2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Honors College

J. Buss, Dean; E. Rutter, 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.

The Honors College is committed to five pillars: (1) fostering global awareness, responsibility, and sustainability through an interdisciplinary curriculum; (2) forging mentoring relationships among faculty, staff, and students and among undergraduate peers; (3) ensuring access to scholarships, research fellowships, and creative endeavors that enable students to reach their full potential; (4) realizing the tenets of inclusive excellence in all aspects of our work; (5) cultivating a diverse and vibrant community that serves all members justly and equitably.

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 culture, 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 an eight-week Freshman Seminar in their first semester. This seminar provides an orientation to the Honors College and the Ball State 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 offers continual guidance from freshman orientation through graduation. Honors students may apply for an Undergraduate Fellowship, which provides a stipend for independent research or a creative endeavor 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.

Both incoming freshman and transferring students are welcome to apply to 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 Technical Honors Diploma or equivalent curriculum and value-added experiences such as AP, IB, or other special academic courses), prior college experiences if applicable, extracurricular activities and leadership experiences, and letters of reference from teachers familiar with the student’s potential for college academic work. 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.

For more information, contact the Dean of the Honors College via e-mail (honors@bsu.edu) or phone, 765-285-1024, or go to www.bsu.edu/IAmHonors