University of Minnesota
Master of Science in Software Engineering

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Application Materials and Process


Every applicant must complete the Graduate School Application, an entirely online process. You may start the Graduate School Application, save it, and return to it at a later time. In order to submit the application and be considered for enrollment you’ll need to include the application materials listed below and pay the application fee ($75 for domestic students, $95 for international students).

Required Application Materials

In order to apply, you need the following documentation and information. In the How to Apply section (below) you will see detailed directions on how to apply and where to include the following information.

  1. A Personal Statement: Your Personal Statement should be limited to two pages, explaining your immediate and long-range occupational objectives in relation to software engineering; be specific about your particular areas of interest. Please describe your current job responsibilities, career goals, and how the MSSE program supports your success. Also include your professional experiences with software engineering.

  2. Diversity or Extenuating Circumstances Statements: If there are any factors that have influenced your grade point average or your test scores and you would like these factors to be considered when your application is reviewed, please explain these circumstances fully in separate letters using the Diversity Statement or Extenuating Circumstances Statement upload in the application. For example, if your educational background has generally been disadvantaged or you have individual circumstances that have otherwise affected your performance.

  3. A CV or Resume: Your CV or resume should include your educational background and degrees, professional experience, any teaching or research experience, a list of papers, publications, inventions, or other creative work (URLs included), computer languages in which you are proficient, and any other information that will advance your application.

  4. Transcripts: you will need to include an electronic copy of your unofficial transcripts in order to submit the application. When you are admitted to the program you will need to send official transcripts from all previous college coursework you’ve completed.

  5. For international students, proof of English language proficiency. See: The Graduate School’s page on English Language Proficiency.

  6. Employment Information: In the application system, include your current employer information and any other professional software development experience in “Other employment experience.”

  7. Software Experience: There is a required section in the application specific to MSSE that asks about your program and systems experience, as well as corporate sponsorship.

  8. Names and email addresses for 2 recommendations: One (1) recommendation should be from someone in your current management line who is familiar with your work experience and performance. One (1) may be from a current or former professor or you may submit a second professional recommendation if more applicable than a former professor. Each person you indicate will receive a link to provide feedback that is loaded directly into your application. Do not send hard copies or emails with letters attached as it will delay the process.

It is highly recommended that you provide your letter writers with the following information from our program: In these letters we are looking for information on working with the applicant in the workplace or the classroom. Provide us with any feedback you have on their overall performance with tasks or assignments, work with clients or colleagues, and performance on deliverables. Including examples of specific projects they've completed, languages or operating systems in which they have worked, examples of when the applicant has worked on a deeply technical issue, and any other feedback that would help demonstrate their potential success in our program is also encouraged. To see more information on our program please go to Once you submit your letters of recommendation through the system, the applicant will receive an email notifying them that you've submitted it.

How To apply

Complete and submit the Graduate School Application with payment to cover the application fee. For the Graduate School Application, you must:
  1. Complete each page of the application as directed in the system For Biographical Information, Personal Background, Academic History, and Employment there are no MSSE-specific requirements. Fill them out as directed. For the pages below, include the MSSE-specific required information detailed above.

    • On the Software Engineering page answer all questions and provide us with your proficiency in three languages and operating systems.

    • On the Test Scores page, for international students only, provide your English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB, etc.). Official exam scores should be send to the University (click here for details). Other test scores, (ex: GRE) are not required by the MSSE program.

    • On the Materials page upload your Personal Statement, Resume/CV, and any Diversity or Extenuating Circumstances statements. See above for the information MSSE requests you include in these documents.

    • Recommendations: Provide the names and contact information for two references. See above for more detail on what MSSE requires. These recommendations should not be sent to the Graduate School or to MSSE directly.

    • To complete your application, sign the document, pay the fee, and submit.