Program Details

University of Oregon (Physics)

Updated: June 09, 2009

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?

27 male; 1 female

How many graduate students-- male/female?

70 male; 20 female

How many post doctoral associates - male/female?

2 male; 2 female

Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

The latest GFT contract with the University states that a student may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth and/or care, major illness, or spousal care. A graduate student can take an unpaid leave of absence for personal reasons.

Department head and research supervisors recognize the existence and importance of family responsibilities, work with students to understand and accommodate their needs, and establish and implement flexible and responsive practices whenever possible to accommodate employee needs in ways that remain consistent with the goal of graduate education.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

Graduate students receive individual health insurance benefits as part of their stipend. Family members can be included at a subsidized rate. During the 2008-2009 academic year, the value of the health insurance benefit for an individual is approximately $818 per quarter and ranges up to $2047 per quarter for a family.

This policy and the rates noted above are subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the University and the Graduate Teaching Fellow Federation.

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

We are a moderate-sized physics department at a university with a strong tradition in the liberal arts and sciences. Our Department includes many highly productive and well-funded research groups. We provide a high quality physics education with faculty members who are committed to helping students hone their skills in a setting that remains very informal.

The natural sciences at the University of Oregon have a strong interdisciplinary flavor. The departments are in close spatial and intellectual proximity. The Physics Department has strong connections to several vibrant research institutes and centers ( Aside from supporting doctoral research, all these units maintain strong ties to academic, industrial, and government laboratories around the world.

The University supports an active Women in Graduate Sciences Group ( that focuses on helping women within interdisciplinary sciences to develop into successful scientists. The group sponsors workshops, mentors, and community outreach, and fosters networking and communication skill development.

Women in Technology and Science (WITS - is a UO initiative that aims to increase the success of women in science, math, and computing. The WITS Fund provides seed funding for student scholarships, research funds, travel grants, and faculty support. WITS will also promote outreach programs designed to increase access to scientific research and discovery among underrepresented groups.

Our Department is heavily involved in several K-12 and community outreach activities with a particular emphasis on students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds ( Interested graduate students are encouraged to participate in these activities.

Our Department has a strong internal committee structure to guide departmental affairs. Graduate students participate actively in this committee system; their input is strongly encouraged and has lasting impact.

Our Department sponsors several social activities throughout the year. The quality of life in Eugene is quite high and forms a nice complement to the strong graduate education offered by our Department.

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?


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