Jul 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Software Engineering M.S

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The graduate plan in software engineering leads to the Master of Science degree. The plan prepares students for key software positions in industry, government and institutions where software engineering has become a key activity. It prepares students for jobs such as system analyst, requirements engineer, software architect, software project manager or software process designer, etc. The master’s degree plan requires a total of 30 hours of study. The plan allows for one of four optional specializations:

  • Gaming
  • Robotics Software
  • Software Project Management
  • Data Mining

Students may also participate in internships with appropriate approval. Internships are worth three hours of credit toward the degree and will substitute for a three-hour elective.

Credit Earned Before Acceptance

No more than 6 hours of graduate-level software engineering classes may be applied to the SWEN degree if taken without admission into the program. No more than 6 hours of graduate credit may be transferred to the software engineering degree.

Students accepted in the software engineering program must file a Candidate Plan of Study (CPS) with their assigned faculty adviser within the first semester of study. Specializations in one of the areas listed above may be selected but it is not required. If a specialization is chosen electives must be chosen from within the specialization. The CPS, once completed, will list all courses the student must take to fulfill the degree requirements.


Students seeking admission into the degree plan in Software Engineering should hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering or other computing or engineering-related discipline and have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater on the last 60 hours of course work. The GRE is waived if one of the following conditions is met: (i) Applicants with a GPA 3.0 or above; (ii) Applicants with at least one year of post-graduate full-time work experience in a computing field. For those applicants not meeting these waiver requirements a minimum GRE score (verbal +quantitative) of 290 points with a minimum quantitative score of 145, a verbal score of 140 is required. It is also possible for an applicant with significant software development work experience to apply this work experience as an offset to a borderline GPA or to demonstrate competency in computing in the case of a non-related degree. If an applicant applies with the intention of having their work experience considered in lieu of GPA or GRE or a degree outside of the listed related degree areas, then the application materials should include both a letter from the student and a resume summarizing the candidate’s professional experience in software development. Once admitted, the student must file a candidate plan of study (CPS) in the first semester of enrollment.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from a non-computing related discipline can expect to be assigned one or more foundation courses in computing unless the student has relevant computing classes on their transcript or can demonstrate proficiency by virtue of work experience. These courses may include programming in C, programming in Java and a course in data structures.

All applicants must have had courses in programming through data structures or their equivalent. A degree in Computer Science will suffice and no foundation courses will be required of those students holding a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. For students holding other degrees, one or more courses may be added as foundation courses for those students found to be lacking in one or more of these areas. Foundation courses may be taken at UHCL or any other accredited university.

Foundation courses assigned will be added to the CPS and must be completed in the first year of enrollment or before. Alternatively, students may enroll in the Software Engineering Certificate program to gain foundation knowledge and then apply to the SWEN master’s degree. Certificate courses with grades of C or better will apply to the SWEN master’s degree.

Online Option

The software engineering master’s degree online program can be completed fully online. The online master’s degree plan has the same curriculum requirements, same core and elective requirements and entry requirements as the traditional master’s program. All core courses are offered fully online. Students needing foundation work for entry may consider choosing the SWEN online certificate as preparation for entry into the SWEN MS program.

Degree Requirements

Software Engineering Core Requirements (18 hours)

Software Engineering Internship Option

3-hours internship in SWEN 6-hours SWEN technical elective 4000-6000 level 3-hours SWEN 6837  or SWEN 6838  capstone

Additional Information

Internship option requires approval from SWEN internship committee as well as permission of the faculty adviser.

Software Engineering Capstone Option (3 hours of Capstone + 9 hours of electives)

6-hour SWEN technical elective 4000-6000 level

Additional Information

  • Capstone enrollment is limited to students who are in their graduating semester (last 9 hours of study including capstone) and have completed any required foundation courses identified on their CPS.
  • Courses taken as electives in SWEN require permission of the faculty adviser before enrolling. Non-SWEN courses may be taken as electives but require permission of the faculty adviser and must be in an area of study that is beneficial to the SWEN degree.

Software Engineering Thesis Option (6 hours of thesis + 6 hours of electives)

6-hours SWEN technical electives 4000-6000 level

Additional Information

  • Thesis students must form a thesis committee and prepare a thesis proposal in the semester prior to enrollment into the thesis.
  • Independent study courses to prepare a thesis topic require the permission of the SWEN thesis chair as well as the program chair before enrolling. Only three such hours of study are allowed.
  • Contact the CSE advising office for instructions.
  • Courses taken as electives require the permission of the faculty adviser before enrolling.

Software Engineering Specializations

Students interested in a specialization in software engineering such as gaming, robotics, data mining or project management should choose electives from the specializations listed below. Any course within a specialization is an allowable elective in SWEN.

Gaming Specialization

Robotic Software Specialization

Software Project Management Specialization

Pick 2 courses from below

Data Mining Specialization

Pick 2 courses from below

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