Our rigorous, challenging programs and expert, nationally recognized faculty have high expectations for our students, but these standards don’t come without the support and the resources you need to succeed.

Through our entrepreneurial approach, we aim to inspire our students to take nurtured risks while maintaining the discipline to show positive results. In graduate school, you will need to be thinking about your final product — whether that's a thesis, creative project, research paper, etc. — from the start of your course work.

We’ve outlined the steps necessary for completing your graduate degree at Ball State below. Select your degree type to get started.

Graduate Certificate Plan

Graduate Certificate Plan

The best way to map your unique graduate school plan is to meet with your program advisor. However, there are certain steps everyone must follow in order to successfully complete their graduate degree.

These general guidelines highlight what you should expect and need to discuss with your academic department.

All graduate certificate requirements must be met within six years.

All students must meet with their graduate program advisors for advice on courses to take.

Find Your Advisor

You’ll need to check your registration status, verify your major, and search for class days and times.

Learn More about Registration

Please remember, completion is not automatic. You must apply, which includes a $25 fee for each program you’re completing. Please note: The graduation ceremony is only for students completing a degree program. If you are applying for certificate completion only, you will not be eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Learn More about Completion

Master's Degree Plan

The best way to map your unique graduate school plan is to meet with your program advisor. However, there are certain steps everyone must follow in order to successfully complete their graduate degree.

These general guidelines highlight what you should expect and need to discuss with your academic department.

All students must meet with their graduate program advisors for advice on courses to take.

Find Your Advisor

You’ll need to check your registration status, verify your major, and search for class days and times.

Learn More about Registration

As a master’s degree student, you’ll need to satisfy a research requirement. Your program will have you complete this requirement through one of the following four options:

  • prepare a thesis for 6 hours of graduate credit.
  • create a research paper for 3 hours of graduate credit.
  • develop a creative project for 3 or 6 hours of graduate credit.
  • complete a graduate research methodology course plan for a minimum of 3 hours of graduate credit.

For more information about your master's project, visit our Forms and Documents page.

At Ball State, you need to complete your master’s degree program in six years unless you receive an extension from the dean of the Graduate School. You’ll work with your academic advisor to develop your plan of study which includes your major and minor areas and electives.

See Important Dates and Deadlines

Please remember, graduation is not automatic. You must apply, which includes a $25 fee for each degree you’re completing.

Learn More about Graduation

Doctoral Degree Plan

The best way to map your unique graduate school plan is to meet with your program advisor. However, there are certain steps everyone must follow in order to successfully complete their graduate degree.

These general guidelines highlight what you should expect and need to discuss with your academic department.

All students must meet with their graduate program advisors for advice on courses to take.

Find Your Advisor

You’ll need to check your registration status, verify your major, and search for class days and times.

Learn More about Registration
As a doctoral student at Ball State, you’ll need to work through and complete the following steps to earn your degree:
  • have a doctoral committee appointed and obtain an approved program of study
  • satisfy advancement criteria for each stage of study
  • pass all comprehensive exams
  • be admitted for candidacy for your degree
  • complete your dissertation
  • prepare your final dissertation defense

For more detailed information about this process and each of the steps, consult our graduate catalog.

The end of dissertation completion is degree conferral. You’ll need to file an application for graduation with the Graduate School no later than the first four weeks of the last semester before graduation. You can submit this application online

After a student has been admitted to a doctoral program and has taken at least one approved course, all requirements for the degree must be met within a seven-year period. Any courses required for the degree taken before admission to a doctoral program are subject to approval by your doctoral committee.

See Important Dates and Deadlines

Please remember, graduation is not automatic. You must apply, which includes a $25 fee for each degree you’re completing.

Learn More about Graduation

Specialist Degree Plan

The best way to map your unique graduate school plan is to meet with your program advisor. However, there are certain steps everyone must follow in order to successfully complete their graduate degree.

These general guidelines highlight what you should expect and need to discuss with your academic department.

All specialist degree requirements must be met within six years.

All students must meet with their graduate program advisors for consultation on courses to take.

Find Your Advisor

You’ll need to check your registration status, verify your major, and search for class days and times.

Learn More about Registration

By the end of your first semester of study, you must establish an advising committee, work with committee members (graduate faculty members) to develop your plan of study, and file your approved plan of study with the Dean of the Graduate School. Please contact your degree program advisor to determine how to establish your advising committee.

At Ball State, you need to complete your specialist degree program in six years.

See Important Dates and Deadlines

Please remember, graduation is not automatic. You must apply to graduate from Ball State, which includes a $25 fee for each degree you’re completing.

Learn More about Graduation