UTEP launches Ph.D. in physics

UTEP launches Ph.D. in physics

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has launched a doctoral program in physics with an emphasis in quantum information sciences, according to a news release sent by the university.

The program was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Thursday, Jan. 25, marking the final step in a “years-long development process.”

“I’m very excited to debut this important new doctoral program,” said Mark Pederson, Ph.D., chair of the UTEP Physics Department. “Our students will become experts in all areas of quantum science and computing, opening the doors to great job opportunities in most existing technological sectors. They will have the chance to work on cutting-edge scientific problems and significantly advance an emerging field.”

“Quantum science is the study of materials at the atomic or sub-atomic level. Quantum science is typically associated with the field of physics, although it has applications across a wide variety of industries and scientific disciplines,” Pederson said.

An emerging branch of the science known as quantum computing uses highly specialized computers to perform calculations that are too complex for traditional computers, according to the news release.

“We’re thrilled about the approval of our latest Ph.D. program, developed over two dedicated years,” said Dean of the College of Science Robert Kirken, Ph.D. “This groundbreaking program offers diverse career opportunities to UTEP students in the rapidly expanding field of quantum technology. Quantum computing’s unprecedented speed promises to revolutionize various domains, enhancing the efficiency of health care, establishing secure communication protocols for national security, addressing supply chain challenges, and reducing consumer costs.”

“The Ph.D. program will open opportunities for both students and faculty, maintain a vigorous academic environment, and fuel more research,” Tunna Baruah, Ph.D., professor of physics and the graduate advisor for the program said. “Our Ph.D. students can take on long-term projects, which in turn allows them to develop an in-depth understanding of the research topics.”

The physics department is currently recruiting new PhD students for the program, which generally requires five years.

Coursework will officially begin in September of 2024. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in physics, applied mathematics, or engineering, as well as a statement of purpose and three recommendation letters, are required.

Those interested in applying can contact Pederson at mrpederson@utep.edu.

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