Undergraduate Course Catalog

Degree Requirements and Time Limit

Degree Requirements
Degree requirements are those in effect on the date of a student’s first registration for credit after admission. Students may, however, choose to complete a particular major, minor, or two-year program under the requirements of the most recent catalog. Students who change a major, minor, or two-year program must meet the requirements of the new program as stated in the catalog current when the change is made.

Time Limit
There is no specific time limit for the completion of undergraduate degrees, but the university reserves the right to review course work that is more than seven years old. Furthermore, the university is neither obligated nor committed to continue courses or programs so that students can take more than the normal four or five years to complete bachelor’s degrees or more than two years to complete associate degrees.

CREDITS

Class standing and grade-point averages at Ball State University are determined on the basis of semester credits. Generally, one hour of class time a week equals one credit. For example, most classes at Ball State carry 3 credits, and they meet for approximately three hours each week.

CLASS STANDING

Undergraduate students are designated as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors during their academic careers at Ball State. Students who have earned fewer than 30 semester credits are freshmen. Students who have earned 30 credits or more but fewer than 63 credits are sophomores. Students who have earned 63 credits or more but fewer than 96 credits are juniors. Students who have earned 96 credits or more are seniors.

COURSE LOAD

The normal course load in a semester is 12 to 18 credits; in a five-week summer term, the normal load is 6 to 9 credits. (During a semester, 9 to 11 credits is considered a three-quarter-time load; 6 to 8 credits is considered a half-time load.) A total of twelve credits in a semester is considered a full course load for undergraduate students. Freshmen are not eligible to register for more than 18 credits unless they have met the following conditions:

  1. They have earned previous residence credit at Ball State University. 
  2. They have cumulative grade-point averages of at least 3.0. 
  3. They have successfully completed all of their scheduled courses in the preceding semester or term.

Students who are on academic probation may not register for more than 18 credits in a semester or 9 credits in a five-week summer term.

GRADES

The university reports and records grades using the plus/minus letter system. Quality points are allocated to each recorded grade according to the following scale:

A = 4.00
A- = 3.667
B+ = 3.333
B = 3.000
B- = 2.667
C+ = 2.333
C = 2.000
C- = 1.667
D+ = 1.333
D = 1.000
D- = 0.667
F = 0
     
Programs requiring C or better grades will not accept a C- grade (unless specified otherwise). A student’s grade-point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credits attempted.

A grade of F is recorded when a student fails a course or withdraws from a course after the withdrawal period unless, in the judgment of the dean of the instructor’s college, the reasons for withdrawing from a course warrant a W. Students who quit attending classes for which they are registered will receive Fs unless they officially withdraw from the courses by obtaining the appropriate signatures.

CR is recorded for students registered under credit/no credit provisions who do work that is average or above average.

NC is recorded for students registered under credit/no credit provisions who do work that is below 2.0.

I represents incomplete work and is given only when it is determined that the student should be given an opportunity to finish the work. The instructor, along with the department chairperson, decides whether to award an incomplete grade in a course and outlines the requirements and time limit for completing the work. The maximum time permitted for completion of such a grade is one year. If an I is not removed within the time agreed upon, it automatically becomes an F. Students should not re-register in the same course with a pending I grade.

EC represents continued enrollment in a course that runs beyond two or more grading periods.

NR represents a grade not properly reported by an instructor. The instructor must assign a grade by the fifth week of the next term. If an NR grade is not removed by the fifth week of the following (academic year) term, the Registrar’s Office will automatically change the grade to F or to NC if it is a credit or no credit course.

W represents an official withdrawal from a course.

Students who want to take courses without credit to apply toward a degree (auditors) sign waivers for the specific courses. Students earn no credit for auditing classes. Such classes are represented by the entry AU on the student’s transcript. The instructor, however, may determine that an audit class is not to be posted on a student’s permanent record.

At the close of each semester or term, students may access grades. Any correction in a grade already reported must be made by the instructor on the proper form and approved by the department chairperson and the dean of the instructor’s college before it is filed in the registrar’s office. Any such change must be completed within one year of the close of the session for which the grade was due.

Dean’s List. Undergraduates who earn at least a 3.5 grade-point average for 12 or more credits of graded course work during a semester or for 6 or more credits of graded course work during a summer term will be named to the dean’s list for that semester or term. This designation will be placed on students’ academic transcripts.

CREDIT/NO CREDIT POLICY

Students may choose to earn up to 15 credits under the credit/no credit option; if a course is offered only for credit/no credit, it will not be counted in the fifteen-credit allowance. Students who have taken a course for a grade cannot take it again on a credit/no credit basis. Courses taken on a credit/no credit basis will not count toward the academic major, minor, or any University Core Curriculum requirements, except for student teaching, internships, and courses offered only for credit/no credit. If a student has taken courses in a particular subject for credit/no credit and then decides to major or minor in that subject, not more than two of the courses will count toward the major or minor requirements. Students on academic probation may not use the credit/no credit option. With these exceptions, departments must allow students to take courses for credit/no credit.

MINIMUM GRADE REQUIREMENTS

Students who fail to earn a grade-point average of at least 1.0 during the first semester of the freshman year will be dismissed from the university.

Undergraduates will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative grade-point averages fall below 2.0. Students completing one semester should have a grade-point average of at least 1.9. If the cumulative grade-point average falls below 1.9, the student must increase it to 1.9 in the next term of enrollment, or must earn at least a 2.0 each term until the cumulative grade-point average reaches 1.9. Otherwise, the student will be subject to academic dismissal.

Students on academic probation may be required to repeat courses, enroll in no more than 15 credits, take courses in reading and study skills, attend academic progress meetings sponsored by the Office of Registration and Academic Progress, attend workshops and seminars on academic success, obtain advisor’s approval to make schedule changes, and enroll in class sections that offer supplemental instruction. Students who are informed by the registrar that they have been placed on academic probation should immediately meet with an academic advisor to discuss plans for improvement.

Students who have completed 30 credits (including transfer and other earned credit) must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0. If the cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.0, it must increase to 2.0 in the next term of enrollment, or a grade-point average of at least a 2.1 each term must be earned until the cumulative grade-point average reaches 2.0. Otherwise, the student will be subject to academic dismissal.

Transferred credits from other colleges and universities will be included in determining the number of completed credits. The grades from those institutions will not be used in figuring the cumulative grade-point average. Transfer students who fail to earn a grade-point average of at least 1.0 during the first semester of attendance may be dismissed from the university.

Students dismissed from Ball State for academic reasons cannot be reinstated for at least two semesters (summer is considered a semester). To be reinstated, students must complete an application form available from the Office of the Registrar and submit it to the Office of the Registrar for review by the Committee on Admissions and Credits by the appropriate date established by the Registrar’s Office. The request cannot be presented to the Committee on Admissions and Credits if a “university hold” has been placed on all student records or if the university has not received official transcripts of grades from all other schools attended since the last semester of attendance at Ball State. Reinstatement to the university does not ensure admission to a particular college or program.

Ball State is not obligated to reinstate students who have been dismissed. Students granted reinstatement must show that they have sufficient aptitude to pursue their intended program of study. They must also show signs of increased maturity, increased commitment to education, and adequate financial resources to attend Ball State without excessive employment. Students may not apply for reinstatement more than once in a twelve-month period. Normally, students who have been disqualified will not be reinstated more than once in a three-year period.

All degree programs require that students earn a grade-point average of at least 2.0 overall and in each area of concentration. Some programs—for example, teacher education—have higher minimum requirements.

Academic Clemency. Undergraduate students who were not enrolled at Ball State University for a five-year period may petition the Committee on Admissions and Credits to have grades and credits earned before that period removed from the calculation of their cumulative grade-point averages. Students participating in the program are specifically required to comply with the following provisions:

  • Students must certify that they were not registered in any capacity at Ball State University for a period of at least five years. 
  • For students who qualify for academic clemency, all previous Ball State University course work with grades of C or above will be counted for credit only. However, students will lose credit for all courses with grades below C and resume their academic program with no cumulative grade-point average. 
  • The student’s academic records will be inscribed with the note “Academic Clemency Granted (date).” 
  • Academic clemency may be used only one time by a Ball State University student.
  • Academic clemency is final and irreversible.
  • All other policies of Ball State University apply.

Call the Office of the Registrar, 765-285-1725, for more information on the deadlines for applications for reinstatement or academic clemency.

STUDENT RECORDS

At the close of each semester or term, enrolled students may view grade reports showing attempted credits, earned credits, quality points, grade-point average for the semester or term, and cumulative grade-point average. Permanent academic records are kept in the Registrar’s Office.

Midterm Evaluation of Freshmen
Freshmen students in danger of receiving a C-, D+, D, D-, F, or NC in a 100- or 200-level course will be sent a notice to that effect during the eighth week of the semester. This midterm evaluation will be sent to the student and the student’s academic advisor and residence hall director. The purpose of this evaluation is to give advance notice that a student’s course performance might result in a semester grade of less than a C. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to respond appropriately to this information.

