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 2016
Summer 2016
Fall 2016

Begin section input

6/8/2015

10/2/2015

10/12/2015

Section input restricted by Registrar's Office

7/31/2015

11/25/2015

1/4/2016

Begin free-form email requests to classroom.scheduling@usc.edu

8/3/2015

11/30/2015

1/5/2016

Deadline to enter courses of interest in SIS

8/12/2015

Not Offered

1/6/2016

Textbook orders due at Bookstore

8/24/2015

1/4/2016

1/27/2016

Frank Chang emails Excel-based schedules to scheduling coordinators

9/21/2015

2/5/2016

2/22/2016

Frank Chang sends copies of schedules to deans for review / approval. Last day to send free-form email requests

9/23/2015

2/10/2016

2/24/2016

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

9/24/2015

2/11/2016

2/25/2016

Schedule of Classes released

10/5/2015

2/19/2016

3/7/2016

Registration begins

10/26/2015

3/7/2016

3/28/2016

There are three distinct periods in the schedule production timeline.

  • First period: Departments can add, change and delete any section using RNR.U.SCHEDULE.
  • Second period: Departments lose the ability to add, change and delete in RNR.U.SCHEDULE (unless the department owns the respective classroom space). During the second period, departments may request additions, changes and deletions of sections by emailing the request to Frank Chang and CC'ing Fern Iwata.
  • Third period: After the school’s dean has reviewed and approved the Schedule of Classes, departments make requests using the Kuali section scheduling eDoc.

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 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.

If a course falls outside these parameters, it should be scheduled in a “Special Session.” Please view the Special Session Request Guidelines for more information. Once you have read the guidelines please save a copy of the Special 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. If you need the report immediately, please contact Frank Chang.

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 in summer only.

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 Department web page.

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?

  • During the first period, departments can enter 499 and 599 courses in RNR.U.SCHEDULE. Departments must submit syllabi for 499 and 599 courses to the Curriculum Office at curriclm@usc.edu for approval.
  • During the second period, departments can email Frank Chang at fjc@usc.edu and CC Fern Iwata. Please attach the course syllabus to this email.
  • During the third period, departments in Dornsife College must submit an eDoc with the course syllabus attached.

The sample syllabus template can be viewed as Attachment 13 in the Curriculum Handbook.

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.

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.

How do I set up Blackboard access?
Blackboard access is created on page 4 of RNR.U.SCHEDULE.

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?
You must submit the Courses of Interest Request Form to the Registrar's office according to the dates specified in the Events timeline above.

Where can I find more information?
Contact Frank Chang.