Frequently asked questions

What is the goal of QU-REACH? 

Quantum Technology harnesses the unique features of quantum mechanical systems for devices that hold the promise to revolutionize future technologies in computing, communication, and sensing and deepen our understanding of the universe. As such, it is the basis of numerous worldwide efforts to accelerate science and technology, including the US congressional act National Quantum Initiative.  QU-REACH leverages the longstanding and growing research infrastructure in Quantum Technology at UNM (particularly at dedicated research centers: CHTM, CQuIC, and QNM-I) to provide undergraduate students in the state of New Mexico with an early hands-on research experience in Quantum Technology. Our goal is for QU-REACH to serve as the launching point for NM students to pursue further Quantum Technology research and related careers in academia, industry, and national labs.

How is QU-REACH funded?

QU-REACH is supported by a combination of grants from Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, Google Quantum AI, National Science Foundation (both individual investigator grants, an EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Collaboration, and the Q-SEnSE Quantum Leap Challenge Institute), and others.

Is US citizenship or permanent resident status required?

No. International undergraduate students enrolled full-time in a New Mexico college or university are encouraged to apply as long as they meet other eligibility requirements and their visa status allows them to receive a stipend.

Can I apply if I recently finished high school and plan to attend a college or university in the Fall?

Unfortunately, no. The program is only available to students who are currently enrolled in a New Mexico undergraduate institution at the time of application and who will be at least 18 years old on the first day of the program.

Can I apply if I am scheduled to graduate with a Bachelor's degree this Spring?

Yes, you are eligible to apply as long as you are enrolled as an undergraduate at the time of application. While some priority will be given to undergraduate students who are earlier in their studies, a limited number of spots are available for students who will graduate this Spring and we encourage you to apply.

How much prior background in physical science and engineering is expected?

No specific background is required. We expect most students will have completed between one and three years of undergraduate coursework in a physics, chemistry, or engineering major by the time they start the program. It is helpful if you have taken the general physics and calculus series as well as a few more advanced courses in your discipline (e.g. modern physics, electromagnetics, instrumentation, physical chemistry, etc.), but no specific prerequisites are required. If you are unsure if you have the right background, we encourage you to apply anyway. 

Is a letter of recommendation required to apply?

No. However, in the fillable-pdf application form, we do require that you list the name and email address of one faculty member at your undergraduate institution to serve as your Faculty Recommender. We will only email your recommender if we decide to request a reference letter.

It's past the deadline, can I sill submit an application?

Yes. If you submit an application within one or two weeks after the deadline, there is a good chance your application will still be considered. If it's even later, it may still be possible but you can email to double check.

What types of social and career development activities are part of the program? 

QU-REACH participants will attend a weekly seminar that will highlight Quantum Technology research going on throughout UNM and feature career panels with scientists at local national labs and industry. There will also be a symposium at the end of the summer where QU-REACH participants will present a poster on their research and interact with UNM faculty and students. We hope to also organize a number of social activities, including graduate-student-led trips to NM United soccer games and afternoon cookies and tea gatherings. 

What is the expected time commitment?

The QU-REACH program is full time. The specific working hours will be negotiated between the student and their advisor after admission to the program, but you can expect to be in the lab approximately 40 hours per week.

Can I have outside employment while participating in the program?

QU-REACH is an immersive research experience, so holding outside employment during the summer is strongly discouraged. Occasionally an exception can be made if the time commitment of the other job is small, but it must be 10 hours per week or less. If you plan to seek an exception, you must discuss this with program leadership as soon as possible.

Can I take classes while participating in the program?

QU-REACH participants are encouraged to focus on their research during the summer and return to coursework afterwards. An exception can be made if the student intends to take a single 3-credit course. If you plan to seek an exception, you must discuss this with program leadership as soon as possible.

How do I arrange for housing? 

Participants will receive a stipend of $7,000 for the summer and are expected to cover their food and housing from the stipend. If you are attending a school outside the Albuquerque Metro area, a limited number of housing stipends are available for on-campus summer housing. Off campus housing options may also be available. Student Activities maintains a webpage on which local landlords list available housing in the UNM vicinity. If you have been admitted to the program and need assistance with finding housing, you may contact us ( and we will do our best to help you.