Top Schools for Software Engineering Master’s Degrees in the US

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Score a Master’s in Software Engineering in the US

With your undergraduate work behind you, there is literally a world of career opportunities at your feet. Your Bachelor’s degree provided you with the basic skills needed to land a good job. However, if you want to enjoy the kind of upward mobility that will one day get you that lucrative position that every working professional covets, then a Master’s degree is likely a requirement. The good news is that in the United States, there is no shortage of graduate programs for you to choose from.  

When considering which career path you wish to pursue, consider the current demand of the global market. One area that only seems to be growing is computer technology. Yet the latest and greatest computing devices are worthless with the software needed to support them. This technological boom is only possible with the support of qualified software engineers. Earning your Master’s degree in this field may allow you to chance to be on the front lines of the growing digital industry.

What is a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

Software engineering encompasses two main areas: the development of support systems aimed at controlling networks and powering devices, as well as the creation of software applications meant to execute certain tasks. The engineer or developer’s role in this is to analyze the needs of end users, collaborate with designers and other developers to plan, create, test and launch new applications, and then support those programs with periodic updates that incorporate the newest available technologies.

It goes without saying that a graduate degree program in software engineering will require advanced computer and information science skills. Yet just how developed must yours be in order to be considered for admission to any of the programs offered throughout the US? You may not have to worry about meeting qualification criteria if you hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in computer technology. Yet even if your undergraduate studies were focused on fields such as physics, engineering or mathematics, all you typically need to show is sound understanding of computer science principles. Previous work experience in information technology may also bolster your qualifications.

A majority of the software engineering Master’s degree programs available in the US take two years to complete. Initially, your studies will be concentrated on the theories and best practices related to software design and development. In the latter portion of your first year, you may also start to touch on topics such as database and software systems architecture, as well as enterprise integration. Your second year will typically be focused on actually writing and developing software programs. Many US schools may also offer a software development studio course where you are able to work with current computer professionals to design your own program, which will serve as the foundation of your software portfolio.

Why Get Your Master’s Degree in Software Engineering in the US?

Those wondering why they should pursue their Master’s degrees in software engineering in the US should consider two factors: flexibility and access. Many graduate school administrators understand that aspiring software engineers and developers are earning their degrees while also working. The nature of a graduate program in software engineering allows you to easily complete your coursework online. This way, you can further develop your skill set through your Master’s degree program as you also acquire professional experience.

Perhaps nowhere else in the world will you have such direct access to so many outstanding software development firms. According to Forbes, seven of the top 10 software companies in the world operate out of the US, including:

  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • VMware
  • Symantec
  • Fiserv
  • Intuit
  • CA Technologies

Your decision to study in the same general region as these software giants could result in easier access to internship opportunities, which could eventually lead to jobs.

What Career Paths Await You with a Master’s in Software Engineering?

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates the growth of the software engineer and developer job market to  stay at 17 percent through 2024, which is must faster than the outlook of other industries. Yet your Master’s in software engineer doesn’t necessarily lock you into a career as a developer. Your degree could qualify you for other positions such as:

  • Information systems manager
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Information security analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Web developer

Given humanity’s growing dependence on computer technology, the need for skilled software engineers is likely to grow in the coming years. If you hope step into one of the roles that this anticipated increased demand will create, earning a Master’s degree in software engineering in the US may place you in a prime position to do so.

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, United States

  • 83SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 28,000Average Tuition
  • 30%Acceptance Rate

The University of California - Irvine is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities with a campus in Irvine; a suburban area in California, U.S.A. Through its faculties, the university offers over master’s degree programs....

Arizona State University

Tempe, United States

  • 144SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 23,544Average Tuition
  • 84%Acceptance Rate

The Arizona State University is the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S. ASU comprises 16 colleges and schools that offer more personalized experiences for students, while offering opportunities to collaborate across disciplines and campuses....

Pace University

New York, United States

  • 198SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 22,000Average Tuition
  • 85%Acceptance Rate

Pace University (Pace) is a private institution located in New York, USA. Pace has two campuses across the USA, with the main campus in New York City and another campus in Westchester. Pace offers over 60 master's degree programs through its five academic colleges namely, College of Health Professions; Dyson College of Arts and Sciences; Lubin School of Business; School of Education; and Seidenberg School of CSIS. ...

DePaul University

Chicago, United States

  • 201SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 52,402Average Tuition
  • 70%Acceptance Rate

DePaul University is a private Catholic University located in Chicago, Illinois, US. DePaul University offers master's degre programmes in fields including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Social Sciences and more. DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant master's degree programmes. ...

Lipscomb University

Nashville, United States

  • 237SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 38,700Average Tuition
  • 61%Acceptance Rate

Lipscomb University, established in 1891, is a Christian University with students from over 50 countries, and located in the Green Hills area of Nashville in Tennessee, USA. The University offers a number of master's degree programs in the disciplines of Liberal Arts, Business, Health Sciences and Engineering....

Washington State University

Pullman, United States

  • 250SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,000Average Tuition
  • 72%Acceptance Rate

Washington State University (WSU) is a public research institution with its main campus in Pullman, Washington, USA. WSU is comprised of several other campuses in the country and offers a wide variety of master's degree programs. ...

George Mason University

Fairfax, United States

  • 353SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 33,200Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

George Mason University (GMU) is a public research university based in Fairfax County, Virginia, USA and offers a wide range of master's degree courses through its 10 academic schools....

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, United States

  • 373SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 20,300Average Tuition
  • 65%Acceptance Rate

Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private institution located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. SLU also has a campus in Madrid, Spain. The university delivers excellent education through nearly a 100 graduate academic programs from the School of Professional Studies, School of Medicine, School of Law, and School of Nursing, among others....

San José State University

San Jose, United States

  • 386SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,700Average Tuition
  • 67%Acceptance Rate

San José State University (SJSU) is a metropolitan university located in San Jose, California, U.S.A. SJSU offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its eight academic schools including: Lucas College of Business; Connie L. Lurie College of Education; and Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering....

West Virginia University

Morgantown, United States

  • 402SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 32,482Average Tuition
  • 86%Acceptance Rate

West Virginia University (WVU) is a public institution with its main campus located in Morgantown, and other campuses in Beckley and Keyser, West Virginia, U.S.A. WVU offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its 14 academic colleges and schools including: Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, WVU College of Law, and Reed College of Media....