NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Online Degrees

Master of Software Engineering


Program Description

Sample plan of study

Frequently asked questions

Graduate faculty information

Admission requirements

Tuition & Fees

Contact information


“After finishing my undergraduate, I began to shop around for graduate programs in my field. I knew NDSU had a reputation as a strong engineering school , and I know several older alumni that are quite pleased with the education they received there. I was very impressed by the quality and quantity of research done by the faculty in my program, especially as it relates to data processing. But what finally sold NDSU to me was the fact that the tuition was at least half as much less as other comparable distance programs at other schools.”

- Joel Rindfleish, Clive, IA



Program Description

** Prospective applicants in F-1 or J-1 VISA status must contact the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (701-231-7895) prior to submitting an application for this program. 

Software engineering focuses on the application of systematic, disciplined, and quantifiable approaches to the development, operation, and maintenance of software systems. Inclusive of computer programming but going well beyond, Software Engineering is concerned with methodologies, techniques, and tools to manage the entire software life cycle, including development of requirements, specifications, design, testing, maintenance, and project management. The advent of Software Engineering is a natural result of the continuous quest for software quality and reusability, and the maturing of the software development industry.

The online Master of Software Engineering degree is designed for professionals seeking to update or upgrade their credentials as well as to gain current skills and knowledge in software engineering.

The degree can be completed in one year, two years, or five years. All assignments are completed through distance education. You never have to travel to our campus. Projects and larger assignments can be customized to fit your specific needs. If you already are a software developer, you may be able to use parts of your job activities for these course requirements. During the first four weeks of a semester, any course can be satisfied through an examination, if you believe you already know the material. A maximum of four courses may be attempted in any one semester. If a course is started in a particular semester, it must be completed or dropped within that semester.

We also offer a 10-credit online Software Engineering Graduate Certificate. Graduate certificates are valuable tools for career advancement and are designed for individuals who want to gain credentials at the graduate-level prior to completing a full master's program. Credits from the graduate certificate are designed to transfer into a full graduate degree program.


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Sample Plan of study

The plan of study includes completion of these 12 courses with grades of A or B. CSCI 793 is taken twice to complete a two semester project.  


Required Core Courses:

* Prerequisite is CSCI 713
** Prerequisite is CSCI 718

Total Credits: 36


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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Master of Software Engineering require a GRE exam for admission?
The Master of Software Engineering online program does not require the GRE exam.

Can international students take this program fully online? 
For international students interested in the Master of Software Engineering degree only one online course in Fall and Spring counts toward F-1/J-1 status each semester. International students in F-1 or J-1 status are required to enroll in courses offered physically on-campus at NDSU and are not allowed to complete the MSE program as a fully online degree. Additional questions about this should be directed to the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by contacting your assigned international student advisor.



For information about graduate faculty for this program as well as their current research interests, visit the Master of Software Engineering bulletin page.




Apply for admission
View Getting Started Guide

For current admission requirements, visit the Master of Software Engineering bulletin page.


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Contact Information

NDSU Department of Computer Science
Phone: 701-231-8562
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web: https://www.ndsu.edu/cs/graduates/

NDSU Graduate School
Phone: 701-231-7033
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Web: http://www.ndsu.edu/gradschool/


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