Whether you’re already working as a programmer or looking to make yourself more competitive in the marketplace, you know that having advanced degrees in software engineering will help you to stand apart from the pack.
Computer science professions demand some of the best minds in the world, and account for some of the top rated jobs in the United States.
Being a full-time student is demanding, especially for those already working. For those students, an online master’s in software engineering could be the perfect program to increase knowledge, expand your skill set, and earn an advanced degree to really differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack.
What Kind of Online Degree Should You Get?
As more and more people begin to pursue college educations at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, all online degree programs are becoming more and more common.
That means the technology of delivering these online courses is also always improving, and today getting an online degree comes with many of the same resources that actually attending a physical campus does, including access to the materials in the school’s library for research, direct access to instructors for questions and concepts you’re having trouble with, and a unique connection to the community of other online students.
This is especially true at the graduate level, and online master’s programs are becoming very common, even at schools with little to no online undergraduate offerings. Due to the research-intensive or field-focused nature of graduate and master’s programs, an online master’s degree begins to make a lot of sense.
This is especially true for a subject like software engineering, where course materials and even programming projects can be completed easily and seamlessly via cloud-based solutions, just as easily as they could be created on a physical on-campus PC. Looking for more online degree options? Check out our list of the top online universities.
How Much Money Do People Make with an Online Master’s in Software Engineering?
Software engineers are in high demand across many industries, and can be a very lucrative career – especially for a specialized programmer. For instance, according to O*Net Online, in 2015 the median annual salary of an application software engineer was $98,260, and the median salary of a systems software engineer was $105,570.
Another well known source for salary data, PayScale.com, reports that in general, software engineers who have a Master’s degree have annual salaries of around $79,000, compared with an annual salary of $68,424 of software engineers possessing only a Bachelor’s degree. In addition, software engineer jobs often come with benefits like profit sharing, health benefits, and generous bonuses.
What Can You Do with an Online Master’s in Software Engineering?
Depending upon the specialization of your particular Master’s degree in Software Engineering, you can find work developing many different types of software, including business applications, computer games, or operating systems.
Software engineers are often hired as application developers to develop software solutions for a company’s needs. It is also common to find work as a systems software engineer, overseeing a company or organization’s computer systems and its needs, including server software to ensure that all workstations are properly connected to the company’s servers, and to each other.
Your skills also will qualify you for research and development positions in universities and private or national labs, and for a wide variety of programming positions developing software and algorithms for everything from video poker to health insurance.
What Are the Requirements for an Online Master’s in Software Engineering?
Every college and university is unique, but in general, most Master’s programs in Software Engineering require at a minimum a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or a related degree.
Many schools have minimum GPA requirements for their program, and while some schools do require a General GRE score for admission, there are certainly exceptions to this rule, so it is a good idea to research schools before you decide whether to take the GRE or not.
What Are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Software Engineering?
Below, you’ll find our ranking of the best online Master’s degrees in Software Engineering at US colleges and universities. Many of these schools are known for their software engineering programs and are expanding into online offerings, while others are expanding into the realm of online learning with a focus on information technology.
Some offer online programs at the undergraduate level, but this is certainly not universal – so, if you’re looking for both undergraduate and graduate level programs, we’d refer you to our listing of the best online Bachelor’s degrees.
Our college rankings consider the way each of these schools approaches the Master’s degree in software engineering, and how well they serve their online students. Our ranking system is based upon three important factors: institutional excellence, student success (or ROI), and student satisfaction.
Institutional excellence is measured across a variety of data points including graduation rates, placement rates, test scores, and student-faculty ratio. Student success, or return on investment, is determined by considering tuition costs and the availability of financial aid vs. expected salary and post-grad debt, and is based on data from the National Center from Education Statistics, PayScale, U.S. News, and other sources.
Finally, student satisfaction considers actual reviews from students in the program you’re interested in, sourced from a variety of websites and publications.
See our rankings methodology page.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $16,205
Universally hailed as one of the best schools in the world, Harvard’s graduate schools, and its online Master’s in Software Engineering in particular, are unsurprisingly top-notch. Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, and its online Master’s program in software engineering is offered through Harvard’s Extension School. In this program, students are given the tools they need to understand current technologies in databases, communication protocols, cloud computing, and more.
The online Master’s in Software Engineering is available for students who have experience in object-oriented programming languages such as C++ or Java, and a knowledge of discrete mathematics. A programming certificate is available for students who need to strengthen this background. Notable courses include:
- Theoretical Foundations
- Data Communications
- Cloud Computing
- Systems Programming
- Software Design
Students in Harvard’s online Master’s program for software engineering have the option of pursuing a thesis or capstone tracked program. In the thesis track, students work with a thesis director on the faculty to perform research on a subject the student and thesis director choose. In the capstone track, students work to create a capstone project, taking an ambitious software engineering project from concept to completion. During the Master’s program, students may also pursue graduate certificates in data science, cybersecurity, or web technologies.
Columbia University in the City of New York
College Choice Score: 96.55
Average Net Price: $22,973
Established in 1754 by King George II, Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university consistently ranked as one of the best schools in the country for nearly any subject. With more than 33,000 students across 20 colleges and schools, Columbia University is among the most prestigious and selective institutions in the country – only 6% of applicants are accepted, according to recent data.
Students in Columbia University’s online Master’s in Software Engineering will complete a series of required core courses, a selection of four ‘breadth’ courses, and a number of electives while pursuing their online Master’s degree. Students who have previously had courses or experience to waive one or more of the program’s required courses may choose from additional elections, either from the Master’s program track, or from other graduate courses.
- Programming Languages & Translators
- Operating Systems
- Database System Implementation
- User Interface Design
- Security Architecture and Engineering
The Online Master’s in Software Engineering at Columbia University is a highly focused track for students who want an exceptional education in software development and in software systems technologies and methodologies. Software, of course, plays a vital role in nearly every part of our lives in the highly connected and computer-driven world we live in, and this program empowers students with the understanding and mastery of both classic and current computer software environments, while also providing fundamentals to enable students to keep up with new developments through self-study techniques.
College Choice Score: 90.12
Average Net Price: $21,698
Auburn University was chartered in 1856 by the Alabama legislature as East Alabama Male College. Originally operating under the oversight and guidance of the United Methodist Church, this college grew and transformed over the years, eventually becoming Auburn University today. After the Civil War, the university was transferred to the control of the State of Alabama, and away from the United Methodist Church, which meant increased funding and a broader curriculum for the school.
Students pursuing a Master’s degree in Software Engineering will receive a non-thesis MSwE degree, with a course of study that spans many topics in computer science and software engineering. As a non-thesis program, the Master of Software Engineering degree culminates in a capstone software engineering design project.
- Web Application Development
- Object-Oriented Technologies
- Database Systems
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Network Design & Analysis
Auburn University students are able to pursue the school’s unique Master of Software Engineering degree entirely online. In the program, students learn all the necessary techniques and technology they need to succeed in today’s demanding and competitive industries, learning skills from across the spectrum of software development. Students will receive instruction as to prototyping, troubleshooting, planning and building software in nearly any modern and classic language. The program is available entirely online, never requiring students to visit the Auburn campus.
College Choice Score: 89.85
Average Net Price: $20,232
A Catholic University located in Romeoville, IL, Lewis University offers unique and distinctive programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate level to over 7,000 students, including many adult and non-traditional students. Lewis University’s programs include several online degrees and has developed a reputation for accessibility and convenience for a wide variety of students. Lewis University provides its students with highly customizable degree programs with an aim of creating programs which are immediately applicable to the industry.
Lewis University offers a Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering which is available entirely online. This program is customized based on students’ areas of interest, but potential projects in the concentration will include a wide variety of software applications, and instruction ranges from development to documentation to testing and troubleshooting techniques used industry-wide by software developers.
- Computer Graphics
- Data Visualization
- Object-Oriented Design
- Pervasive Application Development
- Software Vulnerabilities and Defenses
Lewis University’s MS in Computer Science program offers several concentrations, including Software Engineering, and is available entirely online. In this program, students develop software for a variety of platforms, including mobile devices, the web, and several operating systems. Students gain experience designing data storage systems, incorporate security protocols and protections, and learn to properly model, test, and document software for collaborative development. Students at Lewis are instructed by faculty with experience in the industry, and leave the program as a formidable software developer ready to keep up with today’s trends in enterprise level applications.
College Choice Score: 89.06
Average Net Price: $31,539
Boston University has been classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a research university featuring “very high research activity.” As a member of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education, Boston University lives up to this reputation as one of the most prestigious and important research universities in the nation. In 1867 the school moved to Boston from its original home in New Jersey, and it remains there today.
Boston University offers an all-online Master of Science in Software Development degree at its Metropolitan College, or MET for short. The MSSD degree is designed to meet the growing demand for highly proficient software developers across all sectors of industry, and across many different computing platforms and programming languages, including methods for developing mobile and cloud-based software solutions. The MSSD is available part-time in evenings on campus for students who wish to attend the school physically in addition to fully online.
- Information Structures with Python
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Information Systems Design & Analysis
- Server-Side Web Development
- Mobile Application Development
Students at Boston University enjoy unique access to the school’s custom designed Master of Science in Software Engineering degree, in which students receive intensive instruction across multiple programming languages, many frameworks, and many theoretical environments allowing them to apply their skills to such modern and innovative fields as mobile development and cloud computing. With a focus on the latest trends in software developments, students who complete Boston University’s MSSD program will be ready to hit the ground running as they enter the workforce. Online students never need to visit the Boston University campus to complete this degree.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 88.84
Average Net Price: $35,250
Founded in 1900 by American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the school that would become Carnegie Mellon University was initially built on the hope to create opportunities for the children of nearby mill workers in Pittsburgh. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged from the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University. Today, the university has a student body of more than 13,000 students.
Students at Carnegie Mellon are able to pursue a MS in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. In this program, students receive instruction as to developing large software applications from the conceptual phase through development, testing, and deployment. Students in this program not only learn relevant programming and technical skills, but also the management savvy and interpersonal skills they need to work on a team. The Master’s program is available entirely online, never requiring a student to visit the Carnegie Mellon Campus.
- Software Architecture
- Project Management
- Technical Planning
- Risk Management
- Software Assurance
Online students at Carnegie Mellon have unique choices for their software engineering master’s degree: a Master of Software Engineering, or MSE, MS in Information Technology with a Software Engineering Concentration, or the MSIT degree with a concentration in Software Engineering Management. These programs are available entirely online and can be completed in short or longer time frames – from 12 months of full-time study for the MSIT-Software Engineering degree to 3 years of part-time study for the MSIT-Software Engineering Management. These programs emphasize managerial and technical leadership, making them an excellent option for working professionals looking to take their tech career to the next level.
California State University-Fullerton
College Choice Score: 88.29
Average Net Price: $8,170
Originally opened in 1959 as Orange County State College, California State University Fullerton was the 12th school in the state of California authorized to grant degrees. Its original purpose was to provide higher education opportunities to an under-served area of the state. Over the following years the school underwent many changes and evolutions as the state worked to streamline its college and university system, eventually becoming California State University Fullerton in 1972.
The MS program in software engineering offered entirely online at California State University Fullerton provides opportunities for professional developers or others working in the computer science field to take their careers tot he next level. Consistently ranked among the best software engineering programs nationwide, CSU Fullerton’s MS in software engineering is known for its dedication to student services and the expertise of its faculty.
- Systems and Software Standards
- Software Maintenance
- Software Design and Architecture
- Software Project Management
- Ethics in Software Development
The online MS in software engineering at CSU Fullerton takes a slightly different approach to student learning. It offers eight ‘strands’ of instruction: critical thinking, research, assessment and appraisal, software processes, communication, collaboration, comprehension, and legal and ethical issues. Students in this program receive a very unique and broad-reaching level of instruction and work together in teams to complete large projects which advance in stages as the group works toward completing their degrees. The MS in Software Engineering at CSU Fullerton can be completed over a span of 22 months, and is available, of course, entirely online.
College Choice Score: 87.33
Average Net Price: $32,148
Occupying what was once the Middlesex University, a medical university that closed due to financial issues, Brandeis University was founded by the local Jewish community, and is named after the first Jewish US Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis. Founded on the belief that students would never be accepted or denied admission based upon race, gender, or creed, but rather on their level of intelligence and dedication to academics.
