MS in Software Engineering

Total units required for MS: 30

Program Description

This degree provides the student with the ability to specialize in the application of software engineering principles to the development of large and complex computer systems.

The program's courses are structured to satisfy two groups of students:

  1. those pursuing an MSSE degree and
  2. those interested in individual courses.

Individuals wishing to pursue a degree must satisfy the Computer Science graduate program entrance requirements. Those enrolling in individual courses must have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science (or related field) or a minimum of one-year's work experience involving some aspect of software engineering.

The MS Degree in Software Engineering offers, in addition to a core curriculum, advanced studies in the software engineering area. This program covers the entire software application development process from problem definition through requirements, design, implementation, testing, operation, and maintenance.

Teaching associateships are occasionally available for qualified graduate students; these students assist in instruction of undergraduate courses, supervision of laboratory work, and aid faculty members in research projects. Interested persons should apply in the Department office.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted;
  • GRE general test;
  • mathematical preparation including two semesters of calculus and one semester of calculus-based probability and statistics corresponding to Sacramento State courses:
    MATH 30Calculus I4
    MATH 31Calculus II4
    STAT 50Introduction to Probability and Statistics4
  • Computer Science lower-division preparation including programming proficiency, discrete structures, machine organization, and UNIX and PC-based program development environment proficiency corresponding to Sacramento State courses (see the following) and as evidenced by a pass on the graduate student placement test or a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science;
    CSC 15Programming Concepts and Methodology I3
    CSC 20Programming Concepts and Methodology II3
    CSC 28Discrete Structures for Computer Science3
    CSC 35Introduction to Computer Architecture3
    CSC 60Introduction to Systems Programming in UNIX3
  • Computer Science advanced preparation as evidenced by a 3.25 GPA in the following Sacramento State upper division Computer Science courses or their equivalent elsewhere:
    CSC 130Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis3
    CSC 131Computer Software Engineering3
    CSC 132Computing Theory3
    CSC 134Database Management Systems3
    CSC 137Computer Organization3
    CSC/CPE 138Computer Networks and Internets3
    CSC 139Operating System Principles3

Applicants with deficiencies in the admission requirements area are advised to remove any such deficiencies before applying.

Admission Procedures

Applicants must complete a university application and a separate departmental application by the posted application deadline dates for the term applying. For more admissions information and application deadlines, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website:

  • an online application for admission;
  • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State; and
  • official GRE general test scores.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units Required for the MS:  30

Minimum Cumulative GPA:  3.0.  No grade below "C" may count toward the degree.

Note: Only those courses completed within seven years prior to date of graduation will satisfy course requirements.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units of graduate level (200 series) Computer Science courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Students must have been advanced to candidacy before they can register for Master's thesis or project. Advancement to Candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with a Computer Science graduate advisor. The completed form must be signed by the Graduate Coordinator or the Department Chair and is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Program Requirements

Required Software Engineering Courses (21 Units)21
Select seven of the following:21
Software System Engineering
Software Engineering Metrics
Software Requirements Analysis and Design
Advanced Software Engineering Project Management
Software Verification and Validation
Software Architecture
Formal Methods in Secure Software Engineering
Human-Computer Interface Design
Required Research Methodology (1 Unit)
CSC 209Research Methodology1
Restricted Electives (3-6 Units)
Select 3-6 units 13 - 6
Culminating Requirement (2-5 Units)
Select one of the following:2 - 5
Master's Thesis 2
Master's Project 2
Total Units30-33