Skip to main content Skip to sidebar content



Explore the forces that shape our universe and collaborate with professors on graduate-level research.

Tickle atoms with light and freeze molecules to investigate quantum physics. Wield lasers to explore the inner workings of molecular motor proteins. Analyze data on galaxy motions to increase our understanding of the Big Bang.

Our physics department is a place of discovery. You’ll have access to an array of high-level research opportunities, including a full senior year of independent research. You can explore your interests in our state-of-the-art optics training laboratory. And as early as your first year, you’ll have a chance to secure a position in one of our lab

Wherever your interests take you, you’ll be part of a friendly and collaborative community that’s invested in your success. Your professors will mentor, inspire and challenge you at every level, whether you’re just starting out with your introductory classes or refining your knowledge in an upper-level specialty topics course.

Willamette is also a great place if you want to pursue engineering while receiving a well-rounded education. Our 3-2 Engineering program opens the door to both a BA from Willamette and a BS from Columbia, the University of Southern California, or Washington University in St. Louis. Many of our graduates choose the one-year Master's Industrial Internship Program at the University of Oregon as their path to a career in industry.

Featured Students, Alumni and Faculty


David Altman

  • Collaborated with students and domestic international researchers to better understand myosin, one of the body’s key motor proteins
  • Created a molecular trap that uses a laser to nudge a one-micron plastic bead
  • The technique helped the team take on experiments usually reserved for graduate students
Willamette University

Physics Department

Collins Science Center
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6894 voice
503-370-6773 fax