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MASc and PhD Quantum Information

Quantum Information in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)

The University of Waterloo offers joint, collaborative masters and doctoral degree programs in Quantum Information through the Faculty of Engineering (MASc /PhD - Electrical and Computer Engineering), Faculty of Mathematics (MMath/PhD - Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics and Optimization, Computer Science), and the Faculty of Science (MSc/PhD - Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy). Students may pursue their studies on a full or part-time basis.

Quantum information processing draws upon knowledge and expertise from a wide range of disciplines. At the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the University of Waterloo, faculty and students working in quantum information are based across the three faculties and 6 academic units. Their research involves collaboration and the exchange of ideas across many disciplines. This new specialization in quantum information allows students based in any of the 6 academic units to obtain the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise to carry out research at the cutting edge of quantum information science.

Masters students receive a strong and broad foundation in quantum information science, coupled with knowledge and expertise from their home program to prepare them to enter the workforce or continue their studies in a PhD program. Doctoral students gain advanced expertise in quantum information science preparing them for careers as scholars and researchers.

Financial Support

Most graduate students engaged in thesis masters and doctoral studies at the University of Waterloo receive financial support. In addition, students admitted into the collaborative Quantum Information graduate program are also eligible to apply for IQC scholarships and fellowships. Graduate Fellowships are also available to international graduate students up to a maximum of $20,000 per year. Visit the Institute for Quantum Computing website.

Admission requirements and deadlines

Admission requirements in Electrical and Computer Engineering are the same as for those in the regular MASc and PhD programs.

Application Deadlines in ECE are: February 1 for fall term (September) admission; July 1 for winter term (January) admission; November 1 for spring term (May) admission. 

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill the general requirements for the Quantum Information Collaborative Program, as well as the minimum degree requirements of their home unit. It is possible that some students may need to take more courses than are prescribed by the home program in order to meet the specific course requirements of the quantum information program. The Department may recommend that graduate credit be allowed for credits awarded by other approved institutions. However, please be aware that any transfer credits granted toward the program for which you are requesting funding may count when determining the number of months of studies you have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application. Please refer to individual scholarship criteria for more detailed information.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering does not permit students to retake graduate level courses.

Thesis MASc Program:

The ECE Quantum Information MASc program requirements are as follows:

  1. at least five half credit (0.50 unit weight) courses including two required core quantum information courses (QIC 710 and QIC 750), a required ECE core quantum course (QIC 885/ECE 770-T14 [Quantum Electronics& Photonics]) and two elective courses from the approved lists below:
    1. one of:
      1. ECE 612 (Information Theory)
      2. ECE604 (Stochastic Process)
      3. ECE672 (Optoelectronics)
      4. ECE720-T2 (Cryptographic computation), and
    2. one of
      1. ECE 616 (Principles of Data Communication)
      2. ECE 671 (Microwave and RF Engineering)
      3. ECE 678 (Fourier Optics and Optical Signal Processing)
      4. ECE 730 Special Topics in Solid State Devices (13 Nanoelectronics, 19 Magnetism and Spintronics, 20 Physics of Nanodevices, 24 Fabrication of Nanoscale: Techniques & Applications)
      5. ECE 770 Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory (5 App High Temp Superconduc, 17 Photonics)
  2. original Research Thesis, and
  3. ECE MASc Seminar Milestone (scheduled with the ECE department)

Doctoral Program:

From Electrical and Computer Engineering MASc with Quantum Information Specialization:

Students admitted to the ECE Quantum Information PhD program with an ECE MASc-QI from the University of Waterloo must complete the following:

  • at least 2 additonal ECE courses (0.50 unit weight) from the approved ECE list below:
    • ECE 616 (Principles of Data Communication)
    • ECE 671 (Microwave and RF Engineering)
    • ECE 678 (Fourier Optics and Optical Signal Processing)
    • ECE 730 Special Topics in Solid State Devices (13 Nanoelectronics, 19 Magnetism and Spintronics, 20 Physics of Nanodevices, 24 Fabrication of Nanoscale: Techniques & Applications)
    • ECE 770 Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory (5 App High Temp Superconduc, 17 Photonics)
  • One additional QIC course (core courses QIC 710 and QIC 750, and required ECE quantum information course QIC 885/ECE 770-T14 will have been met in the previous MASc-Quantum Information program)
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination Milestone (to be completed by the end of the 4th term of registration),
  • ECE PhD Seminar Milestone (scheduled with the ECE department)
  • Quantum Information PhD Seminar Milestone (scheduled with the Institute for Quantum Computing), and
  • an original ECE Research Thesis and Oral Defense.

