Section Scheduling at USC

Mission

The goal of the Registrar's office is to help academic departments create and maintain their list of course offerings each term. To meet the goal, the Registrar’s office has launched this website, which provides information, instructions and tools that departments can use to build their schedule of classes.

Background

The development of the university's Schedule of Classes is a joint effort that involves academic departments and the Registrar's office. Each academic department must determine which courses to offer in its schedule of classes for fall, spring and summer. Each department’s schedule of classes coordinator, or scheduling coordinator, must also enter the course data in the university's Student Information System (SIS). The Registrar's office establishes the deadlines for the production of the Schedule of Classes, collects the schedule data from all departments, reports the schedule data to the appropriate school dean, and assigns classrooms, if necessary. Schedule data, as well as other important information for students such as the Registration Calendar, is hosted on the Schedule of Classes website.

The Schedule of Classes Development Timeline

Scheduling Coordinators and the Registrar’s Office must meet several deadlines to produce the university’s Schedule of Classes in time for students to plan their class schedules. The timeline begins several months before the first day of classes for each term. A list of these dates for the current and upcoming terms is provided in the table below.

Event
Spring 2017
Summer 2017
Fall 2017

Begin section input

6/6/2016

09/30/2016

10/10/2016

Section input restricted by Registrar's Office

7/29/2016

11/23/2016

1/03/2017

Coordinators submit Kuali eDoc to add, change, or delete sections

8/1/2016

11/24/2016

1/4/2017

Laura Estrada emails Excel-based schedules to scheduling coordinators

9/19/2016

2/03/2017

2/21/2017

Frank Chang sends copies of schedules to deans for review / approval.

9/21/2016

2/08/2017

2/23/2017

Schedule of Classes released

10/5/2016

2/17/2017

3/06/2017

Registration begins

10/24/2016

3/6/2017

3/27/2017

There are two distinct periods in the schedule production timeline.

  • First period: Departments can add, change and delete any section using RNR.U.SCHEDULE. See the table above for section input and lockout dates.
  • Upcoming Semester for Which You Can enter information in SIS Time of Year
    Fall Late October through early January
    Spring Early June through early August
    Summer Late September through late November
  • Second period: Departments lose the ability to add, change and delete in RNR.U.SCHEDULE (unless the department owns the respective classroom space or is not part of Dornsife). During the second period, departments may request additions, changes and deletions of sections by submitting requests using Kuali.
  • Upcoming Semester for Which You Can Submit a Kuali Course Scheduling eDoc Time of Year
    Fall Early January through Mid-December
    Spring Late July through Mid-May
    Summer Late November through Mid-August

School
Course scheduled in a General-Use Classroom?
Able to Add/Change/Delete in SIS after Deadline
Must Submit Kuali e-Doc for Additions/Deletions

Dornsife

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Non-Dornsife

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

The Kuali Course Scheduling workflow streamlines the process of scheduling course additions, deletions and changes. Electronic requests are to be filled out by Scheduling Coordinators and are automatically routed for the appropriate approval. Users can track where their requests are in the review process and are also immediately notified when a request has been approved or needs modification.

For detailed instructions on submitting a Kuali eDoc, please see the Course Scheduling User Guide.

Creating a Department’s Schedule of Classes

Scheduling coordinators should meet with department chairs before the production timeline begins and use the previous year’s Schedule of Classes to determine which existing courses the department will offer.

Coordinators should also consult with department chairs to determine if faculty wish to offer any Special Topics courses (499s and 599s) and if any courses have been approved by the Curriculum Office.

With this information at hand, scheduling coordinators can enter section data in RNR.U.SCHEDULE.

Since courses offered in the fall and spring semesters largely remain constant, the Registrar’s Office conducts a “roll-over” of the previous year’s schedule to make the data entry process easier for academic units. In other words, coordinators do not have to create their schedules from scratch each fall and spring.

Coordinators must create each section for the summer schedule. As the timeline indicates, coordinators have at least six weeks to input section data in SIS before the Registrar’s Office restricts access (unless the department own the classroom space involved).

Most courses at USC are offered within the university’s established Academic Calendar. Courses that follow the academic calendar dates, are taught at USC facilities and do not carry higher or lower tuition rates should be scheduled in session 001 during the Fall and Spring semesters.

If a course falls outside these parameters, it should be scheduled in a “Non-Standard Session.” To avoid costly errors for the coordinator's academic department (the loss of financial aid eligibility for students in the program), scheduling coordinators must take the Financial Aid Eligibility Considerations in Course Scheduling in Trojan Learn.  To access the course, please login to Trojan Learn and type Financial Aid Eligibility Considerations in Course Scheduling in the search engine.  Once the coordinator is informed of the implications of offering courses in non-standard sessions, the next step is to learn the mechanics of how to request a session.  Refer to the Non-Standard Session Request Guidelines for more information. Coordinators can save a local copy of the Non-Standard Session Request Form.

FAQ:

How can I get help if I am a new scheduling coordinator?

