Updated November 29, 2022

There's nothing soft about earning a Masters in Software Engineering. Jump start your tech-career with one of the 25 Best Online Master's Degrees in Software Engineering. If you're reading this article right now, you're currently participating in the fascinating use of modern technology, aka computer software. But do you wonder how its made, ...

BestValueSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

There's nothing soft about earning a Masters in Software Engineering. Jump start your tech-career with one of the 25 Best Online Master's Degrees in Software Engineering.

If you're reading this article right now, you're currently participating in the fascinating use of modern technology, aka computer software. But do you wonder how its made, or how to develop new types of computerized software? For students who are interested in continuing their engineering career with a more specified degree, earning a Master's degree in Computer Software could be right for you. And what better way to earn your degree than to attend class online?

Why Software Engineering, though? The United States' Department of Labor predicts that the job outlook for Software Developers will increase by 24 percent over the next seven years. While an undergraduate degree readies students for entry into this workforce, dedicating oneself to a Master's degree in Software Engineering positions graduates at the forefront of competitive and highly-desirable careers.

The skills obtained through continued education in Software Engineering can further one's ability to apply advanced technological capabilities within the workforce. Graduates are braced for leadership positions, which oversee the entire life-cycle of software systems.

In addition, students who obtain a degree in Software Engineering work in a wide array of industries, where most businesses today rely on technological software and outreach to their clientele. Most universities design post-graduate degrees with an understanding of how many working students are reliant on a flexible schedule to graduate, and so many online degree options are available.

Ranking Factors

In order to rank the 25 Best Online Master's Degrees in Software Engineering, hundreds of degrees are located and examined with expenses, reputation, accessibility, and career prospects in mind. To avoid self-reporting bias from universities, institutional alumni play a considerable role in how degrees are ranked later on. Information on institutional admittance, tuition, and degree outcomes are collected from data resources such as the National Center for Education Statistics.

Best Value Schools specifically ranked each of the 25 Best Online Masters's Degrees in Software Engineering based on:

  • Cost of Attendance
  • Education Requirements
  • Degree Reputation
  • Post-graduate Employment
  • Alumni Satisfaction

For more information on how Best Value Schools ranks every degree, check out our methodology page.

Here are the 25 Best Online Master's Degrees in Software Engineering!
#1 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
#2 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
#3 Columbia University New York City, NY
#4 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
#5 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
#6 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
#7 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX
#8 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
#9 Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
#10 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Harvard University

    Cambridge, MA



    Harvard University's online Master of Science in Software Engineering is a 12-course degree with a minimum of one course taken on campus. Before official admission to the degree, prospective students will complete two stipulated classes to demonstrate their ability to perform well in the program. The MSSE provides, both, a thesis and a capstone track, where the thesis option requires independent and extensive research with a thesis director. The capstone track allows students to work alongside others in teams to create an architectural model and plan. Course topics include Wearable Technologies and the Internet of Things, Science of Intelligence, and Introduction to Blockchain and Bitcoin.

  2. California State University - Fullerton

    Fullerton, CA



    California State University at Fullerton designed its Master of Science in Software Engineering for professionals working in computer science who are ready to skills further. The online MSSE consists of ten courses completable within a 22-month-long schedule. To finish on-schedule, online students take two sessions per semester and work with assigned to cohorts with identical class schedules. Alongside the course requirements, students will participate in an orientation seminar and a midpoint symposium. Both events are located at CSUF, but students may participate online if needed. Applications are only accepted for fall terms.

  3. Columbia University

    New York City, NY



    Designed for students who want to continue their studies in software development, methodologies and technologies, Columbia University's Master of Science in Computer Science with Software Systems program is a total of 30 credits offered entirely online. Most who apply have an undergraduate degree in computer science, and those with degrees in other disciplines are still encouraged to apply yet will have to take at least six prerequisites. Three of the fourteen courses required to graduate are core topics, while the remaining eleven are made up of electives varying from Database System Implementation, Principles of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or Web-Enhanced Information Management.

