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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's in Software Engineering

By the OnlineU team | Updated 12/2/2022
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We’ve discovered the top ten most affordable online master’s in software engineering to meet your career advancement goals while helping you stay within budget. Similar to a focus in software engineering, an online master’s in computer science can help equip you with the knowledge high-tech employers are seeking. In general, workers within this industry can anticipate strong job growth over the next several years — especially those with training in the most recent technologies. We’ve also identified affordable online systems, chemical, and computer master’s degrees in other high-demand STEM fields.

View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our main list of the most affordable online degrees for more inspiration.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 The University of West Florida Pensacola (FL) $4,250
# 2 #2 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw (GA) $5,745
# 3 #3 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo (ND) $6,956
# 4 #4 Fontbonne University St. Louis (MO) (and 1 other) $11,625
# 5 #5 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi (MD) $11,862
# 6 #6 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon (WI) $12,090
# 7 #7 Washington State University Pullman (WA) $12,739
# 8 #8 Texas A&M University - Commerce Commerce (TX) $13,567
# 9 #9 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton (CA) $13,656
# 10 #10 University of Advancing Technology Tempe (AZ) $13,900
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $4,250
Annual Tuition: $4,250
Annual Tuition: $4,250

The University of West Florida (UWF) is a public university that offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering, featuring small class sizes that help foster student engagement. UWF has a 58% acceptance rate and a 52% graduation rate. To graduate from UWF, students must complete 30 credit hours. In general, full-time students can finish their online graduate degree in two years.

UWF uses ArgoNet as its online learning platform, allowing distance learners to access instruction and coursework. Aspiring software engineers enroll in core classes, such as Agile Software Engineering, Parallel and Distributed Programming, and Advanced Algorithms. They must also choose to complete either a thesis or senior project in order to graduate and become an advanced software engineer or developer.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1080 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,893
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,452
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $5,745
Annual Tuition: $5,745
Annual Tuition: $5,745

Kennesaw State University is a four-year, public institution with an online Master of Science in Software Engineering. This master's program helps those with an undergraduate degree gain the skills they need for career advancement in the computer science field. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a computer science discipline must complete at least 30 credit hours to graduate, which generally takes full-time students two years at minimum. KSU’s acceptance rate is 83%, with 48% of students graduating.

Students use the learning management system (LMS) D2L to participate in class and complete assignments. Additionally, students complete a thesis or capstone project to graduate with broad industry knowledge. Some core courses in Kennesaw's online software engineering program include Software Testing and Verification, Software Architecture, and Project Planning and Management. Importantly, those with a bachelor’s in a field outside of computer science may need to complete up to four additional foundation courses.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,315
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,792
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $6,956
Annual Tuition: $6,956
Annual Tuition: $6,956

North Dakota State University - Main Campus (NDSU) offers an online Master of Software Engineering and a Master of Science in Software and Security Engineering, which are each geared towards working professionals. Full-time students may complete one of these 30-credit programs within two years. NDSU accepts 94% of applicants, and 59% of students graduate with their degrees.

NDSU provides the LMS Blackboard for students to access and interact with their online classes. Some core courses in these programs include Empirical Methods in Software Engineering, Knowledge-Based Systems, and Software Complexity Metrics. This program does not require students to complete a thesis or capstone in order to graduate since there is no research component. Overall, the instruction, coursework, and practical application of skills help prepare students for career advancement in the field of software engineering.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1265
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 354
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 238
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4

Fontbonne University

St. Louis (MO) (and 1 other)
Annual Tuition: $11,625
Annual Tuition: $11,625
Annual Tuition: $11,625

Fontbonne University is a private, faith-based school founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Fontbonne’s 34-credit Master of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering helps prepare students for the demands of the fast-paced computer science industry. It takes full-time students approximately two years to complete this fully online graduate program. Fontbonne’s acceptance rate is 85%, and it has a 60% graduation rate.

Canvas, a popular LMS, delivers online coursework and lessons. Software engineering graduate students enroll in classes such as Securing Coding in Cloud environments, Advanced Programming, and Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures. They also need to complete a capstone portfolio and research project before they can graduate.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1100
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 42
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 101
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $11,862
Annual Tuition: $11,862
Annual Tuition: $11,862

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is a public university within the UM system serving over 44,000 students and offering an online Master of Science in Information Technology - Software Engineering. UMGC accepts 100% of applicants and has a 28% graduation rate. Students must complete 36 credit hours before being awarded their degree, which takes full-time students at least two years.