The Software Engineering program at the Brandeis GPS, or school of Graduate and Professional Studies, students can learn alongside other professionals seeking to advance their careers. The program prepares students to apply current best practices in software engineering from design and developing to ongoing operations and maintenance. Students are instructed in the use of many different technologies and within the context of various organizational structures.
- Object-oriented Design with UML
- Software Development Methodologies
- Software Testing Techniques
- Ruby Programming
- Mobile Applications and Responsive Web Design
The MS of Software Engineering program at Brandeis university is a unique program tailored to working professionals and adults seeking continuing education in their field. Students in the program will focus on applying best practices in software engineering to take a project from concept to completion and beyond. Collaboration and communication in a team environment is encouraged and necessary for the course of study, and the program is available entirely online, with no need to students to visit the Brandeis campus.
College Choice Score: 86.41
Average Net Price: $32,084
A private university founded in 1898, DePaul University is a popular school featuring five campuses in and around the Chicago, IL area. With a total undergraduate enrollment of 15,407, and several individual colleges including the School for New Learning, which is targeted to adult students, and the CDM Schools, the College of Computing and Digital Media, home of the online Master’s in Software Engineering.
The Master’s degree in software engineering on offer at DePaul University provides students with a skill set which is widely applicable, in high demand, and lucrative. The discipline of software engineering is broken down into methodologies, processes, techniques, and tools necessary to develop very high-quality software systems in an efficient and cost-effective manner, making DePaul graduates excellent candidates for software engineering jobs.
- Entrepreneurship & Technology Leadership
- Real-Time Game Systems
- Software Architecture
- Software Development
The Software Engineering online Master’s program at DePaul emphasizes the best practices in software engineering and focuses on emerging technologies and their applications across several industries. With concentrations available in game systems, software architecture, and technology leadership, students in the online Master’s in Software Engineering program can prepare themselves for the job they truly want while learning all aspects of software engineering, including testing, architecture, UI design, and more. The program also places strong emphasis on the development of communication and cooperation skills in a collaborative team-based development environment.
Arizona State University-Tempe
College Choice Score: 85.80
Average Net Price: $13,007
Arizona State University opened in 1885 as the Territorial Normal School, and since then has grown massively. With its main campus in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University has expanded to five additional campuses around the greater Phoenix metro, and online students who have the freedom to attend from anywhere. In 2014, Arizona State University adopted the “New American University” education model, and has grown rapidly as a result.
The MS in Software Engineering at Arizona State University is focused on developing advanced skills and abilities for software design and implementation. Students apply engineering principles to programming, and learn operation principles, design methodologies, and testing and maintenance best practices in order to ensure that they are perfectly prepared to be a formidable force in the world of software development.
- Advanced Data Structures
- Algorithm Analysis
- Emerging Language and Programming Paradigms
- Inception and Elaboration
- Project and Process Management
Students at Arizona State University interested in an online master’s degree in software engineering will pursue a MS in Engineering with a Software Engineering concentration. This is unique in that the program begins with engineering foundations, and applies those methods to software engineering. By examining actual case studies and working with real world problems, students will be able to enter the very competitive software engineering industry with applicable skills and real world experience. The program is available entirely online, with no need to visit the campus.
College Choice Score: 85.59
Average Net Price: $12,817
Drexel University is named for its founder, Anthony J. Drexel. He was the founding partner of Drexel, Morgan & Co., now simply J.P. Morgan & Co., and was known for his philanthropy. He wanted to establish a university in his name with the goal of providing everyone with an equal opportunity for higher education. When it was opened in 1891, the school allowed men and women of any background to study.
Constructed for students who need the flexibility of an online master’s program without sacrificing the rigor of intensive study, Drexel university utilizes partnerships with a number of well known businesses and organizations to offer a surprisingly in-depth education. The program’s curriculum is multidisciplinary and makes use of the latest industry technologies and tools, focusing on providing students with the training needed to secure key positions in any industry, or in the government or academic settings as well.
- Software Design
- Software Engineering Economics
- Open Source Software Engineering
- Developing User Interfaces
- Software Project Management
Students who are seeking an online Master’s in Software Engineering at Drexel may concentrate on computer science or information systems. The core curriculum covers topics in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, and information sciences. In addition to the core, students complete 27 credits of coursework which focus on their selected concentration. Each program is deliver in four quarters per year, at 10 weeks per quarter, meaning that students in this program get through more courses than traditional semester-based students get through in a year. This results in a very flexible program which works well for working professionals.
East Carolina University
College Choice Score: 85.39
Average Net Price: $12,817
Renowned industry-wide as one of the top online master’s programs in software engineering, East Carolina University offers its students the opportunity to take software systems from design to creation to testing to maintenance in a well rounded approach that combines theory with practical application. Subjects covered include project management, systems architecture, object-oriented design, and programming languages.
The online Master of Science in Software Engineering, or MSSE, degree at East Carolina University is offered with a choice of three concentrations. Students choose a concentration which emphasizes a unique aspect of software engineering, with the goal of preparing students with particular challenges they will face in the industry.
- Software Design and Development
- Software Project Management and Quality Assurance
- Software Testing
The MS in Software Engineering program at East Carolina University is known for its flexibility, making it a perfect choice for professionals seeking higher education that fits their schedule. The online program retains the collaborative, team-based approach found in traditional software engineering programs, so students are able to benefit from a wide range of experiences working on real-world problems with their peers. The university’s Computer Science department is known industry-wide for its students-first approach, and focuses on innovation, collaboration, strategic thinking, and accountability. The faculty and staff at ECU are top-tier, working hard to ensure students maximize their career opportunities after they complete their degrees.
Kennesaw State University
College Choice Score: 83.95
Average Net Price: $17,441
Kennesaw State University was founded by the Georgia Board of Regents and opened in 1966 as Kennesaw Junior College. After 13 years of operation as a junior college, the school started offering four-year degrees in a variety of subjects, and so the school’s name was changed accordingly to Kennesaw College. In 2015, the school merged with Southern Polytechnic University and became officially known as Kennesaw State University.
Kennesaw State University’s online Master’s program in Software Engineering includes a number of core courses and electives, enabling students to tailor the program to their interests, affinities, and goals. It culminates either in a thesis or with a software capstone project. This program is available entirely online, or in traditional classrooms, or in a hybrid variant with a combination of the two.
- Software Project Planning and Management
- Software Quality Engineering and Assurance
- Computer Architectures and Operating Systems
- Database Design and Applications
- Data Structures
The MS in Software Engineering at Kennesaw State University is available for students who are studying to become professionals as well as those already working in the industry. Students are instructed in real-time strategies which can be applied in the workplace immediately, as well as a thorough knowledge of software design, analysis, and maintenance. Online students are never required to visit the Kennesaw State University campus.
Stevens Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 83.90
Average Net Price: $37,168
The Stevens Institute of Technology is located in Hoboken, NJ and is home to more than 6,000 students in its undergrad and graduate programs. Among its three schools and one college, Stevens offers a very highly ranked online master’s degree in software engineering with two tracks: an advanced track for those who already have a strong background, and a bridge track for students who are relatively new to the concepts.
The online master’s program offers practice-ready curricula which are grounded in real-world problems, delivered by a faculty who has actual industry experience. Featuring flexible learning options in a well designed e-learning atmosphere designed to keep students engaged and challenged, and the option to learn at corporate sponsor locations, this is an excellent program for working professionals.
- Fundamentals of Software Engineering
- Software Development Methods
- Software Analysis and Engineering
- Software Architecture and Component-Based Design
- Software Testing, Quality Assurance and Maintenance
Some of the highlights of Stevens Institute of Technology’s masters program in software engineering include the excellent flexibility, availability of corporate locations for learning, a well designed e-learning environment, and its flexible program. Stevens Institute of Technology is also located near New York City and the many opportunities available there, and students enjoy the availability of internships at such organizations as AT&T, Cisco, and Verizon.
Purdue University-Main Campus
College Choice Score: 83.37
Average Net Price: $11,693
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana is a public university which was founded in 1869 as a land grant university. Since then it has grown to an undergraduate enrollment of over 30,000 students on its large 2,400 acre campus. The university offers a wide breadth of programs across 12 schools and colleges, including the highly recognized College of Engineering. The Software Engineering program is a part of Purdue’s College of Science.
The College of Science at Purdue University offers an online master’s degree in computer science, including a concentration in software engineering. The program is meant to be an opportunity for working professionals to earn a non-thesis based Master of Computer Science degree in software engineering. The program is intended for those who have a bachelor’s degree in either computer science or engineering.
- Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
- Data Mining
- Machine Learning
- Theory of Computing and Algorithms
The master’s program in computer science at Purdue offers a great deal of flexibility in course options. Every student works with an academic adviser to develop a program of study that fits your needs, fulfills your goals, and ensures that you fulfill all the requirements to complete your degree in the time you have. The flexible nature of this program makes it easier for students who need to work a program of study around a busy professional schedule, or even take a year off from studies if necessary. In fact, many students in the program begin by taking a single course at a time to best preserve work-life-school balance.
Illinois Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 83.20
Average Net Price: $25,847
The Illinois Institute of Technology is a private university focused on technology and science located in Chicago, IL. Their programs are designed to combine hands-on learning and real-world research opportunities across a variety of disciplines, preparing students not just for academic success, but for professional success as well. Illinois Tech is home to a student body made up of more than 7,800 students hailing from over 100 countries and 48 states of the US.
The master’s program in software engineering at Illinois Tech is designed to provide students with a deep knowledge of both theory and practice in software engineering, including hands-on software design experience as well as experience with development and maintenance. Students must complete core requirements, and select from a number of available specialization courses.
- Software Engineering
- Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
- Science of Programming
- Software System Architectures
- Software Project Management
The Master of Computer Science program at Illinois Institute of Technology is designed for computer science professionals looking to advance their careers and to recent graduates in computer science who wish to deepen their knowledge to gain an edge on the competition in the job market. The program provides both conceptual and practical education in various computer science topics including computer science professional courses. The program culminates with a Master’s project, but no thesis, or may be completed with coursework only. There is no comprehensive exam for Illinois Tech’s MCS program, and it can be completed entirely online.
College Choice Score: 82.87
Average Net Price: $20,692
One of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States, Mercer University was founded in the early 19th century by Baptists. Today, though it is no longer demoninationally affiliated, is still committed to providing students with an educational environment embracing the principles of religious and intellectual freedom, and Judeo-Christian values. Mercer’s Master’s program in Software Engineering gives students the opportunity to work with real-world projects from day one.
Students at Mercer’s School of Engineering learn techniques needed to define, analyze, and solve complex problems using software solutions. Students also learn to communicate the technical aspects of those solutions to audiences. Students learn to conduct software development and maintenance throughout the lifespan of a project.
- Object Oriented Design
- Requirements Analysis
- Iterative Testing Processes
- Software and Enterprise Architectures
- Agile Software Development Processes
Through Mercer’s Master’s degree in software engineering, students develop skills to use methodologies like refactoring in order to develop high quality software designs at all levels of complexity. The program includes course work on architecture, testing, security, and more. Mercer University is a highly ranked faith-based university located in Macon, GA which is committed to providing its students with a high degree of academic freedom.
Kansas State University
College Choice Score: 82.73
Average Net Price: $16,431
When it was founded in 1863, the school today known as Kansas State University was Kansas State Agricultural College. The first of public institution of higher learning in all of Kansas, and the state’s first land-grant college, KSU was a milestone in the history of the state of Kansas. Located in Manhattan, Kansas, the main campus retains many of the original 1863 buildings, and faculty and alumni are very proud of the history and heritage of the school.
The Master of Software Engineering, or MSE, program at Kansas State University applies engineering principles to the art and science of computer software programming. The degree program covers both theoretical and practical topics in software engineering, and provides its students with all the tools and methods necessary to succeed in programming from design to development to testing to production.
- Data Mining and Information Retrieval
- Distributed Systems
- Intelligent Systems
Students worldwide holding an undergraduate degree in engineering can take advantage of the KSU online master’s program in software engineering. Available entirely online and more affordable than many comparable programs, students enjoy easy access to courses from information security to marketing research through an innovative web access. The program produces graduates experienced in applied engineering and software design and development, and the flexibility of the program makes it a perfect fit for working adults.