  4. Texas Tech University

    Lubbock, TX



    The Master of Science in Software Engineering at Texas Tech University focuses on advanced software engineering topics, such as design and quality assurance, to equip students with a strong foundation in software systems. Some classes in the online MSSE do require that students attend some sessions on campus. TTU accepts applicants for spring, summer, and fall terms. Students can decide on either a degree plan or a thesis schedule, where the degree plan must be completed in six years or less. Core classes are focused on software management, modeling, architecture, and verification. Electives feature a wide array of other software topics such as Fault-Tolerant Computer Systems, Systems Theory, and Real Time and Time Sharing Systems.

  5. East Carolina University

    Greenville, NC



    East Carolina University's Master of Science in Software Engineering proudly combines traditional computer science with the constantly-changing field of software engineering. Students become familiar with software architecture, programming languages such as Java, and software management. Most students enter the MSSE with a background in software engineering or a closely-related field, and those from other disciplines are evaluated case-by-case. The online degree works to encourage collaboration between distance education students and those who attend on-campus. The minimum degree requirement is 30 credits, consisting of a course-work only option, project option, or a thesis option.

  6. West Virginia University

    Morgantown, WV



    West Virginia University's Master of Science in Software Engineering is a part-time online degree designed with software engineering and technology professionals in mind. The flexible program consists of evening courses to ensure working students can thrive, and includes live discussions with both professors and other students. All students should have an undergraduate degree in software engineering, computer science or engineering, or a related field, and a sufficient score in the quantitative section of the GRE is also required. The MSSE is a total of 33 credit hours and with the thesis options an additional 30 hours. Core credits focus on software project management, analysis and design, and evolution.

  7. University of Houston - Clear Lake

    Houston, TX



    University of Houston's Master of Science in Software Engineering is a 36 credit program designed for those with students familiar in computer science. With the convenience of it being entirely online, students can complete the degree in a mere 15 months. To be more budget-friendly, UHCL provides tuition and fee breaks to students who are taking more than one course per semester. Before graduation, all students have the opportunity of completing a three-credit capstone alongside 12 further credits of electives. The core classes of the MSSE are in Software Construction and Architecture, and electives include topics such as Risk Management and Personal Software Process.

  8. Purdue University

    West Lafayette, IN



    Purdue University expects most applicants to their Master of Science in Computer Science to have an undergraduate degree in computer science or relevant field. Students are required to have already obtained a foundational understanding of computer science and the ability to develop their programming language for courses. The online MSCS consists of 30 credits and is flexible enough to allow students to take time off if needed. Course topics include of but are not limited to: Databases, Machine Learning, Theory of Computing and Algorithms, Data Mining, Graphics and Visualization, and Information Security and Assurance. Upon starting the program, all students will receive support from an academic advisor in creating a Plan of Study to ensure success.

  9. Arizona State University

    Tempe, AZ



    Arizona State University designed its Master of Science in Engineering to prepare students for work on projects with both innovative techniques and methodologies or formal CMMI approaches. The online MSE provides students with a focus in Software Engineering and consists of 30 total credits with 15 weeks per class. Upon application, all students must have earned a degree from a regionally accredited institution in computer engineering, software engineering, or a related field. ASU graduates find careers as software and application developers, computer programmers, system analysts, and more. The majority of faculty in the School of Engineering have received the highest awards in their fields.

  10. Kennesaw State University

    Kennesaw, GA



    Kennesaw State University's Master of Science in Software Engineering works to ready its students for the competitive industry. KSU students are set to meet the needs of the industry, after being familiarized with strategies and procedures of real-time projects throughout the program. If one applies without an undergraduate degree in computing, they will be assigned to take a maximum of five foundational courses. For students who feel so inclined, the MSSE is obtainable through a hybrid-online degree schedule.

Get prepared for your next steps

Use articles and resources to uncover answers to common questions, get guidance on your goals, and learn about applying to schools.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.