The Master of Software Engineering program prepares computer professionals to develop software products and services for industry and government through software analysis, design and architecture; system verification; data storage and retrieval; and managing globally-distributed development. This program is STEM designated. A STEM designated degree from Penn State Great Valley allows 36 months total of Optional Practical Training (OPT) compared to 12 months for non-STEM degrees.
During your course of study, you’ll be involved in:
- Elicitation of requirements
- Legacy system analysis and repair
- Service-oriented applications
- Agile development projects
- Open-source software development
Your fellow students usually have undergraduate degrees in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and IST. Most already have 3-5 years of work experience doing software programming, coding, or developing at corporations including Siemens, L-3 Communications, Unisys, Lockheed Martin, GHR Systems, and Verizon.
Courses are offered in the evening in 7- and 14-week formats at the Penn State Great Valley campus in Malvern. Degrees can take 2-3 years to complete going part-time or 1.5 years if going full-time.
The software engineering degree consists of six core courses, four electives, and a capstone project that builds upon prior coursework. Students have the opportunity to work on company-sponsored projects for their capstone experience. Proficiency in programming, computer architecture, operating systems design, and fundamentals of software design is expected. A preparatory class is available and may be required after acceptance to the program curriculum.
Throughout the program, students have an opportunity to work on industry-sponsored projects or research with faculty, with possibilities to publish their work in journals or conferences and showcase it in student poster competitions. Students may also complete the capstone experience with an industrial partner; this culminating experience allows students to experience the complete software development lifecycle, engineering a fully functional product following an iterative incremental developmental methodology with continuous integration and automated testing.
Our graduates in software engineering have advanced in their careers to become software managers, software consultants, technical architects, lead architects, business analysts, and project managers.