Ritter Astrophysical Research Center


  • 12 astronomy faculty: 8 tenured or tenure-track professors, three research-active emeritus professors and one full-time lecturer
  • 15-20 Ph.D. students
  • Several postdoctoral researchers
  • 65 undergraduate majors in astronomy and astrophysics
  • Housed in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Leading regional outreach facility in Ritter Planetarium

With a reputation for cutting-edge astrophysical research, the astronomy and astrophysics program at The University of Toledo has been described as "small but mighty". Its faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students investigate a broad range of research areas — from the smallest stars to the most massive galaxies — while maintaining close collegiality.  We are deeply involved in ground-based, space-based, theoretical and computational astrophysics, and our faculty lead numerous national and international committees that steer research priorities in these areas.  The astrophysics group is housed in the Ritter Astrophysical Research Center, which along with the Ritter Planetarium, has been pursuing and sharing knowledge for over 50 years.  Ritter is unique in housing a front-line public university astrophysical research center in the same building as a high-impact astronomy outreach facility.

We operate Ritter Observatory, whose one meter telescope sits atop our building, and is an important part of our student training. In 2012 we became full partners in the 4.3-meter Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT), the 5th largest telescope in the continental US. In recognition of our program's strengths in research, education and outreach, UToledo was recently admitted as the 41st member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), which operates the leading public astronomical facilities and drives national research priorities.
 In 2018 the University of Toledo designated Astronomy and Astrophysics a Research Area of Excellence, one of just three areas selected across the entire University and medical campus. With a dozen active faculty, together with our graduate students and postdocs, we combine the kind of personal attention and supportive culture that comes from knowing everyone you work with, with the breadth of opportunity of a major astronomy and astrophysics research program, all situated in a dynamic, affordable and highly livable metropolitan area.

We offer comprehensive degree programs for training the next generation of scientific and technical leaders: a minor in astrophysics, B.A. in Astronomy, B.S. in Astrophysics, Masters and Ph.D. We are proud of our students' outcomes and delighted by the recent significant growth in astronomy and astrophysics enrollment.  We invite you to learn more about who we are and how you can get involved in research or outreach or pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in astronomy and astrophysics.

Ritter Astrophysical Research Center
University of Toledo, MS113
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606
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Last Updated: 6/8/21