Ball State University: A Hands-On Approach

Nestled about an hour northeast of Indianapolis in the medium sized town of Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University is a full size educational institution that ranks among the 25 largest colleges in Indiana. The Cardinals are equipped to match toe to toe with any Indianapolis school, and it’s the fourth largest college in the state, behind Indiana University, Purdue University, and Ivy Tech Community College.

Promotional video for Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana



As is befitting a large school, Ball State University has a huge campus. This span of refined buildings and beautiful landscaping stretches for over 600 acres, in addition to an extra 300-some acres for the research facilities. It’s a good thing that the university has such a big campus, too; there are over 20,000 students attending the school.

There are a number of traditional landmarks on the Ball State campus as well. Beneficence is the symbol of Ball State University: a nearly sixty year old bronze statue of a winged angel, meant to symbolize the generosity of the Ball brothers who founded the university, this statue is reminiscent of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at Monument Circle. The campus also has The Quad, a large grassy area criss-crossed by walking paths where students can hang out and study. The Quad is also used as a concert venue, sometimes showcasing Indianapolis music. Perhaps one of the strangest Ball State landmarks is the Frog Baby, a small bronze statue of a smiling child. The child has two frogs perched on her feet, and an old campus legend says that students will have good luck on exams if they rub her nose.

Video about Beneficence, a statue and symbol on campus at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana



When it comes to academics, Ball State University really shines. Ball State has a virtual trophy cabinet of awards and recognitions, like being among 70 colleges represented in U.S. News and World Report‘s list of schools that are making the most promising and innovative changes and being named one of the “best universities in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review.

The university has well over 150 different majors to choose from, including aquatic biology, chemistry, dietetics, entrepreneurship, genetics, a wide array of education programs for aspiring teachers, and many more. If you have an idea of what you want to do with your career, no matter how specific, chances are Ball State will have a major or minor in that area.

Promotional video for the computer science program at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana

Even if you don’t have a clear idea, Ball State University can help. The university requires all students to take courses in the University Core Curriculum. The Core Curriculum is designed to give students a sampling of all that the university offers, as well as turning them into well rounded individuals who are equipped to handle any situation in their careers.

A Different Approach to Learning

While many other big name universities like Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI) and Butler University have as many major programs as Ball State University, Ball State takes a unique approach to learning that has proven to be very successful. The university champions “immersive learning:” hands-on learning experiences that allow students to pierce to the root of an issue or an idea and really understand how it works. All immersive learning projects are student-led but have the direction of an experienced faculty member. The end goal is often a tangible product that shows students the fruits of their labors.

In addition, Ball State University has one of the highest professor to student ratios, hovering right around 16 to 1. Professors at Ball State are highly dedicated to their students, since the university is not primarily a research institution. As a matter of fact, 90% of classes at Ball State University are taught by full fledged professors, not graduate students. It’s an effective way to teach; just ask David Letterman (a famous person in Indianapolis) and the creator of Garfield, Jim Davis. Both are Ball State graduates.

Video of David Letterman’s speech at the dediation of the building named after him at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana



While Ball State University certainly has a focus on studying and doing well in classes, it also provides Muncie with a whole lot of culture. There are plenty of great places to eat in The Village, a collection of eateries just off of campus that rival some of the coolest Indianapolis restaurants. There’s also a lot of venues for local and national music, like the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. The Center also showcases comedians and other entertainers. Muncie also features an arboretum (a collection of beautiful trees), a relaxing duck pond, and an amphitheater for outdoor concerts called the University Green.

Video of live music by the Seedy Seeds at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana


If you’re on top of your studying and bored with all the great entertainment around Muncie, why not join an extracurricular group? At Ball State, such groups are encouraged and can make up a great deal of your learning experience. The university has over 300 groups to choose from, including club sports and community outreach initiatives. These small clubs will help you network and make new friends that will last a lifetime.

Promotional video for Student Voluntary Service, a student club at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana



Not only is Ball State University a champion on the academic front, it is also a top contender on the field, rink, court, or whatever playing arena they’re using at the time. Ball State has seven different men’s sports and ten women’s sports, including golf, basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. They may not have as many teams to choose from as other big name universities, but they make up for selection with skill.

The Ball State Cardinals are just as talented as any team in Indianapolis sports, and they’re proud to strut their stuff whenever they play. In the 2008-2009 season, the Ball State football team posted an undefeated 12-0 record on their way to a Mid-American Conference West title. They earned a berth to the GMAC Bowl, but lost 13-45 against Tulsa.

Video highlights of a football game between Ball State University and the University of Illinois

Also in the 2008-2009 season, the women’s basketball team earned a 26-9 record and its third straight Mid-American Conference West Title. Throughout the season, the Ball State University women’s basketball team played games against Indiana University, the University of Evansville, Indiana State University, and other colleges around the United States. The team also won MAC Tournament championship and qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament.

Big University Experience in Small Town Muncie

All in all, Ball State University offers a unique learning environment that can’t be found anywhere else. Dedicated professors lend their expertise to students in all of the over one hundred majors that Ball State offers. Ball State promotes an interactive learning environment where students are challenged and actively involved in their own education; a system that has earned countless accolades. Why not visit beautiful Muncie, Indiana to see what it’s all about?

For more information on Ball State University, please visit the college’s homepage.

Ball State University
2000 W University Ave
Muncie, IN 47306

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