Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) Degree


csci software engineering


East Carolina University's Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) is an industry recognized degree program that effectively blends traditional computer science with the rapidly evolving field that is software engineering. The MSSE degree equips graduates with the skills necessary to design, develop, test and maintain high-quality, reliable software systems with a focus on both theory and practical application.

Prospective students can expect to cover a broad range of topics, topics that touch on object oriented design, software systems architecture, programming languages like Java™ and software project management tools and techniques. Our innovative approach prepares those new to software engineering with the skills necessary to compete in the increasingly competitive technology job market while helping existing IT professionals go even further.

The MSSE degree program, which debuted in 2008, was the culmination of a more than 25 year effort to develop a degree program that was technical and practical in nature; technical in the sense that it would cover the methodologies that drive the software engineering process and practical in that it would teach skills in high demand by the job market. We succeeded by developing a program that was the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina. Learn more about our program by meeting our faculty.

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A Pioneer in Software Engineering Distance Education

The East Carolina University's Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) degree has been recognized as being one of the best options for prospective software engineering graduate students in terms of both quality and value.

Flexibility - It is one of the key differentiators between the ECU MSSE degree and similar programs. The ECU MSSE degree is available to both on campus and distance education students in a collaborative environment that fosters team building and a shared experience between on-campus and distance education students.

This innovative approach allows on-campus students to benefit from the industry experience that many of our distance education students possess while enabling our distance education students to benefit from the latest technical knowledge of their on-campus peers.

A Field of High Growth and Limitless Opportunities

Software engineering is a global, rapidly growing field that has been identified as an occupation of tremendous future growth by the U. S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and computing technologies are used in creative, ever expanding ways the demand for highly trained software engineering professionals is expected to grow

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) program must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School. Acceptance to the program is based on satisfactory undergraduate grades, scores on either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), and letters of reference. Completion of an undergraduate degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, information systems or a related discipline is recommended for admission. Students from other disciplines or applicants with limited technical expertise are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the program admissions committee. Additional information regarding admission to the MSSE degree program can be found here.

Degree Requirements

Degree information and course requirements for the Master of Science in Software Engineering degree can be found in the current graduate catalog here.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. The student financial aid department provides education, guidance, and support to individuals and families in the financial aid process by administering Federal, State, and Institutional aid programs to students at East Carolina University. 

Important Note to Residents Outside North Carolina

Admission of applicants outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree, certificate or individual online course offered by East Carolina University, is dependent on ECU's ability to secure authorization from the applicant's state of residence, if such authorization is required.

East Carolina University delivers online education programs and courses throughout the United States and internationally. All programs have been approved by the University of North Carolina General Administration. Many states have prescribed an "authorization" process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents to ensure quality post-secondary education, to preserve the integrity of an academic degree, and to instill greater consumer protection for its student citizens.

East Carolina University has taken steps to protect its students and operations through nationwide compliance: by participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA); obtaining authorization, approval, exemptions and waivers; or confirming that East Carolina University can operate without such authorization because the state's laws do not pertain to a public institution, to an accredited institution, or to the ECU's activities in that state.

As of November 14, 2016, East Carolina University is approved by to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. Institutions that are members of SARA are authorized to provide online education to students from all SARA member states. States and institutions that choose to become members of SARA operate under a set of policies and standards overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and administered by four regional higher education compacts. For more information about the SARA initiative and the progress of state and institutional membership .

Because authorization is an evolving area, please check this site again for the latest statement from ECU. For questions or concerns specific to the state authorization process, contact us at

For additional information please contact:

CET Graduate Advising at