Ohio State to launch quantum MS/PhD program with funding from NSF

Posted: September 7, 2023

An interdisciplinary team at The Ohio State University has received $3 million from the National Science Foundation to support the launch of a new graduate program in quantum information science and engineering (QISE). Faculty leaders from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering are involved in the program, which is one of a few in the U.S. that is not housed in a single academic department.


The program, funded by NSF’s Research Traineeship (NRT), will include core new graduate-level courses, experiential learning such as graduate research and industry internships, and professional training in communication and ethics. Students will have access to faculty members and courses in the Departments of Physics, Math and Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, and Materials Science Engineering.

“The 2018 U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act has spurred a remarkable acceleration of progress in quantum information science and technology in just the past few years,” said Jay Gupta, professor of physics and the program’s principal investigator. “What’s exciting about the program we’re launching at Ohio State is that it provides us an opportunity to design an innovative graduate curriculum from scratch, using evidence-based methods for instruction, and prioritizing multi-disciplinary research and education from the outset. The program also leverages the investments Ohio State has made recently in the Center for Quantum Information Science and Engineering and in faculty hiring.”

Traditional graduate programs can lack the funding and industry engagement needed to develop a diverse workforce that can solve grand challenges in quantum information sciences and engineering (QISE) and translate fundamental research to commercial applications. In addition to courses, NRT trainees will be engaged in QISE research and industry internships from the start, and will develop professional skills in ethics, technical writing and communication.

The program will directly fund 25 trainees over the five-year award period, with 10-20 additional degree students funded from other sources and more than 100 students benefiting from taking courses as electives. Along with the educational benefits, the program will deliver cutting-edge research and training of a diverse workforce in semiconductor and quantum technologies.

Professor Ronald Reano

“The project provides a fantastic opportunity for faculty and students to connect between the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Ron Reano, co-director of the Center for Quantum Information Science and Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. “The CHIPS and Science Act, recently signed into law in 2022, makes clear that the time is now to transition quantum ideas from the scientific domain into the engineering domain to create technologies in the real world to address problems of societal interest.”

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education. The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high-priority interdisciplinary or convergent research areas through comprehensive traineeship models that are innovative, evidence-based and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.

by Christina Dierkes, College of Arts & Sciences

Category: College