Department of Physics and Astronomy

Undergraduate Program

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Why study Physics and Astronomy?

Physics is the study of the fundamental laws of nature and the structure of matter.  It forms the basis for all other physical sciences and much of our high-technology.  Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the earth, including current thought about the origins of the universe, the solar system, and life. 

UT's Physics and Astronomy Program

At the University of Toledo, you'll find an outstanding faculty in a nationally recognized program. You'll enjoy the small classes, informal atmosphere, and close student-faculty interactions of a small department, combined with exciting, sophisticated research opportunities comparable to those of large departments.

Students have a choice of degree options and may participate in scientific research early in the program. Research facilities include high-power lasers, positive and negative ion accelerators, and the Ritter Observatory's 1-meter telescope. A wide variety of computing facilities are used by students, including PCs and powerful UNIX-based workstations. A high-speed network provides access to the University's mainframes and to off-campus supercomputers. Research fields include astrophysics, atomic physics, biophysics, physics of thin films, surfaces and plasmas, applied physics, and photovoltaics.

The faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy have outstanding academic credentials and a solid record of scholarly accomplishments. Faculty research programs are supported by grants from federal agencies such as NSF, DOE, ONR, NREL, and NASA, as well as private industry. For the last several years, UT has been one of a selected set of national sites supported by the NSF for undergraduate summer research participation.  


Physics prepares students for an increasing variety of careers as our technology changes at an increasing rate. Department graduates work in many areas, including research, development, administration, and teaching. Such employment is found in private companies, government, universities, colleges, schools, hospitals, observatories, planetariums, and science museums. Physics majors also go on to careers in a variety of other areas, from financial analysis to patent law to ecology to scientific journalism. For those who decide to pursue a career in physics or astronomy research, the next step is graduate school and the M.S. or Ph.D. degree.  (See links at P&A Career Opportunities.)

Last Updated: 6/26/15