in the parents’ primary residence which is no more than sixty miles from the Ball State University campus, or have completed two semesters at Ball State.
When applying for admission, please indicate housing plans for the semester or term for which application is made. Admission to the university guarantees housing to entering freshmen.

Students with Previous College Experience (Transfer Students)
Applicants who have previously attended post secondary institutions should follow the same application procedures and observe the same deadlines as students with no college experience.

Admission Requirements for Transfer Applicants
Admission decisions will be based upon applicants’ academic records at all educational institutions attended. Applicants must be in good academic standing and eligible to return immediately to the institution last attended.

To be considered for admission, applicants must have cumulative grade-point averages of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale for all transferable course work attempted. Remedial, vocational, and courses from institutions that are not regionally accredited (Middle States Association, North Central Association, New England Association, Northwest Association, Southern Association, Western Association) are not transferable. Although credit earned from unaccredited colleges and universities is not accepted at Ball State University as transfer credit, transcripts from all such institutions attended are still required.

Students who apply for admission to Ball State University while currently enrolled at other colleges and universities may be admitted to Ball State on incomplete transcripts based on their current college or university cumulative grade-point averages. Admission granted under such circumstances will be withdrawn if the cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.0.

Students who were not admissible to Ball State out of high school will be asked to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of college-level course work (remedial or skill building classes do not count) and earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) at an accredited two- or four-year college or university before being considered for admission to Ball State as a transfer student.

Acceptance of Transfer Credit. Generally, all nonremedial, nonvocational courses in which a student earns a 2.0 or better at colleges and universities accredited by regional accrediting agencies are accepted by Ball State University. Students may petition the appropriate academic department for the acceptance of vocational courses. Only course credit transfers to Ball State University; no grades transfer.

Information about how credits will transfer to Ball State may be obtained through the university’s Automated Course Transfer System (ACTS) at Courses at Ball State University are offered on a semester and term basis, and credits earned are in semester hours. To convert quarter hours to semester hours, multiply the number of quarter hours by 2/3. Two semester hours are generally equivalent to three quarter hours. Ball State University has established procedures for the recognition of education and professional experience.

Application of Transfer Credit. For admitted students, the application of transfer credit toward a degree at Ball State University will be determined during a meeting with an academic advisor. Official Ball State University course equivalents will be established by the academic advisor in consultation with the appropriate academic department.

Transfer of Credit Earned in Vocational Degree Programs. Vocational degree programs are designed to prepare students for immediate employment rather than for further study at other colleges or universities; therefore, such credits are not directly transferable. For example, degree programs in automotive repair, cosmetology, commercial driving, etc., are considered to be vocational studies. Exceptions to this rule are made when the providers of occupational programs and Ball State University have agreements for transferring credits.

IVY Tech Community College of Indiana credits. Ball State will accept the Ivy Tech credits articulated with Indiana’s public universities if they were taken in the fall of 1993 or later. All other credits earned in the fall of 1995 or later will be accepted in transfer except those courses that are primarily vocational in nature.

Transfer Student Housing Policy. All transfer students who have twenty-four or fewer credits must live in university housing unless they are twenty-one years of age, married, living with their parents in the parents’ primary residence which is no more than sixty miles from the Ball State campus, or have completed two semesters at Ball State. Admission to the university guarantees housing to transfer students in this category.

Former Ball State University Undergraduate Students
Former Ball State students who wish to re-enter the university after more than two semesters not attending Ball State University (not counting summer sessions) must submit re-enrollment applications. New admissions decisions are required before course request forms can be submitted. The deadline for applying for re-enrollment is approximately thirty days before the beginning of each term.

Students who have attended other colleges since last attending Ball State University will be considered re-enrolling transfer students. Such students must reapply through the Office of Admissions and submit official transcripts for any work completed at other institutions. New admission decisions will be made.

Applicants seeking re-admission after attending other academic institutions must be in good academic standing and eligible to return immediately to the institution last attended. Former Ball State students not in good academic standing with Ball State University as determined by the registrar (academic disqualification) must apply for reinstatement to the Committee on Admissions and Credits, Office of the Registrar, by the appropriate dates. For a list of deadline dates, contact the Office of the Registrar, 765-285-1722. Applicants should contact the registrar early in order to complete the requirements for application and to allow time for the committee to consider the application.

