Online and Distance Education Banner

Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Started

Ready to begin your online and distance education program? The steps below will help you get started or you can download a PDF version for your convenience.

Step 1: Access Ball State Services 
All of the tools you need to find services especially for online and distance education students can be found at Bookmark this page. You will need it regularly.

To register for your online classes and to access services such as your Ball State e-mail account
(, career services, Ball State libraries, or writing services, you will need a Ball State username and password. Your username and a temporary password will be sent to you via your personal e-mail account. This will be our last communication through your personal e-mail account. Future communications—course confirmations, schedules, tuition bills, and other university information—will all be e-mailed to your Ball State e-mail account.

It is your responsibility to manage your Ball State e-mail. If you haven’t received your username and password within five business days of receiving your notification of admittance, check your deleted, spam, or junk folders of your personal e-mail address, or contact us at so we can resend the information.

To maintain the confidentiality of Social Security numbers at Ball State, you will be assigned an alternate ID number that you will need when requesting course or personal information by phone, e-mail, or in person. Your Ball State ID number will be sent along with your Ball State username and password. You can also look up your Ball State ID number online at

Step 2: Get your computer ready for school 
To be an online student, your computer needs the minimal system and software requirements, including:

High-speed connection to the Internet to access course Web sites, perform online research, view videos, prepare homework assignments, and use our online classroom technologies.

Microsoft Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook). Don’t forget to ask your instructor if you will need to use specific software for your course. Ball State offers several free or discounted software titles , which you’ll find at

Firefox is the recommended Internet browser for accessing the learning platform called Blackboard.

If you have technical questions, you may contact Ball State’s Technology HelpDesk by visiting or by calling 765-285-1517 or 866-771-3276 (toll free).

Step 3: Work with your advisor
Before registering for courses, we recommend that you contact your academic advisor so you can work out a course plan that will meet your educational and graduation goals. You can locate your advisor at Working with an advisor is a requirement of our online bachelor of general studies program.

Step 4: Understand your financial aid 
If you are receiving financial aid, make sure you know for which term your aid applies. You’ll find contact information for the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at

Step 5: Access MyBSU 
MyBSU is the web-based system you will use for a number of things including:

  • Course registration
  • Add/drop/withdrawal
  • Look up classes
  • Academic holds
  • Degree and advisor information
  • Grades
  • Textbooks, and much more.

To access MyBSU, go to Log in with your username and password and select Self-Service Banner (SSB). If you need additional help in the MyBSU system, go to our website and access online tutorials and our FAQ page.

Methods of Delivery: We have several course delivery options including:

  • Online: Taking courses online allows you to complete your course work from home, work, or wherever you have high-speed Internet connection. There is no specific time you need to be online. You will participate in class discussions via Blackboard and submit assignments online.
  • Fixed-time Online: Courses are taught live on our main campus in Muncie and are simultaneously video streamed through the Internet for you to watch. Classes are taught on specific days at specific times. You are expected to view these classes via the Internet as they are occurring on campus, unless your instructor indicates that you can watch recorded versions on your own time. Muncie is in the Eastern Time Zone.
  • Live, Off-Campus: If you live in the Indianapolis area, we offer two convenient options to take classes, Ball State Indianapolis Center and our Ball State University Fishers Center. These locations offer several graduate-level degree and certificate programs.
  • Hybrid: Degree or certificate programs that are hybrid are simply programs that contain a mix of online courses and on-site courses.

Please note that the College Transition Program, Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment Courses option is for high school students only.

Step 6: Order your textbooks
You can purchase your textbooks online through the Ball State Bookstore, Or, if you want to buy your books from another bookstore, you can find titles and authors listed on Blackboard after you register for the classes. You can also find a textbook information link at MyBSU by clicking on Schedule.

Step 7: Find your course on Blackboard
Blackboard (Bb), which you can access at, is a course-management system which is the online equivalent of the university classroom. Your instructors will use Blackboard to post assignments and tests, host discussion forums, and make files and grades available to students. Instructors are responsible for making classes available to view on Blackboard. Classes will not be viewable until the start date of the class. Instructors can post anytime during the day of the start date.

If you have questions about Blackboard or would like technical assistance, visit to review the Blackboard FAQs. You may also contact the Technology HelpDesk by submitting a ticket at or by calling 765-285-1517 or 866-771-3276 (toll free).

Step 9: Access your eBill
You can access your eBill account (also called bursar account) to find tuition payment due date, receipts for payment, and other helpful information.

Step 10: Stay informed
As a new student, you will receive news and alerts from Ball State’s Communications Center, This site allows you to opt-in or opt-out of e-mails from a variety of Ball State categories, such as career development, fitness and health, sports, arts and entertainment, academics, and more. Log-in and customize your preferences for information.

Optional steps:

Order your Ball State ID card.

Note these benefits: When you are admitted to the program, you will receive a university identification number and one free Ball State off-campus ID card. You can use the card at the university library and computer labs. Also, you can benefit from the student discounts for PC or Apple purchases in our Ball State computer store, If you are a student with disabilities, contact the Office of Disability Services.

Online and Distance Education
David Letterman Communication and Media Building (LB), Room 131
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday
Phone: 1-800-872-0369 or 765-285-1581
Fax: 765-285-7161
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