M.S. in Optical Sciences: Quantum Information

The M.S. in Optical Sciences with emphasis in Quantum Information Science & Engineering (QISE) provides education and training for a trans-disciplinary quantum workforce, spanning Optics, Engineering, Computer Science, Physics and Math.  The curriculum combines tailored courses in quantum mechanics, information theory, computer science, optics and materials, algorithms, and communications system engineering.  Unique to the program is a balance across theoretical and hands-on experience. The emphasis includes a set of required courses, elective courses, and laboratory courses. 

The QISE emphasis area has the same application procedure and deadlines as the general M.S. in Optical Sciences, but does involve a separate application instead of the general M.S. application.  The application requirements for the QISE option differ from the general M.S. option in the following ways:

  • Admission to the program requires previous coursework in quantum mechanics and preferably a course in statistics, in addition to the requirements for the general M.S. program.
  • Once admitted to the M.S. program with QISE emphasis, a student may choose to switch into the general M.S. program without submitting a new application.  This change is straightforward.  Please email admissions@optics.arizona.edu or call (520)621-8418, if you need to switch between M.S. options prior to admission.
  • The QISE emphasis currently does not have an online option, and direct application to an online-only QISE M.S. option is not available.

The QISE M.S. option is an emphasis area, or sub-plan, of the general M.S. in Optical Sciences program.  As such, it follows the requirements of the general Optical Sciences M.S. program, as specified in the Graduate Handbook, with the following exceptions:

  • The QISE option requires the completion of a specific set of core courses, and restricts additional elective and lab courses.  The course restrictions are summarized in the Appendices of the Graduate Handbook.
  • A PDF summary of QISE course requirements is available at the top of the Graduate Student Resources webpage.
  • The QISE option requires the completion of an M.S. Thesis or M.S. Report on a topic relevant to quantum information sciences and engineering.  The topic must be approved by a faculty committee prior to working on the thesis or report in order to ensure that it meets the requirements of the QISE emphasis area.  The emphasis area does not permit the completion of the program with a technical writing option.
  • The program requires 32 units total.  For the thesis option, 26 units of coursework and 6 units of OPTI 910: Thesis are required.  For the report option, 29 units of coursework and 3 units of OPTI 909: Report are required.
  • The QISE options is currently open to on-campus application and completion only.   We are working on opening this program up to online-only students.  Currently most courses needed for the QISE option, but not all, are available online. 
  • For this emphasis area, the diploma will state “Master of Science in Optical Sciences with emphasis in Quantum Information Science and Engineering.”