What's the Curriculum of a Software Engineering Master's Degree?

The advanced study of software engineering includes in-depth study of programming languages, networking and systems management. Master's programs in the field sometimes feature concentrations, and a final project or practicum is usually required. Read on to learn about the core courses these programs include and the concentrations available. Schools offering Software Development & Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Program Overview

According to ABET, formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, accredited programs should offer students fundamental courses in networking, programming, web systems, security, administration, architecture and maintenance. Advanced courses will build on the material learned in the core subjects. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers describes a software engineering master's program in the field as a final degree for those who want to work in the field.

Important Facts about a Software Engineering Master's Degree

Concentrations Software Development, Software Architecture, Project Management, Real Time Game Systems, Entrepreneurship and Technology Leadership
Online Availability Fully
Common Courses (may vary by Concentration) Computer Science, Software Engineering, Management, Gaming
Prerequisite Undergraduate Degree(s) Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Information Sciences
Possible Careers Postsecondary Teachers, Mathematicians

Prerequisite Skills

Prior programming skills are required for master's degree programs in software engineering. Some universities do not require students to have a software engineering or computer science degree as a prerequisite for entry into the program. Practical experience from the business world or programming experience may also qualify a candidate for a program. Courses may be taken to help a student gain the base knowledge necessary to pursue the master's degree.

Core Courses

The master's degree in software engineering concentrates on software knowledge, and introduces students to current and evolving standards. The program requires methodology, testing, architecture and database systems courses. The main focus of most programs offered at universities include courses in:

  • Engineering
  • Software design and development
  • Databases
  • Software testing
  • Systems management
  • Project management
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Enterprise architecture

Each program also requires a certain number of course hours in practical study through projects or internships. There may also be elective courses required.

Concentration Options

Some schools offer concentrations or tracks. These concentrations may be directly related to software engineering, or they may cover a broader area in information technology or business. Depending on the concentration, you may have a set of required courses or be able to choose from various distributions.

Some examples of concentrations and tracks offered include:

  • Project management
  • Software architecture
  • Gaming and entertainment technologies
  • Computer science
  • Engineering
  • Information science and technology

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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