Department of Software Engineering


The Department of Software Engineering’s mission is the development of professionals who can produce high-quality, cutting-edge, and cost-effective software systems. The department provides a forward-thinking approach in an inclusive environment that encourages students to become pioneers in the field by developing in-depth knowledge through hands-on design of innovative products. As real-world construction of complex software systems is done by engineering teams, our curriculum focuses on team-based activities with an emphasis on collaboration and the design process. Students receive mentorship to become world-class engineers and to conduct world-class research by closely collaborating with both faculty and industry.

Text talking about what Software Engineering means at RIT

From classes to co-ops: experience SE at RIT





Real-World Software



Approval rating for our academic advisors in student surveys


Median starting salary for our graduates, with some graduates starting at more than $100k


In college research funding since 2017


graphic showing 4 people using computers at desks.

Software Engineering Research at RIT's Global Cybersecurity Institute


Undergraduate Programs

As software becomes ever more common in everything from airplanes to appliances, there is an increasing demand for professionals who can develop high-quality, cost-effective software systems. Students learn principles and techniques for the construction of complex and evolving software systems as well as issues affecting software architecture, design, and implementation. Additional topics include project management, planning, quality assurance, and product maintenance.

RIT's software engineering degree encompasses technical issues affecting software architecture, design, and implementation, as well as process issues.

Learn more about the Software Engineering BS program 

Graduate Programs

The Master of Science in software engineering or data science assures that graduates possess both breadth and depth of knowledge of their program's content. Special topics courses and electives provide students with the opportunity to match their graduate education with their professional goals, from pursuing groundbreaking research to developing game-changing products.

The Ph.D. in computing and information sciences is a research degree that produces independent scholars, cutting-edge researchers, and well-prepared educators. You'll study with RIT's world-class computing faculty and take advantage of diverse academic offerings and modern facilities as you identify and research challenges within and beyond computing. 

Learn more about the Computing and Information Sciences Ph.D. program 

Demand is high for professionals skilled in both analytics and computing. Enhance your skill set by learning to manage large-scale data sets in this data science master’s.

Learn more about the Data Science MS program 

Gain hands-on experience through team-based and individual projects in this master's in software engineering, all while you further your understanding of the development and implementation of modern software systems.

Learn more about the Software Engineering MS program 

Minors and Immersions

Students in disciplines with a heavy reliance on software applications may be interested in pursuing a minor in software engineering. The minor provides a broad view of the software engineering landscape including introductory material and fundamentals in design and process. Students deepen their software design skills and learn techniques for working on a productive software engineering team by choosing electives in design or process to gain a deeper understanding of one of these areas, or they may choose to balance their courses for a broad view of both topics.

Learn more about the Software Engineering Minor program 

Prospective & Incoming Students

Welcome to RIT and the Department of Software Engineering (SE) in the Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences! Here is where all incoming undergraduate and transfer students can find SE Academic Day information, Math Placement exam and FAQS.

View Information >>> 

RIT Software Engineering was First in the U.S. 
We’re not new at this. Our program was the first undergraduate software engineering program in the U.S., and many programs around the country are based on our model. Since welcoming our first incoming class in 1996, we have worked hard to ensure our curriculum is comprehensive and cutting edge. We have graduated over 600 software engineering students. Our program is in a software engineering department which means all of our work focuses on the best education for the next generation of software engineers.

Watch this video to learn more!  

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Software Engineering at RIT:

1. Co-op: Real-world Work Experience
Students and employers agree – the co-op experience is invaluable. You will enter the workforce with three terms of work experience - and have the amazing resume to prove it. 

“Now that I've had a co-op experience, I feel more confident in my skills and abilities. I will take what I’ve learned and apply it to the rest of my courses at RIT.”
Elizabeth, 3rd year

Learn more about Co-op & Careers at RIT

2. Friends and fun with Society of Software Engineers (SSE)
As a member of the SSE student club, it’s easy to become involved in daily life in the department. Founded by students, for students, SSE is a lively social hub, providing everything from lasting friendships to homework help to professional networking.

