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USC Office of Curriculum

Special Topics Courses: 499 and 599

A Special Topics course may be offered 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. The course numbers 499 and 599 are reserved to designate undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively.

If a special topics course is successful and the department wishes to continue offering it as regular course, it must be submitted as a New Course via the Curriculum Management System (CMS) and reviewed by the University Committee on Curriculum (UCOC). A special topics course may not be offered more than twice in three years without being proposed as a new course.

The description of the course is carried in the "section title" of the Schedule of Classes and appears on the transcript. A 499 or 599 course must be letter-graded.

Submit a Proposal

Submit Special Topics 499 and 599 course proposals (scheduled in sessions 001-099) with course syllabus via Kuali. Instructions on how to use Kuali workflow for course scheduling are found at:

If the Special Topics course needs a special session, submit the Special Session Request Form to and wait to receive the session number from before submitting the Kuali request.

Review Process

In order to make the special topics course available as quickly as possible for the upcoming term, UCOC review is bypassed. The Curriculum Coordination Office (CCO) completes a preliminary review to ensure that all of the basic elements expected of a syllabus are included. (Refer to the Syllabus Template.)

If the CCO has any questions or concerns about the special topic, an office representative will communicate with the department via Kauli workflow or email. Approval will be indicated via Kuali workflow.

Schedule the Course

Once the course is approved, it will be scheduled according to information submitted in the Kuali edoc by Registrar staff.