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Independent Directed Reading

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Independent Directed Reading

Independent Directed Reading (IDR) courses provide students with a flexible option to complete the coursework for their degree.

IDRs are meant for students who are unable to enroll in an in-person or online course due to extenuating circumstances. Please review all information below regarding IDRs.

Deadlines to submit a completed IDR Proposal Form:

  • July 31 for FALL semester
  • November 30 for SPRING semester
  • March 31 for SUMMER semester

IDRs are normally approved as Elective courses. However, under extraordinary circumstances (such as unavailability of a course needed to complete the program of study), the Director of the MAIR program can approve an IDR as a core or substantive area course. If a student is requesting that an IDR be allowed to count as a core or substantive area course, they must indicate this on the form and provide justification for the request. 

CORE IDRs MUST be an already approved CORE or SUBSTANTIVE area course.

The MAIR program provides a broad international relations education that draws on the expertise of a large group of professors. Students benefit most from the program by seeking out instruction from a variety of professors and exposure to diverse ideas and topics. To ensure this takes place, students may not complete and may not include on their Program of Study more than 3 courses taught by any single professor.

Proposal Process

To be eligible to enroll in an IDR, a student must have completed at least one in-person class in the International Relations program. 

Any student who feels they need to complete an IDR should contact Jennifer Rowley at to discuss the option of an IDR.  In this email the student should provide:

  • a current Program of Study that shows all courses taken, enrolled in, and projected to enroll in future semesters
  • an explanation why they need to complete a course as an IDR
  • course/professor with whom student would like to complete the IDR

The MAIR program will review this information and advise the student on whether they can continue in the proposal process.  If the student is approved to continue the proposal process, the student will be responsible for contacting the professor to see if the professor is able to teach an IDR with the student.

Students are encouraged to consult the PACS’s Schedule and Syllabi information for professors who teach in the MAIR program.

  1. If the professor agrees to work with the student, the student should complete the IDR Proposal Form and submit with a copy of the professor’s approval email to Jennifer Rowley in the MAIR program at prior to the deadline indicated above.
  2. Once the IDR proposal is approved, the student will be notified via their OU email and given instructions on how to register for the course.
  3. IDRs are S/U graded.

Reminder: Students should check their OU email accounts regularly for official correspondence.