Research Intensive (RI) and Directed Independent Research (DIR) Designations

What is Research Intensive (RI) Designation?

Research Intensive (RI) course designations were created to expand the practice of curricular-based research opportunities for students and to allow documentation of student engagement in research on their transcripts.

RI designated courses are ones in which undergraduate students actively engage in the process of research and inquiry at the intensive level through projects and assignments. These projects should count for a significant portion (at least 40%) of the final course grade. More information about how intensive-level research is defined can be found in the OURI Student Achievement Rubric.

RI courses aim to promote students developing skills identified by the six Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), which are:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Formulate Questions
  3. Plan of Action
  4. Critical Thinking
  5. Ethical Conduct
  6. Communication

These courses are coordinated through the Undergraduate Research Curriculum Committee (URCC), a subcommittee of the University Undergraduate Programs Committee (UUPC). 

List of approved RI courses by College

What is Directed Independent Research (DIR) Designation?

Directed Independent Research (DIR) courses serve as an alternative/addition to the existing DIS (Directed Independent Study) for undergraduate research documentation on student transcripts. Departments may also include a zero-credit option for DIR students, which would have no additional tuition charge.

These courses can have a variable credit option. The DIR-specific course numbering system includes the following (course prefixes to be determined by the departments):

  • XXX2915 (lower division for grade)
  • XXX2916 (lower division for S/U)
  • XXX4915 (upper division for grade)
  • XXX4916 (upper division for S/U)

Please note all zero-credit offerings for DIR must be for S/U grade.