Graduate Certificate in Quantum Information Science and Engineering

The Graduate Certificate in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE) can be earned by any current University of Washington graduate student.

This Certificate is designed to meet a critical educational need to train the next generation of scientists and engineers with emphasis on the interdisciplinarity of Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE) field. The credentialed training provided by this new Certificate allows students in various domain disciplines (Physics, Chemistry, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.) to apply the fundamental training from their degree program to quantum information science and technologies. The QISE Certificate places a heavy emphasis on the project-based teamwork of students across multiple fields and assists in creating a common language between these fields to further collaboration and accelerate the realization of quantum-enabled technologies.

The Certificate is offered alongside the federal grant-based program National Science Foundation National Research Traineeship-Quantum Leap (NSF NRT-QL): Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies (AQET), though students from outside this program may also pursue the QISE Certificate. AQET trainees will complete the same requirements for the QISE Certificate, however they must fulfill all course requirements in sequence as a cohort. Students who are completing the QISE Certificate outside of AQET have more flexibility for scheduling their courses. Learn more about the AQET program here. The rest of this webpage is dedicated specifically to the QISE Certificate.

The Certificate will launch in Autumn 2023, however students can fulfill some coursework requirements prior to Autumn 2023.


Any current UW graduate student who can meet the prerequisites for the required courses (likely studying in one of the relevant departments), and who is in good academic standing, can be admitted to attempt the Certificate.

Interested and eligible students should reach out to Program Coordinator Dovile Druskyte ( to notify of their intent to pursue the Certificate. It is imperative that you reach out if you intend to complete the Certificate so you can receive important communication about the Certificate, like priority registration for required courses.


The Certificate requires 15 credits, consisting of a one-quarter seminar series, 3 courses (10 credits total), and an independent research / capstone. 

Outlined below are the three course requirements for students completing the Certificate:

The following graduate-level courses serve as introductions to quantum information / quantum computing. Students will select one course from the list below; additional courses may be added in the future.

  • Introduction to Quantum Information Science: (PHYS 521) 
  • Introduction to Quantum Computing: (CSE 599Q)
  • Introduction to Quantum Information Science and Engineering for Chemists and Materials Scientists (CHEM 561)

This course must include a significant simulation component using cloud quantum computing resources and be project-based. 

  • Control and characterization of quantum systems (PHYS 576): Expected to be the main course used to satisfy this requirement. Required for trainees in the NRT:AQET program.
  • Courses with strong simulation and project-based components upon approval (PHYS 578). 
  • Independent study with a strong simulation component can be used if the other classes can’t work with the student’s schedule.

This requirement can be satisfied by any course with a strong emphasis on anything related to quantum information. Many options are listed below; additional courses may be added in the future.

  • PHYS 550: Atomic Physics
  • PHYS 576: Selected Topics in Experimental Physics-Experimental Platforms for Quantum Information
  • CHEM 551: Introduction to Quantum Chemistry
  • CHEM 585: Electronic Structure and Application of Materials
  • ECE 539: Introduction to Quantum Optics for Quantum Information Applications
  • ECE 539: Applied Nanophotonics
  • CSE 599: The Art and Science of Positive Definite Matrices
  • MSE 541: Defects in Materials
  • MSE 599: Quantum Theory of Nanomaterials
  • 500-level courses with significant quantum information components (upon approval). 

In addition to the three courses listed above, students must complete the following:

1 quarter of the QISE seminar, EE500Q, offered in winter quarter. This weekly seminar brings in speakers from academia, industry, or national labs to discuss their research and career trajectory. Students learn about the diversity of post-grad opportunities in quantum science, hear about different career trajectories to inform their own, and participate in Q&A sessions with the speakers.

There are three ways to satisfy this component:

  1. AQET Capstone- EE 522 Quantum Information Practicum (4 credits): This course is the primary way to fulfill the independent research requirement. Course is under development and will likely be offered by the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department. The course will be first offered Spring 2023. If a student cannot take the capstone course, they may consider one of the following options instead.
  2. Independent research (1-2 quarters, min 4 credits): Any faculty-led research in quantum information will be considered. The research project must be led by a faculty who is not the students’ PhD advisor, to avoid overlap with thesis work (which cannot be applied to the Certificate). The project must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Graduate QISE group. The completion of the project includes a presentation in the Fall AQET symposium with a written report of results. Submitted publication can be substituted for the written report. 
  3. Internship (1-2 quarters, min 4 credits): An internship directly in the QISE field. To meet the independent research component, the student must have a UW faculty co-advisor. The completion of the project includes a written report of results and a presentation in the Fall AQET symposium. A submitted publication can be substituted for the written report (if the publication is not fulfilling a requirement in the student’s primary program). 

Grading, Assessment, and Minimum Standards

Students will need to earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for the courses required for the Certificate. Additionally, students must earn a minimum 2.7 GPA for each individual course.

At the start and end of the program, students will have the opportunity to evaluate their knowledge in more QISE subjects, and work on an interdisciplinary and diverse team. They will also have the chance to provide feedback on the Certificate program itself, including its efficacy at improving their knowledge in QISE. This feedback will be tracked and utilized in order to improve the Certificate. Students will also be able to provide feedback on specific courses at the completion of each course. This feedback will be used to improve on the courses in the future. Students can also, at any time, contact Dovile Druskyte with any concerns about the program, and these concerns will be communicated to the faculty director and committee, and addressed if necessary. This option will be made clear and available to all participating students from the start of the Certificate.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes: Students demonstrate knowledge of and apply key concepts in QISE including concepts of superposition, entanglement, measurement, secure communication and quantum gates and algorithms. Students are able to pose QISE research questions and evaluate QISE research in their respective fields. Students demonstrate the ability to work in an interdisciplinary team to tackle QISE problems.

Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary Quantum Information Science and Engineering Group

The Interdisciplinary QISE Group is the committee of faculty who oversee and administer the Graduate Certificate in QISE. The members of the committee are listed below:

  • Kai-Mei Fu, Director- Physics, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Xiaosong Li- Chemistry
  • Boris Blinov- Physics
  • Arka Majumdar- Physics, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Brandi Cossairt- Chemistry
  • James Lee- Computer Science & Engineering
  • Sara Mouradian- Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Andrea Coladangelo- Computer Science & Engineering
  • Peter Pauzauskie- Materials Science & Engineering