Harvard Online Master’s Software Engineering

Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by Info Learners

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25 Best Online Master's in Software Engineering Degrees - Best Computer  Science Schools

Master Software Engineering

Software engineers work with computers, they write the code, design the algorithms, and make sure that programs meet the requirements of businesses and society. Software is used for finance, healthcare, gaming, entertainment, and more. Software engineers are important because many people need someone who can develop, maintain, and fix applications. As technology improves and becomes more sophisticated, the demand for software engineers is going to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for software developers will grow by almost 20% from 2014-2024. This will provide many opportunities for graduates with a master’s in software engineering.

Software Engineering Degree Program

Key Learning Outcomes

Through the degree program in software engineering you:

  • Develop an understanding of current technologies, such as databases, communication protocols, cloud computing, and web frameworks and their application.
  • Gain the ability to specify, design, implement, analyze, and improve software solutions from a wide variety of domains.
  • Learn how to adapt to new and emerging technologies.

Program Overview

This degree includes 12 courses, with at least one course taken on campus.

  • Get started. You begin by completing two stipulated degree courses as outlined on the degree requirements page. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
  • Apply to the program. While completing the second course, you submit the admission application. We have application cycles in the fall, spring, and summer.
  • Continue your studies, online and on campus. As you progress through the program, you choose from courses offered on campus or online, year round in the fall, spring, or summer. To fully experience Harvard, you take at least one course on campus. Weekend options available.
  • Complete a thesis or capstone.
    • If you choose the thesis track, you work independently with a thesis director to conduct in-depth research on a software engineering topic relevant to your professional plans.
    • If you choose the capstone track, you work in teams to define an architectural model and a project plan, then implement a system.
  • Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: Software Engineering.

Online Masters in Software Engineering

 Best Online Master’s in Software Engineering

1. Harvard University


Harvard University is a private research university located in Cambridge, MA. Harvard was originally established in 1636, and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The school is organized into eleven different academic units, located on a 209-acre campus, with a student body of around 21,000. Harvard’s $34.5 billion financial endowment is the largest of any academic institution globally.

Academic Offerings

Harvard offers a Master of Liberal Arts in Software Engineering. The degree program includes 12 courses, two of which are taken as a prerequisite to gain entry into the program: a theoretical foundations course or a systems programming course/web application development course. There are then two tracks that students can choose to follow

Thesis Track: includes 4 software engineering electives and 3 courses centered around the crafting and execution of a Master’s level thesis

Capstone Track: 1 additional web development course and 5 software engineering electives, along with the completion of a capstone course.

2. Columbia University in the City of New York


Columbia University is located in Upper Manhattan in New York, NY. The school was founded in 1754, and is considered by many to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Each year a staff of around 4,000 academic faculty members serves a student boy of almost 30,000 students, through a wide range of diverse schools and programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

Academic Offerings

Columbia offers a fully-online Master’s degree in Software Systems through their Columbia Video Network, otherwise known as CVN. The program involves a course of 30 credits, and requires a minimum GPA of 3.3 and GRE scores for entry. The program is intended for students who wish to pursue knowledge of software development and software systems methodologies and techniques.

  • Students start with more basic level computer science courses, which focus on breadth of knowledge
  • Students then move onto 4000 and 6000 level elective courses, which includes courses such as Topics in Software Engineering and Advanced Database Systems

3. Carnegie Mellon University


Carnegie Mellon is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, PA. The school was originally founded in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical schools, which still shines through in its modern reputation for excellent STEM & computing programs. Carnegie offered one of the first robotics programs in the country, and also founded one of the country’s first computer science programs. There are currently around 6,300 students attending the university, which maintains an academic staff of around 1,500.

Academic Offerings

Carnegie offers two online degrees relevant to software engineering, through their distance learning program. There is the Master of Science in Information Technology, and the regular Masters in Software Engineering.

  • The Master of Science in Information Technology is intended for early-career professionals in the field of software engineering. Courses include Intro to Personal Software Process and Architectures of Software Systems.
  • The Masters in Software Engineering is for more experienced professionals in the field, who are looking to build onto their already expansive skillset. Courses include Analysis of Software Analytics and three courses in the development studio,

Students accepted to the program will have access to the MSE Distance Studio, which provides students with a laboratory for direct application of concepts learned in courses.

4. Auburn University


Auburn University is a public research university located in Auburn, AL. Auburn is the 2nd largest university in the state of Alabama, with a student body of just over 28,000 students. Auburn was previously known as the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, which reflected its focus on science and technology-oriented programs. And while the school’s course offerings have since expanded, it maintains these roots through strong computing and engineering programs.

Academic Offerings

Auburn offers distance learning through its Auburn Online service; this includes a Master of Software Engineering degree (M.Sw.E). The program includes 33 credit hours of graduate course work, with concentrations in software engineering, network operating systems or human/computer interface. Example courses include:

  • Parallel and Distributed Computing
  • Software Environments
  • Formal Methods for Software
  • High Speed Networks
  • Database Systems

This course of study ends with the completion of a research project approved by an advisory committee.

5. California State University-Fullerton


California State University-Fullerton is a public research university located in Fullerton, CA. Fullerton is the largest school in the Cal State system, with a total enrollment of around 40,000 students, including around 6,000 graduate students. Cal State Fullerton offers more than 240 undergraduate degrees, as well as 118 types of master’s and a number of doctoral degrees. It is estimated that the university it generates around $1 billion of California’s total economy, and sustains around 9,000 jobs statewide.

