The Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSE) program prepares students to become software engineering professionals. Graduates are prepared to address the global need for professionals that apply computer science, engineering, and mathematical principles to design, develop, test, and maintain software.

The core of the program is focused on building a foundation of critical thinking skills on which to make professional judgments. This program builds these thinking skills through a solid understanding of theoretical concepts, principles, and tools alongside coverage of the fundamental software development issues and processes.

Topics covered include requirements engineering, software design, and construction, verification, testing, maintenance, software process improvement, project management, quality assurance, etc. Faculty with both academic and industry backgrounds also provide practical perspectives. Real-world problems and opportunities with software-intensive systems are explored, and methods to evaluate, adapt, and take advantage of emerging technologies are learned.

Students of the Master of Science in Software Engineering program will also be working closely with fellow software professionals, completing applicable assignments and projects within teams.


The program objectives fall into three general categories: technical, organizational, and cross-cutting knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

In the technical domain:

  • Apply emerging software development technologies to build robust software solutions.
  • Understand the relationship between software engineering and systems engineering and be able to apply systems engineering principles and practices in the engineering of software.
  • Reconcile conflicting project objectives, finding acceptable compromises within limitations of cost, time, knowledge, risk, existing systems, and organizations.
  • Analyze a current significant software technology, articulate its strengths and weaknesses, compare it to alternative technologies, and specify and promote improvements or extensions to that technology

In the organizational domain:

  • Manage the in-house and outsource development of software projects.
  • Contribute to business processes through a process of analysis, design, and optimization in response to organizational needs.

In the cross-cutting domains:

  • Analyze social and other external impacts along with relevant legal, regulatory, ethical, and professional issues in business and technical decision-making.
  • Communicate effectively with technical, business, and user/customer audiences.
  • Develop depth in a selected area of expertise.

Pre-MSE Program

Students who have earned their bachelor’s degrees with less than 120 undergraduate credit hours can be given conditional admission to the MSE program, provided they enroll in and successfully complete the remaining credit hours by selecting from the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BCS) undergraduate courses offered at VIU. Among the 120 required credit hours, the MSE program prerequisite courses must be fulfilled. Before choosing Pre-MSE courses, students must consult their academic advisor who will advise them on the appropriate course selections from VIU’s BCS program while complying with MSE program prerequisites. Successful completion of the Pre-MSE courses will allow these students to complete the undergraduate credit hour requirement of 120 and enter into the program.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of seven (7) Core Courses and five (5) Elective courses. The elective courses provide the opportunity for the students to develop further competencies covered in the core courses, based on their area of interest.

All new MSE students need certain basic skills to succeed in the MSE program. Students who do not have the requisite background in computing concepts or programming need to take some or all of the prerequisite courses before they begin work on the core courses. In some cases, the program prerequisite courses may have course prerequisites to be taken before enrolling in the program prerequisite courses.

Program taught in:

See 9 more programs offered by Virginia International University »

This course is Campus based
Start Date
Request Info
26,136 USD
Request Info
Applicant Outside of the US July 15th, 2016; Applicant Already in the US August 19th, 2016
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Request Info
Applicant Outside of the US July 15th, 2016; Applicant Already in the US August 19th, 2016
Application deadline
Request Info
Applicant Outside of the US July 15th, 2016; Applicant Already in the US August 19th, 2016
End Date