Most Affordable Online Master’s In Software Engineering Degrees

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.

Most Affordable Online Master’s In Software Engineering Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

An online master’s in software engineering is a flexible and smart solution for anyone looking for a graduate degree in computer science.

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.

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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.

Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

#1

Harvard University

School Information
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 5%
Graduation Rate 97%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Many people want to attend graduate school online and Harvard University offers that privilege from its Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus. The master of liberal arts in extension studies: software engineering  program is one such option for those interested in the software engineering field.

Online education's flexibility and adaptability attract many graduate students to this program. Caretakers, working professionals, and other busy enrollees may immediately see how they can balance work, family, and their education. A key feature of online learning here is a blend of academic rigor and flexibility that strongly prepares participants for advanced positions in the software engineering field.

Applicants can expect an admission rate of 5% each year on average, though this number can vary between programs. Master's degree-seekers usually need to have a bachelor's degree in the same or a similar field in order to receive consideration. Learners may also need to submit official transcripts, provide letters of recommendation, and participate in an interview.

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#2

Columbia University in the City of New York

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 5%
Graduation Rate 95%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students should consider Columbia University in the City of New York for flexible programs that allow them to earn an advanced degree while they work. The school offers a master of science in computer science with a  software systems concentration among its 12 online master's degrees. This adaptable program makes graduate education accessible to degree-seekers with busy lives.

Applicants to master’s programs usually meet entry requirements with a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, and other criteria that varies depending on the program. The many benefits of a master’s, such as the software systems program, include higher pay and more job opportunities, a big draw for program enrollees and a lot of people. The program also prepares the holder for a terminal degree, such as a Ph.D.

The school keeps tuition competitive at $47,600 per year for all students, no matter their residency. Paying for tuition is always a concern, and grants and scholarships are an avenue for exploration. Loans are another way to help pay for part or all of the program's tuition.

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#3

Auburn University

School Information
Location Auburn, Alabama
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 79%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Auburn University provides students with an online software engineering program that ranks highly among similar degree offerings. The program prepares learners for higher-level work in the field than a bachelor's degree typically allows. Some holders of a master of science in computer science and software engineering will certainly move on to a doctorate.

A big draw to this program is the convenient online format that many participants appreciate. Enrollees can juggle their various responsibilities thanks to this program's flexibility. The academic environment at the school is supportive and student-focused, whether those students are learning in person or online.

The school typically requires that master’s degree-seekers hold a bachelor’s to apply. People applying to this school get accepted at a rate of 81%. Popular funding streams for those who qualify include loans and scholarships, and the tuition costs Alabama residents about $9,828 per year.

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#4

Lewis University

School Information
Location Romeoville, Illinois
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis University is a private college. People can choose from ten master's degrees available online. Those interested in the software engineering field should explore the master of science in computer science program, which offers a software engineering concentration.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which was designed with adaptability and flexibility in mind. Participants earn their degree around their schedule by watching video recordings often available and completing coursework in the evenings, on weekends, and at other convenient times that the program allows. Students receive the same advanced education as their on-campus peers in preparation for higher-level occupations.

The school accepts an average of 64% of applicants each year, though this number can vary between programs. Master's degree-seekers usually need to have a bachelor's in the same or a similar field in order to receive consideration. The best way to find out more is to contact the program to explore entrance and application requirements like transcripts and recommendation letters.

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#5

Boston University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 19%
Graduation Rate 88%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students attend Boston University for top-ranked degrees, such as the online master of science in software development. The degree provides participants with advanced knowledge and training required for many higher-level job opportunities in the software engineering field. The master of science in software development provides preparation for a terminal degree, such as a Ph.D.

Busy learners are drawn to the school because of the online format. Degree-seekers do not need to sacrifice other important aspects of their lives, such as work and family, to do the program. Enrollees benefit from a supportive learning environment no matter the mode of delivery they choose to pursue advanced education at this institution.

For consideration, applicants usually need to have a bachelor's degree. School data show the acceptance rate stands at 19%, but some programs may differ. Popular funding streams for those who qualify include loans and scholarships, and the tuition costs Massachusetts residents about $54,720 per year.

