Congratulations on taking the first step toward becoming a Ball State Cardinal! Jumping into college for the first time can be intimidating, but rest assured knowing our Ball State admissions team is here to help you apply, commit, and feel at home on our beautiful, welcoming campus as a new college student.

Keep reading to learn more about our admission requirements, the steps to apply, and more.

What We Look For

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis to consider academic performance, level of course work, extracurricular participation, and more. Ultimately, we aim to determine if you can be successful as a Cardinal. 

Review the following criteria Ball State considers when you apply.


Ball State recommends the Indiana Academic Honors Diploma or its out-of-state equivalent.

At minimum, we require an Indiana Core 40 diploma (or its equivalent).

Your Involvement

Do you play an instrument, compete in sports, perform onstage, participate in clubs, have a job, or volunteer? Depending on your desired major, we may require a design portfolio, performance audition, or an essay. Some scholarship opportunities might require a list of your accomplishments.


We evaluate the strength of your courses, how well you performed, and if your grade trends were positive and consistent. Our average admitted student GPA is 3.5.

Required Courses

Complete these courses to be eligible for admission:

  • four years of English
  • three years of mathematics
    • Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II or Analytics Algebra II
  • three years of science (two with lab)
  • three years of social studies  
  • foreign language study strongly recommended but not required

SAT and ACT Scores

Your SAT and/or ACT scores can help us determine your readiness to pursue a college degree. While Ball State is test-optional, we accept scores from either test or both if you choose to submit them. Learn about our test-optional policy.

Advance Credit

You can earn college credit early for Ball State by taking special courses and exams through Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge International, and other programs. We also offer our own departmental and world language exams. See all of our advance credit options and requirements.

Steps to Apply

Applying to Ball State is easy and can be done completely online. Follow the steps below to prepare your application and materials. You’re one step closer to becoming a Cardinal!

Be sure to apply by the appropriate deadline for your desired term and for maximum consideration of potential scholarships. See our dates and deadlines.

Step 1
Review Admission Criteria

Admission to Ball State is competitive. We will consider both your academic performance and extracurricular activities when we review your application. See our full admission criteria above (“What We Look For”).

Step 2
Send Us Your Transcript

A complete application requires an official high school transcript sent directly from your high school. We accept transcripts electronically (i.e. Parchment) or mailed directly to the Office of Admissions. Find our mailing address.

Step 3
Send Us Your Test Scores (optional)

Ball State is test-optional, meaning you decide whether or not you provide your SAT and/or ACT scores. If you choose to send in your test scores, we accept them from your testing agency or on your official high school transcript. Learn more about test scores.

Step 4
Tell Us About Yourself (optional)

You have the option to submit a one-page statement or resume as part of your online application. If you’re missing required coursework, fall below admission criteria, or graduated from a nonaccredited high school, we recommend you complete this step.

Guidance for Transfer Students

Thinking about becoming a Ball State Cardinal? Check out our YouTube playlist for transfer students. Explore our academic colleges, learn how to apply for admissions and financial aid, and discover the next steps you'll take after you're admitted. We're ready when you're ready—apply to Ball State.

Apply to Ball State

After completing the steps above, it’s time to complete the online application. An application and all required application materials must be received at least two weeks before the start of classes for a given term to be considered for admission to Ball State. However, we recommend you do so by the priority deadline for your term.

Please note that if an applicant is denied admission to Ball State University, they may reapply for an earlier term only if new materials are provided (updated test scores and/or transcripts).

After You Apply

After completing your application, you can continue to log in to your Cardinal Landing portal to submit additional materials and check your application status.


If you need assistance with any part of your application process, please call or email the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Contact Us