student artist painting

You need to apply to both the university and the School of Art in order to pursue one of our school’s bachelor’s degrees. The university must admit you before you can apply to the School of Art. Admission is competitive, so apply early!

We will screen your application based on your academic performance and a portfolio of your original artwork.

Key Dates for First-Time Freshmen

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Feb. 10 – Open House and Portfolio Review: Bring artwork for faculty to review. You need to register by Feb. 7.

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March 1 – Priority Deadline for Admission and Freshman Scholarship: Materials must be submitted in order to receive full consideration.

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April 1 – Deadline for Regular Admission: After this date, we will only consider portfolios based on available space in the program.

Admission Criteria

We have different admission requirements for you depending on whether you are applying to the school as an incoming freshman, transfer student, or current Ball State student.

Download Print Instructions (PDF)

Incoming Freshman

While there are no specific courses that you must take in high school, observational drawing is an important part of the portfolio. We recommend you take courses in drawing and other areas of art.

BFA Degree Applicants – What We Review

  • academic record – a review of high school transcripts
  • test scores – SAT and/or ACT
  • portfolio – 10-15 original works demonstrating studio art skills and other art-related abilities 
  • inventory sheet – a list of submitted work, indicating title, course, media, size, and date or term completed
  • BA or BS degree applicants are not required to submit portfolios unless applying for scholarships

We will review the transcript you submit to Ball State’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions for your university application. 

The School of Art is no longer accepting portfolio's for the 2017-18 academic year. If you are a first-time freshman, please refer to criteria for current students.

Submit Your Materials

All students admitted to the School of Art also must complete a common first-year program of study comprised of required courses in drawing, design, computer art, and art history.

Applicants not admitted to the School of Art may still enroll at Ball State, declare a major in Studio Art (BA degree), and reapply after completing the first-year foundation courses.

Studio Art majors (BA degree) and students enrolled in other majors across campus who want to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in art must undergo a selection process that includes a portfolio of work. 

  • Declare major in Studio Art and begin taking art courses in the spring or summer.
  • Complete the first-year foundation courses (ADS 101, ADS 102, AFA 101, AFA 202).
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

What We Review

  • art application for currently enrolled Ball State students – application is made available at informational meetings or schedule an appointment with an art advisor
  • academic records – your college academic performance (DegreeWorks or Transcripts); SAT and/or ACT scores
  • portfolio – 10 works representing first-year foundation courses (ADS 101, ADS 102, AFA 101, AFA 202); at least three works need to be drawings from direct observation. If you have completed four or more studio courses we encourage you to submit work representing all courses, and may include 200-level work (ART 200).
  • inventory sheet – a list of submitted work, indicating title, course, media, size, and date or term completed.

Deadlines

  • Spring Review – January 13, 2018 
    Submit the completed art application and DegreeWorks one week prior to the review to the art office, AJ 401. Submit portfolio and inventory sheet on the day of the review.
  • Late Entry Accelerated Program (LEAP)Friday July 20, 2018
    This summer intensive program allows qualified students to complete first-year studio courses (ADS 101, ADS 102, AFA 101, AFA 202) during the summer over 10 weeks. If you complete the program during the summer, you may submit the LEAP application and your portfolio on the last day of the summer semester in July. Admission is competitive.

Our admissions committee gives greater consideration to your college academic records than your high school record or SAT/ACT scores. We will evaluate your portfolio, course grades, and GPA based on your level of achievement beyond the minimum course or grade requirements.

We will review applications for any transfer students who meet the deadlines for incoming freshmen. Or you may apply later as a currently enrolled student after you complete the first-year foundation courses (ADS 101, ADS 102, AFA 101, AFA 102).

The university must admit you before the School of Art will accept you into one of our programs.

Apply to Ball State

What We Review

  • academic records – college transcripts
  • test scores – SAT or ACT
  • portfolio – 10-15 original works of art that demonstrate studio art skills and other art-related abilities
  • inventory sheet – a list of the work submitted, indicating title, course, media, size, and date or term completed

Our admissions committee gives greater consideration to your college academic records than your high school record or SAT/ACT scores.

Course Evaluation

Transfer students who have studio art or art history credits must undergo a separate evaluation of coursework to determine art program credit. In addition to submitting the School of Art application, you also need to submit a portfolio of artwork and course syllabi to determine course-to-course transfer equivalencies.

We recommend you:

  • Keep your course syllabi, project descriptions, and sketchbooks.
  • Preserve artwork or projects (actual work or digital images) from each course.
  • Bring all of your materials for any review process.
  • Follow through with any part of the process that was note completed in the first meeting.

Transfer Student Admission and Course Evaluation

Late Entry Accelerated Program (LEAP)

This summer intensive program allows qualified students to complete first-year studio courses during the summer by taking the foundation courses over 10 weeks. If you complete the program during the summer, you may submit the LEAP application and your portfolio on the last day of the second summer semester. Admission is competitive.