Applications which are reinstated by the Committee on Admissions and Credits will be forwarded to the Office of Admissions for review. Applicants will receive official notification of decisions.

Admission of International Students to Ball State University
Students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States must enroll at Ball State University through the Rinker Center for International Programs. Prospective students must meet all of the university’s regular admission requirements.
In addition to submitting a special admission application for international students (International Student Application for Admission) and all supporting academic credentials, students must:

  1. have evidence of adequate financial support to travel to the university, live reasonably in the United States, maintain adequate health insurance, and return home;
  2. have the ability to read, write, and speak the English language fluently enough to participate in the academic programs at the university.

Students applying for admission must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Services (IELTS) taken no more than twenty-four months before the date of admission. A student intending to enroll at Ball State University may be required to retake the TOEFL or IELTS before being admitted, regardless of the extent of previous training in English. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Rinker Center for International Programs. For information about this program contact TOEFL or IELTS. Test results must be submitted to the university before a candidate’s application can be processed.

Any student admitted conditionally with a score lower than 550 (paper-based)/79 (internet based) on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS will be required to take an English language proficiency exam during orientation to determine the English language courses that must be taken through the Intensive English Institute administered by the Department of English. Upon completion of the IEI program, the students can pursue full- or part-time academic studies. Exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Rinker Center for International Programs. Departments may set a higher requirement than a score of 550/79 (TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS) for their majors. Any international student may take a course in English as a foreign language, for credit or noncredit, regardless of whether such a course is required. Any student who is required to take a course in English as a foreign language and whose progress is unsatisfactory will be required to repeat the course if the Rinker Center for International Programs and the chairperson of the relevant department deem it advisable. Before completing their course work in the Intensive English Institute, students are required to pass a test of their proficiency in English.

Upon enrollment, international students are assessed nonresident tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the university. The university currently has a limited number of scholarships authorized by the University Board of Trustees that may be awarded to outstanding and deserving students from other countries. These scholarships are equivalent in value to a waiver of university tuition fees. No scholarships are available for room, board, or transportation costs. The scholarships are awarded on or before April 15 of each year for the academic year beginning the next August.

Successful applicants will be sent documentation allowing them to apply for a student visa through United States consular representatives in their home countries. All international students are required to participate in a health insurance plan designed for Ball State University students. The premium must be paid at the time of registration and must be maintained throughout the student’s period of enrollment at the university.

Upon arrival at Ball State, students attend special orientation sessions during which registration information and other relevant student issues are discussed. An English language examination will be administered at this time to determine language competency.

Prospective students are encouraged to inquire at least one year before proposed enrollment at Ball State by contacting the Rinker Center for International Programs.


All new freshman applicants to Ball State University are individually reviewed and evaluated. Admission is based on the following:

  • Strength of curriculum (including the senior year)—Students should pursue the best college preparatory curriculum available. For Indiana applicants, Ball State requires completion of the academic component of the Core 40 curriculum as the minimum preparation for students who are college bound; where available, completion of the Academic Honors Diploma is encouraged. Students from other states should pursue strong college prep curricula. 
  • Performance as measured by grades in English, mathematics (algebra 1, plane geometry, and algebra 2 are minimum requirements), laboratory sciences, social sciences, and foreign languages. 
  • Curriculum patterns and grade trends in the above courses—The Office of Admissions expects a balanced academic program with at least four college preparatory classes each semester and grades that reflect a steady or upward trend in academic performance. 
  • Standardized test scores—SAT/ACT scores are weighed in relation to high school grades and are used to identify particular strengths or weaknesses in students’ preparation for college. Scores weigh more heavily in selection for Honors College admission and Presidential Scholarship consideration. SAT and ACT tests must include the writing assessment in order to be considered for English placement and advanced credit.

Honors College Admission
Indiana applicants who earn Academic Honors Diplomas and out-of-state applicants who pursue comparable curricula may be reviewed for Honors College admission. Performance in academic course work and standardized test scores will be evaluated.


