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 Required Electives (6 credits)
All students must choose two courses from the Software Engineering Elective pool:

  • 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)

The remaining electives will be determined by choosing one of the following options:

Option 1: General Degree: Free Electives (9-12 credits)
Any combination of the following:

  • 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)

Option 2: Cybersecurity Specialization (9-12 credits)

  • Required: CSE 543 Information Assurance and Security
  • Choose 2 courses from:
    • CSE 539 Applied Cryptography
    • CSE 545 Software Security
    • CSE 548 Advanced Computer Network Security
    • CSE 591 Cybersecurity-related topic
  • Capstone option: Remaining course must be drawn from the SER 5XX/4XX elective courses or by taking an additional software engineering required elective.
    • Maximum of 3 credits of SER 4XX-level coursework

Comparison of general degree and cybersecurity specialization

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 not typically offered every semester.