Research and Internship Opportunities

University of Portland Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program

The Physics Department faculty offers faculty directed student research experiences in a variety of fields of physics. Department specialties include semiconductor physics, quantum mechanics, quantum optics, fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, and physics education. Students can do research during the academic year for academic credit or during the summer as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program. The SURE program is a summer research program funded by the University that provides a salary and housing on campus for students for up to 10 weeks of summer research. Undergraduate research is a valuable way to grow as a scientist and can often lead to conference presentations and/or publication in peer-reviewed journals.


Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) is a summer research program funded by the National Science Foundation. In physics, there are over fifty schools nationwide with REU programs that offer a rich variety of research projects that involve undergraduate students in meaningful ways. This work can often lead to publication in peer-reviewed journals. For more information, please see the NSF's site for the REU program ( Our students have participated in a variety of REU programs both inside and outside of the University of Portland.


Professional Internships

In addition to scientific research opportunities, students can complete professional internship to gain experience the field of physics. For more information about internships, please see the College of Arts and Sciences site for Internship.


What students are saying about undergraduate research and internships

Kaylin Ingalls (Physics B.S. Class 2022)
"In the spring and summer of 2019, I worked in Dr. Schlosshauer’s quantum lab on campus at UP. We built a quantum random number generator, and I specifically worked on analysis and statistical testing of the random numbers produced by our generator. It was an enjoyable and extremely informative experience for me personally. It provided me with an opportunity to work on an interesting topic, to gain experience about what it is like to do physics research, and to discover what types of research work I am particularly interested in.”

Sawyer Kemmerly (Physics B.S. Class 2020)
"In the summer of 2019, I worked for six weeks with Dr. Schlosshauer and three other UP students. Our goal was to complete some experiments for the publication of a paper on a quantum random number generator that several students before us had been working on. This research taught me the basics of quantum mechanics and how quantum measurements can be implemented into experimental setups to produce extremely interesting and useful results.”

“I spent the second half of the summer working as a Research and Development Intern at Sunsweet Growers Inc. The experience allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and gain experience in a completely new field. I am so thankful for all that I have learned.”

Tangereen Bailey Claringbold (Physics B.S. Class 2016)
"I participated in a summer REU at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA, where I worked with Dr. Christopher Carone on a project in theoretical high energy theory. Our goal was to achieve grand unification of the forces by adding scalar dark matter and 13 possible particles that carry color charge. To do this, I learned some basic applied group theory and wrote codes in both Mathematica and Python."

Anna Wetterer (Physics B.S. Class of 2015, M.A.T. 2016)
"I did research at Portland State University in physics education and at The University of Portland UP in physical chemistry using Lagrangian mechanics to study carbon tetra chloride. I also did research for a summer at the Air Force Academy on the astrometry and photometry of comets and asteroids."

 Martha Olson (Physics B.S. Class of 2015, M.A.T. 2017)
"For my summer REU, I did research at Purdue University on theoretical atomic physics. In particular, I worked on modeling a quantum harmonic oscillator and its properties."