Emeritus Physics Faculty Member Establishes Endowment



Physics is the study of the physical universe and is fundamental to science, engineering and the technology industry. From black holes to quarks, solar systems to atoms, tornados to blood flow, physics describes the underlying forces and structure of nature.

A bachelor's degree in physics from Pacific University incorporates both the theoretical and practical aspects of physics. The physics program utilizes innovative teaching methods with an emphasis on active classroom experiences and a learn-by-doing philosophy.

Program Highlights

Research-Proven Teaching Methods

  • Hands-on science in active classrooms
  • First-year sequence uses innovative Workshop Physics curriculum
  • Lab experience integral to each upper-level course
  • Senior year capstone research project

Dedicated Faculty

  • Devoted to learning and implementing proven teaching methods
  • Our doors are always open
  • Students come first
  • Collaborate with students on research
  • Strong track record of obtaining external grant funding

Student Community

  • Frequent group projects and study sessions
  • Active physics club and honors society
  • 20 majors graduated in the past five years
  • 30% of our physics students are women and 30% are from Hawai'i

Science Facilities

  • New research labs
  • Physics community space
  • Cutting-edge equipment

Career-Building Experience

Students leave the program with an understanding of fundamental principles, qualitative and quantitative reasoning abilities, strong skills in science communication and valuable research experience. Research opportunities exist in laser physics, nonlinear fiber optics, crystal growth, physics education, nuclear physics, chaos, photonics and atomic physics.

Students graduating with a physics degree are prepared for countless careers. Our students typically graduate with private sector jobs or enroll in graduate programs to pursue physics degrees, engineering degrees, teaching degrees and many others.

Internships/Hands-on Experience

Students experience projects as major project contributors, collaborating across disciplinary boundaries, presenting results at regional and national conferences and applying their knowledge to current problems as they learn to be tomorrow's scientists. Students have the opportunity to work with professors on research programs as well as conducting their own research. In addition, seniors can either pursue their own research project for their capstone, or choose to do a professional internship.

Senior Capstone

Our students in the College of Arts & Sciences complete a senior project before graduating. This gives students an opportunity to research and solve problems and helps prepare them for their next professional steps. Students present their projects on Senior Project Day. Senior Capstone Videos and Projects

More Information

Why Study Physics?

Fact Sheet




Harold Vanta, Kirlian Photography incorporates high voltage, high frequency electricity, and the associated corona effect into the photographic process. Though the classical applications are sparse and met with skepticism, we investigate the particular variables that directly affect the intensity and propagation of the corona effect. We have also correlated the corona effect with electrical properties such as the electrical field lines, or equipotential lines according to the electromagnetic theory of various materials.

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While all physics students must take a certain set of courses for their physics degree, they also get to choose to have an emphasis that they feel will best suit them. For more information, visit courses. Current emphases include:

  • Traditional physics, which is meant for students wishing to pursue careers focused on applied physics and engineering
  • Environmental science, which is meant for students interested in environmental issues


Scholarships, Research, Internships and Fellowships

Students have opportunities forscholarships, researsh, internships and fellowships. Find out more.