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

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Software engineering degree requirements: online

The software engineering program blends engineering, computing, project leadership and software construction. Students learn how to develop creative software solutions to address today’s problems. Software systems are complex, often including in excess of a million lines of code. Graduates of the BS in software engineering possess the knowledge and skills of a defined engineering approach to complex systems analysis, planning, design and construction.

Students can watch videos to learn more about our classes by going to

Degree information and major map


Web and mobile applications focus area flowcharts

Program structure

The program is a unique project-driven curriculum, establishing a new model for software engineering education. The program is built around the concepts of engaged learning, discovery-based education and learn-by-doing. Students complete projects in every semester of the program to provide emphasis in communication, teamwork, critical thinking and professionalism. Students have flexibility in designing their course of study; they select the Web and Mobile Applications software engineering application area as their primary focus, and they may obtain interdisciplinary knowledge through a secondary area of their design.

The majority of the courses for the software engineering online program are offered in a 7.5 week class length, the structure of the Fall and Spring semesters (A and B sessions). There will be some key necessary courses that may need to be offered during a 15 week, C session time frame. Students will need to keep in mind these are rigorous courses with the same content as the 15 week session condensed into a 7.5 week class. Students can enroll in both sessions when enrollment for the semester opens. Students should keep an eye on their my ASU portal for upcoming enrollment dates. Students need to be mindful of the academic calendar, which can be accessed through MyASU. Or students can bookmark . The academic calendar will show important dates throughout the semester, such as drop/add dates, tuition due dates and refund dates. The drop date for the 7.5 week session is typically one day into the class.

**Students are subject to any individual course prerequisite changes despite their catalog year.

Critical requirements

Arizona State University has adopted a semester tracking model, which monitors completion of “critical” lower division and “necessary” upper division courses specific to each degree. This set of courses was designed to serve as predictors of academic success in the degree program. The lower division “critical” courses are shaded grey on the flowcharts and indicated on the major map. Upper division “necessary” courses are indicated with stars on the major maps. All courses listed on both the major map and the flowchart are required.

University policy allows students to retake a course one time. Students who are not successful in passing a course after a second attempt will be asked to identify a new major. CIDSE Advising will only entertain third time repeat petitions for students with extenuating circumstances. Please see your academic advisor if you have questions related to 8 semester tracking or course third time repeats.

Software engineering curriculum updates

  1. SER 215/216 Updates:
    • Students on the 2017 and later catalog years will not be required to take SER 215.
    • Those on 2016 and earlier catalog years who have not yet taken SER 215 will need to contact their Academic Advisor for options regarding how to move forward in the program.
    • Effective Fall 2018, SER216 will be a combined version of SER215 and SER216. Students who have completed SER215 may take the new version of SER216 in Fall 2018 however, there will be some content duplication from SER215.
    • You may contact your software engineering academic advisor if you need help registering for classes:  NOTE: we offer ONLINE Express Advising on Friday afternoons*What is ONLINE Express Advising? An advising session for students who have a quick question or need brief clarification (that does not require a full appointment slot). Students may call into the CIDSE Advising Office (480-727-3520) on Friday afternoons between 1:30 and 3:30 PM (Arizona Time). Students will be put into a queue and will meet with the next available advisor (or may request a specific advisor).To connect with ONLINE Express Advising, simply call 480-727-3520 on Fridays from 1:30-3:30 PM (Arizona Time).
  2. SER216/315/316/415/416
    • Effective Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 – in order to create more flexibility in the curriculum, some of the Enterprise courses may be taken out of the current sequence. It is highly recommended that students take FSE100 prior to these courses so that they are knowledgeable about the Engineering Design Process (EDP).Requisite Information (students need “C” minimum grades in all courses):
    • SER315: SER222 (pre), SER216 (pre or co), and FSE100 (pre or co). Removing SER215 as a prerequisite.
    • SER316: SER222 and SER216 will be the prerequisite (removing SER315 as a prerequisite)
    • SER415: SER315 will be the prerequisite (removing SER316 as a prerequisite). SER415 will continue to be a Fall “A” session course for 2018-2019 academic year.
    • SER416: SER316 will be the prerequisite (removing SER415 as a prerequisite). SER416 will continue to be a Spring”A” session course for the 2018-2019 academic year.With these slight changes, we expect that you will experience some error messages when trying to sign up for these classes. Help us, help you! if you are blocked from registration AND you have met the prerequisites outlined above, please submit  an override request by going to: If you are not required to take FSE100 on your major map, we will grant you permission to take SER315 for Fall 2018 semester (without FSE100).
  3. For the 2018 catalog year and beyond, software engineering majors are encouraged to take HST318, which fulfills ASU’s Humanities and Social Behavioral University General Studies Requirements. Transfer students who have completed all of ASU’s Humanities and Social Behavioral University General Studies Requirements may or may not need to take HST318 and should consult with their software engineering academic advisor.
  4. Software engineering has aligned their lower division required courses with that of the Computer Science program in Fall of 2017.