UMGC uses Learning Experience Online (LEO) as its LMS for distance learning. Virtual training and coursework for this program help students develop expertise in managing large software implementation projects. Students use LEO to access software engineering classes, such as Modern Software Methodologies, Relational Database Systems, and Usability Engineering. To graduate, students must complete a student orientation within the first six months of study as well as a software engineering project.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 46%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 35,971
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 10,876
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $12,090
Annual Tuition: $12,090
Annual Tuition: $12,090

Concordia University - Wisconsin (CUW) is a "Christ-centered" private school offering a Master of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering. Full-time students can complete this 30-credit engineering program in approximately 18 months, with start dates available every six to eight weeks throughout the year. CUW accepts 71% of applicants, 53% of which graduate.

Students navigate Blackboard to access their classes and assignments. Online software engineering students at CUW enroll in the following main courses: Vocation and Ethical Computing, Applied Artificial Intelligence, Language Theory, and Applied Restful APIs and Integrations. Graduates may advance into leadership or senior developer roles utilizing the skills and practical knowledge gained through this graduate degree program.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 277
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,051
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $12,739
Annual Tuition: $12,739
Annual Tuition: $12,739

As part of the broader state university system, Washington State University’s (WSU) Global Campus offers its online Master of Science in Software Engineering to distance learners who desire advanced training. This 30-credit program is designed for full-time students to graduate in less than two years, so they can quickly apply what they learn to their careers. WSU has an 80% acceptance overall, and 65% of students graduate.

WSU uses Canvas to deliver instruction and assignments and promote online student engagement. Students of the online software engineering program enroll in courses such as Advanced Databases, Software Quality, and Software Testing. Students fulfill the required capstone to graduate if they receive a "B" or better in all their classes. Once they graduate, students become eligible to compete for senior software engineering roles in the job market.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,437
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,137
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $13,567
Annual Tuition: $13,567
Annual Tuition: $13,567

Texas A&M University - Commerce (A&M Commerce) is a public school offering a Master of Science in Computer Science - Software Engineering. This online master's degree takes full-time students approximately two to three years. They must complete the required 30 credit hours if they decide to write a thesis or 37 credits if they decide not to complete a written body of work. A&M Commerce’s acceptance rate is 60%, with a 54% graduation rate.

Canvas delivers coursework and instruction to A&M Commerce’s online students and enables their engagement with instructors and each other. Software engineering graduate students complete Big Data Computing and Analytics, Analysis and Design, and Automata Theory courses. The curriculum enables students to expand their software engineering expertise for potential job growth.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,717
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,260
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $13,656
Annual Tuition: $13,656
Annual Tuition: $13,656

California State University - Fullerton is a large and diverse branch of the California State University System offering an online Master of Science in Software Engineering. The Fullerton campus accepts 68% of applicants, 77% of which end up graduating. To do so at the master's level, students must complete 30 credit hours. Fullerton's online master’s program in software engineering can take full-time students approximately two years to finish. (However, program completion may take longer for those with bachelor’s degrees in non-computer science disciplines due to the potential need for additional introductory coursework.)

Students access Canvas for their online instruction and class participation. Online software engineering courses include Software Verification and Validation, Modern Software Management, and Software Maintenance. To graduate from the program, students must also complete a final project.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,220
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,066
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $13,900
Annual Tuition: $13,900
Annual Tuition: $13,900

The University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is a small, for-profit institution specializing in technology education. UAT offers an online Master of Science in Software Engineering so working technology professionals can grow in their careers. Full-time students typically fulfill the 36-credit graduation requirement between one and two years. Overall, UAT has an 81% acceptance rate and a 29% graduation rate.

UAT utilizes the synchronic learning model and SyncFlex to deliver virtual instruction and enable hands-on learning. Classes in the software engineering graduate program include Advanced Programming Concepts and AI, Mobile Development, and Cloud Computing. Throughout the curriculum, students can work on real-world projects and apply their work experience to class assignments.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 291
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 0
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

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