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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mercer University's Master of Science in Software Engineering and Systems is designed to teach students the necessities required to sustain a software development or maintenance project throughout its lifecycle. Classes in the program will work towards students' proficiency in Java, C++ or C#, as well as advance their familiarity with Design Patterns and Refactoring. Mercer's MSSE also allows graduates to participate in real-world projects, readying them to enter the competitive workforce upon graduation. Mercer graduates have gone on to explore work with the Warner Robins Air Force Base, close by Macon, and the Mercer University Research Center.
Kansas State University's Master of Science in Software Engineering takes place over a semester system and involves completing 33 credit hours online. Students are not required to have professional experience to be admitted to KSU, nor is the GRE required. The MSE degree at KSU teaches students how to apply engineering principles to the building of computer software, focusing on the theories, tools, and methods for systematic representation, development, and maintenance of software. Very few students take more than two courses at a time, and all have up to six years to finish the degree. KSU's flexible MSE program also provides scholarship opportunities to students.
Students with two years of experience in professional software development will further their marketable skills upon completion of Carnegie Mellon University's Master of Software Engineering degree. The degree involves 12 classes and completable within 16 intensive months, or longer if students decide to follow a flexible multi-year plan. All students will help develop systems in the collaboration between the university and clients such as Google, IMB, Intel, General Motors, and Bosch. In addition, CMU is partnered with the Software Engineering Institute, providing accessible resources within the fields of software architecture and software project management.
North Dakota State University designed its Master of Science in Software Engineering with the intention of giving professionals an opportunity to update and upgrade their credentials. However, it is not an admissions requirement that all students have professional work experience in the field. The flexible MSSE is 36 credits, including a two-semester project, and can be completed within one, two, or five years depending on the needs of the student. To ensure student success, NDSU does not allow students to enroll in more than four classes per term. The program consists of studies in the basic methodologies, techniques, and tools required to sustain a software's life cycle. Students will also become thorough in project management and maintenance.
The University of Alabama's Master of Science in Software Engineering program gives students an interdisciplinary approach to software engineering. Concentrations are required, with the options of Big Data or Data Mining, Project Management, Parallel Programming, Embedded Systems, or Advanced Cybersecurity. Students can complete their degree with a capstone or thesis.
The MSSE is hosted by, both, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in the College of Engineering, and the Computer Science Department in the College of Science. Students must declare a home department, and those who choose the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department must complete 15 credits of computer engineering classes.
Regis University's Master of Science in Software Engineering prepares its students for careers as Computer Systems Engineers, Application Designers, Information Architects, and other highly demanded opportunities. The 36-credit MSSE focuses on giving its students experience with architecture-centric design and provides knowledge on the specification, design, implementation, and security of applications. The eight-week terms begin six times per year, making an entrance into the program accessible to varying schedules. Many degree courses equip students with the basic tools to develop and maintain software used every day, such as Android and Java. Students can choose between a Graduate Capstone, Thesis, and Software Engineering Practicum before completing their degree.
Boston University's Master of Science in Software Development can be completed in less than two years, with mentorship from faculty members who have a history of experience in high-technology and business industries as well as ongoing research projects. The Software Development graduate program at BU is proudly one of the only in the country. The MSSD prepares students with not only the teachings of software engineering but the reason for the software and an understanding of its development and production from start to finish. Software developers will also be responsible for working alongside stakeholders to describe the required goals and outcomes for the product.
Lewis University is proud to prepare its students as candidates for Software Engineering Manager positions upon completing their Master of Science in Computer Science with Software Engineering. The full MSCS is 32 credit hours and the Software Engineering concentration accounts for 15 of those, all of which can be completed within two years. The program is accessible to students without an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related field, so long as they take up to four courses of foundational work. Upon graduation, students will have completed a capstone consisting of a publication-worthy document on a research topic, or a technology-focused project conducted for a real external organization.
The Master of Science in Computer Science with Software Engineering at the University of Southern California is designed to equip graduates with experience in systems engineering, customer collaboration, and management skills alongside the traditional set of abilities in software development. USC developed the 32-unit MSCS to produce students capable of entering the workforce as desirable engineering candidates. Following technological trends of the century and future, USC's degree focuses on mobile and distributed network-centric architectures, rapid software development and maintenance, and more. Graduates are also braced to continue their research into their future Ph.D. career. For those interested, students may also participate in completing a Master research thesis.
Stevens Institute of Technology's Master of Science in Software Engineering prepares students to design, build, test, and maintain software systems and projects. Students in the program have various backgrounds, such as computer science, mathematics, business, and liberal arts. The degree at SIT is a total of eight core classes, and two electives offered entirely online. Students without a related undergraduate degree, such as Engineering or Computer Science, are welcomed to apply upon taking the GRE. If a student enters the MSSE with extensive prior experience in software engineering, some credits may be awarded the approval of an advisor.
The Master of Science in Computer Science program at The University of West Florida offers its students three specializations: Computer Science, Database Systems, and Software Engineering. The 30-credit Software Engineering specialization indoctrinates students in the development of software systems by focusing on a specification, analysis, and software project management.
All students curate, either, a research thesis or final project before graduation. The degree offers department assistantships for additional funding, as well as annual scholarships and fellowships. The CSSE degree is designed with students both with and without professional experience in mind. UWF Graduates go on to work in fields involving maintenance, project management, medical software, or continue to their doctoral studies.
Classes for Colorado Technical University's Master of Science in Computer Science with Software Engineering degree are five and a half weeks long, and all are online and mobile friendly. Course sessions begin every eight weeks, so students have the opportunity to join the 48-credit program at their convenience. Students are required to have an educational background in computer science. The university's MSCS is meant to take 18 months, with no cost for textbooks as they are provided online. Those who graduate from CTU with the MS in Computer Science have gone on to work in fields such as Software and Web Development, Search Marketing Strategists, Geospatial Scientists and Technologists, Computer Programmers, and more.
Rather than the traditional semester system, Drexel University's online Master of Science in Software Engineering consists of four ten-week quarters. Drexel's flexible curriculum allows students to complete more courses per term in the 45-credit program. The degree at Drexel gives students an interdisciplinary approach to the software industry, encouraging all types of careers post-graduation. Graduates of Drexel typically enter professional fields focused on software design, engineering management, or systems analytics.
All faculty members are both doctorally educated and professionals in the software engineering field, giving students the ability to receive feedback and guidance about their post-grad options. Studies encompass behavioral, managerial, and technical aspects of software, with topics such as Human-Computer Interaction and Software Project Management.
University of Maryland University College's 36 credit Master of Science in Information Technology is designed to prepare students for careers in large software engineering projects. Online students working toward their online MSIT can incorporate a minor in Software Engineering with their major studies Students, however, are expected to apply after having prior work experience in software development and programming. Rather than assign textbooks, UMUC provides all online students with no-cost digital materials in nearly every course. To accommodate working students with a busy schedule, UMUC does not enforce scheduled times for online sessions. Most online classes are six-credits each, allowing the students to focus on one lecture each term. If students want to combine the traditional university experience with the online platform, there are select hybrid courses available.
Pennsylvania State University provides online students with a 36-credit Master of Software Engineering that is completable within two years. Every PSU student is assigned a cohort for remote experiences in completing projects together. Those with professional experience in the industry choose the program to develop skills further for implementing new technologies. To be admitted, students must have earned an undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, or information science. Student's without a relevant undergraduate are still considered so long as they have extensive work experience in software engineering.
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