Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024

Software Engineering, MSSE

Department of Computer Science

Fenn Hall 331
(216) 687-2589

George Chatzimavroudis, Interim Chair, Computer Science
Yongjian Fu, Graduate Program Director


The Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) program is the first of its kind in Ohio. The program is the successor to the Graduate Certificate Program in Software Engineering and is intended for both practicing professionals, as well as full-time students in the areas of software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, or information management.

The program introduces students to current and best practices in the engineering of software systems. A distinguishing feature is its emphasis on the architecture, design, quality, management, and economics aspects of software engineering. Students take a project from start to completion, learning the requirements of specific deliverables and the development life cycle. Critical management issues, such as risk assessment, project planning, and market analysis, are also covered. The program exposes students to new technological developments in an advancing field and how to apply their knowledge in the workplace. Graduates meet the demands of industry and address the needs of information technology professionals, in general, and software engineers, in particular.

The Computer Science Department recently commissioned a new state-of-the-art Software Engineering instructional laboratory, fully equipped with hardware and software required to meet the needs of all courses in the curriculum. The department also maintains the Software Engineering Research Laboratory to support research. The lab is equipped with desktop computers and servers connected via a LAN. Students have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research in Software Engineering.

Two other major computer facilities are used to support teaching and research: a networked laboratory of basic and advanced personal computers; and clusters of UNIX workstations, including HP Itanium, Sun Sparc/Ultra, SGI Indy/O2, IBM RS/6000, and Dell Linux workstations. These machines are connected to Fast Ethernet, ATM, and/or FDDI LANs. All laboratories are available to students for both course work and research. The networks are connected to the University fiber backbone which, in turn, is linked to national networks.

Faculty Research

The members of the Software Engineering faculty are engaged in research in several areas suitable for student theses and dissertations. These include software design, component-based software engineering, middle-ware systems, embedded software, data mining, mobile computing, fault-tolerant computing, computer and network security, peer-to-peer and grid computing, distributed computing, operating systems, languages, algorithm design and analysis, computer graphics and computational geometry, performance evaluation, object-oriented programming, software metrics, program analysis, multimedia computing, and bioinformatics. Results of research in these areas are published regularly in referred journals, such as transactions of IEEE, and are presented at scholarly conferences and symposia.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Computer Science offers a number of research and teaching assistantships and graduate tuition grants. In addition, internships in local industry are available.

Admission Information

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and computer engineering are encouraged to apply. Applicants in related fields will also be considered for admission, but they may be required to take additional prerequisite courses. Credits earned for prerequisite courses cannot be used to meet the MSSE requirements. Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of 3.0. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all international students.

The GRE is also required if one or more of the following conditions is true:

  • An unaccredited college or university awarded the undergraduate degree.
  • The undergraduate degree was in a discipline unrelated to software engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, or information management.
  • The student’s undergraduate cumulative grade-point average is below 3.0.
  • The year of the baccalaureate degree precedes the date of application to the College of Graduate Studies by more than six years.

International students should refer to the International Student Admission section of the Graduate Catalog for more information.

If the GRE is required, a minimum score on the Quantitative section of 650 (old grading scale) or 151 (new grading scale) is required, but this minimum score does not guarantee admission.

If an English language proficiency examination is required, then a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based exam, 78 on the Internet exam (including at least 20 in reading, 21 in listening, 17 in writing, and 20 in speaking), 6.0 on the IELTS exam, 3.8 on the iTEP exam, or 213 on the computer-based exam, is required. Students who do not satisfy these requirements, but who do satisfy the University’s TOEFL requirements, will be tested upon arrival at CSU by the English as a Second Language Program. Depending on test results, students may be required to take a writing and/or speaking course.

Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the following prerequisite knowledge areas. Students must complete prerequisite courses in the areas they lack proficiency, in addition to the requirements for the MSSE degree. These prerequisite courses do not count toward the requirements for the MSSE program. Those who took one or more equivalent courses can have the corresponding requirements waived but must get a prior authorization by the academic/research advisor.

Prerequisite Knowledge Area Prerequisite Courses
Introduction to programming CIS 260
Data structures and algorithms CIS 265
Object-Oriented programming CIS 368
Databases CIS 530  
Discrete mathematics MTH 220
Probability and statistics STA 323
Computer organization EEC 483 or CIS 335
Computer networks EEC 584  or CIS 554  
Operating systems CIS 345


Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply

Degree Requirements

Students in the MSSE program may elect a thesis option or a non-thesis option. All students, and particularly those intending to pursue a doctoral degree, are encouraged to select the thesis option.

  1. All students:
    The MSSE program is planned around a core of required topics and a number of technical electives. All students must complete the core courses listed below.
  2. Thesis option students:
    Students are required to take 24 credit hours of course work and 6 hours of thesis, for a total of 30 credit hours.
  3. Non-thesis option students:
    Students are required to take 28 credit hours of course work and 4 credit hours of Software Engineering Project (EEC 626 ), for a total of 32 credit hours.

Exit Requirements

For thesis option students, acceptance of the thesis by the thesis committee and passing an oral defense of the thesis are required. Students must follow the Thesis and Dissertation Format Guidelines, available from the College of Graduate Studies.

For non-thesis option students, successful completion of EEC 626 - Software Engineering Project  is required.

For further information about the MS in Software Engineering program, please contact the Department of Computer Science at (216) 687-2589.