UCLA to lead in quantum workforce development with new Quantum Science Master’s degree program
Quantum Information Science (QIS) is at the cutting edge of technology, research, and education. It brings together scientists and engineers from a wide range of disciplines including physics, materials science, electrical engineering, computer science, chemistry, and mathematics. Now, a brand new professional degree program at UCLA will place innumerable opportunities within QIS into the hands of its students.
The UCLA Master of Quantum Science and Technology (MQST) program within the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA is designed to prepare students for careers in research and development of quantum technologies. The degree addresses the needs of both students and industry, tailored to those who wish to pursue technical positions that require a unique combination of specialized knowledge and skills.
“QIS has matured enormously over the past decade. We are now witnessing the emergence of a diverse and robust quantum technology industry based primarily in the private sector but uniquely engaging the participation of government, national labs, and academia,” said Richard Ross, director of the new program.
The MQST program upholds UCLA’s high academic standards, has the support of industrial partners, and gives students the opportunity to interact with faculty experts and gain hands-on experience in world-leading research.
“Quantum Information Science has the potential to revolutionize a number of fields in science and engineering,” said Roger Wakimoto, UCLA’s vice chancellor for research and creative activities. “It is exciting that UCLA now offers a professional master’s degree that will prepare students for careers in one of the most important areas in STEM for the foreseeable future.”
“The U.S. National Science and Technology Council recently issued a report saying the talent required to conduct QIS domestically is currently in very short supply,” said David Saltzberg, chair of the UCLA Department of Physics & Astronomy. “Not only will this program help grow the sorely needed quantum workforce, but other UCLA students as well will benefit from new courses that include the latest developments in quantum mechanics.”
The program consists of a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, a year-long program of hands-on laboratory skills development, and an industry-relevant capstone internship. Students will learn and strengthen their knowledge of the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum computing, quantum information, and quantum devices.
Recipients of the degree will be at the vanguard of a deeply knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce for this significant new area.
“UCLA is fantastically situated in southern California, surrounded by an established high-tech culture including some of the biggest players in quantum, to educate the next generation of technologists who will underpin this industry,” said Ross.
This MQST program extends UCLA’s commitment to quantum science research and education, including the university’s Center for Quantum Science and Engineering. In 2020, UCLA was part of a team awarded $25 million by the National Science Foundation to establish the NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Present and Future Quantum Computation.