Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students

Quantum for high school students

Discover how mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering, and more combine into one of the most exciting topics in modern science – quantum information – at the Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS). Applications for QCSYS 2021 are now closed.

What is QCSYS?

 QCSYS is a unique enrichment program for high school students that runs from Tuesday, August 3 to Friday, August 13, 2021. QCSYS will once again run virtually in 2021. This free online program offers a blend of expert lectures, small group discussions, problem solving, and opportunities for mentoring and networking with world-leading quantum researchers.

You will:

  • see how the world works at the quantum level;
  • understand phenomenon like quantum superposition and entanglement;  
  • learn how quantum technology will transform computing, imaging and cryptography; and
  • make international friendships.

Join hundreds of motivated students from around the world and meet some of the most renowned researchers the field has to offer.

12The number of years QCSYS has been offered
Black and white illustration of a globeParticipants from over 35 countries have attended
449The number of QCSYS graduates

Learn more about QCSYS


A male student and two female students exploring quantum mechanics using tweasers, a microchip and petri dish

What do you do at QCSYS?

QCSYS will provide you with the necessary mathematical background to tackle some of the largest topics in modern physics. You bring your scientific curiosity and love of learning, and we'll show you how to use mathematical tools to explore. Interested in getting a head start? Download the free QCSYS quantum primer and begin building your linear algebra and arithmetic skills, as well as your understanding of quantum mechanics.

During the online program, you will learn about:

  • complex numbers
  • entanglement
  • experimental physics
  • linear algebra
  • quantum computing and algorithms
  • quantum cryptography
  • quantum mechanics, and
  • quantum optics.


Virtual QCSYS will follow this general format:

Dates Time Activity
Tuesday, August 3-Friday, August 6
Monday, August 9-Friday, August 13
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET Online morning lectures and activities
12:30-2:30 p.m. ET Break
2:30-4:00 p.m. ET Online afternoon lectures and activities

Who can apply for QCSYS?

You are an ideal candidate, if you are:

  • in Grade 11 or 12 (e.g., Secondary V and CÉGEP in Québec),
  • age 15 or older,
  • curious and interested in exploring scientific concepts, 
  • have enrolled in or completed Grade 11 mathematics (Grade 11 physics is recommended), and
  • fluent in English.

Experience with quantum physics is not required, just curiosity and interest in exploring new scientific concepts. Exceptional Grade 10 students may be accepted, space permitting.

What does it cost?

There is no registration fee for the 2021 online QCSYS program. Participants will need a reliable internet connection to join the online sessions.

When is it offered?

QCSYS is held annually and usually takes place during the first two weeks in August. Virtual QCSYS 2021 runs Tuesday, August 3 to Friday, August 13, 2021, excluding Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8.

Where is it offered?

QCSYS will once again run virtually in 2021. All lectures, discussions, mentoring and networking opportunities will take place through an online meeting platform. 

How to apply?

  • Complete the application form by Monday, May 31, 2021
  • Provide one reference letter
  • Write a short discussion paper

Applications for QCSYS 2021 are now closed. 

Hear from QCSYS alumnus Twesh Upadhyaya

Twesh Upadhyaya attended QCSYS in 2014. See what he's been up to since he's returned to IQC as a Master's student studying quantum cryptography.