For those who are highly motivated and learn quickly, with a love of solving puzzles and a deep desire to understand how things work along with an interest or background in computer science or engineering, a Master’s of Science in Software Engineering might be a good fit. A Master’s of Science in Software Engineering degree prepares graduates for careers as computer systems engineers, application designers, information architects, custom software developers, embedded systems developers and for many other highly skilled positions within the field. Most programs below offer optional specializations or a requirement to choose one concentration giving students the opportunity to tailor their degree to meet the needs of their career goals. Below is a list of schools that offer an online master’s degree in Software Engineering taking only cost into consideration. These are the cheapest online master programs in Software Engineering. Program tuition does not include fees — check with the institution for a complete list of costs. Our data was taken from the university websites.
#1. North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University (NDSU) is a public research university based in Fargo, ND. With nearly 15,000 students enrolled each year NDSU offers over a dozen graduate degrees entirely online. NDSU’s online Master of Software Engineering is designed for professionals to advance their careers or to bring knowledge and skills in line with current industry standards. Those who are already software developers may use job activities to meet requirements of larger projects within the degree program. A total of 12 courses are required, including Software Project Planning and Estimation, Software Design, Survey of Artificial Intelligence, Development of Distributed Systems, and Software Complexity Metrics. The final course is a two-semester Individual Study Software Development Project. After the first four weeks of most courses, a student may satisfy course requirements by taking and passing the end-of-course test. A total of 36 credits are required for degree completion and students are required to earn a grade of A or B in all twelve courses. No graduation admission test is required for this program.
Accreditation: North Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $12,198
#2. University of West Florida
Part of the State University System of Florida, the University of West Florida (UWF) is a public research institution located in Pensacola, FL. UWF offers over 50 online degrees and certificate programs. All admitted students who reside outside of Florida may apply for an out-of-state tuition waiver as a great cost-saving opportunity for online students. UWF offers an online Master’s of Computer Science with a Specialization in Software Engineering for both industry professionals and new-comers to the field. Through Core courses in the key principles of software engineering students learn software process, requirements and analysis, software design and architecture, data storage and retrieval, and software testing. For newcomers to the field, foundational courses in software programming, operating systems, and computer networking are integral for graduates entering the profession. In the final year, all students are required to take a two semester course with the option of a thesis route for those interested in going into research or an individual project route for those planning for a career in industry. Students are required to take a graduate admission test such as the GRE, the MAT, or the TOEFL for admission to the program and 30 credits are required for graduation.
Accreditation: University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $12,480
#3. Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a public research university with it’s main campus located in Kennesaw, GA. KSU enrolls over 35,000 students each year, offering over 70 fully online degrees and certificates, including a Master’s of Science in Software Engineering. This degree program requires 36 credits for degree completion. Students with little or no computer science background may be admitted to the program but will be required to take foundation courses such as Computer Architectures and Operating Systems and Databases: Design and Applications. All students take 7 Core courses including Requirements Engineering, Software Project Planning and Management, Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, and Formal Methods in Software Engineering. Elective courses include Computer Game Design and Development, User Interaction Engineering, and Embedded Systems Design and Construction. Students may choose between a Thesis component or a Capstone component for the final course.
Accreditation: Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $14,688
#4. West Virginia University
West Virginia University (WVU), based in Morgantown, WV, is a public research university that offers 30 fully online graduate degrees with tuition for out-of-state online students the same as it is for in-state. WVU’s online Master of Science in Software Engineering is designed for working adults in the Software Engineering field. Students who do not have a recent bachelor’s degree in a computer science or related field may enter the degree program as a Provisional Graduate Student as long as the student has at least one year of experience working in the software engineering industry. Provisional Graduate Students take four additional foundation courses and must complete at least three years of work experience in a software development related field before continuing in the degree program as a Regular Graduate Student. The GRE is a requirement for admission as a Regular Graduate Student but is not required for Provisional students. Core courses for all students include Software Analysis and Design, Validation and Verification, Software Evolution, and Introduction to Object Oriented Design. Students work with advisers to choose six elective courses that fit the student’s interests and career goals. 33 credits are required for degree completion.
