Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Software Engineering MS

Program Overview

In 1996 RIT became the first university in the US to offer the baccalaureate software engineering degree. Many schools have followed and are following our leadership, as undergraduate software engineering degrees are increasingly featured in university portfolios.
Building on our leadership position in undergraduate software engineering education, we implemented an innovative Master of Science degree in Software Engineering to capitalize on the expertise we've gained at the undergraduate level. The degree is designed to appeal to software professionals with at least three years of experience developing software, or to professionals with a formal undergraduate background in software engineering, computer science, or computer engineering and at least one year of experience developing software.
The program's core content ensures that graduates will possess both breadth and depth of knowledge in software engineering. A set of technical electives provide the students with the opportunity to match their graduate education with their professional goals.

Degrees Awarded

  • Master of Science


  • Approximately 60 students

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Cooperative education assignments are optional, but encouraged.

Salary Information

Co-op:    $25.27                     $12.50 – $39.00
MS:         $75,000                   $60,000 - $100,000

Student Skills & Capabilities

The MS program comprises 36 semester credit hours, culminated by either a Capstone project or Thesis. The program combines in-depth, contemporary skill building with theoretical concepts taught in courses.  Courses focus on hands-on work that leverages individual and team skills. Students learn to bridge cutting edge work with the needs of industry.  Core courses include topics on software re-engineering, software modeling, and product line engineering, and ensure that graduates will possess both breadth and depth of knowledge in software engineering. The program provides students with the opportunity to tailor their program of study via technical electives and independent study.

Equipment & Facilities

In addition to specialized departmental facilities, students have access to general campus-wide computing facilities, as well as the laboratories supporting both computer science and computer engineering. Campus-wide computing resources include numerous labs equipped with Windows and Macintosh platforms, a VMS cluster, a Digital UNIX cluster, and library resources.

Nature of Work

Computer software engineers apply the principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that make computers work. The tasks performed by these workers evolve quickly, reflecting new areas of specialization or changes in technology, as well as the preferences and practices of employers. Software engineers can be involved in the design and development of many types of software, including computer games, business applications, operating systems, network control systems, and middleware. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook).

Training / Qualifications

For software engineering positions, most employers prefer applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree and broad knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of computer systems and technologies. The usual college majors for applications software engineers are computer science, software engineering, or mathematics. Systems software engineers often study computer science or computer information systems. Graduate degrees are preferred for some of the more complex jobs. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Outlook

Employment of software engineers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software in all industries.(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Titles

Software Engineer, Technical Specialist, Software Developer, Applications Developer, Software Quality Assurance Specialist, Software Tester, Software Designer, Software Requirements Engineer, Programmer.


Computer software engineers and developers held about 1 million jobs in 2015. Although they are employed in most industries, the largest concentration of computer software engineers—about 32 percent—is in computer systems design and related services. Many also work for software publishers, manufacturers of computers and related electronic equipment, financial institutions, and insurance providers. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Significant Points

  • Software engineers are among the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2014-24 decade.
  • Excellent job prospects are expected for applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and with practical work experience.
  • Software engineers must continually strive to acquire new skills in conjunction with the rapid changes that occur in computer technology. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Amazon, Apple., Constant Contact, Datto, Excellus BC/BS, Facebook, Fidelity Investments, General Electric, Google, Harris Corporation, IBM Corp., Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation,  Mitre Corp., Oracle,  Paychex, Rochester Software Associates, SAP America, Thomson Reuters, Vistaprint, Vuzix Corp., Xerox Corporation

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Jill Jablonski, the career services coordinator who works with the MS Software Engineering program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at
Jill Jablonski, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5632
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603