Texas Tech University

M.S. in Software and Security Engineering

The Master of Science in Software and Security Engineering (MSSSE) program emphasizes advanced security and software engineering concepts, including information and computer security, software design and quality assurance methodologies, and practices in security and software production. It is designed to provide both fundamental and practical knowledge for students who want to pursue careers in industry as software engineers and/or security engineers as well as those who want to advance their knowledge in the field as researchers in security and software engineering. 

Students can choose between completing a thesis (31 credit hours), non-thesis (37 credit hours), master's project or master's report (37 credit hours). 

Participation in the thesis, project, or report options requires approval by faculty. 

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
  • Statistics
  • Calculus I
  • Discrete Math
  • Data Structures
  • Algorithm Analysis
  • Operating Systems OR Computer Architecture
With mathematics background
  • Data Structures
  • Algorithm Analysis
  • Operating Systems OR Computer Architecture

Degree Plans

Degree plans for the MSSSE (thesis, non-thesis, project and report) can be found here

Comprehensive Evaluation (Final Comprehensive Examination)

The final comprehensive evaluation (or, 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 to satisfy this requirement.

Non−thesis plan (exam option) students must take an exam at a minimum covering the material they learned during their master's degree to satisfy this requirement.

Non-thesis students can also choose to complete an Industry Career Certificate provided for free by TTU Online, or complete an internship to satisfy this requirement.

Project or report students will complete an oral examination wherein they present publically on project/report results. 

Transfer Coursework

Transfer credit may be accepted from another university as long as the following conditions are met:

  • A final grade of 'B' or higher was earned in the course. Students are required to submit an official transcript submitted to the Graduate School.
  •  The course was not taken by correspondence.
  • The inclusion of the course satisfies degree plan requirements.
  • The course is approved by the Graduate Advisor, Graduate Coordinator, and (if applicable) the student's thesis advisor.
  • A Texas Tech University course corresponds to the transferred course.
  • The course is from a computer science or similar program.

A MS student may only transfer up to 6 hours (two classes). 


The MSSSE program has replaced the prior Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) program, which has stopped accepting new applicants.