Ball State University (BSU) is a public university in Muncie, Indiana. BSU was founded in 1899 as a normal school and was eventually purchased by the Ball brothers, a pair of successful and well-known businessmen in the local Muncie community. The brothers gave the school to the State of Indiana in 1918, which granted it university status in 1965.
Today BSU awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, and has several other specialized graduate programs. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university is home to more than 20,000 students on a very large campus, spanning well over a thousand acres. Ball State University defines its mission as one of “the discovery of knowledge, the integration of learning experiences, and their application through civic and professional leadership. “
BSU is composed of a number of different schools and colleges. There are seven academic colleges with programs on both the graduate and undergraduate level; there is also an undergraduate Honors College and a nonacademic University College which offers services for students. The Colleges are: the College of Applied Sciences and Technology; the College of Architecture and Planning; the Miller College of Business; the College of Communication, Information, and Media; the College of Fine Arts; the College of Sciences and Humanities; and the Teachers College.
Associate degrees are available in fifteen areas, including a number of technology fields, hospitality and food management, legal assistance, and criminal justice and criminology.
Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in roughly 180 areas. BSU programs in landscape architecture, education, architecture, telecommunications, and entrepreneurship are particularly well-known. Other popular options include family and consumer studies, industry and technology, nursing, military science, urban planning, accounting, music, communication studies, biology, English, mathematical sciences, and speech pathology. Programs in the arts and humanities, education, and business are well-represented. Minors are also awarded in most departments and include such areas as peace studies and conflict resolution, ancient studies, church music, hospitality management, plastics technology, sustainable land systems, and women’s studies.
Master’s degrees are awarded in more than 100 areas, including actuarial science, creative writing, digital storytelling, various educational and business programs, music, nursing, and urban and regional planning. An MBA is offered. Additionally, there are graduate certificate programs in biotechnology, business essentials for professionals, and gerontology. A specialist degree (Ed.S.) is available in curriculum, school psychology, and school superintendency.
BSU also offers several doctoral degrees in fields such as education (several specialties, including school psychology and counseling), English, human bioenergetics, music, linguistics, and audiology.
BSU offers several classes and a few complete degrees online. Online students may earn associate degrees in business administration-management, general studies, radiation therapy, or radiography; a bachelor of general studies; or a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing. The distance education program also offers certificates in apartment management, corrections, emerging media journalism (in partnership with The New York Times), and web applications.
The Ball State University Library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases in additional to physical volumes stored on site. Collections include an architecture library and slide collection, archives and special collections, a geospatial center and map collection, government publications, a music collection, and a science and health science library.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Center for Media Design’s iCommunication project, well-funded by the Lilly Endowment, creates, assesses, and delivers high-quality media content. The Center works with industry leaders to produce digital products for a variety of users, and specializes in the testing and assessment of digital media. Students with an interest in digital media have ample opportunity to gain practical work skills and cutting-edge knowledge by participating in the project.
Applications to the undergraduate programs are accepted through March 1 prior to the fall semester, although it is a rolling admission process so in some years this deadline may vary. Nursing and architecture have other deadlines. In addition to the application form and fee, students must submit high school transcripts and test scores. Prerequisites included a high school degree or GED, four years of high school English, three years of mathematics, three years of science, and three years of social studies. Applications can be submitted on-line.
Graduate students must satisfy particular department or program requirements, as well as providing the following for admission to the graduate school: application and fee, and official transcripts. A graduate application has a modest fee for students who do not have a prior degree from Ball State.
Ball State’s admissions policies are based on the strength of an applicant’s high school curriculum, successful completion of a number of college preparatory courses, academic performance (measured by grade point average, class rank, standardized test scores, or a combination of these), and patterns or trends within the curriculum. Honors admissions is available to Indiana residents who have a 3.6 or better grade point average or other outstanding academic qualities. Ball State operates on a “rolling admission,” meaning that reviews are conducted once all necessary paperwork is received, and applicants who get their materials in late may have to await the following semester to enroll.
Financial aid is available to BSU students through grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Traditionally, Ball State awards a large amount of scholarships to incoming freshmen. While financial need is not necessarily a prerequisite for aid, it can be considered in particular circumstances. Ball State prefers to award scholarships based on academic merit. The greatest determinant of eligibility is the Academic Index, or grade point average, in an applicant’s high school curriculum. The quality or challenges of a high school curriculum are also major factors.
Student Financial Aid Details
For many students, one of the best features of the BSU campus is the museum. The Ball State Museum of Art has collections ranging from the medieval era to the early 20th century, as well as a special Indiana group of Impressionists. It also includes ancient Greek, Etruscan, Roman, and Egyptian jewelry, vases and earthenware, and other materials. Art from Africa, the Americas, and Asia and the Middle East is also represented.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletics department at BSU is known as the Cardinals. The Cardinals compete at the intervarsity level in NCAA Division I and the Mid-American Conference. Men’s competitive athletics include baseball, basketball, cross-country, diving, equestrian, football, golf, swimming, tennis, and track & field. Women’s competitive athletics include basketball, cross-country, diving, equestrian, field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Students who are interested in playing sports at BSU can send a request directly to the coach from the Ball State University Athletics website.
BSU takes special pride in the academic quality of its student athletes. BSU student athletes rank among the highest in the nation in overall graduation rates among NCAA Division I-A institutions. Recognition for outstanding academic performance has also been given to student athletes in swimming and men’s and women’s basketball.
About. Ball State University. Web. 14 June 2011.
Academics. Ball State University. Web. 14 June 2011.
Distance Education. Ball State University. Web. 14 June 2011.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.