Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

Quantum Science and Engineering Minor

Aims and Scope of the Minor

Options Manager

Jennifer N. Blankenship

Quantum science and engineering (QSE) may be pursued as a subject minor by graduate students who are pursuing Ph.D. degrees in any option. The QSE minor is intended to supplement one of Caltech’s graduate degrees and is designed for students who wish to broaden their knowledge of QSE beyond their major field of study. The QSE minor is also intended to recognize graduate students' interest in and dedication to QSE as demonstrated by the successful completion of a program of study in the field. Completion of the QSE minor program of study will be recognized on the Ph.D. diploma by the statement, "...and by additional studies constituting a minor in Quantum Science and Engineering."


To receive the QSE minor, graduate students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 18 units (two terms) from the following list: APh/Ph 138ab [1]
  • 18 units (two terms) from the following list: EE/APh 158, Ph 137ab, Ph/CS 219abc, CS/Ph 120, Ph/APh 223ab, APh 150 (special topics class when topic is relevant to QSE, in consultation with the oversight committee), Ph177 (relevant QSE topic must be chosen in consultation with oversight committee). Other courses relevant to QSE can be included in consultation with the oversight committee.

All courses to be applied toward the QSE minor requirements must be taken on a graded basis, and students must obtain a grade of B- or higher in all courses. At least 18 units of courses that are used to satisfy the QSE minor cannot be used to satisfy course requirements in the major options unless absolutely required by the option. Courses taken as part of the QSE minor are counted toward the total number of units required for the completion of the Ph.D. degree.

[1] APh/Ph 138a and APh/Ph 138b offered in alternating years in the spring term.

Applying for the QSE Minor

Upon completion of your classes, please fill out and obtain all necessary signatures on the minor candidacy form, which is submitted to the Caltech Graduate Office to formally apply for the QSE minor.

QSE Minor Administration

The QSE minor is administered by an oversight committee consisting of faculty members reporting to the chair of the engineering and applied science division. In consultation with their advisers and, if needed, with the QSE Oversight Committee, students formulate a program of approved courses individually tailored to each student’s background and needs, with the objective that the student achieve a level of competence in specific subjects relevant to QSE. Students must petition the QSE Oversight Committee for approval of their program of study. Upon completion of the program of study, the QSE Oversight Committee will verify that the QSE minor requirements have been fulfilled.

High power laser and optics
High-resolution objectives, vacuum cell, and fluorescence of a blue magneto-optical trap
Magneto-optical trap of strontium inside vacuum cell
Portion of 2 K cryogenic system for cooling atoms and molecules
Quantum memory at telecommunication wavelength