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Directed Readings

Political Science 498R - Directed Readings

Poli 498R: Directed Readings is used to award credit for directed readings outside of an existing course. A student may register for Poli 498R under the following conditions:

  • The student is responsible to contact a faculty member who is willing to approve, supervise, and grade his or her work during the course of study.
  • The topic studied must be relevant to the discipline of political science and of such a nature that it is not being offered as part of the regular department curriculum. Under no circumstances can a student receive 498R credit for work done as a teaching assistant or for a cooperative education experience (internship). Likewise, credit may not be received for work that is regularly compensated (ORCA grants are exempt from this restriction).
  • Although the quantity and substance of this material may vary, the reading should be on an advanced undergraduate level and should occupy the student's time for at least 45 hours for each credit hour for which the student is registered.
  • The course of study should build on coursework that the student has already completed. Directed Readings is ideal for a student who wishes to learn more about a specialized topic for which there is no regular course that is taught. A student should prepare for Directed Readings by taking some or all of the relevant courses to the proposed topic of study. Directed Readings are usually not appropriate for an introductory course of study. It should also not be used to replicate the course of study of an existing class. Scheduling concerns are never an appropriate reason to create a Directed Readings.
  • Prior to registering for the course, the student must complete the Contract for Directed Readings and have it signed by the supervising faculty member and the department curriculum coordinator. Copies of the contract will be given to the student and to the supervising faculty member; the original will be retained in the department files. Students are strongly advised to complete this process before the beginning of the semester to insure the required approvals are in place before university registration deadlines.
  • The contract clearly outlines the bibliography to be read. It also states the objective for the course of study, the research questions being considered, and the basis for which a grade will be given.
  • The specifics of grading requirements are to be outlined by the supervising faculty member. However, in all cases, some kind of coherent written report demonstrating the student's added knowledge is required.
  • NOTE: Students that will be out of the country during the semester/term the course is completed will be directed to register through the Kennedy Center.


  1. Complete the POLI 498R: Directed Readings Contract.
  2. Complete information for proposed course of study and attach to the Contract.
  3. Sign the Contract.
  4. Obtain the signature of the Supervising Faculty member.
  5. Obtain the signature of the Political Science Department Associate Chair for Curriculum.
  6. Deliver the contract and proposal to the Political Science Department Secretary in 747 SWKT.