Accreditation: West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $18,777
#5. University of Maryland University College
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is a public non-profit university based in Prince George’s County, MD and is a member of the University System of Maryland. UMUC is one of the largest providers of distance education in the United States, offering classes in both online and on-campus formats. UMUC offers 18 graduate degrees including the fully online Master of Science in Information Technology with a Specialization in Software Engineering designed to provide software developers and professionals with advanced software methodology, design and coding techniques. Students take three Core courses within Information Technology: Computer Systems Architecture, Information Systems Analysis, Modeling, and Design, and Information Technology Project Management. Software Engineering specialization courses include Modern Software Methodologies, Relational Database Systems, Software Verification and Validation, and User Interface Implementation. During the last semester students complete a Software Engineering Project as the Capstone course to complete the degree with 36 total credits. The tuition cost below reflects out-of-state tuition rates; tuition is even lower for Maryland residents.
Accreditation: University of Maryland University College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Tuition: $23,724
#6. University of Michigan – Dearborn
As one of two satellite campuses of the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan – Dearborn offers 19 fully online degree programs specifically designed for the working professional. UM – Dearborn’s online Master of Science in Software Engineering is an interdisciplinary program between the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer and Information Science departments. 30 credits are required for graduation with half of the credits coming from Core courses, including Software Quality Assurance, Software Architecture and Design Patterns, Software Engineering Management, Embedded Systems, and Advanced Software Techniques in Engineering Applications. Students with an interest in research may choose the two-semester Thesis option under the supervision of an adviser, while students with an interest in project management are encouraged to choose the one-semester Project option along with one additional elective. In addition, students take three courses within one of six applications (or specializations): Web Engineering, Game Engineering, Data Engineering and Analytics, Information and Knowledge Engineering, Mobile and Cloud Computing, or Embedded Systems.
Accreditation: University of Michigan – Dearborn is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $23,730
#7. Lewis University
Lewis University is a private Catholic university located in Romeoville, IL. Founded in 1932, Lewis University offers 18 fully online graduate degrees to a diverse student body. Their online Master of Computer Science – Software Engineering Concentration requires 32 credits for degree completion. Students take four core courses in Programming, Systems and Theory, one core research course, five elective courses in Software Engineering, and one capstone course. Software Engineering electives include Pervasive Application Development, Distributed Computing Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing and Virtualization, and Software Vulnerabilities and Defenses. This advanced degree program can be completed in as little as two years for those with a background in computer science. For students with no academic background in the field four foundation courses are required.
Accreditation: Lewis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $25,440
#8. East Carolina University
Located in Greenville, NC East Carolina University (ECU) is a public research university founded in 1907 as a teacher training school. Now with nearly 29,000 students and over 72 master’s degrees offered, ECU is the third largest university in North Carolina. ECU’s online Master of Science in Software Engineering focuses on both theory and practical application developing the skills needed to design, develop, test, and maintain software systems that are reliable and high-quality. Core courses include Software Project Management and a two-semester Thesis course. Students may choose from three available concentrations – Software Design and Development, Software Project Management and Quality Assurance, and Software Testing. 12 credit hours are required within the chosen concentration. An additional two or three elective courses are required from outside concentrations, including Networking and Telecommunication, Developing e-Commerce Systems, Software Systems Modeling and Analysis, and Process Management and Lifecycle Monitoring. 30 credit hours are required for graduation.
Accreditation: East Carolina University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $25,800
#9. Regis University
Regis University is a small liberal arts university located in Denver, CO. Founded in 1877 by the Society of Jesus, Regis University is a member institution of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Regis offers a fully online Master of Science in Software Engineering that equips graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the modern software engineering industry, including the ability to design and implement software systems in creative and innovative ways. Requiring 36 credits for graduation, core courses include Information Technology Concepts, Enterprise Architecture, IT Research Methods, and Object-Oriented Software Engineering. Students may choose four elective courses from a wide array of offerings, including Software Quality and Test, Software Assurance, Enterprise iOS Software Development, Android Software Development, Web Frameworks, Distributed Systems, and Graphics Programming. The final course for degree completion is a choice between a Graduate Thesis, a Graduate Capstone, or a Software Engineering Practicum. Courses are offered in 8-week terms with multiple start dates throughout the year.
Accreditation: Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $26,280
#10. Arizona State University
Based in Phoenix, AZ, Arizona State University (ASU) is a public research university with over 30,000 students enrolled in more than 150 online degree programs. ASU’s online Master of Science in Engineering – Software Engineering concentration is an advanced study degree in the Fulton
Engineering School at ASU. This degree prepares graduates for careers as software engineers or as software task leaders through development of techniques, methodologies, tools and processes for both developing and managing software projects. All courses are taught by the same highly trained teachers and research professors who teach on-campus classes. 30 credits are required for graduation and there are six start dates throughout the year, offering flexibility for the working student. Tuition is the same for out-of-state students as it is for Arizona residents and includes all fees.
Accreditation: Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $27,150