This is a named option in the Physics M.S.

The M.S. in Physics–Quantum Computing (MSPQC) is an intensive professional master’s degree designed to provide flexibility to students. It can be completed in one calendar year (3 Semesters) or it can take up to 6 Semesters on a part-time basis. The program provides students with a thorough grounding in the discipline of quantum information and quantum computing. It begins with a study of the relevant parts of quantum theory, and proceeds to quantum gates, measurements, algorithms, quantum error correction and decoherence. Quantum communication theory and the secure transmission of information are also covered. The supporting areas of statistical mechanics, solid-state physics and atomic physics form part of the classroom training. Just as important, the program gives students a mastery of advanced lab skills involved in quantum computation and participation in mentored research projects is required.

Students who graduate from this program will have the tools to succeed as researchers or program managers in a quantum computing or quantum technologies enterprise. They may also use the program as a springboard to Ph.D. programs in physics or related areas. MSPQC students interested in applying to the Ph.D. at UW–Madison must adhere to all Ph.D. admission requirements and deadlines.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline March 15
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) GRE General Test not required.
GRE Physics Subject Test not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Apply at  The application deadline for M.S. Quantum Computing program is in the table above.

For more details about the M.S. in Physics-Quantum Computing, please visit the FAQ page. 

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations n/a
Language Requirements n/a


PHYSICS 701 Graduate Introductory Seminars1
PHYSICS 709 Introduction to Quantum Computing3
PHYSICS 531 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics3
or PHYSICS 731 Quantum Mechanics
or PHYSICS 448 Atomic and Quantum Physics
or PHYSICS 545 Introduction to Atomic Structure
PHYSICS elective: Any PHYSICS course numbered 300 or above. 3
PHYSICS or other elective: Any PHYSICS course numbered 300 or above; courses outside of PHYSICS must be approved by the M.S. Physics-Quantum Computing program.3
PHYSICS 779 Advanced Quantum Computing3
PHYSICS 551 Solid State Physics3
or PHYSICS 751 Advanced Solid State Physics
or PHYSICS 449 Atomic and Quantum Physics
PHYSICS or other elective: Any PHYSICS course numbered 300 or above; courses outside of PHYSICS must be approved by the M.S. Physics-Quantum Computing program.6
PHYSICS 707 Quantum Computing Laboratory4
PHYSICS 799 Independent Study1
Total Credits30

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

This program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Prior Graduate Coursework from Other Institutions.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Up to 7 credits in courses numbered 500 or above may be used to satisfy minimum degree requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval and payment of difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 500 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


All students will be assigned a faculty advisor upon matriculation. 

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits

Time Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.




Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.


Students are encouraged to attend Graduate School sponsored Professional Development events and participate in Graduate School Professional Development resources, such as the Individual Development Plan (IDP). The MSPQC program is affiliated with the Wisconsin Quantum Institute (WQI), the home for quantum science and engineering at UW-Madison. Students also have access to professional development opportunities through UW–Madison’s membership in the Chicago Quantum Exchange, the National Science Foundation’s Quantum Leap Challenge Institute, HQAN, and the Department of Energy’s Q-NEXT Center.

M.S. in Physics - Quantum Computing

A comprehensive list of faculty, involved in relevant research from all departments, can be found in the Wisconsin Quantum Institute website.

Quantum Computing Physics Faculty

A.B. Balantekin, Eugene P. Wigner Professor
Victor Brar, Van Vleck Assistant Professor
Mark Eriksson, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor
Ilya Esterlis, Assistant Professor
Mark Friesen, Distinguished Scientist
Robert Joynt, Professor
Roman Kuzmin, Assistant Professor
Alex Levchenko, Associate Professor
Robet McDermott, Professor
Mark Saffman, Professor
Maxim Vavilov, Professor
Thad Walker, Professor
Deniz Yavuz, Professor

Quantum Computing Administration

The MSPQC Program Director, Committee, and Administration can be found on the MSPQC program page.