NTNU and UW-Madison Launch Dual Degree Program in Quantum Computing

On May 10, 2024, the NTNU Department of Physics and its Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) signed a Dual Degree Program Agreement at an online ceremony. This partnership will enable NTNU master's students to study quantum computing physics at UW-Madison, fostering academic collaboration between the two institutions.

Founded in 1848, UW-Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System, enrolling nearly 50,000 students. Consistently ranked among the top 100 universities globally, UW-Madison boasts 20 Nobel laureates among its faculty and alumni and is recognized as a Public Ivy.

This collaboration extends a long-standing academic partnership between Professor Robert Joynt of UW-Madison and Professor Wen-Chin Wu of NTNU's Department of Physics. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Professor Joynt served as a chair professor at NTNU, where he taught a quantum computing course and was deeply impressed by the calibre of NTNU's physics students.

During the signing ceremony, Eric Wilcots, Dean of UW-Madison's College of Arts and Sciences, expressed gratitude to the physics faculty of both universities for their dedication to quantum computing and their efforts in establishing this partnership. As the first U.S. university to offer a master's degree in Physics–Quantum Computing (MSPQC), UW-Madison values the field's development and envisions future academic exchanges in related disciplines, bolstering research collaborations between the two universities.

The UW-Madison MSPQC professional master’s degree program was established in 2019 with an inaugural class of eight master’s degree candidates. Since then, the program has grown significantly, admitting around 20 new students annually, and expanding to 30 students for the upcoming fall. MSPQC Director Professor Deniz Yavuz expressed enthusiasm about this growth and extended a warm welcome to outstanding Taiwanese students interested in the program.

Jein-Shan Chen, Dean of NTNU's School of Science, expressed hopes that this dual degree partnership will expand to include other disciplines, enhancing enduring academic ties between NTNU and UW-Madison. Chairman of NTNU's Department of Physics, Professor Wen-Chin Lin, acknowledged Professors Hsiang-Lin Liu and Robert Joynt for resolving differences in the two academic systems to achieve this collaboration. Lin noted that the evolving demand for quantum computing expertise is driven by Taiwan's burgeoning semiconductor industry and government support. This dual-degree program will not only enhance the professional capabilities of the students but also provide them with a competitive advantage in the job market.

Starting as early as September next year, NTNU physics master's students will have the opportunity to take up to 30 MSPQC credits at UW-Madison. Up to nine credits from coursework at NTNU can be transferred toward the UW-Madison MSPQC degree. Students must fulfill the degree requirements of both institutions to earn dual master's degrees. Additionally, NTNU students can apply for scholarships from Taiwan's Ministry of Education and NTNU's International Exchange Scholarship Program for their studies in the United States.

Through this collaborative project, NTNU’s Department of Physics aims to enhance students' research capabilities and global perspectives, thereby elevating international cooperation and competitiveness within the department.