Program Application Requirements
Program Delivery Method: Main Campus, Indy Center (select courses)
Application Terms: Fall, Summer
Application Deadline: February 1
Applications received after February 1, will be considered until all available program spaces have been filled or until the Graduate School application deadline of two (2) weeks to the start of the term/semester. Please contact the graduate program the to discuss opportunities available before applying.
The Social Work Department offers graduate assistantships to MSW candidates on a competitive basis. If you are a new applicant and wish to be considered for an assistantship, be sure to check the appropriate box on the Graduate School application. To guarantee consideration for a GA position, applications must be completed by February 1. Decisions about assistantships are generally made in March and announced in April.
To complete your application, you will need to upload the following required materials to your Cardinal Landing Portal
- Supplemental form: you will need to complete the supplemental form as part of your online application. You can access supplemental form(s) within your Cardinal Landing Portal. On the supplemental form, you will be asked to provide more information about your enrollment goals (full-time or part-time), specific program option (traditional or advanced standing), state licenses, campus preferences (Main or Indy Center), disclosure questions related to your standing with the Department of Child Services in Indiana.
- Two letters of recommendation: include the names, titles, and contact information for two professional recommendations in your online application. These people can be faculty members, supervisors, internship supervisors, or others who can speak to your professional readiness for graduate education.
- Statement of purpose:
- discuss significant factors influencing your decision to pursue a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) at Ball State University.
- if your undergraduate GPA was below 3.0, please tell us the circumstances, what you have learned since, and what factors will make you successful in graduate school.
- all personal statements should be between 700-1,000 words. APA formatting is not necessary.
- Writing sample: submit an original sample of your academic writing skills using one of the following prompts. In your writing, include key factors contributing to the issue, recommendations for intervention and/or social change to address the issue, and challenges likely to surface in seeking a solution. Your writing should reflect a strong use of peer-reviewed academic sources as well as knowledge of the values and ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
- What are the primary challenges and rewards of working in rural communities?
- What are the main ethical dilemmas and safeguards for working with people in active addiction?
- What are the micro and macro issues surrounding health care in the United States?
- What are the causes and consequences of the disproportionate number of children of color in the child welfare and foster care system?
- What are the top challenges and solutions for working with elders who are aging-in-place?
- What are the opportunities and threats facing non-profit or community development leaders?
- Resume or curriculum vitae (most recent): include your previous education, work, research experience, volunteer or internship experiences. Include all current licenses and states where you are able to practice. There is no page limit for this document.
- Transcript/credential evaluation from your highest earned degree: learn more about our transcript/credential evaluation requirements.
- Have you already earned a Bachelor's degree in Social Work? Students who have already earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited institution—regardless of when they earned their degree—can apply for our Advanced Standing Program to complete the MSW in as little as one year.
Our program allows students the opportunity to be considered for probationary admission. This option is available to students whose GPA from their degree-granting institution is less than 2.75 but who have provided sufficient evidence of academic and/or professional achievement to indicate their potential for success in a graduate program. Additional application materials may be requested to be considered. Students admitted on a probationary status must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their first 9 semester credits of graduate work or be academically dismissed. Please connect with the director of graduate studies (contact listed above) to discuss application and program probationary admission requirements.
Admitted students must accept their admissions by confirming their enrollment via the Decision Reply Form available on the Application Status Portal by June 15 for Fall and by May 1 for Summer.
Graduate School Application Process and Requirements
Application Quick Facts
- Applications are $60 per program. Learn more about application fee waivers.
- If you are an international student, application deadlines and dates may differ. Learn more about international application requirements.
- Your application must be completed at least two weeks before the start of the semester. Start of term dates can be found on our Academic Calendar. Some graduate programs have priority application deadlines. Please review your program of interest's requirements for more details.
How to Apply to Graduate School
We are excited you are ready to take your next steps to apply for admission to the Ball State Graduate School. This page will assist you in gathering your application materials and completing your application. At any point in the application process, you can connect with admissions or the graduate advisor for your program of interest regarding your questions.
The Ball State Graduate School application is a two-step process. First, you will be asked to submit a form for the graduate program and application term in which you want to be considered for admission. On this form, you will record your contact information and academic history, and acknowledge your responsibilities as an applicant for graduate studies at Ball State University. Next, upon submission of the application form, you will receive an email with information on how to log into your Cardinal Landing Portal to add required materials to your application. Your application will not be considered complete and ready for review until all required materials have been submitted.
When To Begin Your Application
The Ball State Graduate School application opens on the below days. Please review your program of interest's requirements for a list of open application terms.
- To start classes in Fall
- Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday
- To start classes in Spring
- Tuesday after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
- To start classes in Summer
- Tuesday after the Memorial Day holiday
Graduate School Admission Requirements
To be eligible for admission in the Ball State Graduate School, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution recognized by a regional accrediting association. Some doctoral and specialist degree programs (but not all) require a master's degree from an institution recognized by a regional accrediting association.
To be eligible for regular admission for a licensure, graduate certificate, or master’s degree program, you must meet one of the criteria below:
- earned a minimum of a 2.75 GPA from your undergraduate degree-granting institution
- Applicants whose GPA falls below the 2.75 minimum may also be eligible for probationary admission
- earned at least 9 graduate credit hours with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA
- have a conferred master’s or doctoral degree from an institution recognized by a regional accrediting association
To be eligible for admission to a doctoral or specialist degree program, you must have earned a minimum of a 3.0 GPA from the undergraduate degree-granting institution.
For doctoral and specialist degrees that require a master’s degree for admission, you must have earned a minimum of a 3.2 GPA from the master's degree-granting institution.
After You Apply
Log into your Cardinal Landing Portal below to submit additional materials and check your application status.