Academic Offerings

Fullerton offers an online Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSE) program, which has been ranked as one of the best online masters in software engineering by both Best Colleges and Affordable Colleges Online. The program requires the completion of 10 courses (30 credits) of online instruction, which is completed over a 22-month period. Students take courses year round, usually around two per semester, which are paired theoretically and practically with learning goals integrated throughout the entire program. Coursework includes subjects such as:

  • Advanced Software Process
  • Modern Software Management
  • Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues for Software Engineers

6. Lewis University


Lewis University is a private university located in Romeoville, Illinois, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for its 6,800 students. The school has an association with both the Roman Catholic tradition, as well as with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the Lasallian Brothers. Lewis offers over 80 undergraduate majors and 22 graduate programs, as well as accelerated programs for working professionals.

Academic Offerings

Among Lewis’s online programs is their Master of Science in Computer Science program (MSCS), which emphasizes learning advanced computing while honing your problem-solving, analytical and creative abilities. The courses in the program are intended to teach students how to construct software systems, employ theoretical frameworks for analyzing computational problems, and research modern theories and methods of computer science. This program offers a concentration in Software Engineering, which includes courses in:

  • Computer Graphics
  • Data Visualization
  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Software Vulnerabilities and Design

This degree ends with a capstone course that looks to combine the skills and knowledge that students have accumulated throughout the program.

7. Kennesaw State University


Kennesaw State University is a public research university located in Kennesaw, GA, just 20 miles northwest of Atlanta. KSU is the 3rd largest university in the state of Georgia, as well as one of the 50 largest universities in the United States, with a current enrollment of around 35,000 students. Kennesaw offers academic programs in business, education, engineering, nursing, physical sciences, information technology, criminal justice, and sports management.

Academic Offerings

Kennesaw State Online Learning offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSWE) that consists of seven core courses, three to four electives, and a capstone course. When completing their degree through the capstone course, students may choose either to do a project or a thesis to complete their degree. For these options students complete the following requirements:

  • Project option: students complete four elective courses and a software engineering capstone project
  • Thesis option: students complete three elective courses as well as two semesters of thesis

Students looking to enter the program must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computing or a closely related field.

8. Boston University


Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, MA. BU is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but defines itself as nonsectarian. Boston U. has almost 33,000 students and 4,000 faculty members, and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. BU also has a number of professional schools that offer degrees in business, dentistry, and law, along with the Boston University Medical Campus, which is the center point of their medical program.

Academic Offerings

Boston University Online offers an Online Master of Science in Software Development, which is founded upon the principle that developers must be thoroughly practiced in understanding new requirements in diverse fields and be able to offer secure, reliable software, either as part of a team or individually as a leader. The program is divided into core course and electives.

  • Core courses include Data Structures and Algorithms and Software Design and Patterns
  • Electives include Rich Internet Application Development and Software Quality, Testing, and Security Management

Students can also take elective courses offered outside of the stated requirements, but must receive permission from the department to do so.

Free Online Courses From Harvard to Learn How to Code

9. Stevens Institute of Technology


Stevens Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Hoboken, NJ. SIT was incorporated in 1870, and as a result it is one of the oldest technological universities in the United States. Stevens is composed of four different schools, including the College of Arts and Letters and the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering. Stevens offers 29 different undergraduate majors and boasts an intimate 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Academic Offerings

The Stevens Institute’s School of Systems & Enterprises offers a Master’s in Software Engineering, which includes an e-learning option designed to challenge and engage students, while remaining convenient for working professionals. The program includes faculty with significant industry experience, and is broken up into a track of 8 core courses and 2 electives.

  • Core courses include Fundamentals of Software Engineering and Cost Estimation and Management
  • Elective options are flexible, but must be from chosen from software engineering, engineering management or computer science.

10. DePaul University


DePaul University is a private university in Chicago, IL. DePaul was founded by Vincentians in 1898, eventually becoming the largest Catholic university in the United States by enrollment in 1998. The faith of DePaul informs its emphasis on recruiting first-generation students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. DePaul currently enrolls around 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as employs an academic staff of around 950.

Academic Offerings

DePaul offers a Masters in Science in Software Engineering, which emphasizes the best software engineering practices, current methodologies, emerging technologies, and their applications in various industries.  DePaul offers four concentrations for their Software Engineering program:

  • Software Development
  • Software Architecture
  • Real Time Game Systems
  • Entrepreneurship & Technology Leadership

Each concentration requires a minimum of 52 credit hours, in addition to any introductory courses required by the program. The curriculum also emphasizes the development of presentation and communications skills in a team-based software development environment.

Harvard Online Master’s

Each program is designed to prepare you to meet the challenges of your chosen career pathway and will include the flexibility to customize your learning experience through core course, electives, and by combining your Program of study with a Concentration.

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MSC Software Engineering Online

What can you do with a software engineering degree?

Software engineers work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, telecommunications, intelligence, the nonprofit sector, biomedicine and government. Software developers may find jobs in the fields of mobile technology, health care administration and cybersecurity.

Senior software engineer: Senior software engineers oversee a team of engineers that work to meet client needs by designing and creating software applications. These professionals need to be adept at interfacing with clients, writing and debugging software and managing junior engineers.

Software architect: Software architects usually work for large organizations and create programs for clients customized to their needs. They focus on cost efficiency and are expected to maintain familiarity with the latest technology.

Software engineer: Software engineers help integrate the functions developed by design teams into software applications. This process involves identifying bugs and required changes, and determining how program modifications can be implemented to improve the final product.

Software developer: Software developers create and modify computer applications that allow users to perform desired tasks. They write, test and debug software programs for client needs. They must be familiar with various computer languages and be capable of working in a team.

Vice president, engineering (computer software): These professionals produce project plans, develop project schedules and work to resolve development issues. They also work to maintain quality control, delegate tasks and supervise personnel.

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