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Engineering  |  School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

Software engineering graduate requirements

Degree Requirements 

The MS in Software Engineering requires a minimum of 30 credit hours. These credit hours must include the following:

  • 30 credit hours including the software factory capstone course (SER 517 (3)), or
  • 30 credit hours including the thesis courses (SER 599, (6))


Core Courses (9 credit hours)**

  • SER 501 Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms (3)
  • SER 502 Emerging Languages and Programming Paradigms (3)
  • SER 515 Foundations of Software Engineering (3)

Elective Courses (15-18 credit hours, depending on Culminating Experience)**

Students are encouraged to identify 5-6 elective courses (15-18 credits) of specialization that contributes to their individual education objectives. Program faculty offer optional graduate-level courses that provide specialized treatment in areas such as embedded systems, semantic web engineering, software design, human-computer interaction, and so forth. Parameters for elective courses are as follows:

Software Engineering Electives or “Required Electives”
Two of the elective courses must be from the Software Engineering Elective pool (“required electives”):

  • CSE 563 Software Requirements and Specifications (3)
  • CSE 564 Software Design (3)
  • CSE 565 Software Verification, Validation, and Testing (3)
  • CSE 566 Software Project, Process, and Quality Management (3)
  • SER 516 Software Agility (3)
  • SER 574 Advanced Software Design (3)

“Free Electives”
The remaining electives may be chosen from any combination of the following courses:

  • SER 500-level courses (no maximum)
  • The CSE Software Engineering Elective series (CSE 563, CSE 564, CSE 565, and CSE 566; no maximum)
  • a maximum of one course may be a SER 400-level course (see the approved course list below)
  • a maximum of one course may be a CSE 500-level course outside of the CSE 563-566 CSE Software Engineering Elective series (see the approved course list below)

Culminating Experience (2 options, 3-6 credit hours)      

Select one (1) culminating experience:

  • Capstone: SER 517 Software Factory I (3)
  • Thesis:  SER 599 Thesis (6)


**Courses are subject to change and are not typically offered every semester.  See program website, graduate advising or department with questions.