Carnegie Mellon University

Why Software Engineering

Whether you recently graduated from an undergraduate program, or you started working as software engineering professional, the Masters of Software Engineering (MSE) degree from CMU can be a strategic investment toward your long-term career goals. Now more than ever, advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomous systems demand engineers who can build reliable and trustworthy systems.

Unlike a masters in computers science, which covers the familiar topics of data structures, algorithms, and operating systems, the CMU MSE program is professionally focused on training students to become leaders with advanced engineering, managerial, decision-making, and communication skills that companies are eagerly competing for.

Considering the time and funds that you’re about to invest, this website will answer several important questions: Which program is right for you? How will the program prepare you to become a leader in software engineering? What will the program cost?

Programs at a Glance

MSE – Scalable Systems

For entry-level developers with less than two years experience, or equivalent internship/project experience. Students study scalable systems, including large-scale, intelligent systems.

Duration: 16-months, on-campus, full-time, internship during program required
Median Starting Salary: $110,000
Employed by: Amazon, Bloomberg, Cisco, Fitbit, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft

MSE – Embedded Systems

For entry-level developers with less than two years experience, or equivalent internship/project experience. Students study embedded systems, including Internet-of-Things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems.

Duration: 16-months, on-campus, full-time, internship during program required
Median Starting Salary: $115,000
Employed by: Aptiv, Clover Network, Fortinet, Goldman Sachs, Qualcomm, Xilinx

MSE for Professionals

For experienced software developers with at least two years of full-time professional experience. 

Duration: 16-months, on-campus, full- or part-time, no internship required
Median Starting Salary: $135,000
Employed by: Amazon, Audible, Bloomberg, Dropbox, Microsoft, Navis, Twitter

MBA/MSE Dual Degree

For engineering or science professionals who have at least two years of full-time professional experience.

Duration: 24-36 months, on-campus, full-time, internship during program required

Meet our Alumni

What makes the MSE programs special?

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Take it to the next level and deliver.

The software systems that drive our modern world are not built on clever code alone. Our approach to learning takes you beyond foundations and teaches you how to build massive software systems that are on spec, on budget, and on time. Applying lessons learned in requirements gathering, project scoping, estimation, team management, architectural design, and assurance, our graduates are perfectly suited to do what few others can: DELIVER.

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Don’t just join a program. Join a community.

The MSE is a family, a tribe. That's no joke! The MSE community is one of the largest, most accomplished, and most engaged of any graduate program across our campus. While you are here, you are going to form bonds that will last a lifetime — friends and colleagues you can call on. And, as a part of our alumni network, you will have an instant connection to hundreds of accomplished, influential software engineering professionals across the globe.

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Collaborate with the absolute best and brightest.

Our department, the Institute for Software Research (ISR), was established within the School of Computer Science over twenty years ago for one purpose: Transdisciplinary Collaboration. And that purpose will suffuse your experience in the MSE. You are going to work with the best and brightest; not just from software engineering, but across the entire tech spectrum. From robotics to HCI, ML to NLP — you are encouraged to tap the expertise and call upon the guidance of some of the foremost minds in their respective fields.