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What is the program code for the Master's in Software Engineering?


Who should I contact in the department when I have a question?

Your first point of contact should be Bridgette Fortner in the Sofware Engineering Department. Stop by the office (70-1690), call 585-475-5461, or email

What are the admissions requirements?
  • Bachelor's degree with minimum GPA of 3.0
  • One of the following:
    • Degree in a computing field (Software Engineering, Computer Science or Computer Engineering), plus one year professional software development experience, OR
    • Degree in a non-computing field, plus three years professional software development experience
  • Minimum TOEFL Scores (if English is not your native language):
    • 570 on the paper-based test
    • 230 on the computer-based test
    • 88 on the Internet-based test
How do I apply for admission?

Contact the Office of Graduate Enrollment at (585) 475-6768. Or, apply online here.

Can I start the program in the Spring?

Yes, applications are accepted year-round.

Can I take software engineering master's-level courses online?

No, currently this department does not offer online graduate courses.

How do I apply for a Grad Assistantship?

Fill out the Graduate Assistantship Form before the annual deadline - please email Bridgette at to receive a form if you are interested.

How do I get my Software Engineering computer account?

Your account will be set up when you register for your first SE course. Your username and password will be distributed on the first day of class.

How do I register for classes?

Incoming graduate students are registered by the department for two of their three classes for their first semester. Students are responsible for submitting an Elective Approval Form and enrolling in their third course. After the first semester, students are responsible for enrolling themselves in all courses. Some courses, such as Thesis or Capstone Project, have special restrictions which require students to complete the necessary paperwork before the department will enroll students in them. (

Can I take a software engineering graduate course if I'm not a matriculated student?

Yes, non-matriculated students can take SE courses. You will need permission from the Graduate Program Director. You will also need to provide proof (official transcripts) that you have completed your bachelor's degree, and any prerequisites required by the course.

Can I transfer credits into this program?

Yes. You may transfer up to nine credits of graduate level credit from another university. The decision to apply courses as transfer credit is at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director.

How do I change my address or contact information?

You can update your personal information on SIS.

How many courses must I take to complete this degree?

There are 11 required courses (in addition to any Bridge Courses), for a total of 36 credits. It is a two-year, full-time, Master of Science program that is designed to build solid technical depth along with the professional competencies necessary for successful employment in software engineering industry or a closely related field.

Can I take electives in any program?

The Graduate Program Director will help you choose technical electives that support your academic goals. With approval from the Graduate Program Director, most graduate-level course may be applied toward your technical elective requirement. You will need to complete an Elective Approval Form.

What is a Bridge Course? Do I have to take Bridge Courses?

Bridge Courses are undergraduate-level courses that provide a background in areas of Software Engineering. Some students are accepted into the program on the condition that certain Bridge Courses will be completed (with a grade of B or higher).

Bridge Courses are not required for all students. Your Plan of Study will list any Bridge Courses you need to take.

Can I take Bridge Courses at the same time as graduate-level courses?

Yes. You may register for Bridge Courses and your other required courses at the same time. Keep in mind that Bridge Courses must be completed within the first two terms after you enroll in the program.

Can I test out of a Bridge Course?

Sometimes. In order to do so, you must get authorization from the Graduate Program Director who will help you make arrangements with an instructor. There are some courses that you cannot test out of, but you can appeal. Appealing will usually include documented course work or work experience.

Is co-op required for graduation from this program?

No. Co-op is optional for this master's program. Students may go on co-op after completing 18 credits in the program and with approval of the Graduate Program Director. Refer to our Graduate Co-op page for registration information.

Will doing a co-op affect my graduation date?

Your graduation date may change if you choose to do a co-op. Co-ops are not built-in to your Plan of Study, and therefore you should allot extra time if you plan to do a co-op.

How do international students receive a program extension?

Students will need to discuss their visa status with the International Student Services (ISS) office first. Then, students need to bring the Program Extension Form or request to the SE Office at least one week before it is due. The Graduate Program Director will sign the form or complete the request and return it to ISS.

How do I apply to graduate?

Submit your Application for Graduation two terms before you expect to complete your coursework. Pick up an application in the SE Office, or find it online here.

Once you submit the form, the Office Manager will contact you and schedule a meeting to review your remaining requirements.

How do I obtain a scholarship renewal letter?

Students need to contact the SE Office for a renewal letter at least one week before it is due to the sponsor. The Graduate Program Director will sign the form and send it as a PDF via email to the student.

What is Academic Probation?

Students qualify for academic probation if the student’s program GPA or term GPA fall below 3.0 after 9 credits have been attempted. Students on probation will need to discuss their probation status with the Graduate Program Director. RIT’s official policy is here.

What is Academic Suspension?

Students qualify for suspension when they were on probation in the prior term and have a program GPA below 3.0 or received a grade of C or lower in a required bridge course. RIT’s official policy is here.

What is the difference between Capstone and Thesis?

The thesis should answer a question, which contributes to new knowledge and is generalizable beyond a single setting. The thesis should be analytic, should systematically analyze data, and should develop and make appropriate inferences based on the analysis.

The capstone project may answer a question of practical importance, - to develop, test, and evaluate a solution. A measure of quality of both theses and capstone projects relates to the clarity of thought process, beginning with the statement of the question or problem, to final statement of conclusions or recommendations. An additional measure of the quality of a capstone project may also relate to how effectively it contributes to carrying out the goals and objectives.

See Thesis and Capstone Project Comparison for more information.