2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Master’s Degree Admission

Application for Admission

Admission standards are established for each master’s degree program at Ball State University by the responsible academic unit. All application materials, including a completed application form and unofficial transcripts, must be submitted to the Graduate School at least two weeks before the term in which the student wishes to begin graduate study. Departments may have earlier deadlines. Students may apply for admission to graduate study online at www.bsu.edu/gradschool. A prospective student should contact the department or consult the department’s website and/or handbook for specific program requirements. Enrollment for applicants whose admission materials arrive after the deadline may be deferred to a subsequent term.

Students must meet the following minimum Graduate School criteria to be considered for admission to graduate study toward a master’s degree:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from Ball State University or an equivalent degree from an institution accredited by its regional accrediting association is a prerequisite for admission to graduate study for a master’s degree. An applicant with a baccalaureate degree not considered the equivalent of that of Ball State University may be considered for probationary admission to a master’s program.
  2. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale on credit hours earned from the degree granting institution.
  3. Meet departmental or program admission requirements.
  4. Departments may recommend to the graduate dean that students with a latter half undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 be granted regular admission to their program.
  5. Departments may recommend to the graduate dean that students with 9 credits or more of graduate coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or students with a conferred graduate degree be granted regular admission to their program.

An applicant who meets minimum Graduate School admissions standards is not guaranteed admission to a specific degree program. Specific programs may have higher GPA requirements than the Graduate School minimums. The faculty of the various graduate programs make recommendations for admission to the dean of the Graduate School. Offers of admission are not official until approved by the dean of the Graduate School. Official admissions decisions are communicated to applicants by email from the dean of the Graduate School.


At the time of application, students must submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. Once a student is recommended for acceptance into a program, then they must submit one official transcript from all institutions from which the applicant had any degrees or certificates awarded. Students wishing to transfer graduate credit from another college or university also need to submit an official transcript from that institution. Final official transcripts must be received within the first semester of enrollment. An official transcript is one that has been received directly from the issuing institution, either by mail or electronically. It must bear that institution’s seal, the date, and an appropriate signature. Transcripts received that do not meet these requirements will not be considered official and will be rejected for any permanent use. All transcripts become the property of Ball State University. Applicants who are currently attending, or who have previously attended, Ball State University are not required to provide a Ball State transcript. International students may have different transcript submission procedures than domestic students, and they should contact Graduate and International Admissions for specific information and requirements.

Standardized Tests

The Graduate School does not require programs to consider standardized test scores in admission. Programs have complete discretion concerning whether or not they require standardized test scores. You should refer to your program’s graduate program handbook for more information about the admissions requirements and process for the program(s) you are interested in. If your program requires a standardized test score (GMAT or GRE), that score must be submitted to Ball State’s Office of Graduate Admission directly from the administering agency.

Other Documents

If the program(s) you are applying to require letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, a personal statement, or other documents, these can be submitted or requested through our online application process. It is your responsibility to ensure all deadlines and requirements are met. A prospective student should contact the department or consult the department’s website and/or handbook for specific program requirements.

Probationary Admission

Ball State University recognizes that some students who do not meet the Graduate School GPA minimum may still be able to make a strong case for admission to a master's program. In these cases, programs may petition the dean of the Graduate School for probationary admission of a student whose grade point average from their degree-granting institution is less than 2.75 if there is sufficient evidence of the student's academic and/or professional achievement indicating their potential for success in a master's program. Probationary admission requires the approval of the program director, department chair, and dean of the Graduate School. Programs may also choose to not allow probationary admissions in their programs.
Students admitted on a probationary status must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their first 9 semester credits of graduate work approved in advance by the program director, the chairperson (or their designee) of the major department, and the dean of the Graduate School. Upon the successful completion of these requirements, a student admitted under probationary status will be eligible to assume regular graduate student status. Students admitted under probationary status are not eligible for an assistantship until they assume regular student status.

Applicants who have a bachelor's degree from an institution that is not recognized by its regional accrediting association but who otherwise meet all Graduate School and department requirements for regular admission may request probationary admission. A recommendation for probationary admission from the graduate program director must be accompanied by a rationale and a probationary course plan of 9 credits for approval by the department chair, college dean and dean of the Graduate School. Once admitted on probation, the applicant must earn a 3.0 after completing the probationary course plan and be recommended for regular admission by the academic department.
Compensatory course work may be required for students whose undergraduate majors do not prepare them for their chosen master’s degree programs. Any such course requirements in addition to the requirements for the degree must be stated in the approved programs.
Exceptions to admission policies must be approved in advance by the dean of the Graduate School.


After official admission to a master’s degree, certificate, or licensure program, the student, with permission from the department, may defer enrollment for up to a year. A deferral request must be approved by the program director or designee by the Thursday before the first week of classes for the original application term. If the deferral is longer than a year or the request is not approved with the allotted time, the student may reapply for admission but must submit new application materials and meet all current admission requirements.

Conditional Admission

Applicants who have not submitted complete departmental admission materials or who have not yet been officially admitted to their departmental master’s degree programs may be granted conditional admission. Students will be notified of conditions that must be met at the time of admission. If the conditions for a student’s admission have not been fulfilled within the time period specified (usually one academic semester), the student will be barred from subsequent registration in the Graduate School.

Fresh Start Admission

A graduate student may request a “fresh start” when changing or returning to a graduate program leading to a master’s degree at Ball State University. A “fresh start” is defined as beginning a graduate program and having the graduate academic record recalculated to reflect no credits attempted and no graduate grade point average for the new program. All graduate courses previously taken at Ball State University, however, will remain on the student’s academic record.

To be considered for a fresh start, the student must submit a graduate application and a written statement of purpose for seeking readmission to the Dean of the Graduate School and must meet the following criteria:

  • a period of time of no less than six years has expired since the student withdrew or was dismissed from a Ball State graduate program,
  • the student’s previous graduate GPA is below the minimum required to earn a master’s degree (3.0 on a 4.0 scale),
  • the student meets current Graduate School admission requirements, and
  • the student has been recommended for admission into the program by the appropriate department.

Courses completed in a previous Ball State graduate program will not transfer or be applied to the requirements of the new program. The new program must be finished and the degree conferred within six years of the completion of the first new course. The student must complete a minimum of 30 credits, and the program of study must meet all departmental and Graduate School requirements.
Only one fresh start will be granted to any one graduate student at Ball State University. Final approval for a fresh start application rests with the Dean of the Graduate School.