  • Each USC department has a scheduling coordinator. Please view the list of Scheduling Coordinators at USC to find another coordinator nearby.
  • For questions about SIS access, contact the Student Information System User Coordination Group (SIS UCG) at (213) 740-5337.
  • For questions about data entered in SIS and the Schedule of Classes, contact Frank Chang at (213) 740-5306.
  • For questions regarding classrooms, visit the Classroom Scheduling page.

How can I find out what my department offered in semesters past?
The Schedule of Classes contains course information for the current and last two terms. There is also an archive of course offerings up to spring 2007.

How can I find out what sections have been scheduled for my department for the next term?
In SIS, enter RNR.R.SECT.SUMM to request the report. This report will print on a SIS printer only. The report will be delivered to your office within one business day of your request.

How do I know when I can add, change, or cancel sections myself and when I need to contact the Registrar’s office?
If you are a scheduling coordinator in Dornsife College, you have access to your sections only during the data entry period (see the Timeline chart for exact dates).

If you do not work in Dornsife College, your department is locked out of RNR.U.SCHEDULE for sections assigned a room owned by Classroom Scheduling. If you need to add, change or cancel a section for an online course or a course that meets in a facility that your department owns, you can do so on SIS.

Where can I find session dates?
The best place to find session dates is in SIS using SIS.D.SESS. The Schedule of Classes offers a comprehensive listing of session dates for every semester.  Please note that the sessions listed on the Schedule of Classes have been assigned to other departments.  Often times, the sessions listed have different tuition charges than the standard university tuition amount.  For this reason, scheduling coordinators should not use the Schedule of Classes sessions list to find a session that has the dates needed for a course.  Please contact us at regschedule@usc.edu if you need a session code assigned for a course that will deviate from the university's main session (001 in UPC for Fall and Spring; 046 for HSC in Fall, Spring, and Summer; and 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, and 059 in Summer).

Do I have to offer a lab or a discussion with a class?
Page 2 of RNR.D.CATALOG will list the component parts that must be offered with a course. Look in the InstMode column to see the modes that must be scheduled for your courses.

What should I do if students say they are unable to register for a course?
Check page 2 of RNR.D.CATALOG. Make sure that you scheduled the modes listed under the InstMode column. If the InstMode column reflects a mode that your department does not intend to offer, please contact the Curriculum Office at (213) 740-1162.

What are the steps required if my department chair wants to establish a new course?
Information regarding course and program proposals can be found at the Curriculum Office website.

What is a Special Topics course?
When departments wish to introduce a new or emerging aspect of a field or to take advantage of the expertise of a new or visiting faculty member, a Special Topics course can be offered. The course numbers 499 and 599 are reserved to designate undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively.

How can I schedule a Special Topics course?

Scheduling coordinators should submit a Kuali eDoc request for a 499 or 599 course.  The eDoc will require a Section Title for the course and a course syllabus.  The syllabus (in .docx or .pdf) must be saved with the name of the Section Title. A sample syllabus template can be viewed as Attachment 13 in the Curriculum Handbook.  Once the Registrar's Office reviews the request, confirmation will be sent in the form of 'approved' or 'return to initiator'.  For assistance, please contact the Curriculum Office.

How can I give myself access to GRS?
Enter your name in the Overseer field on page 5 of RNR.U.SCHEDULE for every section you wish to view in GRS.

How do I set up GRS access for an instructor or TA?
Scheduling coordinators can grant GRS access on pages 4 and 5 of RNR.U.SCHEDULE by entering the individual’s name in the appropriate field. (Please refer to the description of GRS roles in the next question).

For instructors or TAs with common names (like John Smith), you should also have the individual provide you his or her USC ID number to avoid confusion. It can take up to four hours for GRS to allow a user entry after his or her name has been entered in SIS.

What are the different access levels in GRS?
  • Instructor: Highest level of access. Can view roster, enter grades in GRS, and submit grades to SIS.
  • TA: Has viewing rights in GRS but cannot enter grades in GRS.
  • Grader: Has viewing and grade entry rights in GRS but cannot submit grades to SIS.
  • Overseer: Has viewing rights in GRS.
  • Approver: Can view grades entered for a section. The approver is a second layer of review for grades. Enter a name in the Approver field only if directed to do so by your department chair or director.

Where can I find GRS instructions to give the instructors in my department?
Midterm and final exam instructions are available on the Grades Department web page.

What other avenues may I try if no room is available through the Registrar's office in scheduling classes or events?
Visit the Venue Guide on the USC Office of Protocol & University Events homepage for details about alternate spaces on campus.

How do I list a course on the Courses of Interest page of the Schedule of Classes?
Scheduling coordinators must enter the courses to display on the Courses of Interest page in SIS in process RNR.U.CSA 30 days before the release of the Schedule of Classes.  Please refer to the table showing the dates for the Schedule of Classes release above.

Where can I find more information?
Contact Associate Registrar Laura Estrada.