8 Quantum Computing Degrees

Quantum Courses

In a previous article, we discussed various Master’s degree options intending quantum computing students could enrol in. This article lists other degree forms, ranging from a PhD at Harvard University to a Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Why Study Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is what many have described as the next big thing in computing. With a quantum computer solving decades-old problems faster than an entire team of humans could, the possibilities of what can be achieved with quantum computing are vast. However, as with anything in its early stages of development, you might need s little convincing as to why you need to even study quantum computing.

In a widely popular book by Malcolm Gladwell called “Outliers,” he details how certain individuals started out in their fields early enough to become highly sought-after experts when their industries began to reach times of popularity and necessity. For instance, Bill Gates with Computer Science and Software engineering, or Joe Flom with litigation law. Investing in studying quantum computing now, could make students highly sought-after professionals in an industry that is fast approaching mainstream popularity and cross-industry necessity.

There is a need for growth in the quantum workforce as the industry is rather broad, but according to an article by Qureca, of eight (8) subfields within quantum computing, the larger part of the workforce (35%) work in quantum software, with the next being 21% in quantum hardware and the least being 2% in quantum enabling technologies, followed by 5% and 7% in quantum consulting and quantum communications respectively. Such imbalance in distribution raises a need for a larger workforce and even subfields with higher numbers of the workforce are rapidly expanding, leading to a greater need for highly skilled professionals with high-level knowledge of Quantum Computing.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh located in Pennsylvania, USA offers a full-time, in-person Bachelor’s degree program in Physics and Quantum Computing. Students that enroll in this program will be given an opportunity to take several core and elective courses and participate in either a capstone research or project or internship. Students also have the option to focus on computer science or physics.

Modules students will take include Introductory and Intermediate Computer Science Courses like Intermediate programming, algorithms and data structure, among others; Intermediate and Advanced Physics Courses which include Mechanics, and Introduction to quantum mechanics, and more; Advanced Computer Science Courses like Algorithms and Data Structures, and Quantum Computation, among others; and Physics Lab Courses which include Wave Motion and Optics, and Quantum Physics at the Nanoscale, and more.

Giving students the ability to choose a specialization in Physics or Computer Science allows for a higher degree of understanding in their chosen specialization rather than broad, basic knowledge of both specializations. This adds to the desirability of this degree.

Tuition is currently set at $22,550 per year for domestic students and $41,158 per year for International students.

Harvard University

Harvard’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Quantum Science and Engineering is an in-person program offered by the university’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in Massachusetts, USA. The program consists of four required courses, two specialization courses in the sub-area of interest to the student, three additional courses with one of those courses outside of the student’s research sub-area, Laboratory rotations, a yearly research retreat, a teaching requirement for one semester, and thesis research.

Some of the courses offered include Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Introduction to Quantum Information Science, Quantum Optics, Mesoscale and Low Dimensional Devices or Electromagnetic interaction with Matter, among others.

Core faculty members of the program include Anurag Anshu (Computer Science), Boaz Barak (Computer Science), David Bell (Applied Physics), David Brooks (Computer Science), Flavio Calmon (Electrical Engineering), Federico Capasso (Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering)Efthimios Kaxiras (Applied Physics and Physics), among others.

This degree offers its students many benefits including the yearly research retreat that serves to boost their experience and knowledge of the subject matter. Not only that, teaching for an entire semester allows them to approach quantum computing from a different point of view. Another desirable feature of this program is the extensive list of qualified faculty across disciplines that students will learn from.

Tuition for the first two years of the program is set at $52,456, while the last two years have a reduced tuition set at 13,638.

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland offers its Quantum Information Degree at an undergraduate level in the department of computer science in person on its Maryland, USA campus. The syllabus consists of core and elective courses including Linear Algebra, Introduction to Quantum Computing, Introduction to Quantum Technology, Computer and Network Security, Introduction to Parallel Computing, Machine Learning, Bioinformatic Algorithms, Databases, and Tools, Database Design, Algorithms for Data Science, among others.

For domestic students, this degree offers students the ability to learn about quantum computing at a cheaper rate than some of the others on this list, which is a desirable quality of the program and it gives students much-needed foundational knowledge of quantum computing.