SER 100 is now CSE 110

SER 200 is now CSE 205

SER 250 is now CSE 230

SER 221 is now CSE 240

Humanities and social behavioral university general studies requirements

HU/SB Guidelines (15 semester hours or five 3-semester hour classes)

One Class Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours ~ MUST BE TAKEN AT A 4-YEAR INSTITUTION

  • Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimum

Within these five classes, select courses that include three awareness areas: cultural, global, and historical. No one class contains more than two awareness areas and this requirement must be met with two classes minimum. Contact your advisor if you have questions.

Software engineering majors are encouraged to take HST 318, which fulfills the upper division Social Behavioral course with a global awareness area.


At least one Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours

  • HST 318 (History of Engineering) – Social Behavioral (SB) plus global awareness
  • Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  1. ARS 101 (Art From Prehistory Through the Middle Ages ) – Humanities (HU) plus historical
  2. PHI 101 (Introduction to Philosophy) – Humanities (HU)
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimum
  1. COM 263 (Intercultural Communication) – Social Behavioral (SB) plus global and cultural
  2. PSY 101 (Introduction to Psychology) – Social Behavioral (SB)

Lab science requirements

  1. PHY 121/122: University Physics I Mechanics* (lecture/lab) – 4 semester hours
  2. Natural Science: Quantitative SQ or Natural Science: General SG – 8 semester hours

Select a lab science sequence (either 1, 2, 3, or 4):

  1. BIO181 & BIO182 (General Biology I & General Biology II)
  2. BIO 201 & BIO202 (Human Anatomy/Physiology I & Human Anatomy/Physiology II)
  3. CHM113 & CHM116 (General Chemistry I & General Chemistry II)
  4. GLG101 and GLG103 & GLG102 and GLG104 (Physical Geology & Historical Geology)

*NOTE: Students who did not take physics in high school are encouraged to take a basic physics course prior to PHY121/122 in order to ensure academic success for this requirement. (The basic physics course will be in addition to the 120 semester hour degree program.)

Student have the option of taking PHY121/122 and PHY131/132 for the lab science sequence. Then, select one other lab science from the list above.

Recommended basic physics courses are:

PHY101 (Introduction to Physics – with lab), or

PHY111 (General Physics) AND PHY113 (General Physics Lab)

Students following the 2019 (and beyond) catalog years will need to consult with advising regarding upper division SER4XX and Technical Elective options.
Students following catalog years prior to 2019 will still pursue the Primary and Secondary focus areas. Consult with advising for course options.

Primary focus areas

Online software engineering students are required to complete the Web and Mobile Applications Primary Focus area (9 semester hours) with a grade of “C” or better. Students must complete the following list of courses:

Secondary focus areas

  • Software engineering students are required to complete a total of 9 semester hours of secondary focus classes with a minimum of 6 credits of upper division courses. Students often will select courses from GIT, IFT, TEM, and IEE prefixes. Students will need to consult with advisors to select their secondary focus.