University of Minnesota
Master of Science in Software Engineering

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Prospective Students FAQ

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If you don't find an answer to a question here, please download our info pac or contact the SE program to request more information.

Do I need a bachelor's degree in computer science to apply?

Not necessarily. The program prefers a B.A. or B.S. degree in computer science or a related field, such as electrical engineering or mathematics. Nevertheless, students with degrees in fields not closely related to computer science may qualify with significant relevant work experience in a software development field. See our list of program requirements.

If I enter the program, am I considered a University student?

Yes, and that means you can access most University facilities, including the libraries, bookstores, and cultural centers, and receive a University email account. All student discounts for books, computational resources, and software are available to MSSE students. No need to worry about the hassles of registration or standing in line for books, though. The program handles those details for its students. There's an additional fee for use of the recreational centers.

Is lecture the norm?

Quite the contrary. The classroom environment is highly interactive. Faculty frequently use case studies, and students share relevant on-the-job experiences. In addition, students work together in teams and gain hands-on experience in labs, and with simulations.

How closely do faculty work with students?

Limited enrollment in the program makes it easy for students to communicate with faculty during and after class. Students access faculty from their off-site locations through phone conversations and email. Faculty also can help refer students to other University faculty who have expertise in a special area. Teaching assistants provide additional help.

Will industry professionals participate in the program?

Industry professionals participate as instructors, project advisers, and guest lecturers. You'll find that your classmates, also industry professionals, are invaluable resources.

As a student in the program, how much time do I need to commit?

It varies, but students typically spend 15 to 20 hours studying outside of class. Some of that time will overlap with on-the-job work requirements.

How much does the program cost, and is financial aid available?

The comprehensive fee for students entering in Fall 2017 was $10,400 per semester. When enrolled in the 4 semesters consecutively, the fee remains the same for both years and covers all program costs (including tuition, fees, textbooks and more). There are no hidden or additional costs, but an installment fee and late fees may apply if payments are not made by the University due dates. If your employer has a yearly limit on reimbursement, keep in mind that the program is over 3 calendar years (even though it is a 2-year program): Semester 1 = 2018; Semesters 2 & 3 = 2019; Semester 4 = 2020

For financial aid, please visit the Financial Aid Rescources site or contact Jim Parker at 612-626-0750. If you are a staff member at the U of MN and would like to take advantage of the Regents Scholarship, please visit the Regents Scholarship Information site.

How do I find more about the program?

To talk to someone about whether this program is right for you or your employees, you may either call us at (612) 625-1381 or send email to