Masters of Software Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin
John Hayes posted on April 24, 2013 | | 10802 views

The Details

Dr. Suzanne Barber, Program Director, co-founded the program in 1995 to serve professionals who want to pursue their Masters degree while working full time.

The program has since grown to over 370 graduates.

The Cockrell School’s Masters of Software Engineering program is staffed by top-ranked engineering faculty. Students study the same courses, earn the same degree and learn from the same faculty as full-time students.

Virtually all students in the program are employed while they are attending class and many of them have financial assistance from their employers. The work experience that the students bring to class is an important part of the learning environment, so the admissions team considers work experience to be key for success.

Quick Facts

School: Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin

Where is it: Austin Texas (no online program as yet)

Degree you get: Masters of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in Software Engineering

Size of the Program: ~70 students

Number of credit hours: 30

And that will take how long? 2 years

When does it run: One Friday and Saturday per month

Fees: $34,000

Minimum Admission Requirements:

  • 1 months industry experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Undergraduate degree in related field
  • GRE

Who should take it? Working professionals who want to transition from an individual contributor role to a leadership role in a software development environment.

Claim to fame: Cockrell was ranked 5th for Computer Engineering by US News & World Reports and 10th overall in Best Engineering Schools


The class is made up of computing professionals from a wide range of industries, including finance, government, energy, health care and semiconductors (this is Austin, after all). Dr. Barber pointed out that this breadth of experience makes for a dynamic classroom experience.

Students are allowed the freedom to choose 9 of their 10 courses to complete their degree. Only the project course is mandatory. The course list covers lifecycle phases and technologies important to software engineers. This freedom allows users to match their courses to their work requirements and interests.

Upon graduation, students can expect to move from individual roles such as project engineer to leadership roles like project manager. It’s clearly working. 66.7% of students said they received a raise while in the program and 33.3% indicated they received a raise following graduation. Six months after graduation, 50% of students said they had changed employers.

So, why wouldn’t you take this program?

  • It doesn’t offer financial assistance.
  • It isn’t available online, so if you don’t live and work in Austin you’ll have to travel every month. That said, Austin is one of the most fun cities in America to visit.
  • You won’t be able to fit your degree name on your business card.

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