University of Southern California
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Physical Education

Physical Education Building 108
(213) 740-2488
Fax: (213) 821-1058

Director: Steve VanKanegan, M.S.

Administrative Coordinator: Amber Harris, M.P.W.


Lecturers: Timothy L. Burton, M.Ed.; John Jessee, M.S.; Danielle Roman, M.S.; Jennifer Rooney, M.S.; Steve VanKanegan, M.S.

The physical education program provides a variety of offerings in fitness and activities classes designed to promote health and general fitness based upon individual goals and needs. Fitness classes focus primarily on development of muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, general wellness principles and nutritional guidelines. Activities classes stress fundamental techniques, tactics, rules, etiquette and the importance of leisure time activities to physical, mental and social well-being.

General Requirements

No more than four units of physical education activity courses may be applied to a student’s overall unit requirement, toward his or her USC degree.

Registration in courses PHED 102ab-156 is contingent upon assessment of students’ knowledge and competence in performance during the first two class meetings. Students who wear glasses while participating in vigorous activities must secure departmental approval of provisions made for eye protection in courses PHED 140-143. Course PHED 165 is reserved for students who are reporting for regular freshman or varsity athletic squads.

To obtain a prerequisite waiver to take a b class before having taken the a section, the instructor’s approval and signature are needed. Students should be aware that in the future they cannot take the prerequisite course in the activity for credit after having it waived.

Courses of Instruction


The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

PHED 102ab Weight Training (1-1, FaSp) a: Improvement of body shape, muscle endurance, and muscle strength; understanding of weight training and nutrition principles that can be utilized for future weight training development. b: Training techniques and application of advanced weight training principles through weekly workouts; personal trainer certification exam preparation.

PHED 104ab Self-Defense (1-1, FaSp) a: Basic instruction of self-defense for beginners; strategies for standing and ground fighting situations with and without weapons. b: Intermediate instruction involving more advanced fighting strategies and techniques.

PHED 106ab Physical Conditioning (1-1, FaSp) a: Improvement in cardiorespiratory endurance, body composition, muscle endurance and flexibility; running, circuit training, resistance exercises; fitness principles and nutrition to develop individualized program. b: Advanced training methods focusing on continuing gains in fitness level.

PHED 108 High Stress Physical Conditioning (1) Rigorous physical conditioning with emphasis on distance running and development of cardiovascular and upper body strength. A challenging regimen to enhance stamina and endurance. Prerequisite: PHED 106b or permission of instructor.

PHED 110ab Swimming (1-1, FaSp) a: Instruction and practice in basic strokes for beginners and intermediate swimmers; elementary springboard diving; water safety techniques; endurance training as a fitness program. b: Advanced instruction and practice of strokes; advanced endurance training.

PHED 114 Lifesaving (1) American Red Cross Senior Lifesaving. Prerequisite: PHED 110ab or ability to pass Skills Test II.

PHED 115 Surfing (1) Fundamental instruction of surfing skills; water safety and etiquette; wave recognition and forecast interpretation; surf culture; board selection; surf related strengthening and stretching.

PHED 120ab Yoga (1-1, FaSp) a: Introduction to meditation, breathing techniques and postures as a means towards relaxation; increase muscle flexibility; understanding of basic anatomy and nutritional guidelines. (Duplicates credit in former PHED 120.) b: A continuing study of intermediate and advanced yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation as a means toward relaxation and stress-reduction.

PHED 124 Walking for Fitness (1, FaSp) Develop a strong fitness foundation through walking; fitness assessment and individualized programs; gait biomechanics and power walking; injury prevention; strategies for special populations.

PHED 129ab Aerobics (1-1, FaSp) a: Aerobic exercise focusing on cardiorespiratory endurance encompassing a variety of training methods such as high/low impact aerobics, body sculpting, circuit training and nutritional guidelines. b: Group exercise teaching techniques and application of fitness principles through weekly workouts; group fitness certification exam preparation.

PHED 131 Step Aerobics (1, FaSp) Development of physical fitness components through step aerobics; total body workout utilizing step movements and body sculpting exercises.

PHED 137 Gymnastics (1, FaSp) Basic techniques of tumbling and apparatus work; rope climbing, stunts, pyramids; history, rules, scoring, and etiquette of gymnastic competition.

PHED 139ab Volleyball (1-1, FaSp) a: Introduction to beginning and intermediate volleyball skills, rules, game tactics, and strategies. Emphasis on the development of: passing, setting, hitting, serving, blocking, and digging. b: Advanced techniques; focus on offenses and defenses used in game situations.

PHED 140abc Tennis (1-1-1, FaSp) a: Fundamental instruction of basic strokes for beginners and intermediate players; rules, scoring, court etiquette, strategies; singles and doubles; practice and match play. b: Reinforcement of basic strokes and instruction of advanced strokes; advanced strategies; singles and doubles; practice and match play. c: Development of strokes and strategies for advanced tournament players; drills and matches.

PHED 143ab Racquetball (1-1, FaSp) a: Instruction of basic stroke technique for beginners and intermediate players; rules, scoring, game tactics; practice of strokes and competition. b: Development of advanced skills and strategies; singles and doubles practice and competition.

PHED 150 Table Tennis (1, FaSp) Fundamental instruction of basic strokes for beginning and intermediate players; rules, scoring strategies; singles and doubles; practices and match play.

PHED 154ab Soccer (1-1, FaSp) a: Development of basic skills for beginners, intermediate and advanced players; rules, positioning elements of play, small group and team tactics; full field scrimmages. b: Advanced development of skills, positioning, tactics and conditioning.

PHED 155 Golf (1, FaSp) Basic skills development and knowledge in stance, grip and swing mechanics; course strategy; use of woods, irons and putting; history rules and etiquette.

PHED 156ab Basketball (1-1, FaSp) a: Basic skill development in dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding and defense; rules, history, and etiquette; drills and full court games. b: Development of advanced skills; team strategy; offenses and zone defenses; drills and full court games.

PHED 160 Stress Management for Healthy Living (2, FaSp) Instruction on the effects of stress as it relates to work, sport and academics; coping strategies are discussed and applied through physical conditioning interventions.

PHED 161 First Aid (1, FaSp) First Aid safety education and infant, child, and adult CPR; demonstrated proficiency and successful completion of exam prepares students for Red Cross certification. (Duplicates credit in former PHED 171.)

PHED 165 Varsity Athletics (1, max 4) Participation in the university’s inter-collegiate programs as sanctioned and governed by the PAC-10 Conference and/or the NCAA. Graded CR/NC.