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Software Engineering (SE)

The Software Engineering major prepares students to be productive members of software engineering teams in a variety of application domains, with focus on the domains of major importance within each decade. It combines a solid foundation in computer science with knowledge of how to engineer modern software systems, and how to function within teams.

Coursework in mathematics and statistics provide students the basis for rigorous thinking; coursework in the foundations of computer science provide students the basis for computational thinking; coursework in topics of software engineering prepares students for the production of software; project courses prepare students for the practice of software development. The major emphasizes the design and implementation of large software systems.


Students who major in Software Engineering will:

  • Acquire a strong foundation in software engineering as well as a solid basis in computer science
  • Have the ability to become a productive member of software engineering teams in a variety of application domains including, but not restricted to, Web and mobile applications
  • Be inspired by technical knowledge and have an appreciation for life-long learning
  • Be capable of placing software in the social context in which is it developed and create novel applications that have the potential to bring social change


Coursework involves mathematics and statistics, foundations of computer science, topics of software engineering and project courses. Current requirements for this major can be found in the General Catalogue.


A wide variety of careers and graduate programs are open to Software Engineering graduates. The Web and mobile applications industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and job growth projections are the strongest for people with strong technical backgrounds. Many other application domains, including interactive entertainment, medical information systems, and training and education software have demand for similar skill sets and knowledge. Graduate school in either computer science or software engineering or a related IT field is also a possible career path.

Of interest

Software Engineering Careers Continue to Boom
According to IEEE publication Today's Engineer, software engineering is a hot industry, "with more demand for talented professionals than ever." In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30 percent growth rate for software engineering jobs through 2020 — much higher than the 14 percent average growth rate for all other occupations.
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