CHECK APPLICATION STATUS
From the Cardinal Landing Portal, admitted students can accept their admissions offer via the Decision Reply Form (on-campus international students will not submit a Decision Reply Form), review their next steps to enrollment, and learn more about orientation. Admitted students must accept their offer of admission via the Decision Reply Form by the Thursday prior to the start of the term. If you are an admitted international student, post-admission documentation must be submitted before your enrollment is confirmed.
Applications are $60 per program.
You can pay your application fee (nonrefundable) with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. Or you may pay online with an electronic check from a U.S. bank.
You do not have to pay the application fee if you are a:
- McNair Scholar
- Ball State student currently enrolled in classes or a Ball State alumni
- current Ball State employee (full-time, benefits-eligible)
- veteran or active-duty military
- guest student seeking credits to transfer to another institution
- prospective student who attended a Ball State graduate program information session
You must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution recognized by a regional accrediting association
to apply. There is no minimum GPA for nondegree study. You will need to complete the Graduate School application for admissions by selecting "non-degree study" on the program selection page of the application. Upon admission, you must receive permission from the department offering the course(s) you wish to take prior to registering.
Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorization
Our Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) allows you to begin your graduate studies at Ball State while still an undergraduate student. With this option, you can start taking classes for your master's degree while completing your bachelor's degree and double-count your courses toward both, saving time and money as you pursue an advanced education in your field of interest.
This program is open to currently enrolled or admitted Ball State undergraduate students with at least 75 college credit hours and a 3.25 cumulative GPA. Learn more about our AMP degrees.
To apply for AMP, complete the Graduate School application for admission by following the requirements listed for your program of interest. You will need to select “Yes” when answering: “Are you a current Ball State University undergraduate student applying to the Accelerated Master's Program?” This will ensure your application is considered for AMP admission.
Some of our graduate programs are offered through a blended delivery method. This means that in addition to studying online, you will be required to take in-person courses and/or meet in-person at scheduled times throughout the semester.
Prior to applying for admission consideration, connect with the graduate advisor
to discuss how the program's blended format can help you reach your next degree goals.
Other methods of delivery for our graduate programs include:
- Main Campus (Muncie, Indiana): All courses and program requirements are completed on-campus.
- Online: All courses and program requirements are completed online.
- Indy Center (Indianapolis, Indiana): Some courses and program requirements are completed at our Indy Center instructional site while others are completed at our main campus.
- Please note that for our Master of Urban Design all courses and program requirements are completed at the Indy Center.
- Fishers Center (Fishers, Indiana): Some of the courses and program requirements are completed at our Fishers Center instructional site while others are completed at our main campus.
If you are a Ball State graduate student interested in completing your current graduate degree program and have not taken graduate classes for more than a year or if you received a "Re-Admit" error when attempting to register for classes, then you need to select:
- “Re-activate my Ball State account (admitted Ball State graduate students only)” option under “Academic Intent” in the Re-enroll Application.
If you were admitted and enrolled in your graduate program and/or you stopped taking graduate classes less than one year ago, please reach out to your graduate advisor to discuss next steps to return to your graduate program.
Do not choose the re-activate option if you are any of the following:
- a first-time applicant to a Ball State graduate program
- applying for a new or different Ball State graduate program or certificate than one in which you are already enrolled
- previously applied for a Ball State program but never attended any classes
The types of transcripts required at the time of application vary by program. You will be requested to submit documents for either your complete academic record or your highest earned degree based on your program of interest. Learn more
about our transcript requirements and how to submit documents.
You must provide a NACES member credential evaluation of your foreign education transcript(s) if the degree was earned outside the U.S. Members of NACES are independent, non-governmental organizations that provide credential evaluation services to individuals who have completed part or all of their education outside of the United States. Your NACES Member Evaluation report must contain the following:
- U.S. equivalency of study/degree
- U.S. equivalent overall credits & GPA earned
- Accreditation status of institution(s)
- Course-by-course evaluation (each course listed along with credits and grade earned for the course)
Please have your official credential evaluation sent directly to Ball State University (school code 1051; email address email@example.com) by the credential evaluation service.
Learn more about our credential evaluation requirements and how to submit documents.
Some of our graduate programs allow students the opportunity to be considered for probationary admission. When available, this option is open to applicants:
- whose GPA from their degree-granting institution is less than 2.75 but who have provided sufficient evidence of academic and/or professional achievement to indicate their potential for success in a graduate program.
- who have a bachelor's degree from an institution that is not recognized by its regional accrediting association but who otherwise meet all Graduate School and department requirements for regular admission.
Additional application materials may be requested to be considered. Students admitted on a probationary status must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their first 9 semester credits of graduate work to gain regular admission in the program.
Please connect with the graduate advisor for your program of interest to discuss eligibility.
Students who are conditionally admitted to the Ball State Graduate School must complete the requirements set forth in the admit letter. If the conditions for a student’s admission have not been fulfilled within the time period specified (usually one academic semester), the student will be barred from subsequent registration in the Graduate School. Graduate programs are not required to consider applicants for conditional admission.
Conditional admissions may be granted in the following scenarios:
- An applicant meets all Graduate School academic requirements except for the minimum English proficiency requirement. Learn more about our conditional admissions for English proficiency.
- An applicant’s undergraduate major does not prepare them for their chosen master’s degree programs and compensatory course work is required to fully admit them to the graduate program. Learn more about department conditional admission.
Please connect with the graduate advisor for your program of interest to discuss eligibility.
If you are an international student, planning on studying with us on a student visa, your application can ONLY be considered for regular admissions or conditional admission when you meet all Graduate School academic requirements except for the minimum English proficiency requirement. Applications for on-campus study will not be considered for probationary admissions or conditional admissions for reasons other than language proficiency because of student visa eligibility regulations. Questions? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.