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Best 15 Masters in Software Engineering Programs in 2021

February 18, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Software Engineering

Software engineers are in high demand across the country and across the globe. The field encompasses a wide variety of nearly unlimited applications. 

Why Should I Earn a Masters in Engineering Degree? 

Earning a master’s degree in engineering takes your career to the next level, allowing for the opportunity to expand current career opportunities. An article published by Saint Leo University indicates that there are well over four million software engineers in the United States. The applications for software engineering are virtually unlimited, with the field being so broad and encompassing a variety of roles across many industries. 

Graduates of master’s in software engineering have the opportunity to work in industries or career fields of their choice at the local, state, national, or international level. Many software engineering positions often involve jobs with the government. The FBI, for example, explains that the agency uses STEM to “to address unique investigative and intelligence challenges” that are not available within the private sector. The software engineer is listed among the FBI’s ‘Featured STEM Careers.’ Similarly, other government agencies use software engineers at every level.  

Top 5 Masters in Software Engineering Programs

Rank School Location
1Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw, Georgia
2University of Nevada RenoReno, Nevada
3University of Texas at ArlingtonArlington, Texas
4St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, Minnesota
5Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio

Software engineers perform a variety of duties, some of which may vary according to the specific industry, agency or organization where the software engineer is employed. Some software engineers may set up a network or system, utilize testing techniques to determine if existing software and hardware are performing as intended, or any number of duties. These duties are potentially related to all areas of computer sciences, including human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, database management systems, parallel processing or many other areas. 

There is an outstanding job outlook for software engineers, with ZipRecruiter listing the job outlook at 24 percent job growth over the next several years. 

Best 15 Masters in Software Engineering Programs

1

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, Georgia

Kennesaw State University prepares students for careers in software engineering or to advance their current career through their Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program. The school recognizes the importance of providing a comprehensive and innovative program, given the fact that software engineering represents the fastest-growing area of software professionals.

The university recognizes that a bachelor’s degree in software may no longer be enough to advance career opportunities or to earn the best salary.

Students take courses such as Computer Architectures and Operating Systems and Object-Oriented Analysis and Design.

School Overview

Tuition: $296 per credit hour (Online-$383 per credit hour)
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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2

University of Nevada Reno

  • Reno, Nevada

The University of Nevada, Reno offers a Master of Computer Science and Engineering that provides students with an in-depth study of the theory and design of computing systems. The integrated program of study covers areas such as implementation and design of information, and communication hardware and embedded systems.

Students have the opportunity to choose to focus on a specific area, or to accept the Plan B option, which focuses on a variety of areas in the discipline, and does not require a thesis.

School Overview

Tuition: $297.25 per credit hour
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, ABET
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3

University of Texas at Arlington

  • Arlington, Texas

The University of Texas at Arlington Software Engineering Master of Science degree program provides students with the opportunity for greater professional development in the field and focuses on a variety of areas of study. Some areas include the Systems of Architecture, Intelligent Systems and Robotics, and Networking and Security.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $309.40 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, ABET
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4

St. Cloud State University

  • St. Cloud, Minnesota

The St. Cloud State University Software Engineering Professional Science Master’s degree program is designed for professionals that want to update or upgrade their knowledge and skills in software engineering to take the next step in their career. Students gain the knowledge to design, construct, analyze, test, and deploy software systems. Graduates have the skills to maintain systems using state-of-the-art technologies, tools and practice methods.

Students complete the program in just four semesters.

School Overview

Tuition: $430.80 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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5

Cleveland State University

  • Cleveland, Ohio

The Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program at Cleveland State University is the first of its kind in the State of Ohio. Full-time students and working professionals benefit from the program, which includes an introduction to current and best practices related to the engineering of software systems. Students learn the knowledge and skills to take a project from start to finish, and to focus on critical management issues, including risk assessment, project planning, and market analysis. Students also learn about new technological developments in the rapidly-expanding field.

Examples of courses in the program include Software Engineering Metrics, Economics, and Management, Data Mining, Embedded Systems, and Software Quality Assurance.

School Overview

Tuition: $567.50 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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6

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, North Carolina

The East Carolina University Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program prepares graduates that have the skills and knowledge to succeed in the software engineering profession. The program curriculum focuses on topics in software construction, software architecture and design, software engineering foundation, software systems modeling and analysis, software verification and validation, and other topics involved in the ever-expanding field of software engineering.

This program is the first Master of Science in Software Engineering in North Carolina. Students choose between the online or on-campus format.

School Overview

Tuition: $593.63 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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7

Arizona State University

  • Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University offers both on-campus and online Master of Science in Software Engineering programs. The on-campus program prepares software engineering professionals for opportunities to enhance their career and their earnings.

