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Pieces of Eight


New Master's Degree Offered

The ECU College of Technology and Computer Science will offer a new degree program beginning in spring semester 2008.

The new master of science in software engineering – combining computer science and engineering disciplines – will be offered both on campus and through distance education. The program will prepare students to create reliable, high-quality and reusable software.

ECU Department of Computer Science chair John Placer expects the degree will help meet regional and global needs for qualified computer science engineers in business and industry. “While the demand for software engineers has increased,” Placer said, “qualified people capable of doing the job are not readily available.”

The degree also opens doors for new career paths to individuals with backgrounds in related fields – such as electrical engineering, said Nasseh Tabrizi, graduate director for computer science and software engineering programs.

The degree offers a good match for people “who want to expand their knowledge and experience in the software field – whether it is through development, testing, architecture, or program management,” Tabrizi said. The program will appeal to someone just completing a bachelor’s degree, as well as the business person who “wants to move up in the corporate chain,” he said.

At the same time, the ability to acquire the degree online expands the potential student base. Businesses seeking to modernize staff can do so without losing valuable manhours for offsite training. The program is the first of its kind in North Carolina, and being the first to offer the program will put ECU “on people’s radar screens – people who didn’t even know we were here,” said Tabrizi. Additional details are at

This page originally appeared in the Dec. 7, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at