Burris Laboratory School was established in 1929, as part of Teachers College, Ball State University and the Muncie Schools. The purpose for Burris has not changed significantly throughout the history of the school. Burris is no longer a part of the Muncie Schools. Since 1974 it has been a separate school district and has the entire state of Indiana as its enrollment district. In 1990, Burris, with the addition of the Indiana Academy of Science, Mathematics, and Humanities became part of University Schools. In 2004, Burris and the Indiana Academy became separate school corporations. Burris is the only school in the Burris Laboratory School Corporation.

Burris School is named after Dr. Benjamin Burris, Dean of Teachers College, Ball State University at the time of the construction of the school. This building, which underwent a 11.7 million dollar renovation in 1993, has always been the home of Burris School. The renovation not only improved the appearance of the inside of the building but also up-graded the facilities to include four computer labs, a distance learning studio and well equipped science laboratories.

Burris is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and by the State of Indiana. In November, 1995, the North Central Association (NCA) sent a visiting team to Burris to re-evaluate the school based on the report completed by the faculty on June 30, 1995. Burris does not have a school board; therefore, the Ball State University Board of Trustees is the ultimate authority for school policies.