Master of Science in Software Engineering


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

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As you pursue a software engineering masters your educational experience will parallel the realities of the industry as you learn how to define, design, develop, and deliver modern software. Utilize computer science theories to create software that allows computers to meet the demands of an ever-changing, technologically-dependent society. Conduct research in many areas including big data analysis and mining software repositories. And gain hands-on experience through team-based projects that help you master modern software engineering techniques.

Our program accepts students from many educational backgrounds, including new graduates and professionals interested in a software engineering career. We have a bridge course that we offer to help students get up to speed on programming and basic computing concepts. We have successfully graduated students with degrees in engineering, science, business, and education. Our graduates master modern software engineering techniques in a team setting using state-of-the-art tools and platforms.

RIT is renowned for its Co-op and Career Services program that will help you find paid internships and permanent high-paying jobs working for major companies. The RIT SE master’s program has successfully placed students at Citrix, SpaceX, Intuit, Amazon, Microsoft, and many others. We also offer various scholarships and assistantship opportunities.

Plan of Study

RIT’s software engineering master's degree focuses on team-based activities. Since these systems are rarely the result of a single individual's effort, our team-based approach recognizes the significant role teams play in the design, development, and implementation of software systems of varying size and complexity. Our students are actively engaged in software architecture, software security, and mining of software repositories research. They also are involved in the software engineering department's emerging areas of research in big data analysis for software engineering and software engineering for big data. As a result, our software engineering master's degree prepares you to contribute to and lead software development projects from day one.

In RIT's software engineering department, you will learn and receive personalized attention from faculty who are working in accessibility and software processing for computational science and engineering. Outfitted with the latest hardware and software technology, our facilities include studio labs, project labs, team rooms, a collaboration lab, and a real-time and embedded systems lab – all designed to help you collaborate on projects, polish your skills, and collaborate with faculty. The department has partnered with a number of software companies to provide you with access to a wide range of software products for learning and research.

Our average enrollment/student base is about 70 domestic and international graduate students (plus over 550 undergraduate students), as well as 18 faculty with strong research and industry backgrounds. The Department of Software Engineering was the first department of its kind in the country and is part of the Golisano College for Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS). Being part of GCCIS allows students to take electives from the Department of Computing Security, Department of Computer Science, Department of Information Science and Technology, and the School of Interactive Games and Media.


  • Internet and Software
  • Defense
  • Electronic and Computer Hardware
  • Other Industries

Typical Job Titles

  • Software Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Software Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Web Applications Developer
  • Data Analyst
  • Software Tester
  • Database Developer
  • Software Design Engineer
  • Software Requirements Engineer
  • Web Developer
  • Programmer


Software Engineering (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

First Year

  • SWEN-610 Foundations of Software Engineering
  • SWEN-640 Research Methods
  • SWEN-746 Model-Driven Development
  • SWEN-777 Software Quality Assurance
  • Electives

Second Year

  • SWEN-732 Collaborative Software Development
  • SWEN-755 Software Architecture
  • SWEN-790 Thesis
  • SWEN-799Independent Study
  • Electives

Software engineering (capstone option), MS degree, typical course sequence

First Year

  • SWEN-610 Foundations of Software Engineering
  • SWEN-746 Model-Driven Development
  • SWEN-640 Research Methods
  • SWEN-777Software Quality Assurance


Second Year

  • SWEN-755 Software Architecture
  • SWEN-780 Capstone Research Project
  • Electives
  • SE Elective

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in software engineering, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher (Prospective students from institutions that do not use the GPA scale are expected to demonstrate an equivalent level of academic accomplishment. Formal academic background in software engineering, computer science, or computer engineering is a plus.).
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit a professional essay (1-4 pages) describing current job (if applicable), relevant experience, and career plans.
  • Submit a current resume (including descriptions of significant software projects in which the candidate participated).
  • Submit two letters of recommendation.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (internet-based) are required. International applicants must provide the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Domestic students are encouraged to provide GRE scores.
  • Professional experience developing software is preferred, but candidates without a background in computing will be considered. Additional bridge course work may be required and may extend the time to graduation.
Last updated May 2020

About the School

With more than 80 graduate programs in high-paying, in-demand fields and scholarships, assistantships and fellowships available, we invite you to take a closer look at RIT. Don't be fooled by the word ... Read More

With more than 80 graduate programs in high-paying, in-demand fields and scholarships, assistantships and fellowships available, we invite you to take a closer look at RIT. Don't be fooled by the word "technology" in our name. At RIT, you will discover a university of artists and designers on the one hand, and scientists, engineers, and business leaders on the other – a collision of the right brain and the left brain. Read less