Inside Quantum Technology’s “Inside Scoop:” Quantum and Ph.D. Programs
In the ever-evolving landscape of modern technology, quantum computing stands as a beacon of hope for solving complex problems that were once deemed unsolvable by classical computers. As this field advances rapidly, a Ph.D. program in quantum computing is an enticing option for those passionate about pushing the boundaries of science and technology.
To embark on this exciting journey, choosing the right academic program is essential. This article will explore some of the best Ph.D. programs for studying quantum computing. This list is not exhaustive, as more and more universities are offering courses or full programs on quantum computing and quantum technology. The list below is more U.S.-focused Ph.D. programs but offers some international names.
A Ph.D. Program Helps with Workforce Development
Because quantum computing is such a technical field, having a Ph.D. in this area or learning through a Ph.D. program is advantageous in finding a successful career in this industry. Many students of quantum computing also learn the science through various online courses, such as IBM Quantum‘s Qiskit or the Coding School’s QubitxQubit. However, having a longer learning experience, like a Ph.D. program, can allow a student better hands-on experience with quantum science, as well as opportunities to pursue their own research, manage their own projects, and communicate their own ideas.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT has long been renowned for its cutting-edge research in various fields, and quantum computing is no exception. The Center for Quantum Engineering at MIT is home to world-class researchers and faculty members who are pioneers in quantum computing. Ph.D. candidates can engage in groundbreaking research in quantum algorithms, quantum hardware, and quantum information theory.
Stanford University’s Quantum Information Science group is at the forefront of quantum computing research. With access to state-of-the-art facilities and a vibrant community of researchers, Ph.D. students can explore various topics, including quantum algorithms, quantum error correction, and quantum cryptography. Stanford’s location in Silicon Valley also offers unique opportunities for collaboration with tech companies actively investing in quantum technologies.
University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley’s Quantum Information and Computation Center is a hub for quantum research. The program offers interdisciplinary opportunities connecting to physics, computer science, and electrical engineering departments. Ph.D. candidates benefit from a dynamic research environment and access to Berkeley’s Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory, where they can work on developing quantum hardware.
University of Waterloo
Known as the “Quantum Valley,” the University of Waterloo in Canada is a global leader in quantum research. The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at Waterloo offers a comprehensive Ph.D. program in quantum information and quantum computing. IQC collaborates closely with tech companies like IBM and Google, providing students with real-world applications for their research.
University of Oxford
For those looking to pursue quantum computing research on the international stage, the University of Oxford offers a prestigious program. Oxford’s Quantum Group conducts groundbreaking research in quantum algorithms, cryptography, and information theory. Ph.D. candidates benefit from a rich history of scientific discovery and a network of global collaborators.
Harvard’s Quantum Science and Engineering Ph.D. program offers a multidisciplinary approach to quantum computing research. Ph.D. candidates can explore quantum algorithms, hardware, and materials science. With access to world-class faculty and resources, Harvard provides an excellent environment for quantum research.
Getting Involved in a Ph.D. Program
As quantum computing continues to reshape the landscape of technology and science, pursuing a Ph.D. in this field offers an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation. The Ph.D. programs mentioned above represent some of the best options for those looking to dive deep into quantum computing research, but there are also top-choice options in Europe, Australia, and Asia as well. However, it’s essential to carefully evaluate each program’s faculty, facilities, and research opportunities to find the best fit for your academic and career goals. Regardless of your choice, a Ph.D. in quantum computing opens doors to possibilities and the chance to contribute to the next quantum revolution.
Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is a staff writer at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Discover Magazine, Ars Technica, and more.