Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences

Department Chair: Ozan Atalag , Ph.D.


Associate Professors:

Assistant Professors:

The Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences (KES) program within the College of Arts and Sciences offers students the following degrees:

The KES program focuses on the study of health and human performance. Students in the degree program will study foundational courses such as anatomical kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, motor behavior, social/psychological aspects of physical activity, and health promotion. Successful degree candidates will complete the UH Hilo general education requirements, set of core KES courses, and complete selected courses to fulfill one of three specialized tracks. Students can choose between the Allied Health, Applied KES, and Health Promotion tracks. Below is a short description of each track, as well as some possible career options.

The Allied Health Track

Provides education and training for students who wish to prepare for advanced study in physical therapy, medicine, or other allied health fields.

Career Options: Physical Therapist, Athletic Trainer, Occupational Therapist, Chiropractor, Sports Medicine, Physician Assistant, Exercise Physiologist, Biomechanist.

The Applied KES Track

Provides students the opportunity to pursue basic and applied studies of the physiological, biomechanical, and social-psychological aspects of human movement and performance.

Career Options: Coach, PE/Health Teacher, Health Club or Gym Administrator, Instructor, or Trainer, Sport Management, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Director of Youth Camps/Sports Programs.

The Health Promotion Track

Gives students a deeper understanding of health issues, human behavior, and their impact on overall wellness and quality of life.

Career Options: Health Program Manager or Coordinator, Health Educator, Health or Life Coach, Epidemiologist- Physical Activity, Non-profit work, Public or Government Sector.

Goals for Student Learning in the Major

A student who completes the Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences degree program will be able to:

  • Participate in basic physical and recreational activities.
  • Identify the fundamental anatomical functions, the physiological mechanisms, and the biomechanical concepts involved with human movement and human performance.
  • Apply for acceptance into the Teacher Education Program with the desire to become a Secondary Health and Physical Education teacher.
  • Apply for acceptance into graduate school in the areas of the exercise sciences, health, medical school, physical therapy programs, and athletic training programs.
  • Able to provide care and expertise within the area of health.
  • Identify and understand the various health issues within our society, especially those encountered by elementary and secondary school students.