Nova Southeastern University
College Choice Score: 82.37
Average Net Price: $25,344
Nova Southeastern University’s College of Engineering and Computing, or CEC for short is one of the top departments for engineers, scientists, and computer programmers today. CEC takes as its goal the preparation of students for today’s dynamic and challenging world, preparing them to be able to offer urgent solutions quickly and expertly. Problem solving skills, engineering methodologies, and computational proficiencies come together to make the CEC programs among the most comprehensive.
The Master of Science in Software Engineering, or MSSE, program at Nova Southeastern University is offered both on campus and online. It focuses on foundations of software engineering including design, development, testing, verification, production, and project management.
- Artificial Intelligence Engineering
- Computer Programming
- Computer Theory
- Object-Oriented/GUI Design
- Systems Software Development
Students at Nova Southeastern University’s CEC can opt to take their classes online or on-campus. Online courses are available anywhere in the world via simple internet access. Students use the Blackboard educational suite for distance learning, while on-campus courses meet at the main campus in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The software engineering master’s degree is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of the field of software engineering, and build a strong foundation for additional growth in professional settings.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 81.49
Average Net Price: $32,932
The University of Southern California’s Department of Computer Science is not only consistently ranked among the top departments of its kind, but it is also unique. It hosts over 40 research faculty from the renowned Informational Sciences Institute – for those unaware, the ISI was largely involved in the creation of the internet. Faculty members include pioneers from such fields as cryptography, software engineering, computational neuroscience, natural language processing, network sciences, computational biology, and other cutting-edge fields.
The MSCS (Master of Science in Computer Science) degree with a Software Engineering concentration focuses on providing students not only with the skills they will need to develop great software, but also provides training in systems engineering, project management skills, customer collaboration, and other peripheral skills necessary for well rounded careers and leadership positions in computer science.
- Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
- Web Technologies
- Software Management and Economics
- Testing and Analysis of Software Systems
- Software Architecture
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California emphasizes education for the future, and its programs always strive to include new and emerging trends in software engineering. The program includes experience in real-world projects for actual clients, and evaluation assignments utilize state-of-the-art projects. The program works to fully prepare students for careers in industrial leadership and software engineering, and serves as a powerful introduction to these areas for students who wish to go on to a Ph.D. in the subject.
College Choice Score: 79.17
Average Net Price: $26,505
Founded in 1877 by a group of Italian Jesuits as Las Vegas College, the school now known as Regis University operated for several years under the oversight of the Jesuits until it merged with nearby Sacred Heart College to form a new College of the Sacred Heart. In 1921, the University’s name was changed to Regis University in honor of St. John Francis Regis.
The Regis University Online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering provides students with a cross-disciplinary skill set including mastery of user-driven requirements, architecture-centric design, incremental and iterative processes, layered architectures, and robust application frameworks.
- Computer Systems Engineer
- Application Designer
- Custom Software Developer
- Information Architect
- Full Stack Developer
The MS in Software Engineering at Regis University is an online program in which students develop key skills in software development and work on projects from small applications to large-scale programming projects. Students learn to develop software from video games to military utilities, and the program of study does not require a student to visit the Regis campus in Las Vegas.
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs
College Choice Score: 77.94
Average Net Price: $19,856
Colorado Technical University at Colorado Springs offers a MS program in Computer Science which has been historically highly ranked. Building on the core of this program, the concentration in software engineering offers the foundation and focused knowledge that students need to really succeed in the field of software engineering. The program emerged as a response to the growing need for software engineers as the fields of information systems and programming begin to become applicable to nearly every industry.
The MS in Computer Science at CTU is designed to give students both technical depth in computer science and offer concentration in one of three areas: security, database management, and software engineering. It provides a solid foundation in computer science, mathematics, and engineering techniques.
- Design and Analysis of Algorithms
- Software Requirements Engineering
- Computer Systems Architecture
- Software Design
- Software Systems Engineering Process
Colorado Technical University offers a very affordable, flexible, and entirely online MS in Computer Science with a Software Engineering concentration. Students may enroll and begin taking classes throughout the year, and choose courses from across the areas of engineering, design, data analysis, and more. The program culminates in a computer science capstone project. Over 90% of companies who already employ CTU graduates say that they would hire another, because of how well prepared CTU students are. In addition, Military Times magazine ranked CTU “Best for Vets,” two years in a row, making it a great destination for military veterans.
