Program Overview | Quantum Science and Engineering
By the Numbers
In order to maintain a strong, diverse and substantial pool of applicants, our tuition is designed to make us competitive, especially with our peer institutions.
Credits in both Core Curriculums
M.S. and Ph.D. students take the same core and elective courses. The 32-credit master’s can be completed in as little as 18 months because the coursework is followed by a relatively brief capstone project. The Ph.D. entails extensive dissertation research with a faculty advisor and is typically completed in five to six years.
Full-time faculty members from UD's College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering — who are leaders in their field — share their individual expertise and unite to equip students with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed.
Welcome from the Team
As one of the only universities offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in quantum science and engineering, our cutting-edge program is responding to industry demands. While our students take the same core and elective courses, our master's degree — which can be completed in as little as 18 months — is for people who want to learn the foundations of the field and enter the workforce relatively quickly. Our doctoral degree typically takes five to six years because the coursework is followed by several years of research under the supervision of a faculty advisor culminating in a Ph.D. dissertation.
We designed our program to be open to people coming from a wide range of STEM backgrounds, so you don’t already have to know quantum mechanics. You don’t have to come out of a physics program and know exactly what quantum mechanics means. You will take a quantum science course with us in the first semester, and we will teach you what it means. Our applicants have undergraduate degrees ranging from physics to electrical engineering to computer science, with everything in between.
There is a strong market for employees coming out of both the master’s and Ph.D. pipelines. As we were developing the program, we met with a lot of industry people, and they all told us they have a hard time finding enough workers for the positions they need to fill. Huge companies like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Google and Northrop Grumman are all making massive investments in quantum technologies. They are joined by a host of small quantum-specific startups. On top of that, many traditional industries, like banking, are also investing in understanding how they can leverage quantum technologies to improve their business operations.
A quantum science and engineering degree from the University of Delaware will uniquely qualify you for this explosive market. Whether you are considering a master's degree or a doctorate, we look forward to discussing our program with you!
Have questions about the program, or just interested in learning more? Inquire today, and someone from the program will reach out to you.
Quantum science and engineering is a discipline focused on understanding and exploiting the unusual behavior of particles and excitations governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. The behavior of objects we interact with on a daily basis can all be described by classical physics – we can measure the velocity and position of a baseball at any moment and reliably predict where it will be in the future.
The rules of quantum mechanics are different. For example, it is possible for an electron to be in a superposition state in which it is simultaneously in two places at once. But when we measure a system that is in a superposition state, we can only find one location as the answer, which means the answers are probabilistic. Moreover, two quantum systems can be entangled, which means that the measurement of one system determines the state of the second
In the late 20th century, scientists realized that the unique properties of quantum mechanics provided powerful new capabilities. The most famous idea is the quantum computer, which can outperform any classical computer for certain types of calculations by exploiting quantum bits (qubits) that can be in superposition or entangled states. Quantum devices can similarly enable extraordinary improvements in sensitivity or fundamentally unbreakable encryption for applications in fields ranging from biomedical sensing to secure communication.
Scientists and engineers have been working to realize quantum devices since these ideas first emerged, and there has been tremendous progress. The first quantum computers are in operation, and we are very near — if not past — the point at which some of these quantum computers can outperform classical computers for certain problems. However, designing, building and operating scalable and robust quantum devices remains extremely challenging. Our faculty and students are tackling this challenge by working together to leverage their expertise in a wide range of disciplines.
Our interdisciplinary program in quantum science and engineering is housed within the University’s Graduate College and leverages the talents of diverse experts from UD’s College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering, including the departments of physics and astronomy, mathematics, computer and information sciences, materials science and engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. Students who complete our program acquire the following skills:
- Core Concepts: Demonstrate a mastery of the foundational knowledge and skills of core aspects of research and development for quantum technologies. Utilize foundational knowledge to develop deeper expertise within a specialized area of quantum technologies.
- Critical Thinking: Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate literature and data, identify key scientific questions and technical obstacles, develop and implement approaches to address these questions or overcome these obstacles, and communicate the approach and results.
- Research: Demonstrate the depth of knowledge and skills required for professional employment in at least one aspect of quantum technology. This includes demonstrating scientific thinking, as well as the ability to design and implement a scientific research plan, acquire the technical skills necessary to implement such a research plan, and develop and employ analytical skills that enable rigorous qualitative and quantitative scientific data evaluation.
- Collaboration and Professionalism: Act professionally and ethically. Employ a shared vocabulary that enables collaboration between specialists working on different aspects of quantum technologies. Work productively at the intersection of different aspects of quantum technologies that cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines.
- Scientific Communication: Employ methods of effective communication within the discipline. This includes the development of the scientific writing skills necessary for the publication of research and the preparation of fundable research proposals. This also includes the development of the oral presentation skills required to effectively share scientific information and ideas with both specialized and general audiences.
From our Students
Ph.D. student, Quantum Science and Engineering
"There are not many U.S. universities that offer this kind of interdisciplinary program dedicated to quantum science and engineering. UD has very strong labs and is very good at experimental science.”