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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Software Engineering (SWENG)

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JAMES A. NEMES, Interim Chancellor
School of Graduate Professional Studies
Penn State Great Valley
30 E. Swedesford Road
Malvern, PA 19355-1443

COLIN J. NEILL, Associate Professor and Director of Engineering Programs
School of Graduate Professional Studies
Penn State Great Valley, Engineering Division

The Graduate Faculty

  • Adrian Barb, Ph.D. (University of Missouri) Assistant Professor of Information Science
  • Joanna Defranco, Ph.D. (New Jersey Institute of Technology) Assistant Professor of Software Engineering
  • Mohamad Kassab, Ph.D. (Concordia) Assistant Professor of Software Engineering
  • Phillip A. Laplante, Ph.D. (Stevens Institute of Tech) P.E. Associate Professor of Software Engineering
  • Colin J. Neill, Ph.D. (Wales) Associate Professor of Software and Systems Engineering; Director of Engineering Programs
  • Sally S. Richmond, M.S.I.S. (Penn State) Lecturer in Information Science
  • Raghvinder Sangwan, Ph.D. (Temple) Associate Professor of Software Engineering
  • Satish M. Sriinivasan, Ph.D. (Nebraska, Omaha) Assistant Professor of Information Science
  • Pamela Vercellone-Smith, Ph.D. (Penn State) Assistant Professor of Software Engineering

This professional master's degree program, available at Penn State Great Valley, focuses on various aspects of software engineering. The primary goal of the program is to prepare students to develop the next generation of software products and services for consumers, industry, and government. The curriculum includes comprehensive, intensive coverage of modern software concepts and techniques, and emphasizes a holistic approach, encompassing financial, legal, and presales issues; technical concepts; software design techniques; methods; and project management.

The program is constituted by four, 9-credit modules of study. Each module is designed for in-depth coverage of a specific area of study (e.g., modem software methods, algorithms, information science). Two of the modules are required; one centers on professional, skill-based topics such as software project management or business communications, and includes the option to select a professional paper or the advanced software studio. The second required module comprises 9 credits of advanced software engineering course work. Graduate instruction is under the direction of a faculty committee.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The Master of Software Engineering (M SE) program is designed for students with technical backgrounds. Admission will be granted if the applicant has the necessary program prerequisites and a faculty member in the student's interest area agrees to serve as adviser. Candidates lacking in a modem programming language can meet that requirement by scheduling the 400-level software engineering studio. Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are not an entrance requirement unless the applicant has a junior/senior grade-point average below 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).

Students with a 3.00 junior/senior average in an appropriate technical degree program will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Entering graduate students for whom English is not their first language are required to have a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

Program Requirements

All candidates must complete two required 9-credit core modules, for a total core curriculum of 18 credits, and two other 9-credit modules. At least 15 credits of selected courses must be at the 500 level.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.




Faculty updated: 12/10/13


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