Summer Bridge

At Ball State, we provide a distinctive series of co-curricular programs and services meant to support and engage our incoming first-year students as they transition to campus each August. For more than twenty years, Ball State has put on Summer Bridge Programs that provide opportunities for students to connect with peers, faculty, and staff while experiencing campus and the Muncie Community before the first day of class. Our students who have participated in the Summer Bridge programs often point to that experience as a key factor in their sense of belonging on campus and confidence in their abilities to be successful at Ball State.

Get a head start on college and set yourself up for success. Our special summer programs for Fall 2024 incoming freshmen will help you meet other students, build confidence, learn leadership skills, and get more familiar with Ball State University – all before your first day of classes. Have fun, make friends, and challenge yourself as you prepare for your first year on campus. 


Develop the skills you’ll need to succeed at Ball State by learning how to get involved in student activities, develop leadership skills, succeed academically, explore campus, and make friends. Learn more.

CARDS (Connecting Accessible Resources with Disability Services)

Concerned about the transition to college? Get yourself setup for success by joining Disability Services Summer Bridge program. Learn more.

CLASS (Cardinal Leadership and Service Seminar)

Gain valuable experience in service, citizenship, leadership, and academic success. During this program, you will reflect on your expectations of college, meet fellow first-year students, and learn about the campus and the resources it has to offer. Learn more.

Early Start

Move in early and spend three extra days getting familiar with Ball State and earn college credit by participating in seminars. You’ll attend sessions covering a dozen topics such as preparing for college, criminal justice in pop culture, visual design, and more. Learn more

Midwest Three State Road Trip

Join us for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities at Shawnee State Park in Ohio, Red River Gorge in Kentucky, and Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana. Learn more.

REACH Mentor Program

Build connections with returning students who serve as mentors to help you with the transition to college. This program focuses on the academic and social experiences of students of color and first-generation college students, but is open to all students who wish to develop a peer connection with a mentor. Learn more.

Summit Lake Adventure

Join us for camping, hiking, and canoeing at Summit Lake State Park in Indiana. Learn more.

Jump Start

A first-year transition program for incoming students enrolled in the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Health, the College of Communication, Information, and Media, the College of Sciences and Humanities, the Miller College of Business, and the Teachers College. Learn more.

Ball State students are leaders both in and out of the classroom. From leadership organizations, seminars, and even opportunities to earn academic course credit, there are many opportunities to develop your leadership skills!

Beneficence Leadership Conference

Join us Saturday, January 22, 2022 for the 4th annual Beneficence Leadership Conference. This FREE experience is open to all students, staff and faculty to attend, and will include a keynote speaker, free meals throughout the day, and a day of learning through presentations. Registration opens December 1, 2021. Learn more.

Excellence in Leadership

The Excellence in Leadership (EIL) program helps students to develop their leadership skills and define their leadership identity.  The weekly workshops offer focused, development skill building while allowing students to engage and learn with their peers. Students that attend all monthly workshops receive a certificate of completion. Learn more.

Speaker Series

Each year, the Excellence in Leadership Speaker Series brings nationally recognized speakers to campus. These events are free and open to the public. Learn more.

Leadership Studies Minor 

Offered in partnership with the Department of Educational Leadership in the Teachers College, this 15-credit minor will equip with skills needed to lead any type of organization. Learn more.

Welcome Week

Here at Ball State, you're immediately connected with our supportive campus community for a worry-free, smooth transition to college life during Welcome Week. This week-long series of events immerses you into the Cardinal lifestyle while prepping you for your first day of classes.

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Serving the community is a great way to meet new friends, make community connections, and have some fun! Whether you are tutoring children, visiting the elderly in long-term care facilities, or donating your time at local food banks or soup kitchens, you will gain practical work-related skills that will benefit you in the future.

Student Voluntary Services

Looking to volunteer for one of the organizations in the Muncie area? Student Voluntary Services can help connect you! Learn more.

Volunteer for an Agency

View our database of volunteer opportunities in our area or search our list of Muncie organizations by their fields. Learn more.

Service Learning

Faculty members can work with Student Voluntary Services to incorporate community service into their curriculums. Learn more.

Alternative Breaks

Spend Spring Break or Fall Break traveling to another community with fellow students. You’ll spend your time off helping a nonprofit agency through volunteer projects. Learn more

Cardinal Kitchen

Cardinal Kitchen is a food pantry on Ball State’s campus. Open the last three Tuesday’s of every month, the pantry is located in the lower level of the Student Center, L-27. Learn more.