Students admitted to the ECE Quantum Information PhD program with an appropriate honours bachelor's degree, or who transfer directly from an ongoing UW- master's program with a QI specialization, must complete the following:

  • at least 7 half credit (0.50 unit weight) courses including two required core quantum information courses (QIC 710 and QIC 750), QIC 885/ECE 770-T14 (Quantum Electronics & Photonics), one additional QIC course and 4 courses from the approved lists below:
    • one of:
      • ECE 612 (Information Theory)
      • ECE604 (Stochastic Process)
      • ECE672 (Optoelectronics)
      • ECE720-T2 (Cryptographic computation), and
    • three of:
      • ECE 616 (Principles of Data Communication)
      • ECE 671 (Microwave and RF Engineering)
      • ECE 678 (Fourier Optics and Optical Signal Processing)
      • ECE 730 Special Topics in Solid State Devices (13 Nanoelectronics, 19 Magnetism and Spintronics, 20 Physics of Nanodevices, 24 Fabrication of Nanoscale: Techniques & Applications)
      • ECE 770 Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory (5 App High Temp Superconduc, 17 Photonics)
  • a PhD Comprehensive Examination Milestone (to be completed by the end of the 4th term),
  • ECE PhD Seminar Milestone (scheduled with the ECE department)
  • Quantum Information PhD Seminar Milestone - Lecturing Requirement (scheduled with the Institute for Quantum Computing), and
  • an original ECE Research Thesis in Quantum Information and Oral Defense. For a list of approved Quantum Information thesis supervisors, see Quantum Information Supervisors.
  • Note: Students who have not previously taken QIC 750 (cross-listed with PHYS 468) will be required to take 8 courses.

From Master's Program at another institution or Master's program at Waterloo other than ECE QI:

Students admitted after completing other Master's programs from another institution or a program other than the corresponding ECE QI Master's, are also required to complete:

  • at least four quantum information (QIC) courses, including the two core courses QIC 710 and QIC 750 or their equivalents (note that jointly offered or cross-listed courses, like QIC 885/ECE 770-T14 are regarded as both ECE and QIC courses)
  • one of the [ECE 770 T-14 (Quantum Electronics & Photonics), ECE 612 (Information Theory), ECE 604 (Stochastic Process), ECE 672 (Optoelectronics), ECE 720-T2 (Cryptographic Computation)]
  • one of [ECE 616 Principles of Data Communication, ECE 671 Microwave and FR Engineering, ECE 678 Fourier Optics and Optical Signal Processing, ECE 730 Special Topics in Solid State Devices, 13 Nanoelectronics, 19 Magnetism and Spintronics, 20 Physics of Nanodevices, 24 Fabricatio of Nanoscale: Techniques & Applications, ECE 770 Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory, 5 App High Temp Superconduc, 17 Photonics]
  • A PhD Comprehensive Milestone (to be completed by the end of the 4th term)
  • ECE PhD Seminar Milestone, (scheduled with the ECE department)
  • Quantum Information PhD Seminar Milestone (scheduled with the Institute for Quantum Computing), and
  • an original ECE Research Thesis in Quantum Information and Oral Defense. For a list of approved Quantum Information thesis supervisors, see: Quantum Information Supervisors.

Core Courses

Quantum Information core courses are interdisciplinary courses designed to provide students with the foundations and applications of quantum information processing, and implementations of quantum information processing. Students in the Quantum Information program are required to take both courses.

The required core courses are:

  • QIC 710 - Quantum Information Processing
  • QIC 750 - Implementation of Quantum Information Processing
  • QIC 885/ECE 770-T14 (Quantum Electronics & Photonics) removed from list below

In addition to the core courses, students may take advanced courses in quantum information which are offered on a regular basis.

  • QIC 820 Theory of Quantum Information
  • QIC 823 Quantum Algorithms
  • QIC 845 Open Quantum Systems
  • QIC 880 Nanoelectronics for Quantum Information Processing
  • QIC 890 Topics in Quantum Information (Lecture)
  • QIC 891 Topics in Quantum Information (Lecture 0.25)
  • QIC 895 Topics in Quantum Information (Reading)

Quantum Information Seminar Milestone

This seminar is a forum for student presentation of research results or proposals. Each student is required to present at least one Quantum Information research seminar. Students must arrange with the Institute for Quantum Computing. Please submit the PhD Seminar Requirement Form (PDF) to be credited with fulfilling this requirement. There are a number of other milestones for your degree and this Milestone Completion Form can be filled in to be credited with those.

Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) Seminars

The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) holds regular colloquium and seminar series where leading researchers from academia and industry from Waterloo and around the world present their research results. The topics cover a wide range of research areas within quantum information, and the seminars allow students to stay up-to-date with research related to their area of specialization, to maintain a broad overview of the state-of-the-art in quantum information, and to present their own research results to an audience of specialists in quantum information.