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Software Engineering Graduate School Rankings: List of Top Schools

The article identifies two of the best schools to offer graduate degrees in software engineering in the United States. Learn about school information and rankings, the types of programs available, and the qualifications required to enter programs.

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Schools Overview

Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Texas at Austin are two of the best schools in the nation to offer graduate degrees in software engineering. Both research universities have been ranked by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) among the best graduate schools to offer software engineering programs; both have also been ranked by the U.S. News & World Report. Programs are designed for individuals with heavy work experience as well as for those holding only formal educations in the field. Additionally, options are available in flexible formats such as online, full-time, and part-time tracks.


Top Graduate Programs in Software Engineering

1. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

ACM named Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) the nation's second-best graduate school for software engineering in the June 2007 issue of Communications of the ACM. The private research university's Master of Software Engineering (MSE) program, which aims to train leaders in the industry, is offered to applicants with 2-5 years of work experience. Those with less work experience may consider the master's degree program in information technology with a concentration in software engineering. Both programs are offered in full-time, distance learning, and part-time formats. An embedded software engineering master's degree program and a dual degree program leading to an MSE and a Master of Business Administration are also available.

2. The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) is a public university that was ranked in the top 25 American research universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance in 2009. In 2010, U.S. News & World Report named UT-Austin the nation's ninth-best school for graduate-level education in engineering. The university was ranked ninth among the best U.S. graduate programs in software engineering by Communications of the ACM in June 2007.

UT's Cockrell School of Engineering offers software engineering as one of 11 concentrations within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. For working professionals, the program is also offered in a part-time format, which is operated by the Center for Lifelong Engineering Education.

List of Good U.S. Schools with Software Engineering Graduate Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Carnegie Mellon University CMU ranked #4 on the 2014 U.S. News & World Report listing of best graduate computer engineering schools. Pittsburgh, PA
Michigan State UniversityStudents can attend the annual Engineering Graduate Research Symposium at the school's Student Events Center. East Lansing, MI
Ohio State University OSU's Department of Computer Science and Engineering receives more than $7 million each year in sponsored research, and its research has been rated highly by the National Research Council. Columbus, OH
Purdue University In 2014, Purdue was ranked #10 on U.S. News & World Report's list of Up-and-Coming Schools. West Lafayette, IN
University of California - Berkeley UC-Berkeley ranked #3 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of schools with the best graduate computer engineering programs. Berkeley, CA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The average starting salary for those who graduated from the Computer Science Department with an M.S. was $102,471 in the 2012-2013 year. Champaign, IL
University of Maryland - College Park Faculty members in the computer science department have won 20 NSF career awards and include one Packard Fellow and two Sloan fellows. College Park, MD
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Graduate software engineering students have access to the Agile Software Engineering Laboratory, the CAD/CAM/Robotics Laboratory, the Games and Multimedia Entertainment Laboratory, and more. Ann Arbor, MI
University of Texas at AustinThe graduate software engineering program at UT-Austin is designed for working students and has flexible courses. Austin, TX
University of Washington Since UW's professional master's program began in 1996, it has graduated more than 700 professionals to the software field. Seattle, WA
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (4)
    • Colorado (1)
    • Florida (3)
    • Georgia (1)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Texas (1)
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  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Texas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
        • Software Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering - Architectural
      • Engineering Physics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Oregon (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Portland State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
        • Software Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Wisconsin include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
        • Software Engineering
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oakland University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
        • Software Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Engineering Physics
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at East Carolina University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
        • Computer Engineering Technologies, General
        • Software Engineering
      • Drafting and Design Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Petroleum Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Engineering
      • Math

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