2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

General Information

History of the University

Ball State University was founded as Indiana State Normal School, Eastern Division, in 1918. Its antecedents, all housed in what is now the Ball State Administration Building, were also normal schools, owned and operated under various names. In 1918, the Ball brothers, a prominent Muncie industrial family, bought the property and donated it to the state of Indiana, which, in turn, transferred control of the school to the board of trustees of the Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute. In 1922, in recognition of the generosity of the Ball brothers, the board added Ball Teachers College to the school’s name. In 1929, the Indiana General Assembly separated the two colleges, naming the Muncie campus Ball State Teachers College.

On February 8, 1965, the general assembly renamed the institution Ball State University in recognition of its phenomenal growth in enrollment and physical facilities; the variety and quality of its educational programs and services; and in anticipation of the much broader role it would be expected to assume in the future.

Description of the University

Ball State University is a comprehensive, publicly assisted institution of higher learning whose mission is to provide excellent education. It is located in Muncie, Indiana, a city of 70,000, fifty-six miles northeast of Indianapolis. Although its primary concern is for the citizens of Indiana, it offers programs with appeal to regional, national, and international audiences.

Ball State University offers a strong undergraduate liberal and professional education and selected graduate programs of high quality. Ball State students can choose from a comprehensive range of academic programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s levels, as well as doctoral programs in areas where the university has special competence.

The university has a selective admissions policy; in some areas, such as architecture, the university is very selective. Exceptionally well-qualified undergraduate students may enroll in the Honors College for more intellectually demanding programs of study. Students who have not decided on a major or who may need to strengthen their learning skills can take advantage of the special academic assistance and intensive educational advising offered by University College.

As part of Ball State’s commitment to excellence in education, the university offers students a friendly, collegial atmosphere; a full range of out-of-class activities; and excellent, well-planned academic, residential, and recreational facilities. An impressive array of student support services contributes to the personal, social, and intellectual development of all students.

Although Ball State University is primarily a residential academic community, it also supports programs that reach students well beyond the immediate campus. Through interactive telecommunications, Internet courses, and on-site courses, Ball State distance learning students are able to take courses and entire degree programs. The university has a strong commitment to cultural diversity and international programs. It offers exchange programs with universities throughout the world and a wide variety of opportunities for students to study abroad.


Ball State University will be a national model of excellence for challenging, learner-centered academic communities that advance knowledge and improve economic vitality and quality of life.


We engage students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while we enhance the economic, environmental, and social vitality of our community, our state, and our world.

The Beneficence Pledge

Members of the Ball State University Community . . .

pledge to maintain high standards of scholarship and excellence

To work with students, faculty, and staff to strengthen teaching and learning on campus.

pledge to practice academic honesty

To model and uphold academic integrity, to honor their peers and earn the trust and respect from all members of the community.

pledge to act in a socially responsible way

To treat each person in the Ball State community with civility, courtesy, compassion, and dignity; to respect the property and environment of the campus.

pledge to value the intrinsic worth of every member of the community

To respect and learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions.