Physics

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

15-25
STUDENTS PER CLASS
$8.9 MIL
IN EXTERNAL RESEARCH GRANTS
14
FELLOWS OF THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY AMONG FACULTY

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

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.
February 28, 2024
PHYSICS - Kayla Nguyen, assistant professor in physics, has co-led the development of a new approach that allows scientists to see individual atoms and the way they fit together under an electron microscope, without the multimillion-dollar price tag that such ability typically commands. Nguyen's research was published in the Feb. 22 issue of the journal Science.

All news »


 

Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within
May22
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within May 22 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC
May22
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC May 22 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Moira Fradinger. Speaker Series: Mafia, The Cultures of Narcotraffic.
May22
Moira Fradinger. Speaker Series: Mafia, The Cultures of Narcotraffic. May 22 Fenton Hall
Speaker Series: Mafias and the Cultures of Narcotraffic
May22
Speaker Series: Mafias and the Cultures of Narcotraffic May 22 Fenton Hall
Cintia Martínez Velasco. Speaker Series. Mafia: The Cultures of Narcotraffic.
May22
Cintia Martínez Velasco. Speaker Series. Mafia: The Cultures of Narcotraffic. May 22 Fenton Hall
Reading Series - Maurice Ruffin
May22
Reading Series - Maurice Ruffin May 22 Knight Library
Undergraduate Research Symposium
May23
Undergraduate Research Symposium May 23
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group
May23
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group May 23 Carson Hall, Ramey Room
"Jobs and Universities: A Tale of Two Futures"
May23
"Jobs and Universities: A Tale of Two Futures" May 23 Knight Library
Cinema Studies Presents: Screening of "Race to Survive: New Zealand” and Q&A with Emmy Award-winning Television Series Producer Jeff Conroy
May23
Cinema Studies Presents: Screening of "Race to Survive: New Zealand” and Q&A with Emmy Award-winning Television Series Producer Jeff Conroy May 23 Lawrence Hall

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