Credits and costs
Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
Software engineers hold key positions in many industries — including medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing. Their highly sought after research, design, development, and testing skills help keep many critical systems operating accurately and efficiently. Using principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis, software engineers empower computers with innovative applications to perform tasks smarter, faster, and better.
Penn State's Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, offered online through World Campus, provides students with a strong foundation in software engineering using a combination of classroom study, software development experience, and design projects. The undergraduate program blends engineering principles, computing skills, project leadership, and software construction to supply students with a comprehensive understanding of the field and to prepare graduates for the workforce or future study.
The program offers students the opportunity to develop strong problem-solving and communication skills, along with the development of teamwork skills. Students will also be exposed to state-of-the-art technologies for developing mobile applications, web applications, and software for embedded systems.
The program is offered in partnership with Penn State Behrend's School of Engineering, and combines a highly focused curriculum with a flexible, convenient, online format, allowing you to maintain your professional commitments as you acquire a valued credential. The Software Engineering program is Accredited by the Engineering Commission of ABET.
When you earn your degree online through Penn State World Campus, you can expect a fully accredited degree program taught by highly respected Penn State faculty, a staff of professionals ready to support your needs, a collaborative learning environment with quality interaction between faculty and classmates, and an opportunity to join a proud Penn State community.
Your Software Engineering Curriculum
Courses in the B.S. in Software Engineering program cover a wide array of software engineering topics including discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, and relevant topics in computer sciences and supporting disciplines for a comprehensive coverage of modern software and techniques. As a student, you can gain knowledge in areas such as computer programming, object-oriented methodology, software design, software validation and verification, software security, and computer networks.
The courses are also designed to help you develop key abilities needed to effectively contribute, and have an impact on, business practices and team dynamics within an organization.
During your senior year, a capstone course series — which includes an industry-sponsored design project — allows you to collaborate with fellow students to design, plan, manage, and implement a software system and provide you with experience working with real industries.
Information for Military and Veterans
Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.
The Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program requires you to complete a minimum of 126 credits including a capstone course. As part of SWENG 480/481, taken during your senior year, you'll be required to complete a capstone project which includes collaborating with fellow students to design, plan, manage, and implement a software system and provide you with experience working with real industries.
The online courses are highly interactive and collaborative, allowing you to build strong ties with others and gain perspectives from other disciplines and industries. Maximum flexibility is maintained by the program in an effort to meet both the professional needs of individual students and academic quality standards.
The curriculum addresses a variety of software engineering topics for comprehensive coverage of modern software and techniques including:
- discrete mathematics
- probability and statistics
- computer programming
- object-oriented methodology
- software design
- software validation and verification
- software security
- computer networks
Prescribed Courses (86 credits)
Additional Courses (6 credits)
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 9 credits)
Select 3 credits from an approved list of 400-level courses, in consultation with an adviser, in addition to the following courses:
Electives (select 1 credit)
Select 1 credit in consultation with an adviser.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.
Students transferring directly into the major with less than 45 transferable credits must have:
- a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher
- completed 8 credits of calculus with analytic geometry, 4 credits of calculus-based physics, and 4 credits of college chemistry including a laboratory
Students transferring directly into the major with more than 45 transferable credits must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher and:
- a Behrend campus dean's review is required for all students in order to enter the major directly, as well as for all students who have earned 45 or more transferrable credits
- current Penn State students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher to enter the major
Entrance Requirement: In addition to the Carnegie unit and minimum GPA requirements described by University policies, all students applying for entrance to any of the engineering majors at Penn State Behrend must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the semester prior to applying for entrance to the major and have completed, with a minimum grade of C: CHEM 110 GN(3), MATH 140 GQ(4), MATH 141 GQ(4), and PHYS 211 GN(4). These courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission-to-major process is being carried out.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript - First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable). (All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.)
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where coursework was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
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Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
As a graduate of this program, you should be well prepared to apply your knowledge, techniques, and skills to implement high-quality software and provide innovative solutions in industry and government.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, offered in partnership with the the Penn State Behrend School of Engineering, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
DegreePh.D., Computer Science and Technology Information Security, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
DegreeBE, Information Security, China University of Mining and Technology
Dr. Chen Cao's research interest is in systems security, which focuses on attack and defense. To attack a system, the adversary must know about weaknesses in the system and exploit them to perform attacks. To defend a system, the defender must be aware of weaknesses and protect the system by patching it or adding resilience to the system. That is to say, the weakness, i.e., vulnerability, is a key role in systems security research.
DegreePh.D., Computer Science, Kent State University
DegreeM.S., Computer Science, Kent State University
Dr. Jalaa Hoblos is an assistant professor of computer science and software engineering at Penn State Behrend. She joined Penn State in fall of 2014. Her primary research focuses on clouds security and fairness in wireless networks. Some of the courses taught by Dr. Hoblos include, but are not limited to, discrete mathematics, programming languages, introduction to programming techniques, intermediate programming, computer architecture, and organization.
DegreePh.D., Computer Science, Concordia University
DegreeM.S., Computer Science, Concordia University
DegreeB.S., Computer Science, Concordia University
Dr. Naseem Ibrahim joined Penn State Behrend as an assistant professor of computer science and software engineering in fall of 2015. Formerly, he was an assistant professor at Albany State University from fall of 2012 to spring of 2015. Dr. Ibrahim's teaching interests include software engineering, object-oriented analysis and design, software architecture, software specification, and computer networks. His research interests include software engineering, service-oriented architecture, cloud computing, formal specification, and trustworthy systems.
DegreePh.D. Candidate (ABD), Computer Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
DegreeM.S., Computer Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Ahmed Sammoud has been teaching various computer science and engineering courses, including computer architecture, computer organization, and different programming language courses. His research interests are focused on video processing, the Internet of Things, reconfigurable computing, and fault-tolerant systems.
DegreePh.D., Mathematics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
DegreeM.S., Computer Science, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
DegreeM.S., Numerical Analysis, Nanjing University
DegreeB.S., Mathematics, Nanjing University
Dr. Meng Su is an associate professor of computer science and software engineering at Penn State Behrend. His original training was in nonlinear analysis and computational mathematics. Currently, his research is more involved in massive data analysis and the application of machine learning to problems in informational retrieval, which are cross-disciplinary areas of computer science and mathematics.
DegreePh.D., Computer Science, State University of New York
DegreeM.S., Computer Science, State University of New York
DegreeB.S., Management Information Systems, NCCU
Dr. Wen-Li Wang is an associate professor of computer science and software engineering at Penn State Behrend. His research specialization is in software engineering, especially in the areas of software reliability modeling and architectural design. He is also interested in microservices, machine learning, data mining, software reliability, optimization, cloud computing, and big data.