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#6

Carnegie Mellon University

School Information
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 15%
Graduation Rate 90%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students can flexibly earn a software engineering degree at Carnegie Mellon University without giving up their jobs and other responsibilities. Though located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the school offers seven online master's degree opportunities for remote learners, including the master of software engineering. The program’s appeal includes a flexible online format that allows degree-seekers to work and pursue other interests.

Applicants will need to review the program page for more admissions information, but a bachelor’s is usually a requirement for a master's program. A master’s degree, such as the master of software engineering program, is a worthy undertaking for many people because the investment often pays off with advanced job opportunities and potentially higher pay. In addition to enhancing career prospects, the program prepares degree recipients for a doctoral degree.

Tuition averages $45,037, no matter learners' residency. If they qualify, enrollees can use grants and scholarships to help fund their education. Many students use loans to help pay for the program's tuition.

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#7

California State University, Fullerton

School Information
Location Fullerton, California
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 69%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective software engineering graduate students should consider California State University, Fullerton for flexible programs that allow them to earn an advanced degree while they work. Remote learners can choose from five online master's degrees, including the master of science in software engineering. People who may have had challenges pursuing graduate school because of their hectic schedules can appreciate this degree’s flexibility.

Applicants should expect to have a bachelor’s degree in the major or a related one unless otherwise stated on the program or admissions website. What draws degree-seekers to a master’s like the master of science in software engineering program is the advanced training it provides to people who want to assume leadership roles and other higher-level opportunities. In addition to enhancing career prospects, this program prepares degree recipients to enter a doctoral program.

Tuition is $7,176 per year for residents of California, and $16,680 per year for nonresidents of California. Paying for tuition is always a concern, and grants and scholarships are an avenue for exploration. Loans may also be available as an option for many enrollees.

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#8

Brandeis University

School Information
Location Waltham, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 30%
Graduation Rate 87%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Brandeis University is home to rigorous graduate programs, some available online. Learners with a bachelor's degree in software engineering may find the master of software engineering of particular interest. The degree provides the rigorous education expected from a graduate program using a flexible online format.

Students enrolled in the master of software engineering benefit from the school's 10-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. The biggest attraction is the educational attainment acquired when participants complete a rigorous curriculum delivered by experts. Obtaining this degree is of great benefit to those who want to advance their careers and pursue higher-paying positions.

Students enrolled in the program pay a yearly average of $51,940. The financial aid options available to qualifying enrollees include grants and scholarships to help fund their master’s. About 39% of the school’s learners take out student loans, another way to fund their degree.

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#9

DePaul University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

At DePaul University, degree-seekers can choose from a variety of online graduate programs. The master of science in software engineering may be of particular interest to holders of a bachelor’s in software engineering. Enrollees complete a very rigorous curriculum using a flexible format that accommodates their schedules.

The school’s 16-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio provides personalized learning opportunities to participants. Students complete specialized coursework and training focused on advanced theoretical concepts and practices in software engineering. Graduates leave the program well-prepared for careers in academia, business, and industry, or a doctoral program in some cases.

Making tuition competitive is a school priority, and learners pay an average of $19,584 per year. The financial aid options available to qualifying students include grants and scholarships to help fund their master’s degree. There are also student loans available, an option taken up by about 54% of enrollees at the institution.

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#10

Arizona State University Tempe

School Information
Location Tempe, Arizona
Admission Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students can earn a software engineering master's degree at Arizona State University Tempe, an institution known for developing flexible graduate programs. The adaptable master of science in engineering in software engineering program opens up access to full-time workers and others with scheduling challenges that prevent in-person graduate education.

Applicants to master’s programs usually meet entry requirements with a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, and other criteria that varies depending on the program. The potential job opportunities and higher pay make the program a worthy pursuit for many people. A doctorate or another terminal degree is the next step for some learners who graduate from this program.

The tuition rate depends on residency, with Arizona residents paying $11,720 per year, and residents elsewhere paying $26,160 annually. Applicants can use resources at the financial aid department to determine if they qualify for financial assistance like grants and scholarships. Loans may also be available as an option for many students.