Even if a notice is not sent, a student may still receive a grade of less than a C in the course. The midterm evaluation is merely a notice of poor performance at that time.

COURSES

Course Repetition
An undergraduate student may repeat a course once in order to replace a course grade of C or below. The original and second grade will remain on the student’s academic record, but the second grade the student receives will be used in figuring the student’s grade-point average. The grade of W will not replace a previous grade. If it is necessary to take a course to meet program requirements, the student may do so as many times as necessary. However, all grades except the first one received in any course the student repeated will be used in computing the grade-point average for the student. A student’s academic record and transcript will show all grades that the student received, but a notation will appear if courses are repeated. The credits for the course will count only once toward the student’s graduation requirements. Colleges may limit course repetitions even further; students should become familiar with college policies. The university is not obligated to offer courses so that students can repeat them.

The university reserves the right to modify or cancel courses when necessary because of accreditation requirements, insufficient enrollment, lack of staff members, or for financial or other reasons. In addition, the chairperson of a department can transfer students from one section of a class to another section of the same class.

Departments can substitute courses to meet major and minor requirements as long as the substitution does not reduce the number of credits required in the program. Either a student or a department can request a course substitution before the alternate course is taken. The department chairperson must sign a copy of the approval of the substitution; the form must then be submitted to the appropriate advising center.

Students who need to change their class schedules can do so any time after their initial registration through the fifth day of a semester or the third day of a summer session. There is no charge for changes made during this time frame.

Extended Education Courses
Extended education courses include independent learning courses and the range of courses taught primarily through electronic media to students at remote locations through the School of Extended Education.

Students enrolled in extended education courses are entitled to the support services of University Libraries and University Computing Services. Access to other services and facilities is only available to students who have paid all necessary fees.

Ball State students enrolled in any extended education course will only receive residence credit for those courses that originate at Ball State University.

Independent learning enrollments after January 13, 1997, earn residence credit. For students pursuing a degree at Ball State University, there may be a limit to the number of independent learning credit hours that will count toward a major or minor. To inquire about the limitations governing degree programs, contact the academic department responsible for the major or minor.

Incomplete Policy for Independent Learning Courses
The course period for independent learning courses will not exceed ten weeks or nine months, depending on the time frame selected upon enrollment. Final grades for independent learning courses are posted at the end of each semester. If an independent learning course is not completed by the end of the semester for which a student enrolls, an I (incomplete grade) will be recorded for the course. Once the course has been completed, the instructor will replace the I with the final grade. Students who do not complete or officially withdraw from the independent learning course by the end of the specified time frame will receive a failing grade. Students should not re-register in the same course with a pending I grade.

Class Attendance
A student’s official course program is regarded as a contract with the university. Since full performance requires, in part, regular and punctual class attendance, students are expected to attend all classes for which they are registered. Faculty will establish attendance policies for their courses and communicate those policies through course syllabi or outlines.

Students who know they must be absent from a class should notify the instructor or departmental office. Courtesy requires that students speak to the instructor and preferably present a signed and dated memo briefly stating the reasons for absence.

Faculty members are responsible for keeping records of attendance of all students registered in each class. Students are responsible for completing any work they have missed. The faculty member is not required to do extra teaching to help students “catch up.”

Right to Bereavement Leave
Students will be excused from class in the event of the death of a member of the student’s immediate family or household, including: father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandchild, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, and stepdaughter. The number of excused absences allowed is determined by the distance of funeral services from Muncie, Indiana, as follows:

Three work days—150-mile radius of Muncie
Four work days—Between 150-300 mile radius of Muncie
Five work days—Beyond 300-mile radius of Muncie
Seven work days—Outside of North America

In the event of the death of a student’s brother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, and niece, students will be allowed one work day.

A student may contact the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards to request that an informational notice (without verification) be sent to the student’s instructor(s). The student will provide documentation to each instructor. Given proper documentation, the instructor will excuse the student from class and provide the opportunity to earn equivalent credit for assignments missed. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, he or she may appeal as outlined in Ball State University’s Procedure for Student Bereavement Appeals.

Field Trips
Field trips consistent with the purpose of the course should be planned at the beginning of the semester. Absence caused by field trips in a course or by official university responsibilities will be announced in advance to the instructors of the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Students obtain these notices through the department chairperson’s office and take them to their instructors at least three days in advance of the absence. No field trips, travel, or other special events involving students are scheduled during the first week or the last two weeks of a semester. Exceptions will be granted only after consultation with and approval by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs. Whenever possible, trips should be scheduled for weekends.

