Master of Software Engineering (MSE)

The Master of Software Engineering (MSE) program is focused on teaching advanced state-of-the-art technologies in software development with hands-on experience, and to apply the knowledge to challenging real-world problems. Students will acquire both the technical skills and software project management skills that are required to lead and to carry out software development projects. This focus makes it distinct from the traditional Masters program in Computer Science.

Graduates with a MSE degree are prepared to:

  • design and analyze software systems
  • efficiently conduct quality assurance
  • be project leaders
  • prepare cost estimations and feasibility analysis for software projects
  • conduct testing and verification

Program Prerequisites

Students desiring to be admitted into the MSE program must have taken courses on the following topics or must have knowledge in these areas (evidence or supporting materials required):

  • A modern programming language such as C, C++, C#, Java (UW-L equivalents: C-S 220 or C-S 224)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms that includes abstract data types such as List, Stack, Queue, Tree and Graph (UW-L equivalent: C-S 340)
  • Discrete Mathematics that includes topics on Set Theory, Predicate Logic, Functions and Relations (UW-L equivalent: MTH 225)

Students who lack any of these prerequisites must take additional courses (not counted for credit towards the MSE program) to meet the program prerequisites requirement. A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.85 / 4.0 is required in these courses.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering or an equivalent major, with an overall undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.85 / 4.0 or a GPA of at least 3.0 / 4.0 in the last half of all undergraduate work or a GPA of at least 3.0 / 4.0 for no fewer than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate institution.

An applicant, with a bachelor's degree in an area other than Software Engineering, Computer Science or Computing Engineering may be admitted to the program if the above requirements are satisfied and the applicant has at least 2 years of working experience in software development. In this case two letters of reference from the place of employment are required. The referees should comment on the knowledge and skills of the applicant in software development.

How to Apply

U.S. Residents | International Students: Complete the online graduate application form which is available at http://www.uwlax.edu/Admissions/Graduate-student/.
All questions regarding the university application should be directed to Admissions, or (608) 785-8939.

International Students: Additional information regarding International admissions can be found on the Admissions website now: http://www.uwlax.edu/admissions/international-student/

Applications for the fall term must be received prior to May 1. Applications for the spring term must be received by November 1.

An application packet should consist of the following:

  • a completed UWL Application for Graduate Admission
  • official transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate coursework completed
  • two recommendation letters from the work place if undergraduate degree is in another discipline
  • letter of intent for those individuals seeking financial assistantships
  • non-refundable fee listed on UWL application

Questions pertaining specifically to the MSE program should be directed to Kasi Periyasamy, MSE Program Director, msecoord@cs.uwlax.edu (608) 785-6823 or the CS Department at (608) 785-6805.

GRE scores are not required. However, it is strongly recommended that the student submit GRE scores, if they have them, along with the application. Do not send your application or transcripts to the academic department or program director.

The Admissions Office will forward graduate application materials to the Computer Science Department for acceptance or denial to the MSE program. Once a decision has been made, the materials will be returned to the originating office who will send a letter indicating the MSE admissions committee decision. Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing once all required application materials have been received in the admissions office.

Graduate Curriculum

Students in the program should complete 24 credits of course work and 12 credits of a capstone project (CS 798). The course work consists of 5 core courses and 3 elective courses (5xx level courses). It is recommended that as many required courses be completed as possible before the elective courses and capstone project. Any questions should be directed to the MSE program director.

Required Courses

  • CS 744 Management Issues in Software Engineering
  • CS 743 Software Verification and Validation
  • CS 742 Formal Methods in Software Development
  • CS 741 Software Engineering Principles
  • CS 546 Object-Oriented Software Development