University of Toledo Physics and Astronomy Department Overview


What are Physics and Astronomy All About?
Physics is the study of the fundamental laws of nature and the structure of matter; it forms the basis for all other sciences and for much of our high-technology society. Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the earth, including current thought about the origins of the universe, the solar system, and life.


Why UT's Physics and Astronomy Program?
At The University of Toledo, you11 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 roe of a selected set of national sites supported by the NSF for undergraduate summer research participation.


What About Employment Opportunities?
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.


UT Undergraduate Degree Programs
The B.A. in Astronomy consists of 33 hours of required astronomy and physics courses in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, 8 hours of Calculus, and at least 10 additional hours in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics, chosen with the advisor's approval. This program is intended to provide the combination of fundamental physics, together with both general and advanced astronomy, required for a career in astronomy or a related area. It also has the flexibility required by students who wish to pursue interdisciplinary studies, or prepare for careers in teaching or other professions requiring a fundamental understanding of the physical sciences.

The sequence of courses shown below is a typical one for an astronomy major, but many other course selections are possible. In particular a student who begins with a good math background might take calculus in the freshman year, and PHYS 2130-2140 instead of PHYS 2070-2080-2100. The student must also satisfy all the degree requirements of the University Core and the College of Arts & Sciences. The official degree requirements are published in the Catalog of the University of Toledo.