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#11

Drexel University

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Drexel University provides online learners with highly ranked graduate education they can complete from a distance. The master of science in software engineering is one of those degrees, designed for degree-holders with a bachelor’s in software engineering or a related field. The program blends academic rigor and online course delivery that is flexible and affordable.

The benefits of an 11-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio that software engineering mater's students enjoy include individualized attention, more room to collaborate, and faculty mentorship opportunities. The biggest attraction is the educational attainment acquired when participants complete a rigorous curriculum delivered by software engineering experts. Obtaining this degree is of great benefit to those who want to advance their careers and pursue higher-paying positions.

Tuition at the school averages $35,181 per year. The total price can be lowered if learners qualify for grants and scholarships, which many do at the institution. Another popular way to finance their education is to take out student loans, a funding method used by about 51% of enrollees at the college.

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#12

East Carolina University

School Information
Location Greenville, North Carolina
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

East Carolina University’s master of science in software engineering ranks highly among similar programs and should be of particular interest to software engineering students wanting to study online. The program equips learners with advanced training that can lead to career advancement in their field. The master of science in software engineering also prepares students for doctoral degrees and other terminal programs.

Degree-seekers like the fact that this program’s format helps them more efficiently manage their time. Participants can juggle their various responsibilities thanks to the program's flexibility. Enrollees also like the fact that whether they study in person or online, faculty serve as mentors who can adequately prepare them for advanced work.

It is to be expected that applicants will need a bachelor’s degree to apply to this program. The admittance rate to this school is 79%, with some differences possible across programs. Students can expect to pay around $4,749 per year for tuition if they live in North Carolina and can use grants, loans, and scholarships to help fund their education.

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#13

Kennesaw State University

School Information
Location Kennesaw, Georgia
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The online master of science in software engineering at Kennesaw State University is one of the nation’s top-ranked programs for software engineering students. A bachelor’s degree provides foundational education compared to the advanced training in this program. Some holders of a master of science in software engineering will certainly move on to a doctorate.

Many learners appreciate the school’s convenient online format. Participants do not need to sacrifice other important aspects of their lives, such as work and family, to earn this degree. Whether enrollees are learning in person or online, they study in a supportive academic environment.

The school typically requires that master’s degree-seekers hold a bachelor’s to apply. People applying to this school get accepted at a rate of 75%. Once accepted, students can explore financial aid options to help pay for tuition, which stands at around $5,328 per year for Georgia residents.

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#14

Stevens Institute of Technology

School Information
Location Hoboken, New Jersey
Admission Rate 40%
Graduation Rate 85%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master of science in software engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology maintains high ranking among similar online programs for software engineering students. A bachelor’s degree provides foundational education compared to the advanced training in this program. The master of science in software engineering lays the foundation for even more advanced education, such as a doctorate.

The school invests in an online platform that prioritizes user friendliness and efficiency. Learners do not need to sacrifice other important aspects of their lives, such as work and family, to earn this degree. Another benefit is the support that enrollees receive from faculty and services, such as career advising, to help them plan their future.

For consideration, applicants need a bachelor’s to apply to this program unless otherwise stated. The admission rate is 40% on average. Financial aid options, such as loans and scholarships, can help students pay for tuition, which is $36,680 per year for New Jersey residents.

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#15

Illinois Institute of Technology

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 60%
Graduation Rate 70%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students searching for flexibility should consider Illinois Institute of Technology for a degree. At the school’s location in Chicago, faculty deliver 15 online master's degrees, such as the master of applied science in telecommunications and software engineering. This degree does not require relocation or daily transportation, which contributes to the popularity among full-time workers and others who need flexible schedules.

Applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree or a related credential to apply to master’s programs. Once enrolled, participants in the program receive the advanced education necessary to prepare for mid- to senior-level positions. Degree recipients can also choose to pursue a Ph.D. program or other terminal degree.