Learn more about SSE

3. Prove yourself through your Senior Project
For Senior Project, you’ll be assigned to a small team of students to solve challenging, real-world software issues for commercial, non-profit, and RIT organizations. You’ll test your mettle while applying everything you’ve learned in courses and on co-op.

4. Tap in to our extensive alumni network
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. As an SE student, you’ll have a direct link to alumni located at hundreds of top companies across the country, such as Microsoft, IBM, EA Games, Fidelity Investments, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Oracle, to name a few!

5. Excellent reputation with employers
Employers trust the quality, skills and professionalism which our students are known for, and it shows. Graduating students have a placement rate over 90%, and many students receive multiple job offers.

Recruiters from companies like Microsoft and United Technologies Aerospace Systems visit us frequently. They hold info sessions targeted at SE students and members of SSE, collect resumes and schedule interviews on the spot!

6. Learn in-demand skills from award-winning faculty
Software Engineering is more than just coding. Our curriculum covers the key topics that are in demand in industry, including software design, process, architectures and testing.

We are a friendly department, boasting small class-size and an ‘open-door’ policy. You’ll have the unique opportunity to get to know faculty members, and be involved in special projects and research.

View our curriculum Flow Chart 

7. Support from top-rated academic advisors
College can be overwhelming, but your academic advisor will help you sort through options, overcome hurdles and set goals. In a recent survey, students gave our advisors a 97% approval rating. Students overwhelmingly agreed that our advisors are approachable, accurate, clear and knowledgeable.

"It's easy to make appointments, it's easy to get answers to questions via email (and prompt!), and the staff in the office is very knowledgeable." -current SE student

Learn more about our Academic Advising services

8. Excellent facilities
Our facilities support our teaching philosophy. We provide interactive, team-based learning in flexible, well-equipped lab space.

Learn more about our Facilities

9. Wide range of opportunities and great salary
As a software engineering major, you will have your pick of exciting opportunities in a range of industries - financial services, computer gaming, health care, aerospace and more... anywhere software is used!

The median starting salary for our graduates is $86,000 with some graduates starting at over $100,000.

Learn more from the US Dept of Labor Statistics

10. Possibility of graduate studies
 We offer BS/MS degrees leading from a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering to a Master of Science in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or Computing Security. We are also working on new accelerated programs in other degree areas.

Learn more about our BS/MS programs

If you are looking to switch into the Software Engineering program, please fill out our interest form. We will have 1-2 SE program overview sessions each semester for students looking to come into the SE program from another program at RIT. This is the first step in the change of program process, and will allow you to learn about SE, meet faculty, and chat with our advisors. Change of Program Into SE Information Sheet.

If you are looking to switch out of the Software Engineering program, please visit with your academic advisor to discuss future plans.


Both the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense offer scholarships for service, designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government's critical information infrastructure.

Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program
NSF CyberCorps Scholarship for Service

Latest News

Alumni & Industrial Advisory Board

Are you an SE alum that wants to stay involved? Here's how:

  1. Join us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  2. Sponsor a Senior Project.
  3. Recruit through Society of Software Engineers - email the SE department for more information.
  4. Attend alumni events. Watch the RIT alumni page for details.
  5. Keep in touch and let us know what you are up to! View the department directory for contact information. You can also take a look at what research projects faculty are involved in!

Our Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) consists of professional software engineers from a range of companies. The board helps us stay current with industry trends by offering insight on everything from curriculum to teaching methods. IAB plays an integral role in helping us maintain a balanced, vibrant department. Please find a list of our current IAB members here. 


The department provides a variety of facilities where students collaborate on projects, polish their skills, and consult with faculty. Outfitted with the latest hardware and software technology, our facilities reflect our commitment to teamwork, interactive learning, and professional education.

The department’s facilities include three student instructional studio labs, a specialized embedded systems lab, and a collaboration lab. In addition, freshmen are encouraged to take advantage of the department’s mentoring lab. Staffed by advanced software engineering students, this lab offers new students an environment where they can learn from those who have successfully fulfilled most of the major's academic requirements.

Students enrolled in software engineering courses also can use any of the department’s eleven team rooms. Equipped with a computer and projector, network connections, a meeting table, seating for six, and generous whiteboard space, these rooms support the department’s commitment to teamwork, both inside and outside the classroom.