Get a Head Start on College

You don’t have to wait until you’re officially enrolled at Ball State to begin working on your degree. Explore all the ways you can earn college credits early by taking special courses and exams while you’re still in high school. You might even be able to receive credit for other learning and work experiences you'd had. These opportunities will help you save time and money on your college education and prepare you for college-level academics.

Ball State accepts dual credit from college-level courses taken at your high school, online, or through another accredited institution if you pass them with a grade of C or better. Learn how your credits might transfer through Indiana’s Core Transfer Library.

You'll need to submit your official transcript(s) from the institution(s) you earned dual credit from once they are available. Please send these to us through the institution's electronic submission service or mail an official copy directly to our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. You cannot receive credit without this transcript. We encourage you to have transcripts sent to us before your Orientation session.

Apply for Ball State’s Dual Credit Program

College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program allows you to earn college credit and advanced placement while in high school through AP college-level courses and exams. College Board offers AP exams each May and evaluates students' proficiency based on a 5-point scale. Review our list of AP exam scores you need to earn credit at Ball State.

Ask your high school counselor if your school administers its own AP exams. If not, you may arrange to take one at any participating high school. Your counselor can provide more information about approved providers nearby. Learn more about taking AP exams.

See AP Required Scores and Credits (PDF)

Please note that Ball State will not accept projected exam scores. We encourage students to retake the exam to hopefully obtain credit with finalized and verified scores.

The Cambridge International program allows you to earn college credit as a high school student through Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level or Advanced (A) Level courses and exams. Review our list of AS Level and A Level exams to learn what equivalency credits are awarded at Ball State.

AS Levels are graded a–e (a, b, c, d, e), while A Levels are graded A*–E (A*, A, B, C, D, E). To grant credit toward specific majors, academic departments may require you to achieve certain grades in the AS Level and A Level courses.

See Cambridge Exams and Credits (PDF)

Please note that Ball State will not accept projected grades and/or exam scores. Only finalized and verified grades/scores are accepted.

Ball State awards up to 30 credit hours if you receive a full International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma and have earned grades of 5 or better in your three higher-level exams. If you have not earned a full IB diploma, you may receive credit by earning the required exam scores in specific subjects. To earn credit, you should request for your official transcript from IB be sent to Ball State University.

View IB Required Scores and Credits (PDF)

Have you taken college-level courses while in military service? You may be eligible to receive credit at Ball State if your official military reports of educational achievement indicate attainment of college-level equivalency. We award credit according to the guidelines of the Office of Educational Credit (OEC) of the American Council on Education.

Contact Jennifer Lawson for information on having military credit evaluated.

Learn about Military Service Credit  EDUCATION SUPPORT PROGRAMS

If you register for courses at a community college before your high school graduation date, you will maintain your status as a freshman at Ball State. To receive advance credit, you must provide documentation showing the registration date of these classes.

If you register for 12 or more college credit hours after your high school graduation date, you will be considered a transfer student at Ball State. You may lose your status as an incoming freshman, even if you withdrew from the courses. 

Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions if you have questions.

Have you been admitted to Ball State and have work experience, informal study, or other learning experiences believed to be the equivalent of college-level work? If so, you may ask an academic department to evaluate these experiences for possible credit.

Ball State may grant you course credit if you receive the appropriate departmental authorization. The department will determine the courses you can apply credit to. You might need to provide supporting credentials or take an oral exam. You will not receive a grade for departmental authorization credit.

Contact the appropriate department to obtain an Application and Certification for Credit by Departmental Examination, Authorization, and Related Field Experience. A $30 fee may be required.

You may take an academic department’s exam for a course before you enroll or while you’re attending Ball State. Credit will be granted if your score meets departmental standards, but it cannot be awarded if you have been or are currently enrolled in that course for credit or audit. You may not repeat a departmental exam for credit for one year.

All Foundations, Tier 1, and Tier 2 courses in Ball State’s University Core Curriculum are available for credit by exam.

Contact the appropriate department to obtain an Application and Certification for Credit by Departmental Examination, Authorization, and Related Field Experience. A $30 fee may be required.

Did you take Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, or Spanish classes in high school? If so, you can earn up to 12–14 free credits at Ball State by taking our World Language Placement Exam and earning a grade of C or better in the language course where you are placed.

You’ll receive information about this opportunity after you have been admitted to Ball State and confirmed your enrollment. Plan to take the free exam if you’re considering the following areas of study:

  • world language major or minor
  • elementary education major (modern languages concentration)
  • English major
  • international business major or minor
  • media major or minor
  • music performance major (voice concentration)
  • political science major

If you receive Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or dual credit in a language, you should not take this exam. If you have experience in American Sign Language, you may pursue testing options once you start your first semester at Ball State.

Learn about World Language Placement

Once you’re enrolled at Ball State, you can receive credit if you earn satisfactory scores on the subject exams of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). These exams can be completed at Ball State, or find a test center that’s convenient for you. Fees for each exam are $80 payable to CLEP and $45 payable to Ball State (costs are subject to change).

Credit will not be granted for a CLEP exam if you have been or are currently enrolled for credit or audit in an accredited university course that covers the exam’s subject. You also cannot repeat a subject exam within three months.

Contact the Office of Academic Advising for consideration and testing procedures.

See CLEP Required Scores and Credits (PDF)