Physics Bachelor's Degree Overview
Physicists study matter and the physical world, from the vast universe to the smallest subatomic particles. They address age-old questions, such as “How do things work?” and “Where do we come from?” They question, observe, experiment and create models and theories to better understand our world.
The University of Toledo has a world-class Department of Physics and Astronomy. Our passionate faculty members work on cutting-edge research and encourage freshmen to work alongside them in the lab.
Physics is the basis for the other sciences and modern technology. It is responsible for solar power, microelectronics, lasers and nuclear energy. An understanding of physics plays a crucial role in addressing important challenges, such as energy production, semiconductor technology and climate change.
A BA or a BS?
Our BA degree:
- Provides a strong background in basic physics and astronomy
- Allows students to customize their educations
- Is a good choice if you want to pursue technical careers in a variety of STEM and non-STEM fields, such as engineering, law, business, economics, computers, manufacturing, education and the U.S. Armed Forces.
Our BS degree:
- Requires more math, research and technical experience
- Is the best choice if you want to continue to graduate school; focus on a research career; or go into a STEM-related job after graduation.
Concentrations in our BS major include:
- Applied physics
- Biomedical physics
The astrophysics concentration is a good choice for students interested in pursuing graduate studies and an advanced research career in astronomy. A BA in astronomy from UToledo is another option for students interested in getting a strong background in basic physics and astronomy. You can customize your undergraduate education to pursue a variety of science-related careers.
Physics Bachelor's Degree Highlights
- Undergraduate research. We won’t make you wait until grad school to get in the lab, like most schools. Start as early as your freshman year to work with faculty on leading-edge research. Publish in journals, present at conferences and learn the skills you need to solve technical problems on your own.
- Passionate, expert faculty. Our department is small enough that faculty gets to know students by name. Five faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society, a rare, international honor for members. Five of them are endowed professors. Others have been named outstanding lecturers and researchers by UT.
- Award-winning chapter of the Society of Physics Students. Get involved in education and public outreach. The chapter organizes lectures, networking opportunities and social activities.
- Graduate school options. UToledo offers master’s and PhD programs in physics. Undergrads benefit from these programs that draw high-level faculty and students to campus.
- Study abroad. UT has an international exchange program with Salford University in the United Kingdom. Our students spend a semester or a year in England, and Salford students bring a fresh perspective to our campus.
- High-tech labs. UToledo hosts:
- The Toledo High Energy Ion Accelerator, used for atomic physics research
- State-of-the-art equipment in the large Wright Center for Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization, used for solar energy research
- Several parallel computing clusters, as well as access to the Ohio Supercomputer Cluster, used for theoretical and computational research
- Radiation and diagnostic equipment to perform research in medical physics
UT students don’t just learn physics. They gain skills in critical thinking, problem solving, modeling, design and development — all important for keeping up with changing technology.
Many of our students pursue graduate degrees. Others find work in a wide array of careers, many of which don’t have “physics” in the job title. Physics graduates tend to advance quickly and find rewarding careers because of their strong backgrounds in fundamental science.
Graduates find opportunities in a wide variety of industries, such as:
|Solar energy||Optical communications|
UToledo physics alumni have worked for:
- First Solar
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Carnegie Mellon University
Physics Bachelor's Degree Curriculum
Physics Bachelor’s Degree Sample Courses
- Physics of Music and Sound
- Jurassic Physics
- The World of Atoms
Our strong emphasis on undergraduate research gives our students the skills to think on their own to solve technical problems. Students use modern research facilities, such as:
- A Ritter 1-meter telescope
- Accelerator labs
- Spectrometers, lasers and computers
They help conduct research in:
- Stellar and galactic astrophysics
- Theoretical and computational materials science
- Fast ion beams
- Physics of the DNA molecule
Faculty and students in UToledo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy conduct world-class research. They have close ties to the larger, professional community. Our primary areas of strength are in: