Software engineering is one of the most exciting fields in the modern era. The explosion of technology and computers has meant a huge increase in the need for competent, well-trained engineers who can write the programs of tomorrow.
But one can’t just jump into the field, it takes a strong background and well-structured training to make the magic happen within our Iphones and Fire sticks. Hundreds of thousands of students each year attend college courses in computer science, learning all of the different things that make languages like Java or C++ tick.
Thinking about different technology programs for your graduate studies? Check out our ranking of the Best Online Master's in Computer Science.
These students leave with a solid foundation for entering the world of computers, but often times the work is not done. Many graduates enter the professional world of computing and find that while they have a strong and diverse skill set, the unlimited possibilities of programming and computers leave them wanting for more knowledge.
They don’t want to leave or lose their jobs, however, so they need a way to pursue complex and important new topics in their field, but structured in a way that allows them to remain a working professional.
This is where the Online Master's in Software Engineering comes along. Because the programs are online, students can work anywhere in the world at any time, so long as they have an Internet connection. Students can take in a Java lesson on a peaceful Sunday or wake up early to learn about object-oriented design before making breakfast for the family.
The online nature also helps to make the program more affordable, so not only does it fit more easily into a student’s schedule, but also their budget. This way, professionals can gain deep, meaningful knowledge in their field on a convenient schedule and at a reasonable price.
What are the Best Online Master’s in Software Engineering?
We look at a number of factors including institutional excellence, student satisfaction, and return on investment to develop rankings. Institutional excellence combines statistics such as graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, and endowment sizes to judge each school’s ability provide an excellent education for each student. Student satisfaction measures how happy current and former students felt with the programs and services offered by their school. And finally return on investment looks at the financial benefits students are likely to receive from their education, weighted against the costs of attending. In the end, we believe these schools represent the 25 Best Online Master's in Software Engineering.
1. Harvard University
Harvard University is a private research university located in Cambridge, MA. Harvard was originally established in 1636, and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The school is organized into eleven different academic units, located on a 209-acre campus, with a student body of around 21,000. Harvard’s $34.5 billion financial endowment is the largest of any academic institution globally.
Harvard offers a Master of Liberal Arts in Software Engineering. The degree program includes 12 courses, two of which are taken as a prerequisite to gain entry into the program: a theoretical foundations course or a systems programming course/web application development course. There are then two tracks that students can choose to follow
Thesis Track: includes 4 software engineering electives and 3 courses centered around the crafting and execution of a Master’s level thesis
Capstone Track: 1 additional web development course and 5 software engineering electives, along with the completion of a capstone course.
Harvard does require one course to be completed in-person to obtain this degree; however, they do offer weekend course options for this class, in case students have specific scheduling needs/conflicts. The program bills itself as intended for individuals with a background in object-oriented programming using C++ or Java and discrete mathematics.
2. Columbia University in the City of New York
Columbia University is located in Upper Manhattan in New York, NY. The school was founded in 1754, and is considered by many to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Each year a staff of around 4,000 academic faculty members serves a student boy of almost 30,000 students, through a wide range of diverse schools and programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.
Columbia offers a fully-online Master’s degree in Software Systems through their Columbia Video Network, otherwise known as CVN. The program involves a course of 30 credits, and requires a minimum GPA of 3.3 and GRE scores for entry. The program is intended for students who wish to pursue knowledge of software development and software systems methodologies and techniques.
- Students start with more basic level computer science courses, which focus on breadth of knowledge
- Students then move onto 4000 and 6000 level elective courses, which includes courses such as Topics in Software Engineering and Advanced Database Systems
A small amount of course credits may pursue topics that are considered “non-technical.” Students may use previous courses to waive certain program requirements; however, they must still complete the required 30 credits through an addition of other elective courses. Students must maintain at least a 2.7 GPA to remain eligible for the degree.
3. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, PA. The school was originally founded in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical schools, which still shines through in its modern reputation for excellent STEM & computing programs. Carnegie offered one of the first robotics programs in the country, and also founded one of the country’s first computer science programs. There are currently around 6,300 students attending the university, which maintains an academic staff of around 1,500.
Carnegie offers two online degrees relevant to software engineering, through their distance learning program. There is the Master of Science in Information Technology, and the regular Masters in Software Engineering.
- The Master of Science in Information Technology is intended for early-career professionals in the field of software engineering. Courses include Intro to Personal Software Process and Architectures of Software Systems.
- The Masters in Software Engineering is for more experienced professionals in the field, who are looking to build onto their already expansive skillset. Courses include Analysis of Software Analytics and three courses in the development studio,
Students accepted to the program will have access to the MSE Distance Studio, which provides students with a laboratory for direct application of concepts learned in courses.
There is an MSE distance studio, which provides students with a laboratory for direct application of concepts learned in core courses. Applicants to the program are expected to have at least two years experience working in a significant software development project for the plain MSE degree (those without this experience are recommended to pursue the Information Technology degree).
4. Auburn University
Auburn University is a public research university located in Auburn, AL. Auburn is the 2nd largest university in the state of Alabama, with a student body of just over 28,000 students. Auburn was previously known as the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, which reflected its focus on science and technology-oriented programs. And while the school’s course offerings have since expanded, it maintains these roots through strong computing and engineering programs.
Auburn offers distance learning through its Auburn Online service; this includes a Master of Software Engineering degree (M.Sw.E). The program includes 33 credit hours of graduate course work, with concentrations in software engineering, network operating systems or human/computer interface. Example courses include:
- Parallel and Distributed Computing
- Software Environments
- Formal Methods for Software
- High Speed Networks
- Database Systems
This course of study ends with the completion of a research project approved by an advisory committee.
The program is generally intended for students with degrees and backgrounds in computer science, software engineering, or computer engineering. The admissions committee, however, does consider students from non-traditional backgrounds, so long as they are able to demonstrate proficiency in the fundamentals of computer science, mathematical foundations of computer science or computer organization and system software.
5. California State University-Fullerton
California State University-Fullerton is a public research university located in Fullerton, CA. Fullerton is the largest school in the Cal State system, with a total enrollment of around 40,000 students, including around 6,000 graduate students. Cal State Fullerton offers more than 240 undergraduate degrees, as well as 118 types of master’s and a number of doctoral degrees. It is estimated that the university it generates around $1 billion of California’s total economy, and sustains around 9,000 jobs statewide.
Fullerton offers an online Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSE) program, which has been ranked as one of the best online masters in software engineering by both Best Colleges and Affordable Colleges Online. The program requires the completion of 10 courses (30 credits) of online instruction, which is completed over a 22-month period. Students take courses year round, usually around two per semester, which are paired theoretically and practically with learning goals integrated throughout the entire program. Coursework includes subjects such as:
- Advanced Software Process
- Modern Software Management
- Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues for Software Engineers
The program utilizes the cohort method, with students taking the same course schedules and progressing through the program as a unit. In addition to the required courses, students are also required to complete an orientation seminar before beginning the program. Students also participate in a midpoint symposium, which strives to authenticate and assess their progress in the program.
6. Lewis University
Lewis University is a private university located in Romeoville, Illinois, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for its 6,800 students. The school has an association with both the Roman Catholic tradition, as well as with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the Lasallian Brothers. Lewis offers over 80 undergraduate majors and 22 graduate programs, as well as accelerated programs for working professionals.
Among Lewis’s online programs is their Master of Science in Computer Science program (MSCS), which emphasizes learning advanced computing while honing your problem-solving, analytical and creative abilities. The courses in the program are intended to teach students how to construct software systems, employ theoretical frameworks for analyzing computational problems, and research modern theories and methods of computer science. This program offers a concentration in Software Engineering, which includes courses in:
- Computer Graphics
- Data Visualization
- Object-Oriented Design
- Software Vulnerabilities and Design
This degree ends with a capstone course that looks to combine the skills and knowledge that students have accumulated throughout the program.
Additional courses in the concentration include computer graphics, programming languages, and computer graphics. Lewis advertises its experienced faculty and outcomes-based learning as some of the major advantages of the problem, as well as their emphasis of student research in computer science, which helps student to become innovators building upon a rich culture of forward thinking in computing.
7. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is a public research university located in Kennesaw, GA, just 20 miles northwest of Atlanta. KSU is the 3rd largest university in the state of Georgia, as well as one of the 50 largest universities in the United States, with a current enrollment of around 35,000 students. Kennesaw offers academic programs in business, education, engineering, nursing, physical sciences, information technology, criminal justice, and sports management.
Kennesaw State Online Learning offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSWE) that consists of seven core courses, three to four electives, and a capstone course. When completing their degree through the capstone course, students may choose either to do a project or a thesis to complete their degree. For these options students complete the following requirements:
- Project option: students complete four elective courses and a software engineering capstone project
- Thesis option: students complete three elective courses as well as two semesters of thesis
Students looking to enter the program must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computing or a closely related field.
It is possible for students with degrees outside of computer science to enter the program; however, they may be required to take five graduate-level foundation courses as prerequisites to beginning courses in the major. These students may also consider completing the Graduate Certificate in Software Engineering Foundations, which is intended for students with a strong computing background.
8. Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, MA. BU is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but defines itself as nonsectarian. Boston U. has almost 33,000 students and 4,000 faculty members, and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. BU also has a number of professional schools that offer degrees in business, dentistry, and law, along with the Boston University Medical Campus, which is the center point of their medical program.
Boston University Online offers an Online Master of Science in Software Development, which is founded upon the principle that developers must be thoroughly practiced in understanding new requirements in diverse fields and be able to offer secure, reliable software, either as part of a team or individually as a leader. The program is divided into core course and electives.
- Core courses include Data Structures and Algorithms and Software Design and Patterns
- Electives include Rich Internet Application Development and Software Quality, Testing, and Security Management
Students can also take elective courses offered outside of the stated requirements, but must receive permission from the department to do so.
The program requires the completion of 32 credit hours, which normally translates to degree completion in 16 to 24 months. The program also emphasizes small course sessions, such that students get the attention they need while gaining in-depth, practical experience.
9. Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Hoboken, NJ. SIT was incorporated in 1870, and as a result it is one of the oldest technological universities in the United States. Stevens is composed of four different schools, including the College of Arts and Letters and the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering. Stevens offers 29 different undergraduate majors and boasts an intimate 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The Stevens Institute’s School of Systems & Enterprises offers a Master’s in Software Engineering, which includes an e-learning option designed to challenge and engage students, while remaining convenient for working professionals. The program includes faculty with significant industry experience, and is broken up into a track of 8 core courses and 2 electives.
- Core courses include Fundamentals of Software Engineering and Cost Estimation and Management
- Elective options are flexible, but must be from chosen from software engineering, engineering management or computer science.
Students with significant experience in software engineering can substitute an additional elective course for certain required courses. Most students who enter the program come in with a solid foundation in software programming, but some choose to use their electives to take ramping courses in these subjects. The Capstone of the program is the software engineering studio, which occurs towards the end of student’s progression.
10. DePaul University
DePaul University is a private university in Chicago, IL. DePaul was founded by Vincentians in 1898, eventually becoming the largest Catholic university in the United States by enrollment in 1998. The faith of DePaul informs its emphasis on recruiting first-generation students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. DePaul currently enrolls around 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as employs an academic staff of around 950.
DePaul offers a Masters in Science in Software Engineering, which emphasizes the best software engineering practices, current methodologies, emerging technologies, and their applications in various industries. DePaul offers four concentrations for their Software Engineering program:
- Software Development
- Software Architecture
- Real Time Game Systems
- Entrepreneurship & Technology Leadership
Each concentration requires a minimum of 52 credit hours, in addition to any introductory courses required by the program. The curriculum also emphasizes the development of presentation and communications skills in a team-based software development environment.
Students completing this program as their second master’s degree must still complete the minimum 52 credit hours. Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to remain in the program, as well as attain at least a C- or better in all courses of their designated degree program. An emphasis is also placed on key aspects of software engineering, including requirements engineering and software construction.
11. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California, better known as USC, is a private research university located in Los Angeles, CA. It is the oldest private research university in the state of California, and is estimated to contribute $8 billion annually to the Los Angeles area. During the past decade, the school has used its location in Los Angeles to forge connections with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim.
USC Online, the school’s online education system, offers a Masters in Science in Computer Science (Software Engineering). The program strives not only to inform students about software development, but also systems engineering, customer collaboration, and management skills necessary for non-outsourceable careers. Example courses include:
- Brain Theory and A.I.
- Advanced Operating Systems
- Software Architecture
- Analysis of Algorithms
Students who enroll full-time are expected to graduate the program in approximately 1.5-2 years, while part-time students normally take 2.5-3.5 years.
USC’s focus on the future of the industry includes emphasizing trends in subjects such as agile methods, COTS integration, and rapid software development and evolution. Students who have yet to be admitted to a program, but wish to earn USC credit may register as a Limited student: this requires a B.S. in engineering or a closely related field. The program is fully online, with an optional campus visit available.
12. East Carolina University
East Carolina University is a public research university located in Greenville, NC. Commonly referred to as ECU, it is the third largest school in the state of North Carolina. ECU was originally founded as a teacher training school, but has since grown to include nine undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, and four professional schools, distributed throughout the school’s four properties. There are currently around 28,500 students attending the school, along with an academic staff of around 2,000.
ECU offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) fully-online through its distance learning site. The program takes place in a collaborative environment that fosters team building and a shared experience between on-campus and distance learning students. Many on-campus students benefit from the industry experience and latest technical knowledge that distance students tend to bring to the program. The program’s main concentrations are:
- Software Design and Development
- Software Project Management and Quality Assurance
- Software Testing
ECU recommends that students applying to the program have an undergraduate degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, information systems or a related discipline. Students who are applying from outside of North Carolina can only be admitted if East Carolina is able to secure authorization from the applicant’s state of residence.
13. Drexel University
Drexel University is a private research university with three campuses, all located in Philadelphia, PA. The school has recently expanded through the addition of a medical college in 2002, and now serves over 26,000 students through a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. The school was formerly known as the Drexel Institute of Technology, and carries on a rich tradition of challenging and engaging technologically-based classes.
The College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel offers a Masters in Science in Software Engineering. The program focuses on providing a foundation of knowledge in key software concepts, including software design and architecture, engineering management, and system analytics. The program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year, and includes course such as:
- Software Reliability- Core Courses
- Fundamentals of Databases- Breadth Courses
- Parallel Programming- Depth and Studio Courses
Students will also complete two to three courses in the software studio, where they are able to apply their accumulated knowledge towards developing new pieces of software.
To gain admission to the program, students are required to hold a four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science, as well as have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the last two years of undergraduate work. The program is recommended to professionals working in the software engineering field who are interested in technical and managerial software work across a wide range of application domains.
14. Purdue University
Purdue University is a public research university located in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue offers more than 200 undergraduate programs, along with over 69 masters and doctoral programs, as well as professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. At around 40,000 students, Purdue has the second largest student population in the state of Indiana, and also maintains the fourth largest international student population of any university in the country.
Purdue Engineering offers a Masters of Computer Science (MSCS) program through their online learning system, which includes focuses in topics such as software engineering. The course is made up of a 30-credit track, though only the non-thesis track graduation option is available for distance learners. There are a wide variety of courses within the program, including:
- Data Mining
- Parallel Computing
- Numerical Linear Algebra
- Statistical Machine Learning
The program is intended for students with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering. A personal advisor helps each distance learner design a Personal Course of Study, based off student interest, time, and course load.
Purdue also offers an Interdisciplinary Master of Science (MSE/MS) degree, with a concentration in Computer Science. Class schedules are released years in advance, to allow students the maximum amount of time to plan out their degree/course schedule. The flexible nature of the program provides leeway for students if they need to take a break during the program: most students start by taking only one class, to find a good school, work, and home balance.
Arizona State University-Tempe
Arizona State University is a public research university located in Tempe, AZ. ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States, with a total enrolled population of around 72,000 students, including almost 60,000 undergraduates. In the past decade, ASU has cultivated a reputation as one of the top research universities in the world, measured by research output, innovation, development, and research expenditures.
Arizona State University Online offers a Master in Science in Engineering in Software Engineering, which is a 30-credit hour program, broken down into 10 courses of 15-weeks each. The program addresses major software development methodologies, techniques, tools, and processes for developing and managing software products. The program track is broken down into:
- Required Core Courses: Information Assurance and Security (9 credits)
- Concentration Course: Software Engineering Principles and Concepts (3 credits)
- Elective Courses (15 credits)
- Culminating Experience (3 credits)
The culminating experience is either an applied project or an assembled portfolio.
Eligible applicants will have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, software engineering, or a related field. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of the student’s first bachelor degree program. Applicants must also provide evidence of demonstrated expertise in the area of object-oriented programming and maturity in high-level programming.
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is a for-profit college located in Colorado Springs, CO. CTU was founded in 1965, and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, with around 92% of students taking classes fully online. Colorado Tech has no affiliation with the state of Colorado, and has a reported enrollment of around 21,000 students.
Colorado Tech offers a Master of Science in Computer Science- Software Engineering program, which is a 48-credit program offered entirely online. The Software Engineering concentration is designed to provide the opportunity to attain educational competencies in the organization and control of software development. Students’ course work is divided into two sections:
- Core Courses including computer networking, database systems, design and analysis of algorithms, and the computer science capstone
- Concentration courses specifically such as software design, software systems engineering process, and computer systems architecture.
Overall, the program attempts to provide technical depth in computer science and in three concentration areas: software engineering, security, and database management systems.
Students applying to the program are expected to have a strong base of knowledge in mathematics, computer science, and the student’s concentration area. Students should also posses an intermediate ability to program in a current object-oriented programming language such as C++ or Java.
Kansas State University
Kansas State University is a public university located in Manhattan, KS; KSU was the first institution of higher learning in the state of Kansas. Their student population has consistently grown over the last several, with a record student population of nearly 25,000 students in Fall 2014. The school’s programs are administered through nine colleges, which serve to offer 65 master’s degree and 45 doctoral degree programs.
Kansas State offers online courses through what they refer to as their Global Campus; this includes a Master of Software Engineering (MSE), which covers the application of engineering principles to the building of computer software. The program is divided into the following parts:
- Core Sequence- introductory and foundational courses
- Specialty Sequence- chosen from between options such as Bioinformatics and Security
- Technical Electives- additional computer science courses such as real time systems and applied cryptography
- MSE Project- the culminating project of the degree where the student synthesizes everything they have learned throughout the program
All courses required for the degree are available to students inside and outside of the United States: international students interested in the program are required to contact the Department of Computing and Information Sciences for admission before they are able to take any classes. Students are never required to come to campus for any portion of the coursework.
Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University is a public doctoral university with its main campus being located in University Park, PA. Penn State is often dubbed to be one of the “Public Ivies”, as being as public school that offers a quality of education comparable to an Ivy-League institution. Penn State maintains an endowment of over $3.6 billion, as well as a student population of almost 100,000, including almost 15,000 postgraduate students.
Penn State offers an online Master of Software Engineering Degree through their WorldCampus. The degree is designed to help students learn to develop software products and services through software analysis, design, and architecture. Courses are divided into a two-year span of six blocks, three semesters per year.
- Students begin with more introductory courses such as Requirements Engineering and Software System Design
- They then move onto courses like Pattern Oriented Design and Enterprise Integration
- The last sequence of courses focuses on real-world application, through software project management and the software engineering studio
The third semester of each year of the program is taken during the summer.
The program utilizes the cohort method, so students progress through the program as a unit, which helps them to gain valuable experience interfacing, collaborating, and networking with peers and faculty, while completing projects remotely. Online courses are taught by the same faculty that instructs students at Penn States’s 24 traditional campuses.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University, better known as NSU or Nova, is a private nonprofit university located in Davie, FL. Nova is currently made up of 18 colleges and schools that offer over 175 academic programs with more than 250 majors. The school also maintains a number of professional degree programs, which include pharmacy, law, medicine, and optometry, among others. NSU enrolled around 24,000 students during the 2014-2015 academic year and has an alumni network of over 170,000 people.
Nova’s Masters of Science in Software Engineering is a 36-credit hour degree program offered through the school’s distance learning service. The degree focuses on the foundations of software engineering, including areas such as requirements, design, development, testing, verification, and human-computer interaction.
- Students start by taking a core set of classes, including object-oriented design and interaction design
- Students must then select any six upper-level electives course offered by a department relevant to the degree program
The program blends theory and practice into a learning experience that develops skills applicable to complex real-world problems.
Nova lists four main learning outcomes for the program, in terms of what graduates are able to do once they leave: communicate key concepts, apply this knowledge to produce effective designs, analyze scholarly literature, and use software development tools, software systems, and modern computing platforms. NSU utilizes Blackboard to as the learning management system for delivering online content.
The University of West Florida
The University of West Florida, also known as UWF, is a public university located in Pensacola, FL. It is the third largest school in the State University system, with a campus that spans around 1,600 acres. The main campus is located on a preserve that is boarded by two rivers and Escambia Bay. The school’s mascot is the Argonaut and the logo of the school is a Nautilus. The student population of the school is around 13,000, with an academic faculty of about 400.
UWF offers a Master of Science in Computer Science through its distance learning service: this degree includes an option for a specialization in software engineering. The software engineering path concentrates on the process, specialization, analysis, design, and validation of software for the development of high-quality software systems. The program is divided into several parts:
- Core SE principles and focus: students learn topics in key areas of software engineering, including software process requirements and analysis
- Foundational course series: courses designed to help new developers gain a stronger foothold in the fundamentals of software design
- Project and Thesis options: Studies going to industry tend to favor the project route, while those looking to do research tend to favor the thesis
For admission, the department requires submission of GRE test scores, with minimum proficiency of 145 on the quantitative section and 150 on the verbal. Students must also submit a letter of intent, detailing work experience and reasons for pursuing the degree program, including how the degree relates to career goals. Students must also submit three letters of recommendation.
Mercer University is a private university located in Macon, GA. Mercer is the oldest private university in the state of Georgia, and maintains a student body of around 8,500 students. Its academic programs are divided between 12 schools and colleges, including the colleges of engineering, business, and liberal arts. Mercer is well known for the Mercer University Health Sciences Center, which supports the school’s medical, nursing, pharmacy, and health professions programs.
Mercer offers two software engineering programs, namely their Masters in Software Engineering (M.S.E.) and Masters in Software Systems (M.S.) degree programs. The program focuses on students learning about the breadth and depth in techniques for defining, analyzing, and solving complex problems, as well as communicating technical aspects of those solutions to technical audiences.
- Students in the program start off by using Refactoring to develop high quality lower level designs
- They then move into utilization of Design Patterns, where they are able to create or improve higher level designs
Students in the program will also develop capabilities in areas such as software architectures, enterprise architectures, software testing, and/or software security. Upon graduating students will be able to conduct a software development or maintenance project throughout its entire lifestyle, as well as be able to program proficiently in Java, C++ or C#.
Brandeis University is a private research university located in Waltham, MA, 9 miles west of Boston. The school was founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian, coeducational institution sponsored by the local Jewish community, and was named after the first Jewish member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis. The school enrolls around 5,532 students on a 235 acre campus, and offers more than 43 majors and 46 minors to its undergraduate students.
Brandeis offers a Master of Software Engineering through its online learning platform. Students learn and work alongside working professionals, while also pursuing the goals of:
- Applying software best practices
- Building software solutions using different technologies
- Collaborating and communicating with team members to approve software development project goals
The program involves 30-credit hours, which are dispersed between six required courses, including software testing techniques and expert software development in Java, and four electives, such as Ruby programming and Software Development in C++.
To apply to the program, students must have an introductory understanding of a programming language, such as Java or C++. Academic experience with best practices employed to develop software (Intro to Software Engineering) and Introduction to Data Structures. Students may also present evidence of equivalent work experience, equating to the requisite academic knowledge.
University of Alabama in Huntsville
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a public research university located in Huntsville, AL. Huntsville awards baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees through its eight colleges, which include the honors college, the college of engineering, and the school of nursing. UAH is one of three members of the University of Alabama system, along with Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, of which Huntsville is the smallest with an enrollment of around 8,500.
Huntsville offers a Masters in Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) jointly through he Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Computer Science Department: students pursuing the program will designate one of these two as their “home department.” Students can pursue two paths, the thesis option or non-thesis option
- Non-thesis option: core courses, cybersecurity, concentration classes, two electives, and a capstone course
- Thesis option: Students only complete one elective course and pursue six credits of thesis hours in place of the capstone and the second elective
The program requires a total of 30 credit hours, 12 of which are spent on the core courses, and the rest of which are spent on electives, concentrations, and thesis/capstone hours.
Students who choose the Engineering Department as their home must take at least 15 credit hours of computer engineering courses. Experience in the development of a large scale, industrial strength software system is highly desirable. Students applying should also be able to demonstrate knowledge in subjects such as data structures and operating systems.
Regis University, previously known as Regis College, is a private university located in Denver, CO. Regis is a Roman Catholic university, specifically of the Jesuit congregation. RU is divided into five colleges: Regis College, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Computer and Information Sciences, the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies, and The Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions. Regis has a student population of around 11,400 and employs just under 2,000 academic staff.
Regis University offers a Masters in Science in Software Engineering through its online learning system. RU’s program is a 36 credit-hour degree that strives to teach students industry best-practices, advanced understanding of programming languages, and in-depth knowledge of Agile iterative/incremental process. Classes in the program are divided into three categories, including example courses:
- Core Courses: Information Technology Concepts
- Software Engineering Electives: Software Assurance, Software Engineering Practicum I, and Java Software Development
- Degree Completion Requirements: Graduate Thesis and Graduate Capstone
Students may also complete Software Engineering Practicum II as part of the degree completion requirements.
The Masters in Science in Software Engineering degree requires students to have sufficient knowledge and/or experience in database application, programming, computer networking, and system analysis and design. This translates to either three or more years of relevant work experience or a bachelor’s degree from within the past two years in a relevant computer sciences field.
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University is a public university located in Lubbock, TX. Texas Tech has around 36,000 students and shares its campus with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, which makes it the only campus is Texas with a law school, medical school, and an undergraduate university. Texas Tech offers more than 150 degree programs through 13 colleges and schools, and currently maintains around 2,500 academic faculty members.
Texas Tech offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering through their ELearning & Academic Partnerships service. The program is a 36-hour, non-thesis degree, which requires a prerequisite of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or its equivalent.
- The program is intended to give the graduate a firm foundation in the definition, development and maintenance of complex software systems using traditional engineering process methods
- Students are required to take Software Project Management, Software Modeling and Architecture, and Software Verification and Validation
- The rest of the students’ courses are made up of electives, such as Distributed Systems and Special Topics for Software Engineering
Since the program is a non-thesis program, students are not eligible to apply thesis courses towards their degree completion
Students without the requisite educational background require leveling courses before they may progress through the program. The program runs along the semester-based system of Texas Tech, so new students may enroll at the beginning of any one of the four semesters throughout the year. Students are not required to enroll in a certain number of courses each year, so the degree completion time varies from student to student.