All of the technological achievements we rely on daily, from power generation to transportation and communication, are based on our understanding of the physical laws of nature. To maintain and improve humankind’s standard of living, it is imperative that we continue to study nature and gain a better understanding of its laws. The Department of Physics is committed to this process of creating and disseminating new knowledge, and to preserving the knowledge created by previous generations of physicists, through the principle of combining research with teaching.

Physics Commencement Ceremony

Monday, June 17, 2024
4:00–6:00 p.m.
Willamette Hall Paul Olum Atrium

More Commencement Information

$8.9 MIL

What You Can Do with a Degree in Physics

Graduates with a major in physics find employment in the various areas of physics and other physical sciences; in technological and health industries; in financial services; and in computer science, library science, education, communication, law, and medicine. Physics provides students with a foundation for employment in:

  • Electronics industries
  • Engineering firms
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Financial services
  • Health care practices
  • Research institutes and organizations
  • Federal government agencies
  • Scientific journals and book publishing
  • Colleges and universities
Nicole Wales

How Physics Catalyzes Your Career

“I genuinely love physics and the challenges it presents. Physics is literally everywhere, everything, and always working!”

—Nicole Wales, Physics, '21

Our Degree Programs

The Department of Physics offers multiple degree paths, allowing students to choose a course of study oriented toward either scientific research or a career in the applied sciences. Many students who earn a bachelor’s degree in physics continue their studies toward a graduate degree in physics or a related field of natural science or engineering.

Stephanie Majewski
Learn from Experts in the Field

Our faculty members, including one member of the National Academy of Sciences and 14 Fellows of the American Physical Society, engage in research that ranges from fundamental questions to work that spins off high-technology companies. They instill excitement about their research discoveries in our students, both in the classroom and in the research laboratory, and train students to become part of the exciting intellectual endeavor we call science.

Teacher and students with telescope
Get Real-world Experience

Physics students at all levels have the opportunity to design their own experiments and conduct authentic research. Explore the frontiers of modern physics using research-grade equipment in the Advanced Projects Lab, participate in outreach or student-driven research at Pine Mountain Observatory in central Oregon, or join one of our many research groups.

Scholarships and Funding

Physics majors can apply for undergraduate scholarships through the College of Arts and Sciences and a variety of other sources. The Department of Physics provides funding for doctoral candidates through teaching and research assistantships.

Undergraduate Scholarships
Graduate Funding

Academic Support

The Department of Physics offers extensive academic support services. Students can seek college and career assistance from advisors from Tykeson Hall or meet with our departmental advisors for help navigating their degree requirements and educational explorations. We also offer tutoring support through our drop-in help center.

Undergraduate Advising
Support for Graduate Students

Department of Physics News and Events

June 7, 2024
GLOBAL HEALTH, GLOBAL STUDIES, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE, PHYSICS - Where can a liberal arts degree take you? These College of Arts and Sciences seniors are charting their own course as they pursue careers in the specialty coffee industry, particle physics and public service.
May 16, 2024
PHYSICS - Professor Richard Taylor is interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 podcast Deep Calm with Michael Mosley. During the podcast, Mosley and Taylor discuss how fractals can improve our physiology.
May 1, 2024
PHYSICS - Artificial intelligence can predict disasters and detect fine art forgeries. But can it help students learn what they need to succeed in a rapidly changing workplace—and at what cost? This CAS Connection article features insight from Department of Physics Professor Richard Taylor.

All news »


Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture Apr 24 William W. Knight Law Center

All events »