The Best Training for
Software Engineering in 2021

If you are looking for the best software engineering schools and programs to attend in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. We have researched and crafted the ultimate guide to software engineering studies and posted it here for people like you.

Whether you are interested in a specific type of degree program or school of engineering, you’ll find the answers in this guide. With options varying in degree level, cost, and location, there is a program here for everyone.

Rundown: The Top 10 Software Engineering Programs in 2021

The table below displays the top 10 software engineering schools together with their programs and tuition and the professional certifications offered. Some of the schools we have chosen offer many programs, while others only offer one or two. You can compare them to find the perfect fit for you.

State Programs and Cost Certifications
Boston University MA Master of Science in Software Development
$29,280 per semester (full-time)
$505-$940 per credit (part-time)
Software Engineering Graduate Certificate
$29,280 per semester (full-time)
$505-$940 per credit (part-time)
N/A
Carnegie Mellon University PA Minor in Software Engineering
$57,560 per year
Master of Software Engineering
$50,320 per year
PhD in Software Engineering
$45,700 per year
SEI Software Architecture Professional Certificate
Iowa State University IA Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
$9,634 per year (in-state)
$25,446 per year (out-of-state)
Master of Science in Computer Engineering with
Specialization in Software Engineering
$11,404 per year (in-state)
$26,948 per year (out-of-state)
PhD in Computer Engineering with Specialization in
Software Engineering
$11,404 per year (in-state)
$26,948 per year (out-of-state)
N/A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering
$55,510 per year
Master of Engineering in Computer Science
$74,686 per year
PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
$74,686 per year
N/A
Michigan Technological University MI Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
$16,654 per year (in-state)
$37,800 per year (out-of-state)
N/A
Stevens Institute of Technology NJ Minor in Software Engineering
$27,390 per semester
Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
$27,390 per semester
Master of Science in Software Engineering
$19,038 per semester
N/A
University of California, Irvine CA Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
$3,814 per semester (in-state)
$9,918 per semester (out-of-state)
Master of Science in Software Engineering
$9,960 per semester (full-time)
$6,225 per semester (part-time)
PhD in Software Engineering
$3,814 per semester (out-of-state)
Device Software Engineering
University of Miami FL Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering,
Software Engineering Concentration
$53,112 per year
Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Computer Engineering,
Software Engineering Concentration
$2,213 per credit hour
N/A
The University of Texas at Austin TX Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering with
Software Engineering Specialization
$31,004
Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with
Software Engineering Specialization
$17,000 (plus fees)
N/A
Worcester Polytechnic Institute MA Bachelor of Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering
$54,640 per year
Master of Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering
$28,980 per year
$1,610 per credit (online students)
PhD in Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering
$28,980 per year
N/A
How to Pick the Best Software Engineering School for You

How to Pick the Best Software Engineering School for You

When trying to determine which software engineering school you should enroll in, it is important to take a few factors into account. Aspiring software engineering students should consider important factors like the school’s cost, programs offered, and accreditation status.

Cost

The cost of a program will always be a determining factor. We suggest taking the time to decide on a budget and how much you are willing to stray from it. Calculate how much you would have to pay out-of-pocket but also take into account any scholarship money or financial aid that you could access.

Programs Offered

Some people just want to attend a school due to its name and reputation. However, it is critical to make sure it also offers degrees that are in line with your academic goals. For example, Boston University has impressive graduate programs in software engineering but students can only add one minor to be their undergraduate degrees. This may be less ideal for students with ambitious goals for their academic careers.

Accreditation

If you are pursuing a career in software engineering, make sure the school you are interested in is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Though not required, ABET accreditation matters, particularly to employers.

The Best Software Engineering Schools of 2021

Our list of the best software engineering schools of 2021 has plenty of variety when it comes to tuition costs and programs. Every school on this list is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Some are also accredited by other organizations.

Boston University

Programs

MS in Software Development, Software Engineering Graduate Certificate

Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), ABET

Online Options

MS in Software Development, Software Engineering Graduate Certificate

Boston University offers both a master of science and a graduate certificate in software development. Both programs are offered on-campus as well as online and are accredited by NECHE. Boston University is ranked number 36 out of over 200 engineering schools according to US News.

If you want to enroll in a program at Boston University, we recommend checking out the MS in Software Development.

Master of Science in Software Development Curriculum

Fundamentals of software engineering/development

Real-world case studies

Project-based education to create a professional portfolio

Carnegie Mellon University

Programs

Minor in Software Engineering, Master of Software Engineering, PhD in Software Engineering

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), ABET

Online Options

Master of Software Engineering

If you are interested in earning a degree from a prestigious university, look no further than Carnegie Mellon University. This university is possibly one of the best computer science schools in the US. It offers a minor in software engineering as well as a master’s and doctoral degree. You can use these degree options to your advantage, and create an education path that aligns perfectly with your career goals.

The Master of Software Engineering degree, offered both on-campus and online, is a point of pride for the university.

Master of Software Engineering Curriculum

Software development theory, architecture, and fundamentals courses

Professional development and business courses

Studio project or thesis

Iowa State University

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, Master of Science in Computer Engineering with Specialization in Software Engineering, PhD in Computer Engineering with Specialization in Software Engineering

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission (HLC), ABET

Online Options

N/A

Iowa State University, located in the heart of the Midwest, has a few programs worth checking out. These degree programs give students the opportunity to work on both computing machinery and software application development, making for a more versatile learning experience.

The ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering is where you’ll want to start at this school.

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering Curriculum

Elective courses in software engineering, computer engineering, and computer science

Courses in software engineering fundamentals

Career-oriented courses to learn soft skills

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Programs

Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering, Master of Engineering in Computer Science, PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Accreditation

NECHE, ABET

Online Options

N/A

MIT is considered one of the best engineering schools in the country, and if you attend this prestigious school, its reputation will open many doors during your professional life. The programs offered at MIT are not specifically in software engineering, but they offer a broad computer science education.

The Master of Engineering in Computer Science is the most popular program among MIT students pursuing a degree in this field.

Master of Engineering in Computer Science Curriculum

Courses in computer science fundamentals

Elective courses in software engineering

Master’s thesis

Michigan Technological University

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

Accreditation

HLC, ABET

Online Options

N/A

Michigan Technological University’s Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program is accredited by both HLC and ABET. This program is offered on-campus only and costs a bit more for those who are not residents of the state of Michigan. However, with scholarships and grants, this school may be a good option for you.

The Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering features an innovative curriculum that’s up-to-date with real-world developments in the field.

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering Curriculum

Software engineering fundamentals courses

Consistently updated career training

Team-based projects

Stevens Institute of Technology

Programs

Minor in Software Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, Master of Science in Software Engineering

Accreditation

MSCHE, ABET

Online Options

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Stevens Institute of Technology offers on-campus options for a minor, undergraduate degree, and graduate degree in software engineering. There is also an online master of science option. The software engineering minor pairs well with most engineering and technology-related degrees. The bachelor’s degree in software engineering will prepare you for entry-level positions, while the MS will give you access to more senior roles.

The Master of Science in Software Engineering program will prepare you for every stage of the software engineering cycle.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Curriculum

Software engineering fundamentals courses

Relevant electives count toward graduate certificates

Capstone studio project

University of California, Irvine

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, Master of Science in Software Engineering, PhD in Software Engineering

Accreditation

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), ABET

Online Options

N/A

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is a great school to study software engineering. Whether you are fresh out of high school or a working professional, UCI provides the curriculum required for you to succeed. The most popular software engineering program at UCI is the Master of Science in Software Engineering.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Curriculum

Fundamental technology and professional development courses

Summer internship

Capstone project designed to enhance professional portfolio

University of Miami

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering Concentration; Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering Concentration

Accreditation

Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, ABET

Online Options

N/A

At the University of Miami, you can enroll in an on-campus Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Computer Engineering with a software engineering specialization. Both programs offer a similar curriculum and are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges as well as ABET.

For a faster path to earning a graduate degree, we recommend checking out the Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Computer Engineering program.

Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering Concentration Curriculum

Computer and software engineering fundamentals

Elective courses in database design, algorithm analysis, and programming languages

Multiple design projects for professional portfolio

The University of Texas at Austin

Programs

Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering with Software Engineering Specialization, Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering with Software Engineering Specialization

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ABET

Online Options

N/A

The University of Texas at Austin offers both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree with software engineering specializations. While these degrees do not have a strict software engineering curriculum, they are perfect options for those who want a broader education. Not to mention the school’s programs are accredited by both SACSCOC and ABET.

To get your education journey started, check out the undergraduate degree offering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering with Software Engineering Specialization Curriculum

Computer engineering core courses

Software engineering elective courses

Senior year design project

Worcester Polytechnic University

Programs

Bachelor of Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering, Master of Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering, PhD in Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering

Accreditation

NECHE, ABET

Online Options

Master of Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering

Worcester Polytechnic University offers a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in Computer Science with a focus on software engineering. This is a fantastic option for those who are interested in software engineering but want a broader education. These programs will teach software engineering alongside the fundamentals of computer science, preparing you for a plethora of career options.

If you are trying to decide where to start, we recommend the ABET-accredited bachelor of computer science program with a focus on software engineering.

Bachelor of Computer Science with Focus in Software Engineering Curriculum

Collaborative projects with students and faculty

Opportunities to complete projects off-campus and abroad

Course material based on real-world situations

How Much Can You Earn as a Software Engineer?

How Much Can You Earn as a Software Engineer?

As is the case with many technological careers, the earning potential for software engineers is quite high. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for software developers is $110,140. The same source states that employment in this field is expected to grow much faster than the national average, at a rate of 22 percent.

Though $110,140 is a fantastic salary, the following software engineering roles are some of the highest-paying jobs you can get. All pay higher than the average software engineering salary.

The Highest-Paying Software Engineering Roles

Role Required Education Average Salary
Director of Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degree $162,707
Software Development Director Bachelor’s Degree $146,684
Lead Software Engineer Bachelor’s Degree $119,762
Senior Software Engineer Bachelor’s Degree $119,483
Senior Project Manager of Engineering Bachelor’s Degree $118,127

Why You Should Be a Software Engineer in 2021

Software engineering careers are some of the best-paid professions in today’s job landscape. With the potential to earn well over $100,000 per year in a rapidly growing field, you are almost guaranteed a high salary and job security.

If your goal is to become a software engineer, you have made a wise career decision. However, becoming a software engineer of any sort takes time and dedication. You will need to be a highly motivated individual with a love of software and technology. If that sounds like you, then consider some of the schools on this list to get the education you need to succeed as a software engineer.

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