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Best 10 Online Masters Degree Programs in Software Engineering in 2021

September 30, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The field of software engineering includes software design and development. Software engineering integrates the principles of computer science, engineering & mathematics, among others. Software engineers are tasked with the responsibility of designing and maintaining computer systems and software programs that are required to manage a modern organization.

Because software engineering pulls from several disciplines software engineering is often a great fit for those who hold a baccalaureate degree in either information technology, electrical engineering, or computer science. 

Top 5 Online Masters Degree Programs in Software Engineering

Rank School Location
1East Carolina UniversityECU – North Carolina
2Fitchburg State UniversityFSU – Massachusetts
3Kennesaw State UniversityKSU – Georgia
4Florida International UniversityFIU – Miami
5Washington State UniversityWSU Online

The skills gained by enrolling in one of the many quality online master’s degree programs typically provide a pathway to further one’s professional career. In fact, software engineering graduate degree-holders are prepared for leadership positions, during which they oversee the overall lifecycle of software systems.

Degree candidates who choose to enroll in one of the available online master’s degree will explore both practical and theoretical skills, which includes –

  • IT and database management
  • Software development
  • Systems testing, and
  • Software architecture.

In addition, students enrolled in one of the available will also learn relevant practical skills in topics like project management.

Students graduating from one of the many online master’s degree programs will find the degree to open up a range of potential job opportunities and allow for long-term upward mobility in one’s software engineering career. Most online masters require the completion of a capstone/final project or thesis, which allows degree candidates to pursue software engineering concepts for which they are passionate.  

Many students choose to work before attending graduate school as they want to jump into the job market and start earning a full-time salary. However, most professional software engineers understand that earning a graduate degree in software engineering is an essential component that leads to better career options and higher compensation.

Best 10 Online Masters Degree Programs in Software Engineering

1

East Carolina University

  • ECU – North Carolina

East Carolina University offers one of North Carolina’s best online master’s degree programs in software engineering with its MSSE degree – Master of Science in Software Engineering that provides three graduation options – a thesis, coursework, or project. Classes for this graduate degree in software engineering from East Carolina University include foundations of software testing, software project management, and data structures foundations, to name a few.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $232.79 per credit (North Carolina residents), $ 877.35 per credit (nonresidents).
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units.
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Visit School Website
2

Fitchburg State University

  • FSU – Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University (FSU) offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program that can be completed in as few as 22 – 24 months, but students have up to six years to finish. FSU’s online masters include coursework in the theory of computation, object-oriented analysis, and advanced mathematics for computer scientists, among others. Fitchburg State University’s graduate degree in software engineering specializes in networking, cutting-edge knowledge, and hardware/software.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 334.00 per credit
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 33 credit units.
Accreditation: NECHE
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3

Kennesaw State University

  • KSU – Georgia

Kennesaw State University offers one of the state’s best online degrees with its Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program (MSSWE) that offers degree candidates a project or thesis option to graduate. KSU’s graduate degree in software engineering requires core coursework that includes software project planning/management, software architecture, and requirements engineering, to name a few.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 383.00 per credit (Georgia residents), $1,066.00 per credit (nonresidents
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units.
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Visit School Website
4

Florida International University

  • FIU – Miami

Florida International University offers a Master of Science (MS) degree program in Computer Engineering with an academic concentration in Network Security that is considered among the Sunshine State’s best programs in software engineering. FIU’s ten-month graduate degree in software engineering is ranked among the top programs by a number of college ranking services. It is noted that FIU is recognized as a National Center of Cyber Defense Excellence in Education.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 455.64 per credit (Florida residents), $1,001.69 (nonresidents).
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 24 credit units
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Visit School Website
5

Washington State University

  • WSU Online

The Voiland Engineering & Architecture College at Washington State University offers one of Washington state’s best online (MSSE) that is designed to further degree holders’ careers. WSU’s graduate degree in software engineering would permit the transfer of earned credit units from accredited institutions of higher learning if the credits were not used towards a completed master’s degree.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 609.80 per credit for all students.
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units.
Accreditation: NWCCU
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6

The University of Michigan

  • UM Dearborn

The University of Michigan‘s Computer/Information Science Department, in partnership with the Computing Engineering Department, offers a Master of Science (MS) degree program in Software Engineering that offers students a project or thesis option to graduate. Degree candidates enrolled in UM Dearborn’s MS degree in software engineering complete classes in software quality assurance, software engineering management, embedded systems, and data analytics, to name a few.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 708.00 per credit (Michigan residents), $885.00 per credit (nonresidents).
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units.
Accreditation: HLC
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7

Brandeis University

  • Brandeis – Massachusetts

Brandeis University offers a part-time Master of Science in Software Engineering degree program that is recognized among the best available master’s program degree. The core coursework for this graduate degree in software engineering from Brandeis University includes software testing techniques, software development methodologies, and object-oriented design, among others. Graduates are prepared for rewarding careers as senior software engineers, QA advisors, IT managers, or performance engineering directors, among others.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 1,178.44 per credit (all students).
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units.
Accreditation: NECHE
Visit School Website
8

Southern Methodist University

  • SMU – Texas

Southern Methodist University’s Lyle Engineering School offers an MS degree (Master of Science) in Software Engineering that can be completed entirely online. SMU’s offer students a balance managerial approach to programming with coursework in budgeting and scheduling, plus the technical expertise to be qualified for leadership positions. Classes for this software engineering graduate degree include software design/architecture, software planning and management for projects, and software testing, to name a few.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 1,350 per credit, $675.00 per credit (active military)
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Visit School Website
9

Stevens Institute of Technology

  • SIT – New Jersey

The School of Systems & Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology offers one of the top software engineerings in the country with its MS degree in Software Engineering. Classes for SIT’s master of science degree in software engineering program include component-based design, cost estimation & measurement, agile methods for software development, and the fundamentals of software engineering,  among others.

Tuition Fees: $ 1,686 per credit for all students.
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 30 credit units.
Accreditation: MSCHE
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10

Stratford University

  • SU – Virginia

Stratford University’s Science & Technology School offers one of the state’s best-accelerated master’s degree programs in software engineering with its 15-month Master’s degree in Software Engineering. Degree candidates enrolled in Stratford University’s complete classes in software modeling, research methods, ethics and professional practice issues in Information Technology, and database systems, plus a capstone project, among others.

school overview

Tuition Fees: $ 495.00 per credit for all students.
Credit Units Required to Graduate: 36 credit units.
Accreditation: SACSCOC
Visit School Website

Our Ranking Methodology

The online master’s degree programs in software engineering that have been included in the above-noted analysis represent the varied online degree programs available in the education marketplace.

The online master’s degree programs in software engineering are listed with the most cost-effective first. Tuition costs that have been used to rank these online master’s degree programs in software engineering represent the tuition fees for the school year of 2020 to 2021 or 2019 to 2020.

In addition, the relevant tuition information, as well as the program/school data, have been extracted from the school’s program website, the US Dept. Of Labor (DOL) or the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The tuition fees are given as ‘per credit’ fees, as this helps students compare each school on a level playing field. As further information, the analysis shown above includes  –

  • The number of credit units that will be required to complete the online master’s degree programs in software engineering.
  • The school’s regional accreditation status and issuing agency.

Do you have concerns about the information included in the above school rankings?

Please contact us at BestValueSchools.org to edit or update the information that has been used to create the above rankings for online masters degree programs in software engineering. We welcome and encourage a conversation with our readers.

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