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 and is designed to be completed in one calendar year. The program provides students with a thorough grounding in the new discipline of quantum information and quantum computing. This 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 the advanced lab skills involved in quantum computation. 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.

The tuition for this program is $1,600/credit hour. Students in this program cannot accept research assistant, teaching assistant, project assistant or other university appointments that grant waivers of tuition and/or academic fees.

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) 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 March 15. 

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

The tuition for this program is $1,600 per credit hour.  Students in this program cannot accept research assistantships, teaching assistantships, project assistantships, or other university appointments that grant waivers of tuition. 

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.

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


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide ( No 300-level courses will be counted toward the 30 credit minimum.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations n/a
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.


PHYSICS 531 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics3
or PHYSICS 731 Quantum Mechanics
PHYSICS 415 Thermal Physics3
or PHYSICS 715 Statistical Mechanics
PHYSICS 709 Introduction to Quantum Computing3
PHYSICS elective3
PHYSICS 551 Solid State Physics3
or PHYSICS 751 Advanced Solid State Physics
PHYSICS 449 Atomic and Quantum Physics3
or PHYSICS 545 Introduction to Atomic Structure
PHYSICS 779 Advanced Quantum Computing3
PHYSICS elective3
PHYSICS 707 Quantum Computing Laboratory4
PHYSICS 799 Independent Study2
Total Credits30

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

Prior coursework from other institution may count toward any graduate degree in physics as allowed by the Graduate School policy on prior coursework.

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.


Grade of B or better in all coursework and a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 are required.


All students will be assigned a faculty advisor upon matriculation. 

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits

Time constraints


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.


Students enrolled in this program are not permitted to accept teaching assistantships, project assistantships, research assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver. Students in this program cannot enroll in other graduate programs nor take courses outside the prescribed curriculum.

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 Resources

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).

M.S. in Physics - Quantum Computing

More detail about each faculty member and the research areas can be found on the Physics website.

Quantum Computing Faculty

Susan Coppersmith, Robert E. Fassnacht Professor and Vilas Professor
Mark Eriksson, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor
Lev Ioffe, Professor
Robert Joynt, Professor
Shimon Kolkowitz, Assistant Professor
Alex Levchenko, Associate Professor
Robert McDermott, Professor
Mark Saffman, Professor
Maxim Vavilov, Professor
Thad Walker, Professor
Deniz Yavuz, Professor

Quantum Computing Administration

The MSPQC Program Director is Professor Robert Joynt.  The MSPQC Committee Members are Robert Joynt (Chair), Mark Saffman, Mark Eriksson, Robert McDermott, Deniz Yavuz, Stas Boldyrev, Michelle Holland.