2020 Best Online Master's in Software Engineering Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated March 9, 2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Software Engineering Badge

The 5 best value online master's programs in software engineering programs can be found at these colleges and universities. Ranked #1 is Stevens Institute of Technology, with a low tuition of $24,780 and a high median salary of $163,500. At #, the University of South Carolina-Columbia has the least expensive tuition on the list, charging only per year for its Master of Science in Software Engineering program.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 $24,780 $163,500
# 2 #2 $33,200 $151,900
# 3 #3 $16,811 $134,400
# 4 #4 $20,250 $129,600
# 5 #5 $55,530 $120,800
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Software Engineering Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $24,780
  • Median Salary: $163,500
  • Locations: Hoboken (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Stevens Institute of Technology offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering with a concentration on building software systems that improve and advance an increasingly interconnected society. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes coursework in software architecture and component-based design, methods of software development and software testing, and quality assurance and maintenance. Students of the online software engineering degree graduate with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in the role of a software engineer, software developer, requirements engineer, or application developer.

#2 University of Southern California

  • Annual Tuition: $33,200
  • Median Salary: $151,900
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The Master of Science in Computer Science (Software Engineering) offered at the University of Southern California provides students a broad and advanced education in the discipline and industry. The 32-unit degree program concentrates on both the fundamentals of software engineering and customer collaboration and management. Curriculum coursework includes agile methods, high assurance, software-intensive systems, COTS integration, and rapid software development and evolution. Graduates of the online software engineering degree are well qualified to enter or advance a career in software design, information technology, communications, and government security.

#3 The University of Texas at Austin

  • Annual Tuition: $16,811
  • Median Salary: $134,400
  • Locations: Austin (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online master's in software engineering at the University of Texas at Austin offers students the opportunity to further their academic or professional interests with advanced education in the discipline. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes courses in security networks, software requirements, verification and validation, and system architectural design. Upon completion, students are awarded the same master's degree awarded to those in the on-campus program. Graduates of the online software engineering degree can pursue careers in aerospace, defense, biomedical engineering, and energy.

#4 Southern Methodist University

  • Annual Tuition: $20,250
  • Median Salary: $129,600
  • Locations: Dallas (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Science in Software Engineering offered at Southern Methodist University provides students a balanced education in both the technical and management elements of the discipline. The 30-credit hour program follows the curriculum proposed by the Software Engineering Institute, making certain the coursework and instruction are relevant and applicable to current practices in the industry. The online software engineering degree courses include software testing and quality assurance, advanced application programming, software generation and maintenance, and user interface design.

#5 Johns Hopkins University

  • Annual Tuition: $55,530
  • Median Salary: $120,800
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Johns Hopkins University offers two online master’s in software engineering degrees. They have a Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) and an MS in Information Systems Engineering (MSISE). Both degrees offer a focus area in Software Engineering. These are non-thesis programs that require ten courses to be completed in five years, although most students finish faster. Terms are 14 weeks, and students spend approximately 10 hours of work per 3-credit course. There is no required day or time to log in for classes, although some professors have optional, weekly live office hours. Though classes are not live, they are highly interactive and incorporate hands-on, project-based learning that is immediately applicable to real-world situations. Professors are renowned applied scientists and engineers, and the program format fosters collaborations and networking on a global scale. Online MSCS and MSISE students have support services comparable to on-campus grad students. These include student email, financial aid, the online bookstore, academic advising, live library support and digital library, career placement assistance, technical support, and mentoring.  

Online Master's in Software Engineering Overview

Prospective master's students in software engineering typically must have a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as mathematics, engineering, physics, or computer science. However, a student may be able to gain admittance to a master's program with an unrelated bachelor's degree if they have appropriate experience. These programs usually take around two years to complete and require an average of 30-36 semester credit hours.

A student enrolled in an online master's program in software engineering can expect to take such classes as pattern oriented design, enterprise integration, web security and privacy, computer systems architecture, and software systems engineering processes. Upon completing a master's program, an individual will be prepared for management positions and be equipped with the ability to lead various types of projects. A master's degree is also beneficial because it helps professionals keep their skills up-to-date.

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