The Office of Student Life is committed to celebrating diversity by bringing together the Ball State community to learn more about themselves and others as multicultural beings. We also strive to engage students in conversations about equity and justice in order to allow them to champion these efforts and support their peers in student organizations and on campus.

Student wearing hatAsian Student Union

The Asian Student Union (ASU) is a group of students whose purpose is to provide educational and social programming about Asian American history, culture, and interests. The primary goal of ASU is to strengthen cultural pride and facilitate the development of a campus environment conducive to equity and appreciation. Learn more

Black Student Association membersBlack Student Association

The Black Student Association (BSA) strives to help Ball State preserve, advance, and represent the social and intellectual aspects of Black Culture on campus. BSA’s mission is to aid in the growth and development of Ball State students through a series of culturally, socially, and academically focused discussions and programs from a unique African-American perspective. Learn more.

Latinx Student Union exhibitionLatinx Student Union

The Latinx Student Union (LSU) promotes the identity and unity of Latinx students at Ball State University through intellectual, cultural, and social growth.  LSU is dedicated to increasing visibility and involvement on campus and in the Muncie community. Learn more.

Spectrum membersSpectrum

Spectrum is a student organization that advocates and creates space for gender, romantic, and sexual minorities (GRSM).  Its mission is to provide support to create a comfortable, confidential, and accepting atmosphere for Ball State students. Spectrum hosts programs and events that are educational, inclusive, and cultural. Learn more.

Unity Week is a long-standing and historic staple to campus. Since 1980, Unity Week remains dedicated to unifying the Ball State community through enlightening social, cultural, and educational events. Hosted by the Multicultural Center, it aims to challenge perspectives on matters of diversity, inclusivity, and solidarity in an evolving social climate.

The week of events of planned by student organization leaders and professional staff from across the university. The Office of Student Life sponsors annual signature experiences of the week. 

Student on stageUnity Pageant

The Unity Scholarship Pageant originated in 1968. Completely student-run, this scholarship-earning opportunity highlights student philanthropy, talents, and academics. The pageant strives to promote unity and engages audiences of 300+ annually as the Mr./Ms./Mx. Unity is crowned. Email us to get involved!

Students poseQueer Monologues

Queer Monologues is a powerful and theatrical performance of coming-of-age and coming-out stories. Stories address humorous, challenging, heartbreaking, and real experiences many folx in the queer community face.

Student doing a skit


Latinxpalooza brings life to Unity Week with song and dance in this non-competitive talent show! The Latinx Student Union invites folks from all backgrounds to showcase talents, including cultural dance, song, poetry, puppetry, and more. Email us to get involved

Lavender Graduation is an annual program conducted on numerous campuses nationwide to honor gender, romantic, and sexual minority (GRSM/LGBTQ+) students to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the University. It is a special event to acknowledge unique challenges overcome.

At Ball State, the Office of Student Life holds an annual spring ceremony to give space and affirmation for student persistence. 

A student’s journey at Ball State is uniquely enriched. For some, finding a campus family is invaluable. Others find their voice within their leadership growth. 

Hear from some Cardinals who fly in the Office of Student Life.

“Spectrum has been a supportive family to me for the past four years! Every week I am able to look forward to enjoying the space we create and getting to know our community and allies.

“Without Spectrum, I would not have the lifelong friends I have made, the leadership position I am thriving in, and the ability to advocate to a wider audience of future professionals. The organization has built my awareness, passion, confidence, and ability to go out into the world and proudly say ‘I am Queer.’”

The fear and anxiety of being far from home can be powerful. For Jerry, finding his family at Ball State has opened doors and kept him here on the path to a degree and a fulfilling future.

“Coming to college my freshmen year, I did not think I was going to fit-in anywhere. The first month, I was too scared to go to any clubs until a friend and I went together. I enjoyed it very much, so I kept coming back every week and they accepted me with open arms. It changed everything. I now know that I have a family here at Ball State, thanks to LSU.”

It can be difficult to predict how much we will learn from an experience.  For Tamia, the value from her engagement in the Office of Student Life is priceless and will carry with her forever.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of last year. I was a first time RA, on the executive board for LSU, and of course took new classes. All of that taught me many lessons and has strengthened my beliefs of what I want to do with my life.

“Specifically with LSU (AASA, BSA, and Spectrum) has opened my eyes to intersectionalities between all 4 groups BUT has shown me how much we ignore those intersectionalities. Our values are about establishing a family and safe space, supporting others within and outside our group, and spreading cultural awareness to our best ability. The result is respect and love for all and more.”