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Master of
Software Engineering


The Online Master of Software Engineering degree is a 36-credit program which includes a capstone course. The curriculum material addresses industry needs by teaching fundamental and theoretical concepts and includes intensive, comprehensive coverage of modern software concepts and techniques. The material emphasizes a holistic approach, encompassing financial, legal, and presales issues; technical concepts; software design techniques; methods; and project management.

The Master of Software Engineering (MSE) program is designed to help students with a technical background become leaders in the industry, while providing the convenience and flexibility of earning your degree online.

Build Your Professional Network

Penn State's online master of software engineering is an ideal graduate degree program for students with undergraduate degrees in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, or information sciences. The online courses are highly interactive and collaborative, allowing you to build strong ties with others and gain perspectives from other disciplines and industries.

Complete Your Engineering Degree in Two Years

The degree consists of 11 courses which you will complete in continuous seven-week terms over two years. Your course work is designed so that you can continue to work full-time while earning your master's degree.

Maximum flexibility is maintained by the program in an effort to meet both the professional needs of individual students and academic quality standards.

Course List - Master of Software Engineering

The online software engineering degree program spans six continuous semesters with each semester containing two seven-week terms. The program is completed in two years by taking courses fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Year 1, Semester 1
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Software Construction SWENG 861 Students will learn and practice the elements of constructing a large-scale distributed software system using current technologies 3 credits
Term 1
Requirements Engineering SWENG 586 Theory and applications of requirements elicitation, analysis, modeling, validation, testing, and writing for hardware and software systems. 3 credits
Term 2
Year 1, Semester 2
Title Abbreviation Description Credits

Software Systems Architecture

SWENG 587 Software systems architecture; architectural design principles/patterns; documentation/evaluation of software architectures; reuse of architectural assets through frameworks/software product lines. 3 credits
Term 1

Software System Design



Best practices in the requirements, analysis, and design of large software systems including the Unified Modeling Language and the Unified Process.

3 credits
Term 2
Year 1, Semester 3
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Software Project Management SWENG 505 Analysis and construction of project plans for the development of complex software products; how to manage change and cost control. 3 credits
Term 1
Software Testing SWENG 581 This course provides a rigorous formal framework and practical information on the testing of software throughout its life cycle. 3 credits
Term 2
Year 2, Semester 4
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Database Design Concepts INSC 521 The requirements capture, design, and development of relational database applications; analysis of business requirements and development of appropriate database systems. 3 credits
Term 1
Pattern-Oriented Design SWENG 585

This class examines well-known heuristics, principles, and patterns in the design and construction of reusable frameworks, packages, and components.

3 credits
Term 2
Year 2, Semester 5
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Web Security and Privacy INSC 561 A Web-centric look at the latest techniques and practices in computer security as they apply to the Internet. 3 credits
Term 1

Applied HCI

SWENG 826 An introduction to the broad area of human-computer interaction. Emphasis is placed on applying theories and techniques to the evaluation and design of software-based products that are both useful and usable. Students will be analyzing existing interfaces and developing prototypes. 3 credits
Term 2
Year 2, Semester 6
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Software Engineering Studio SWENG 894 The 800-level studio provides an opportunity for students to undertake a substantial software project. 6 credits
Term 1 & 2

Course Availability

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.

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