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MS in Software Engineering,
Engineering Track

Drexel University's Master of Science (MS) in Software Engineering degree program was created in response to the growing importance of software to the national infrastructure and the rapid rise in demand for professional software engineers. This MS degree program is a multidisciplinary degree sponsored by the College of Engineering and The iSchool, College of Information Science and Technology.

The MS in Software Engineering program, drawing on the strengths of existing Drexel programs in computer science, engineering, and information science and technology, provides a curriculum that encompasses behavioral, managerial, and technical aspects of software engineering and attempts to synthesize, rather than differentiate, disciplinary paradigms and themes.

There are three tracks within the MS in Software Engineering degree program - the Computer Science Track, the Engineering Track, and the Information Science and Technology Track. Each of these tracks offers unique specializations within the general framework of the degree program. The ECE Department administers only the Engineering Track. The remaining tracks are administered by other academic units within the university. More information about each of these can be found at:

The Engineering Track of the MS in Software Engineering degree program is particularly suited to students that are interested in learning to model engineering problems and offer software solutions to those problems. The remainder of this page will cover the curricular requirements for the MS in Software Engineering, Engineering Track.

Curriculum

The MS in Software Engineering, Engineering Track, curriculum encompasses a minimum of 45 or 48 (with the two-term graduate co-op participation option) approved graduate quarter credit hours, chosen in accordance with the following requirements and a program plan arranged with the graduate advisors in consultation with the student's supervising professor, if applicable.

Core Courses

Core courses cover topics that are essential for the practicing software engineer. These core courses span the scope of disciplinary areas relevant to the degree, thereby providing a common foundation for all students in the degree program. The following courses are required for all students pursuing the MS in Software Engineering degree:

Course Number Course Name Credits
Total 18 cr.
CS 575 Software Design 3 cr.
CS 576 Dependable Software Systems 3 cr.
ECEC 500 Fundamentals of Computer Hardware 3 cr.
ECEC 600 Fundamentals of Computer Networks 3 cr.
INFO 627 Requirements Engineering and Management 3 cr.
INFO 638 Software Project Management 3 cr.

Technical Electives

The remaining courses needed to reach the minimum credit hour requirement for the degree program are considered technical electives. Students pursuing the MS in Software Engineering in the Engineering Track will select technical electives that focus on the techniques and tools needed to model engineering problems and offer software solutions to those problems. These courses should help students gain an understanding of contemporary problems facing a specific chosen engineering discipline as well as the systems modeling and simulation techniques required to help develop solutions to these problems.

As part of the minimum 27 credits of technical electives that need to be completed, students are required to complete 9 credits of Computer Engineering (ECEC) coursework. The remaining credits beyond this requirement should be chosen to provide an in-depth understanding of one or more contemporary problems facing a specific engineering discipline. As such, the courses used to fulfill this requirement must be chosen from among the graduate course offerings of the departments within the College of Engineering (AE, CHE, CIVE, CMGT, ECE, ECEC, ECEE, ECEP, ECES, ECET, EGEO, EGMT, ENGR, ENVE, ET, MATE, MEM, PROJ, PRMT, SYSE). Computer Science graduate-level coursework in the College of Computing & Informatics (CS) may also be taken towards completion of this requirement.

In order to have courses outside of the departments listed above count towards degree completion, they must be approved by the graduate advisors prior to registration for said courses.

Master's Thesis & Independent Research

Although not required, students pursuing an MS degree, especially those interested in eventually pursuing a Ph.D. or entering a research-intensive career, are encouraged to complete a Master's Thesis as part of their MS studies. For more information regarding the Master's Thesis process, please visit the thesis information page.

It is also possible for MS students to engage in research for academic credit outside of the scope of the thesis option. This research is still performed under the supervision of a faculty member; however, the end result is not submission of a Master's Thesis. This option is best suited for those students interested in gaining exposure to the research process and environment without the commitment to writing a thesis or for those students interested in delving deeper into a topic that is outside the scope of the normal graduate course offerings. Students interested in engaging in research for academic credit should read more about their options on the graduate student-initiated courses information page.

Regardless of whether or not a Master's Thesis is being completed, a total of 9 credits of research-intensive coursework (ECEx 697, ECEx 898, ECEx 997, & ECEx 998) may be counted towards the minimum credit hour requirement for the MS degree program. These credits are counted as technical elective courses.

Graduate Co-op Program

Students pursuing an MS degree may choose to participate in the graduate co-op program, where up to 6 credit hours can be earned for up to two terms of full-time co-operative education experience in industry, working on curriculum related projects. Students participating in a single-term full-time co-op experience will earn 3 credits, which are considered a technical elective course. Students engaging in a two-term full-time co-op experience will earn 6 credits, 3 credits of which are considered a technical elective course; the other 3 credits are considered as an additional course, increasing the total minimum credit requirement for graduation from the MS program with a two-term full-time graduate co-op to 48 credits. For more information regarding the graduate co-op program, please visit the graduate co-op information page.

Transfer Credit

All approved transfer credits are considered technical electives, regardless of content equivalency. If a transfer credit request is approved for one of the required core courses, the student is exempt from taking said core course but must make up the credits by taking a different course from among the graduate course offerings of The iSchool, College of Information Science and Technology; the Department of Computer Science; and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University. More information about the transfer credit process can be found on the transfer credit information page.

Program Plan

Every MS student is required to construct a program plan in consultation with the graduate advisors and the student's supervising professor, if applicable. This program plan will outline the student's path to degree completion, including at minimum all courses the student plans to take and the term in which those courses are to be taken.

For more information about the planning, submission and approval process for program plans, please visit the Constructing an MS Program Plan page.