Department of Physics and Astronomy

Undergraduate Programs


Why study Physics and Astronomy?

Orion nebula as seen by Hubble Space TelescopePhysics is the study of the fundamental patterns of nature and the structure of matter, and astronomy applies physics to study the universe and its origins. In short, the study of physics & astronomy allows us to address the age-old questions, “how do things work?” and “where do we come from?” Physics forms the basis for other sciences and much of our technology. Additionally, an understanding of physics plays a crucial role in addressing many important challenges such as energy production, semiconductor technology, and climate change.

Physics and Astronomy Programs at UToledo

Due to the diversity of its faculty and strong emphasis on undergraduate research, the Department of Physics & Astronomy provides an excellent opportunity for pursuing an undergraduate education. Our programs for majors combine the equipment and research opportunities of a large department with the small classes and strong student-faculty interactions of a smaller department. The department offers a variety of degrees with concentrations in physics and applied physics, biomedical physics, and astrophysics. For additional information, please contact Michael Cushing (advisor for  B.A. or B.S. in astrophysics), Xunming Deng (advisor for B.A. and B.S. in physics and B.S. in applied physics), and Aniruddha Ray (advisor for B.S. in biomedical physics). 

  • B.A. - The Bachelor's of Arts (B.A.) degree provides a strong background in basic physics and astronomy while also allowing flexibility for students to customize their undergraduate education. This is a good choice for those who are interested in pursuing technical careers in a variety of fields such as engineering, computers, manufacturing, military, and teaching. The department offers a B.A. in Physics and a B.A. in Astronomy.

  • B.S. - The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) includes more research and technical experience and is the best choice for those who want to continue to graduate school and focus on a research career. The department offers four different B.S. concentrations: Physics, Applied Physics, Biomedical Physics and Astrophysics.

  • Honors in Physics & Astronomy - Qualified juniors and seniors may be invited to work for the citation "Honors in Physics and Astronomy."

  • Minor - The department also offers a minor which gives students a basic background and allows them to explore a particular topic of interest. The department offers three different minors: physics, astronomy and renewable energy.

  • Summary of all degree requirements for: (a) Fall  2016 catalog entry or later  (b) Fall 2015 catalog entry and prior

For descriptions of each course, please see the UToledo Course Catalog for physics classes and/or astronomy classes.


Graduate student working the labIn addition to providing a strong education in physics and astronomy, our programs educate students in the areas of critical thinking, modeling, design and development. This training is valuable for an increasing variety of careers as our technology changes at an increasing rate. Our majors are employed in a wide range of professional settings, including many industry positions which do not have "physics" or "astronomy" in the title. Department graduates are employed by the government, universities and colleges, hospitals, observatories, planetariums, and museums. Majors have also gone into financial analysis, patent law, ecology, crime scene investigation, and scientific journalism. For more information see the Career Opportunities page.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) Program

Physics Help desk schedule

Last Updated: 2/27/24