Students admitted as undergraduates to the university for the first time must accept their formal offers of admission by completing the Enrollment Confirmation Form (received with the notification of admission) and by submitting a $100 non-refundable enrollment deposit. The deposit will be applied directly to first-semester fees. The deadline for fall semester, summer semester, and first summer term is May 1; for second summer term the deadline is June 1; and for spring semester the deadline is January 1. In cases of financial difficulties, a guidance counselor may request, in writing, that the enrollment deposit be deferred for a student.


Freshmen and transfer students participate in a required orientation program. Orientation is a learning experience that helps students understand academic and career expectations, become involved in collegiate life, and learn about the transition period students may experience as they enter college. During orientation students meet with academic advisors, register for courses, receive their e-mail accounts, and get their Ball State student identification cards. Admitted students who have paid the enrollment deposit will receive information authorizing the student to select an orientation date. Family members are encouraged to attend.


Admission as Guest Students
Students regularly enrolled and in good academic standing at other colleges or universities who wish to attend Ball State University for one semester or for two consecutive summer terms may apply for admission as guest students. To be eligible, students must have minimum cumulative grade-point averages of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be eligible to return immediately to their home institutions. Guest applications, available from the Office of Admissions, must be completed and submitted to the registrar of the home institution. The registrar of that institution must verify the student’s grade-point average and academic standing and affix the seal of the institution to the application; or students may submit the forms and official college transcripts or the most recent grade reports.

A student must submit the application form and nonrefundable application fee of $25 (in the form of a check or money order payable to Ball State University) to the Office of Admissions.

If the application for admission as a guest student is approved, the Office of Admissions will send official notification. After receiving this notification, students must make appointments with Academic Advising, 765-285-5488, to prepare class schedules. Academic advisors will determine eligibility to enroll in specific courses, the availability of classes, and the number of credits to be taken.

Admission as Non-degree Students
Students who wish to enroll for personal and professional development rather than in pursuit of degrees may apply for admission as non-degree students. Applicants must have earned high school diplomas or General Education Development certificates and not be currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions. In addition, applicants must not have been enrolled in secondary school for at least two years. High school transcripts or the GED certificate is required; admission status will be determined by the information reported. The required application is available from the Office of Admissions. Please note: financial aid is not available to non-degree students.
A student applying for non-degree status must sign a statement, which certifies:

  • high school graduation or receipt of a GED, and 
  • good standing status—a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and eligibility to return to the last post-secondary institution attended (if applicable).

Initial Enrollment as Non-degree Students . Before course registration, students registering for on-campus courses must call Academic Advising for appointments, 765-285-5488. Students registering for off-campus and distance education courses must call the School of Extended Education, 800-872-0369. Students must meet all course prerequisites and departmental requirements. In addition to academic advising, students will be eligible for other services offered through University College and the School of Extended Education.

Continuing Enrollment as Non-degree Students. The maximum number of semester credits that non-degree students may earn is 31. In addition, students will be subject to all university policies and regulations, including those pertaining to academic probation and dismissal.

Changing to Degree Status. Students in good academic standing at the conclusion of the semester in which they have completed 20 semester credits may apply for regular admission. If admitted, students will be eligible to pursue degrees. At any time during non-degree enrollment, students may submit the required materials to be considered for admission to pursue degrees.

Admission as Auditors
All students who meet the general requirements for admission to Ball State University may enroll as auditors in credit courses upon approval of the Office of Admissions. Auditors do not earn credits or grades. Students who have audited courses cannot later test out of those courses. Auditors must pay auditors’ fees for each course unless the course requires full fees.
Applications are available five days before the first day of classes of each semester or term. If an application is approved, registration proceeds in much the same way as for courses taken for credit. If space is needed for students who want to earn credit in the course, auditors’ registrations will be canceled and their money fully refunded. If auditing students choose not to attend the course, however, fees are not refunded. Faculty members may not admit anyone to class as an auditor who has not officially registered.


Ball State University offers opportunities to earn credit toward a degree for knowledge students have acquired independently, at work, in the military, through workshops and special classes, and in other ways. Most of these opportunities require that students take an examination to “test out” of a course or group of courses. Credit earned in this way counts toward graduation requirements, but students do not receive a grade for it. Students cannot receive credit of this type for courses for which they have already received credit. Students can earn up to 63 credits through this program.