Undergraduate tuition is set at $9,695 for domestic students and $37,931 for international students per year. Potential students are advised to contact the department for more information.

University of New South Wales

UNSW’s Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Quantum Engineering) is an in-person program offered on the university’s Kensington campus in Sydney, Australia. The Bachelor of Engineering (Quantum) is taught through the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. It will feature 60 days of Industrial Training as well as several courses on the subject matter. The 60-day industrial training is an added advantage for students who want to gain some industry experience during their degree with no added cost which makes this program stand out.

Students will be able to take core and elective courses including Programming Fundamentals, Digital Circuit Design, Electronics, Quantum Physics of Solids and Devices, Quantum Devices and Computers, Quantum Communications, Photonic Networks, and more.

First-year tuition for domestic students is set at $6,880 and $49,600 for international students. Whilst the Indicative Fee to Complete Degree for international students is set at $204,560.

Duration: Four years.

University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico offers a PhD in Physics With Concentration in Quantum Information Science in person on its New Mexico, USA campus. Students will take a number of courses throughout the program including Quantum Optics, Quantum Computation, Quantum Information Theory, Special topics:  Quantum Error Correction, Special topics:  Quantum Communication, and Special Topics: QC2: Quantum Computing for Quantum Chemistry, among others.

This degree is great for students with foundational knowledge in physics that are looking to make the leap into quantum computing, with a more affordable tuition than some of the other programs on the list, it is a great choice.

Tuition is set at $10,860 per year for domestic students and $27,166 per year for international students. Intending applicants can learn more by contacting the university.

Aalto University

Aalto University is offering potential students an opportunity to earn either degree in Quantum Technology, Bachelor of Science (Technology), and a degree in Master of Science (Technology). The program is structured to allow students to earn a joint Bachelors’s and Masters’s degree within one program and it is offered in person on the university’s Espoo, Finland campus.

Topics that students will learn during the program include Quantum devices for advanced technologies; Quantum-information processing, communication, and algorithms; Quantum sensing and simulation; Nanoscale quantum circuits and processors; Low-temperature physics and materials science for quantum engineering; Theoretical description and understanding of quantum systems, among others.

Not only does this program stand out for the ability of students to earn a joint degree in only five years, but for EU/EEA students, it is a much cheaper alternative than many other degree options.

Tuition is set for non-EU/EEA citizens at €12000 per year (Bachelor’s studies) + €15000 per year (Master’s studies). EU/EEA citizens students are not required to pay tuition and can learn more on the university’s website.

Duration: Three years (BSc) + Two years (MSc).

Capitol Technology University

Captech offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Quantum Computing in person on its Maryland, USA campus. Students have two options when enrolling in the program which are the thesis option and the publication option.

Courses students will take during the duration of the program include Quantum Computing Research Background, Quantum Computing Research Methodologies, Quantum Computing Future Demands, Strategies for Quantum Computing, Quantum Computing Research Proposal, and Quantum Computing Doctoral Writing, among others.

This program stands out as it allows students to graduate with published research under their belts if they choose that option. This increases their desirability in the workforce post-graduation.

Tuition is set on a per-credit basis for the program. The per-credit charge for doctorate courses is $933. This is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

University of Massachusetts Boston

UMass Boston offers a Quantum Information Certificate that offers four core courses that should serve to introduce students to the subject matter of quantum computing and as a basis for further pursuits in the field. The courses include Fundamentals of Quantum Physics, Quantum Computation, Physics and Information, and Quantum Science Applications.

This is a much easier option for students who are not ready to plunge into a full-on degree just yet and will provide them with foundation knowledge that will assist them if they do decide to pursue quantum computing further.

Intending applicants are encouraged to reach out to the University of Massachusetts Boston for more information regarding the program.


The programs listed in this article give students an opportunity to learn more about Quantum computing at a foundational level with Bachelors and Certificat programs as well as levels beyond a Master’s degree at PhD levels, creating a more robust understanding of the subject matter when students eventually join the Quantum Computing workforce.