Texas Tech University, Department of Computer Science
TTU Home Whitacre College of Engineering Computer Science Graduate Program M.S. in Software Engineering Overview

Overview

Our Master of Science in Software Engineering program has been in existence since 1999. The program is designed to provide both fundamental and practical knowledge for students who want to pursue careers in industry as software engineers as well as those who want to advance their knowledge in the field as researchers in software engineering. Graduates will learn issues and methodologies to help them specify, develop, test, maintain and manage complex software systems. Because software today is often embedded in and interacts with a variety of systems, our program also aims to broaden student knowledge in relevant fields. Specifically, the program incorporates software engineering concepts in the context of system requirements and system engineering that considers integrated aspects of physical artifacts, software, human factors, economic, and application domains. The program also includes important practical elements of teamwork and engineering ethics.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants should have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree with proficiency in probability and statistics or a Bachelor of Science in an engineering discipline with proficiency in at least one high−level programming language.

Master’s Degree Plan and Admission to Candidacy

The Master’s Degree Plan specifies information, such as in the case of the master’s thesis plan, the Thesis Advisory Committee, the title of the thesis, and the courses to be taken. The graduate school requires the Master’s Degree Plan to be submitted during the first semester of study. The Master’s Degree Plan also serves as the application for Admission to Candidacy. See the Texas Tech Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog for further details about the requirements for Admission to Candidacy.

For the thesis plan, students should make every effort to find a Thesis Advisor in an area of research compatible with their interests as soon as possible. Thesis Advisors may require students to take certain courses in order to prepare the student for research; therefore, students should allow the Thesis Advisor to assist in the selection of courses for their degree plan.

Minor courses are, in general, not allowed in the degree plan of the non−thesis plan, but are allowed on a limited basis in the degree plan of the thesis plan as long as those courses would support the student’s research. No minor courses will be counted if an equivalent computer science course exists. Please see the Texas Tech Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog for the details of minors at the master’s level. Please see the Graduate Advisor for minor course degree plan approval before taking the minor courses.

If a student switches from the thesis to the non−thesis plan, then any CS 6000 or possibly CS 7000 courses taken will be lost and not included on the non−thesis degree plan.

The degree plan may be modified later by filling out the degree plan change form. Any changes should be submitted before the graduation semester.

Leveling Requirements

Students who do not hold a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science or a related field may be required to complete undergraduate leveling work.

Without mathematics background

  1. Statistics
  2. Calculus I
  3. Discrete Math
  4. Data Structures
  5. Algorithm Analysis
  6. Software Engineering

With mathematics background

  1. Data Structures
  2. Algorithm Analysis
  3. Software Engineering

Thesis, Project, or Report Advisory

Committee

All committee members must belong to the graduate faculty. At a minimum, the committee must include:

Thesis−Based Plan

According to the Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog, the thesis should represent independent work by the student, be conducted under the supervision of an advisory committee, and be written clearly and concisely in standard English (or another language when appropriate). The thesis must be approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee and the Graduate Dean. All theses must conform to Texas Tech University’s published policies.

Project−Based Plan

The project should represent independent work by the student and be conducted under the supervision of an advisory committee. The project must include the development of a software system with a report written clearly and concisely in standard English (or another language when appropriate). The report on the project software system includes the problem statement, design, regime of testing, results, conclusions, and future additions/modifications. The project must be approved by the Project Advisory Committee and the Graduate Dean.

Report−Based Plan

The report should represent independent work by the student and be conducted under the supervision of an advisory committee. The report must include an investigation with a report written clearly and concisely in standard English (or another language when appropriate). The report on the investigation includes an investigation area statement, background literature, investigation design, investigation results, conclusions, and future investigative work. The report must be approved by the Project Advisory Committee and the Graduate Dean.

Final Comprehensive Examination

The Final Comprehensive Examination is required for both the thesis and non−thesis plans. This exam may only be administered to students who have been admitted to candidacy and who are registered for at least 3 hours in the examination semester. The examination semester is usually the semester of graduation.

For the thesis plan, students must publicly defend their completed thesis. For the non−thesis plan, exam option, students must take an exam at a minimum covering the material they learned during their master’s degree. For the non−thesis plan, project or report option, an oral examination is taken by students where they make a public presentation of the project/report and results.

Course Transfers

A graduate course may be accepted for transfer from another university as long as:

Students should be prepared to show syllabi and example coursework from the courses they wish to transfer.

No courses are transferred until the degree plan (institutional transcripts showing the transfer courses and grades must be attached) is submitted to the Department of Computer Science and approved by the Graduate Advisor.

Up to 6 hours may be transferred.

Please see the computer science Graduate Advisor for time limits on accepting transfer courses.