The opportunities for earning advanced standing are:

  • Advanced Placement Program 
  • International Baccalaureate Certificates or Diploma 
  • College Level Exam Program (CLEP tests—subject and general) 
  • Credit by departmental examination 
  • Credit by departmental authorization 
  • Credit earned while in military service 
  • Credit for foreign language proficiency

Any department may, at its discretion, administer an examination for any course offered in the department. The department also determines the standards for passing these examinations. Students who earn passing scores will be granted credit for the courses. Credit by examination will not be awarded to students who have been enrolled or are currently enrolled in the courses for credit or audit.

Credit by departmental authorization may be granted for learning experiences the department believes to be the equivalent of college work. No grade is given for this credit. Credit and advanced placement in foreign languages may be awarded through the Foreign Language Advanced Credit Placement Test given during freshman orientation. Students must receive placement through the testing process before registering for the appropriate courses. For more information, consult the Office of Admissions Web site to learn how Ball State awards advanced credit.

Ball State University will accept courses for transfer evaluation and advanced standing credit transcript posting only if the student is currently enrolled.


Because Ball State University is financially supported by Indiana legislative appropriations, resident students pay less in fees than out-of-state students. Residency status, as determined by the Bursar in accordance with rules adopted by the Board of Trustees, is subject to change. Residency status depends primarily upon the length of time a person has lived in Indiana for purposes other than attending a college or university. A minimum residency of a year is required for independent students (not claimed as dependents by parents or guardians on their income tax forms). The student bears the burden of proof in making a claim of resident status. To request a change in residency classification, a student must file an application form and provide proof of residency in Indiana. Copies of the regulations, the Application for Nonresident Fee Exemption, and other information are available in the Office of Bursar and Loan Administration, Lucina Hall, Room B31.


Ball State University is supported chiefly by legislative appropriations. The fees constitute only a part of the actual cost of the student’s education. Fees charged to meet part of the expenses of the university are described in this section. The Ball State University Board of Trustees reserves the right to change the fees and other charges for any semester or term.
Students access their account information available through the Office of the Bursar using their Ball State e-mail login and password information. An electronic bill notification alerts students when the bill is ready to view; students do not receive paper bills. It is the student’s responsibility to review the bursar account each time they receive an e-bill notification.

Description of Fees
The general fee for students enrolled on campus consists of the contingent fee (applied to instruction) and the dedicated fee (applied to student services such as the Daily News, intercollegiate athletics, Campus Activities Fund, and activities such as lectures, concerts and cultural programs).

On-campus fees are assessed by fee brackets based on the number of credit hours for which students enroll. Off-campus fees are assessed per credit hour. An additional fee of $8 per credit hour is assessed for all graduate courses taken for any type of credit. In addition to the general fees, special fees and charges are assessed for certain courses and services.

Persons sixty years of age and older may enroll for half the normal cost of tuition. This remission does not apply to special fees.

For a complete listing of schedules of fees, special fees, and other charges please visit.

Adjustment of Fees
If a student changes a class schedule during the change of course period, fees will be adjusted if there is a change in the fee bracket. Exception: There are no refunds, reductions, or adjustments to an account if the schedule is in overload (19 credit hours or more) if the student drops or withdraws from courses.

For Independent Learning Program credit: Once a registration for independent learning credit has been processed, a percentage of the fees will be refunded upon a student’s written request. Refunds will be made as follows:

Independent Learning Withdrawal/Refund Schedule for 9-Month Courses: in calendar days—for non-financial aid recipients.

Time Frame Refund Transcript Entry
1-10 days
11 days to 1 month
1-2 months
2-3 months
No entry on transcripts
W will appear on transcript
W will appear on transcript
W will appear on transcript
No refund after 3 months.

Independent Learning Withdrawal/Refund Schedule for 10-Week Courses:
Note: Because of the shorter time frame, 100% refunds are not issued for 10-week courses.

Time Frame Refund Transcript Entry
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
W will appear on transcript
W will appear on transcript
W will appear on transcript
W will appear on transcript
W will appear on transcript
No refund after Week 5.

Applied music fees are not refundable, and no refund is given for dropping overload credits.


Over three-fourths of all Ball State students receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment. To be considered for most financial aid programs, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid must be received by the Federal processor on or before March 10. Students are encouraged to apply electronically. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 800-227-4017 or 765-285-5600.