The program focuses on the advanced knowledge and abilities in the design and application of software, and on applying engineering principles to software development.

Many students benefit from the program curriculum that builds on the knowledge and skills gained in the bachelor of science in software engineering program. Students gain an advanced opportunity to develop and engage in research activities.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $651.11 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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8

Saint Leo University

  • St. Leo, Florida

The Saint Leo University Online Master of Science in Software Engineering program prepares graduates for a career in information technology that involves the development of complex software products. The program focuses on learning the technical aspects of the software engineering profession. The school also indicates that the degree program prepares students for careers in technical leadership positions.

Members of the military receive a tuition discount.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $790 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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9

University of Michigan Dearborn

  • Dearborn, Michigan

The Master of Science in Software Engineering program at the University of Michigan Dearborn consists of 30 credit hours of study, and is jointly administered by the Department of Computer and Information Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students have the opportunity to design and implement embedded systems and large-scale software systems.

The program prepares graduates that have the knowledge and skills to formulate problems, design experiments, and to collect, verify, validate, analyze, and interpret data. Graduates are prepared to recognize a problem, to evaluate different methods, and to use software engineering principles to devise an appropriate solution.

Students have the opportunity to choose between a thesis option or a project option.

School Overview

Tuition: $810 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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10

Mercer University

  • Atlanta, Georgia

Students that enroll in the Online Master of Science in Engineering in Software Engineering (M.S.E. Software Engineering) program at Mercer University gain an in-depth knowledge of the techniques required in defining, analyzing, and solving a variety of complex problems. Students gain the expertise to conduct software development or maintenance project throughout the life cycle, to perform data science analysis in a variety of languages, and to apply agile software development processes, among other skills.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $938 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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11

Harvard Extension School

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Harvard Extension School offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program that includes focusing on areas such as the understanding of current technologies, including communication protocols, databases, and cloud computing.

At least one of the 12 courses is completed on campus. The school wants students to prove their commitment to the program and as a Harvard University student.

Students have the option of choosing a program direction that requires a thesis, or one that requires completion of a capstone project.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $966.66 per credit hour
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
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12

Waltham, Massachusetts

  • Middlesex County, Massachusetts

The Brandeis University invites prospective students of its Master of Science in Software Engineering program to ‘explore new domains.’ The university recognizes the rapidly growing field of software engineering and the need for leaders in the profession. The real-world curriculum is regularly refreshed to keep up with the rapidly-evolving field, and to make sure that graduates have access to coursework that is immediately applicable to their professional work in software engineering.

The program requires 30-credit hours of study on a part-time basis.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $1,178.33 per credit hour
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
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13

Saint Louis University

  • St. Louis, Missouri

The Saint Louis University Software Engineering Master of Science degree prepares students for careers in developing high-quality and large-scale software systems. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills required to develop and create design strategies through the use of modern software tools and hands-on projects. The program also prepares graduates for continual innovation throughout their career in software engineering.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,190 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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14

Florida Tech University

  • Melbourne, Florida

Florida Tech University is considered to be Florida’s STEM university. The university offers a variety of STEM programs, including the Master of Science in Software Engineering degree. The university recognizes the creative minds of software engineers, and offers a program that encompasses a comprehensive background in mathematics, computer organization, and computer science.

The program curriculum blends classroom instruction with hands-on experiences and research, along with the opportunity for students to participate in a real-world internship.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,241 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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15

Drexel University

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Drexel University College of Computing and Informatics offers the Master of Science in Software Engineering program, which prepares graduates for software engineering professionals across a variety of industries. Students gain a broad understanding of the theories and practices to provide a solid understanding of the fundamentals of software systems, and to gain knowledge of the several systems, methods and languages used in the field of software engineering.

Examples of courses, which can be completed on-campus, online, or in hybrid format, include Open Source Software Engineering, Agile Software Development Process, and Security Engineering.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,342 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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Masters in Software Engineering Ranking Methodology 

We recognize the potential difficulty of finding a college or university that offers the best masters in software engineering programs, so we did the hard work for you. We researched schools across the country that offer a masters in software engineering program, and then focused on fully accredited programs. We ranked our final list of schools by tuition. 

Please note that the tuition covers one credit hour of instruction. It does not include fees or other required expenses. 

Do you need help finding the best college or university that meets your educational or career goals? We can help you, based on the program that you select. 

If you would like to have your school included in our rankings, please contact us. Do you work for one of the schools listed and need to update your information? Please contact us and we will be happy to help you. 

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