The PhD program in quantum science and engineering (QSE) lies at the interface of physics, chemistry, and engineering, providing students with exciting opportunities to explore the fundamentals, realizations, and applications of QSE. Students of diverse backgrounds will benefit from an integrated curriculum designed to dramatically reduce the time to basic quantum proficiency and to equip students with experimental and theoretical education that reflects the nuanced intellectual approaches brought by both the sciences and engineering. Students will have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities. Integrating a new approach to interdisciplinary scholarship, graduates of the program will be prepared for careers in academia, industry, and national laboratories.

Research is a primary focus of the program, with students beginning research rotations in their first year. Extensive mentoring and advising is embedded in the program: graduate students in QSE are part of an academic community that cuts across departments and schools and, as such, are strongly encouraged to pursue cross-disciplinary research. In addition to their research, QSE PhD students will receive training in communication and professional opportunities, such as industry internships.

Admissions Requirements

Students with bachelor’s degrees in physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, or related fields are invited to apply for admission. Prospective students should demonstrate depth of background in one or more relevant fields including (but not limited to) physics, electrical engineering, engineering sciences, materials science, computer science, and chemistry. Typically, applicants will have devoted approximately half of their undergraduate work to one or more of these fields and will have demonstrated overall academic excellence.

As part of the Statement of Interest, prospective students should detail their reason for pursuing the PhD degree in QSE and explain why this program is particularly well-suited for them. A student who has a marked interest in a particular area of quantum science and engineering should include this information in the online application. If possible, applicants should also indicate whether they are inclined toward experimental or theoretical (mathematical) research. This statement of preference will not be treated as a binding commitment to any course of study and research.

Quantum science and engineering (QSE) is an interdisciplinary field, and cross-disciplinary research is strongly encouraged. The QSE PhD program overlaps with the Department of Physics, the Harvard John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Quantum Science and Engineering Faculty