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) and/or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) 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/TASC 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 high school 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, email us at 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 which is available from their high school guidance offices or from Ball State’s Office of Admissions. Interested applicants should apply online at 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. Ball State class placement and registration may be impacted if complete transcripts of course work are not received in a timely manner to evaluate. All admission materials submitted, including transcripts, become the property of Ball State University.

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, after high school graduation, 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, and before April 1 for summer semester. 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, music, theatre, or the first-year program in the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) will be required to provide additional information within the online application to be considered for admission to those programs. Students will also be required to provide additional information within the online application 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 programs. 
  2. A $55 nonrefundable application fee. Applicants must pay a $55 application fee before they will be considered for admission. The fee can be paid by a credit card or electronic check process included in the online application for admission. In cases of financial difficulties or other approved reasons, a request can be made to have the application fee waived. Supporting documentation must be sent to Ball State University Office of Admissions documenting the reason for the fee waiver request on behalf of the applicant.
  3. Secondary school record (official transcript) or GED/TASC 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 an official General Education Development (GED) and/or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) certificate. Transcripts or GED/TASC 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 23 years old or older may also be required to take the SAT or ACT. For additional information, visit
  5. Dual credit/college credit. Students taking college-level courses at an accredited institution while enrolled in high school must submit official transcript(s) to the Office of Admissions in order to receive credit for completed courses. For advanced standing information, please see Advanced Standing section.

Campus Housing 
All students must live in university housing for two semesters unless they will be twenty-one years of age prior to the beginning of the term for which they are enrolling, have 24 or more semester credits of Ball State accepted credits achieved after graduation from high school, are married or are a custodial parent of a dependent child, or are living with their parents in the parents’ primary residence which is no more than sixty miles from the Ball State University campus. 

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, after high school graduation, 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 with condition 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 credits 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 CreditGenerally, 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 or contact the office of admissions at 765-285-8300 or 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 procedures in place to accommodate conversions.

    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 24 or fewer credits must live in university housing unless they are 21 years of age, married, living with their parents in the parents’ primary residence which is no more than 60 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 stop out, for a year or longer time period, and wish to re-enter the university must submit a reenrollment application to the Office of the Registrar. This application can be found at, scrolling to “Steps for Other Students” and selecting “Re-enrolling or Reinstating”. The deadline for reenrollment consideration is seven days before the official start of each term.

Students who have a break in continuous semester attendance or who have attended other institutions since last attending Ball State University and who were in good standing with Ball State University at the time of stop out will be considered reenrolling students. Students must submit official transcripts for any work completed at other institutions to the Office of the Registrar.

Former Ball State students not in good academic standing with Ball State University as determined by the Registrar (academic disqualification) must apply for reinstatement. This process requires an application found at, (under Registration Activities and click to returning student) and official transcripts if another institution was attended during the stop out period.

All documentation must be submitted to the Committee of Admission and Credits, Office of the Registrar, no later than 7 days before the official start of each term. For a list of important dates, please visit the Registrar’s website at - click on Registration activities and select returning student. Applicants should submit documents early in order to complete the requirements for application and to allow time for the committee to consider all documentation.

Admission of International Students to Ball State University
Students who are not citizens, permanent residents, asylees, refugees, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) 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 international student admission requirements. 

   In addition to submitting a special admission application and all supporting academic credentials, students must have evidence of adequate financial support for expenses–including tuition, fees, books, supplies, maintenance (lodging and food), health insurance, taxes, and miscellaneous expenditures (clothing, local travel, recreation, toiletries, telephone, etc.).

    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 at www.toefl.orgIELTS at or Pearson PTE at

    Any student admitted conditionally with a score lower than 79 (internet-based) on the TOEFL, 6.5 on the IELTS, or 53 on the Pearson PTE 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. Upon completion of the IEI program or submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson PTE that meets minimum admission requirements, the students must pursue full time academic study. Exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Rinker Center for International Programs and the Intensive English Institute. 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 Intensive English Institute, Rinker Center for International Programs, and the chairperson of the relevant department deem it advisable.

    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 partial waiver of university tuition fees. No scholarships are available for room, board, or transportation costs.

    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 unless approved for a waiver. The premium must be paid along with nonresident tuition and fees and must be maintained throughout the student’s period of enrollment at the university.

    Upon arrival at Ball State, students are required to attend special orientation sessions during which registration information and other relevant student issues are discussed. An English language examination will be administered to those students who require the test 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 or by visiting their websiteStudents who have a break in continuous semester attendance or who have attended other institutions since last attending Ball State and who were in good standing with Ball State at the time of stop out will be considered reenrolling students. Please refer to the information above.


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 I, Geometry, and Algebra II 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. (We superscore, which means we take the best score from each section for a final score.)

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. (See the Ball State University Honors College website for details.)


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) or confirm admissions online at and by submitting a $100 non-refundable enrollment deposit. The deposit will be applied directly to first-semester fees. The deadline for fall and summer semesters is May 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, and get their Ball State (ID Card). 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 Orientation.


Enrollment 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 may apply 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 are available at, scrolling to “Steps for Other Students” and selecting “Guests” and click the box “Apply Now.” Students must submit official college transcripts to the Office of the Registrar.

    Within seven days of application receipt, applicant will receive notification from the HelpDesk providing Ball State Credentials. Additionally, if application is approved, the Office of the Registrar will send official notification outlining next steps. 

Enrollment as Non-degree Students
Students who wish to enroll for personal and professional development rather than in pursuit of degrees may apply as non-degree students. Non-degree student applications are available at, scrolling to “Steps for Other Students” and selecting the tab “Apply as a Non-degree student.” Students must submit official high school transcripts, the General Education Development (GED) certificate and/or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) certificate, or college transcripts. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED/TASC certificate and not be currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions. In addition, a student applying that has post-secondary course work must be in good standing – a minimum cumulative grade-point average of a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and eligibility to return to the last post-secondary institution attended. Please note: financial aid is not available to non-degree students. If you have applied for and been denied regular or online admissions, you must have 24 transferable credits from another institution to be admitted as a non-degree seeking student. Non-traditional students must have a GPA of 2.5 or better on their high school transcript to be admitted as a non-degree seeking student.

    Initial Enrollment as Non-degree Students. Before course registration, students registering for courses must call Upper Division Academic Advising for appointments, 765-285-5490. 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 Division of Online and Distance Education. If a student does not achieve the academic standards required their first term of enrollment, they are subject to all institutional policies. 

    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 academic department offering the course and the Office of the Registrar. Auditors do not earn academic 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 can be obtained from the Office of Registrar, Lucina Hall, Room B43, three to five days prior to the first day of classes of each semester or term. If an application is approved, applicant must visit the Office of Registrar to be enrolled in requested course. No online courses are available to be audited.

    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 and mathematics may be awarded through the Advanced Credit Placement Test that is available online and can be taken prior to attending freshman orientation. Testing instructions are mailed to students with their orientation invitation. Students must receive placement through the testing process before registering for the appropriate courses. For more information, visit 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 Registrar 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 Registrar, Lucina Hall, Room B43 or at by selecting “Miscellaneous Information” and click “Review guidelines.” 


The staff members in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships are eager to assist you. 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 (FAFSA) must be received by the federal processor on or before April 15. Apply online at For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 800-227-4017 or 765-285-5600 or visit