The current tuition rate stands at $29,487 per year. Many learners receive grants and scholarships, both from the school and outside sources, to help finance their degrees. Another source of financial aid is loans, which enrollees can pursue from the government or private banks.

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#16

Mercer University

School Information
Location Macon, Georgia
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 66%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Many students attend schools such as Mercer University to earn degrees from a distance, and the private school develops programs with them in mind. The institution’s ten master's degrees available from a distance help make the college a leader in online graduate education. The master of science in engineering in software engineering is ideal for learners interested in the software engineering field.

The program allows participants to earn an advanced degree without sacrificing rigor or other obligations. Professionals, caretakers, and other busy enrollees can attend virtual sessions and complete assignments at convenient times. Strong career preparation is a key feature of the program, which does not sacrifice rigor for convenience.

The school accepts an average of 74% of applicants each year, though this number can vary between programs. A bachelor’s degree in the field, or a related one, is the usual threshold for entry into a master’s program. Contact the program website for all of the application details, such as how to submit transcripts and letters of recommendation.

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#17

Kansas State University

School Information
Location Manhattan, Kansas
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas State University is a public college. The institution’s 26 master's degrees available from a distance help make the college a leader in online graduate education. Learners interested in software engineering can pursue the master of software engineering from among the options.

Graduate students can use online education such as this program to accomplish a goal that may otherwise seem unachievable because of logistical issues. They can earn the degree by attending sessions and completing coursework at convenient times that often do not require real-time interaction. Candidates gain invaluable knowledge that employers value or that they may use to enter a doctoral program.

Overall, about 95% of applicants get admitted each year, with some variations to be expected depending on the program. For consideration to enter this program, degree-seekers will need a bachelor's unless otherwise stated. Contact the program website for all of the application details, such as how to submit transcripts and letters of recommendation.

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#18

Nova Southeastern University

School Information
Location Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students can flexibly earn a degree at Nova Southeastern University without giving up their jobs or other responsibilities. Among the academic programs available at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, school are 46 online master's degrees, and the master of science in computer science with a concentration in software engineering is a top-ranked option. This adaptable program makes graduate education accessible to degree-seekers with busy lives.

Applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree in the same major or a related field. Participants complete a rigorous curriculum that immerses them in advanced knowledge and field preparation that a bachelor’s alone cannot provide. The master's credential lays the foundation for a doctorate or other terminal degree.

The school keeps tuition competitive at $19,665 per year. An avenue for exploration when it comes to paying for tuition is grants and scholarships. Another source of financial aid are loans, which learners can pursue from the government or private banks.

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#19

The University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students attend the University of Southern California for top-ranked degrees, such as the online master of science in computer science with a software engineering concentration. A bachelor’s degree provides foundational education compared to the advanced training in this program. Those who complete the software engineering master's degree can also choose to pursue a terminal degree, such as a Ph.D.

Many learners appreciate the school’s convenient online format. Participants can fit in other responsibilities, such as work, caregiving, and family life, because of the program’s flexibility. Another benefit is the support that enrollees receive from faculty and services, such as career advising, to help them plan their future.

Unless otherwise stated, applicants need a bachelor’s degree to apply to the program. Those who apply can expect an acceptance rate of about 11%. Once accepted, students will pay $46,272 per year in in-state tuition, with grants, loans, and scholarships being popular funding streams for those who qualify.

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#20

Regis University

School Information
Location Denver, Colorado
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Without significantly interrupting their lives, graduate students can earn degrees at Regis University, an institution that emphasizes flexibility and accessibility. From Denver, Colorado, the school delivers 26 online master's degrees that include a master of science in software engineering. A busy schedule is no barrier to graduate education with degrees such as this program.

Applicants should expect to have a bachelor’s degree in the major or a related one unless otherwise stated on the program or admissions website. Candidates in the program engage in intensive coursework that prepares them for more advanced career opportunities than undergraduate degrees allow. A Ph.D. is the next accomplishment for many holders with a master’s in their field.

Learners pay $14,441 per year in tuition at this school. An avenue for exploration when it comes to paying for tuition is grants and scholarships. Students can also pursue loans from the government or private banks.

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