Field trips are voluntary, but a course grade may be lowered if students do not go on a field trip and do not complete adequate make-up work as assigned.

Internships and Practica
The university encourages student internships and practica. Internships and practica are defined as supervised practical experience in a student’s field of study. In order to be recorded on the student’s academic transcript, the internship or practicum must have an academic component. Academic supervision must be conducted by faculty in the student’s major or minor course of study in collaboration with a supervisor at the internship or practicum site. Academic internships and practica must be approved by the department chairperson or a designated representative of the student’s major or minor course of study.

WITHDRAWAL

Withdrawal from a Course

Change of Course Period
Students may drop or add courses through the fifth day of classes of a semester (fall, spring, and summer) and through the third day of classes of an individual summer session. Courses dropped through this period are not recorded on the student’s permanent record.

Course Withdrawal Period
The course withdrawal period is determined according to the following schedule:

  • from the sixth to the forty-fifth day of classes in a semester; 
  • from the sixth to the thirtieth day of classes in a summer semester; 
  • from the fourth to the fifteenth day of classes in a summer session.

Note: Under this policy, Saturday is not considered a class day.

Students wishing to withdrawal from a course during this period should first discuss the withdrawal with their instructor and must then obtain a withdrawal form and instructions. Students must complete the form and submit it to the Office of Registration and Academic Progress by the close of business hours on the last day of the withdrawal period. All student-initiated withdrawals will be recorded as a final grade of W during this period. However, students who discontinue enrollment or who abandon courses without following the withdrawal policy’s procedures will normally earn grades of F in those courses.

Withdrawal after the Course Withdrawal Period
If there are verifiable extenuating circumstances which make withdrawal from a course academically justified after the withdrawal period ends, the college dean or designate may grant an exception to the above withdrawal policy. In these cases, the faculty member is responsible for determining the grade to be assigned: W or F.

No adjustment of fees is made for individual course withdrawal.

Withdrawal from All Classes
To withdraw from all classes after the semester or term begins, a student first obtains a withdrawal form from the Office of the Assistant to the Dean, Division of Student Affairs. The student will complete the form and return it to that office. If a refund is warranted, the amount will be determined by the date of withdrawal, which is the date the completed withdrawal form is submitted by the student to the Office of the Assistant to the Dean, Division of Student Affairs.

Students must continue to attend classes until they have submitted a completed withdrawal form. Students who stop going to classes before that time will likely receive an F in the course or courses from which they are withdrawing. For more information about withdrawal from all classes, call the Office of the Assistant to the Dean, Division of Student Affairs, 765-285-1545.

A student may be eligible for a refund of registration fees charged only if the student withdraws from all classes during any semester, session, or term. Further, the only fees that are eligible for a refund are registration fees. There is no refund of the applied music fee for either the matriculated or the non-matriculated student.

The following schedule indicates the prorated portion of the registration fees a student may be eligible to receive provided the student complies with the University’s policy for withdrawing from all classes through the Office of the Assistant to the Dean/Ombudsperson, Division of Student Affairs.

Percent Refunded

Withdrawal During
Week

Weeks in a Semester, Session
or Term

16 10 5
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
100%
80%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
90%
70%
50%
30%
10%
0%
75%
40%
0%

 

Percent Refunded

Withdrawal During
Day

Weeks in a Workshop

16 10
1
2
3
4
5
6
100%
75%
50%
25%
10%
0%
100%
50%
0%

GRADUATION

Students must apply for graduation. Application forms are available in the advising centers or online and must be submitted early in the appropriate school year, before the deadline printed on the back of the application form.

Graduation with Honors
Students completing all university requirements for graduation with a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher will graduate summa cum laude. If the grade-point average is between 3.8 and 3.899, students will graduate magna cum laude. If the grade-point average is between 3.6 and 3.799, students will graduate cum laude.

The grade-point average upon which graduation honors are determined includes all work at Ball State University completed for graduation. In addition, transfer students must have earned a minimum of 63 semester credits at Ball State University to be eligible for honors.

Associate Degrees with Academic Distinction
Students graduating with associate degrees who maintain at least a 3.6 grade-point average will receive a designation of Associate of Arts/Science with Academic Distinction on their academic transcripts. Transfer students must have earned a minimum of 30 semester credits at Ball State University to be eligible for Academic Distinction.