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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering

Enhance Your Skills. Energize Your Career.

WSU’s online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering (MSSE) prepares students for professional software engineering careers. The program equips students with advanced skills in design, development, validation, maintenance, reuse, management, and security of software products. Graduates of the program learn the principles of software engineering, together with the tools, methods, and techniques used in modern software engineering practice. They also gain knowledge in the managerial and leadership skills needed to advance in the industry.

The MSSE degree is offered entirely online through the WSU Global Campus. It can be completed in under two years with a full-time course load. Working professionals may prefer to attend part-time for maximum flexibility.


Employment in software engineering is growing rapidly. As a graduate of the MSSE program, you should be well prepared to apply your knowledge and skills to implement high-quality software, provide innovative solutions, and take leadership roles in industry and government.

Possible software engineering careers include computer systems analyst, software developer, user interface designer, software testing engineer, requirements engineer, quality assurance engineer, computer systems administrator, project manager, and sales engineer.


Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). NWCCU is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDoE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

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Objectives, Outcomes, and Requirements

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Online MSSE program are to allow students to acquire the education and professional skills necessary to:

  • Identify and solve problems relevant to the software engineering discipline.
  • Compete and advance in the software engineering industry.

Student Learning Outcomes

The MSSE program enables students to attain, by the time of graduation:

  • Professional Software Engineering Knowledge: Mastery of software engineering knowledge and skills and of the professional standards necessary to practice as a software engineer.
  • Technical Software Engineering Knowledge: Understanding of and ability to apply appropriate theories, models, and techniques that provide a basis for problem identification and analysis, software design, development, implementation, verification, and documentation.
  • Leadership and Teamwork: Demonstrating leadership and the ability to be an effective member of a team (including teams that are geographically distributed), effectively communicate both orally and in writing, and to lead or manage projects.
  • Depth: Mastery of one or more subdomains in software engineering.

Program Requirements

WSU’s online Master’s Degree in Software Engineering requires the completion of 30 semester credits:

  • Core courses on fundamentals of software engineering and computer science (9 credits)
  • Advanced courses on software maintenance, software testing, and software quality (9 credits)
  • Professional courses in leadership, supervision, and project management (6 credits)
  • Elective courses on various topics in computer science (6 credits)

Visit the WSU Global Campus MSSE page for required courses and sample full-time and part-time study plans.

Participating Faculty

Interim Associate Director
EME 127
Huie-Rogers Endowed Chair Associate Professor of Computer Science
Associate Professor
EME 135
Associate Professor (Career Track)
Program Coordinator
WSU Hall Room 427 – Everett

Admission to the Program


For admission to the MS in Software Engineering, you need to have a BS degree in computer science or a related field, or have had industry experience as a computer scientist or software engineer.

Applicants should satisfy the following:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in a major from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international degree.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher in a completed bachelor’s degree or higher program.
  • Advanced capability in a programming language such as C/C++, Java, Python, etc.
  • Background in object-oriented programming, advanced data structures, and algorithm design/analysis.

Applicants without a prior degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Computer Engineering may need to complete additional prerequisites before they pursue advanced software engineering courses. These prerequisites can be waived if the student has taken equivalent courses in other institutions or if the student has extensive industry experience in programming and/or software engineering.

Applicants need to submit their applications in order for the admission committee review them and identify the prerequisites that need to be completed. The committee will look into the transcripts from prior institutions and any information the applicant provides about the work experience and suggest prerequisites that need to be completed.


To apply for the MS in Software Engineering, you must first be admitted to WSU’s Graduate School. Applicants are required to submit:

  1. A complete application, including $75 application fee.
  2. A letter of intent and introduction outlining areas of interest in software engineering, career objectives, and any academic or professional experiences that recommend you as an applicant.
  3. Three (3) original letters of recommendation from persons qualified to speak to your academic qualifications and potential.
  4. Official copies of transcripts (including all colleges or universities from which you have earned or expect to earn a degree, and all colleges or universities at which you have taken graduate-level coursework.).
  5. Official TOEFL score (for international applicants).

GRE is not required for admission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would a student be interested in a MS in Software Engineering?

How much does it cost?

Can a student register for a limited number of courses?

Will there be certificates available for completing subsets of courses?

When was the program first offered?

Are the courses taught within certain time limits?

How are office hours handled?

How are exams handled?

What is the contact information for global campus?

Is it possible to transfer credit from another institution?

Additional Questions?

Contact the program coordinator:

Sakire Arslan Ay
Associate Professor (Career Track)