Informational guide for graduate students interested in a masters or phd level software engineering degree.
Many universities today have their engineering degrees scattered through several departments. A large number of universities have combined electrical engineering and computer science into one department, while the standard engineering degrees remain in a School of Engineering and the degree in Finance Engineering is in the business school. The Masters in Software Engineering can generally be found as an option in the school or department housing computer science. Software was once the stepchild in the computer group; today software engineering is as important an academic option as computer engineering. These schools are drawn from the top computer science schools in the nation as ranked by US News and World Report's annual survey of universities and graduate schools.
University of Texas/Austin offers both a Master of Science in Software Engineering and a PhD in the field. Areas of focus in the curriculum include software architecture, requirements engineering and collaborative software design and development. The academic approach to this discipline has much in common with more traditional forms of engineering. Another of the priorities in the designated coursework for the masters program is mobile computing, a platform or series of platforms that requires its own set of software paradigms.
Rochester Institute of Technology is a highly regarded tech school that offers a comprehensive selection of degree options in IT that many larger universities do not. The Master of Software Engineering at RIT is designed for students who have completed an undergraduate program in computer science, computer engineering or software engineering and have at least one year of professional experience. There are bridge course options for applicants who have holes in their undergraduate background. The program requires four quarters of full time study or two years on a part time basis.
Carnegie Mellon University offers several graduate degrees that incorporate software engineering, some of which have online components. The Master of Science in Software Engineering is a sixteen month course of study for professionals who are already working in software engineering or a related field and have at least two years' work experience. The Master of Science in Information TechnologySoftware Engineering is a distance learning program for managers who have at least five years' work experience.
UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science offers a Master's In Computer Science degree with an area of concentration in Software Systems. Like many graduate programs in IT the student is presented with a set of core courses and the mandate to work out a personal course of study with a faculty advisor. The average time for completion of this degree is five quarters, with the maximum allowed being three years. There is a thesis requirement and students are expected to begin preliminary work on the project at least one year before completing the program. Students who chose software systems as an academic area of focus work with a faculty advisor on developing a thesis topic that is manageable in scope.
University of Minnesota has an excellent School of Computer Science and Engineering that has developed a Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) degree. This is another program designed for working professionals, with sufficient flexibility that students may continue to work and still complete the program in two years. Classes are offered on alternating Fridays and Saturdays for four semesters. The University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center is a program (and facility) designed for collaborative research projects.
The Master of Software Engineering degree is gravitating from a professional mid-career option to an academic standard for students who wish to enter the workplace with an advanced degree.