2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Honors College

J. Emert, Dean; A. Livingston, Associate Dean


The Honors College offers distinctive learning opportunities for students with excellent academic promise by way of special courses, colloquia, seminars, and independent study. The curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature, consisting of courses that link issues and themes from a variety of modes of inquiry. Honors professors often invite guest speakers to furnish additional perspectives on topics under study.

Students in the Honors College complete a core of six Honors courses that can also meet requirements in the University Core Curriculum. The core includes inquiries in contemporary American civilization, global studies, science, and a three-term integrated exploration of the major intellectual, artistic, and cultural achievements of humankind. Honors core courses may be taken during any year of study.

All incoming students enroll in the Freshman Seminar in their first semester. This seminar provides an orientation to the Honors College and the university experience, and is guided by an upper-division Honors College student mentor. After the freshman year, students may enroll in Honors colloquia. Each Honors student takes at least two colloquia during their undergraduate studies. These colloquia are developed by Honors faculty members to focus on special topics, creative connections, or critical issues in their areas of expertise. As a senior, each student completes an individual inquiry or creative project under the guidance of a professor selected by the student.

Throughout their four years, Honors students have ready access to their Honors advisor, who helps to identify one’s academic goals and offers continual guidance from freshman orientation through graduation. Honors students may apply for the Undergraduate Fellows competition, which awards stipends for independent work with a faculty mentor. Honors students are strongly encouraged to pursue short- or long-term study abroad experiences and major post-graduate fellowship opportunities. Any undergraduate student may also earn “Departmental Honors” in their major, as determined by the major department and coordinated by the Honors College.

Applications for admission to the Honors College are reviewed by the Honors College following the applicant’s admission to Ball State University. The Honors College considers the strength of the high school curriculum (including the Indiana Academic Honors Diploma or equivalent curriculum and value-added experiences such as AP, IB or other special academic courses), extracurricular activities and leadership experiences, letters of reference from teachers familiar with the student’s potential for college academic work, and standardized test scores. Students admitted to the Honors College must make regular progress in the Honors curriculum: students’ grade-point averages must be at least 3.0 at the end of the freshman year and 3.15 at the end of the sophomore year; students should complete at least one Honors core course by the end of the first year; students should complete at least three Honors core courses by the end of the second year. In order to graduate with an Honors diploma, students must complete the Honors curriculum and finish with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.33.

Transfer students are also welcome to request admission to the Honors College. Transfer students should contact the dean of the Honors College directly, preferably by e-mail.

For more information, contact the dean of the Honors College via e-mail (honors@bsu.edu) or phone, 765-285-1024, or explore the Honors College Web site at www.bsu.edu/honors.