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In this paper we review the recent progress in the growth and spectroscopy of CdSe quantum dots. In particular, atomic layer epitaxy (ALE) has been used to grow ZnSe/CdSe and ZnSe/CdSe:Mn magnetic quantum dots. For samples grown without a ZnSe capping layer, dot densities of the order of 109 cm-2 were measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). In the capped samples, the ensemble dot photoluminescence (PL) was observed over a range of energies between 2.1 and 2.5 eV and in the high Mn concentration samples a spectrally broad emission at 2.15 eV from the internal Mn2+ transition. Single dot spectroscopy was carried out by confocal microscopy and the PL linewidth was measured as a function of Mn concentration. Also, CdSe/MgS quantum dots have been grown successfully by molecular beam epitaxy using a thermally activated reorganization process that occurs during growth interruption. Unlike the ZnSe/CdSe dots the PL measurements show emission from both QDs and the wetting layer, with emission energies ranging between (2.3 and 3.8 eV). AFM topography and μm-PL measurements also show evidence of quantum dot structures and power dependent PL measurements carried out on the dots give a value of 30 meV for the bi-exciton binding energy at 77 K.