Texas Tech University
College Choice Score: 77.78
Average Net Price: $15,235
In the 1880s, citizens in West Texas began to petition the legislature for a college to serve the region. In the early 20th century, the Texas Legislature announced that Texas A&M would create a new campus in Abilene. However, due to political squabbles, the plans were delayed and changed. Texas Technical College opened in Lubbock County, TX in 1923, and today Texas Tech is the centerpiece of the Texas Tech University System, and home to nearly 37,000 students.
Texas Tech’s Master’s degree in Software Engineering offers students a complete, comprehensive education into the design, development, and maintenance of software systems and computer technology using engineering techniques and processes.
- Software Project Management
- Software Modeling and Architecture
- Software Verification and Validation
- Real Time and Time Sharing Systems
- Distributed Systems
The online Master’s in Software Engineering degree at Texas Tech allows students to complete all required coursework online in a digital format. It can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, and the curriculum covers topics from software modeling and architecture to systems theories and more. Students beginning the program need a BS in computer science, computer engineering, or a comparable area of study. Texas Tech’s Whitacre College of Engineering has made the delivery of high quality education experiences via virtual classrooms a high priority, and the college has been highly ranked as an excellent resource for employers seeking to increase the skill level of their work forces and professionals looking to expand their skill sets.
West Virginia University
College Choice Score: 76.24
Average Net Price: $10,814
Founded in 1862 as the Agricultural College of West Virginia, the institution known today as West Virginia University was established through the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, and was built on the grounds previously occupied by three other schools: The Morgantown Female Academy, the Woodburn Female Seminary, and the Monongalia Academy. It is an excellent choice for students seeking a good research university with an affordable tuition cost.
The MS in Software Engineering at West Virginia University is a unique distance learning program aimed at students who are already working in the technology and computer industries. The MSSE program at WVU serves adult students from the local Morgantown area as well as students from all over the state of West Virginia and the nation itself.
- Software Project Management
- Software Analysis and Design
- Validation and Verification
- Software Evolution
- Object-Oriented Design
West Virginia’s 100% online Master’s degree in Software Engineering is tailored to fit the schedules of working professionals and features rolling start dates, enabling students to enroll anytime. The focus of the faculty is on providing advanced software engineering education to students who are already working in the industry, and to those seeking career advancement. Course lectures are viewable online in one evening per week, and these lectures are archived to ensure students have ample time and maximal flexibility for accessing the course materials. Even better, the online program offers in-state tuition to all graduate students, no matter where they live. These affordable tuition rates are one of the reason WVU was named one of its “Best Buy Colleges” in 2012.
Southern Methodist University
College Choice Score: 76.02
Average Net Price: $37,499
Founded in April of 1911 by the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Southern Methodist University opened its doors in 1915 and since then has grown steadily to its current size of nearly 12,000 students. Today it is a nationally ranked private university near the heart of Dallas, TX serving students from more than 90 countries and all 50 states.
The Master’s degree in Software Engineering at Southern Methodist University presents online graduate students with a balanced approach to software development and management issues, including direction of programming teams, scheduling, budgeting, design and planning, and more topics in addition to a comprehensive overview of programming and software development. Many of the courses offered in the SMU Master’s program in Software Engineering are inspired by those proposed by the Department of Defense’s Software Engineering Institute, which was founded to assist in the development of a solid foundation in this quickly growing field.
- Software Testing and Quality Assurance
- Software Architecture and Design
- Service-Oriented Computing
- XML and the Enterprise
- Software Security
The MS in Software Engineering at Southern Methodist University instructs students in the skills necessary to oversee every aspect of the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of large applications and projects. Students at SMU’s online program learn not only the technical facts, techniques, theory, and methodologies of software engineering, but are also given a thorough education in management skills, empowering them to fill project management roles for large development projects. The program is, like the others in this list, offered entirely online and requires no visits to the SMU campus.