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Degrees Available: Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Science

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.

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Featured Alumni


Hannah Rarick ’21

  • Once “phenomenally bad” at physics, Rarick advanced to contributing to physics research at multiple institutions nationwide
  • Participated in Research for Undergraduate programs in Washington state and Pennsylvania
  • Attending University of Washington in Seattle to study light matter interactions and pursue her PhD in physics

Elisa Ahern '15

  • Taught English in Germany through U.S. Department of Education Policy Fellow
  • Webber Scholar through Willamette Science Outreach program, co-president of the German club
  • Varsity volleyball and track and field athlete
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