Here’s What We Look For

Admission to Ball State is competitive. We review each individual application to consider your academic performance, level of course work, standardized test scores, and extracurricular participation in high school. Ultimately, we aim to determine if you can be successful here. Review the following criteria we consider 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).

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 Analytical Algebra II)
  • three years of science (two with lab)
  • three years of social studies
  • foreign language study strongly recommended but not required

Academic Performance and Curriculum

Are you taking rigorous courses even through senior year? We evaluate the strength of your courses, how well you performed, and if your grade trends were positive and consistent.


Average Admitted Student GPA

SAT and/or ACT Scores (OPTIONAL)

The SAT and ACT can help us determine your college-level readiness. If you choose to submit them, we accept scores from either test or both.

We superscore, which means we take your best score from each section for a final score. If you take both tests, we’ll evaluate the score that works in your favor. You can retake either test and submit new scores an unlimited number of times.

We Are Now Test-Optional

As of August 2018, Ball State is a test-optional institution. This means you may choose whether you submit your SAT or ACT test scores to us—we do not require them. We made this change so you may decide whether your scores best reflect your academic performance. Not submitting test scores will not count against you. Learn more.


Average SAT Score
on 2-Part


Average ACT Score

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 or a letter of recommendation.