Graduate Division

Master of Software Engineering

Section 1


Both large companies and small startups in all fields require the expertise of software engineers to help run a successful business or organization.  Everything from developing mobile applications to maintaining a secure cloud infrastructure requires team members to be able to see a project through from planning to implementation to deployment.  As a software engineer, you not only need to be proficient in the technical skills, but also have a demonstrated ability to successfully work in teams.  The Master of Software Engineering (MSWE) program equips current and future industry professionals with both the technical and soft skills to excel in their careers.

The professionally-oriented Master of Software Engineering program prepares students to continue in or enter the workforce and become leaders in the booming field of software engineering. MSWE is designed for a diverse set of students. While many students with backgrounds in computer science will be interested, the program also targets students from other majors such as the sciences, arts, and humanities, as well as local IT professionals whose careers could benefit from formal training in software engineering. In addition to a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, the second main criteria for admission is knowledge of programming in two languages, which may be acquired in a variety of ways, such as in the classroom or through self-learning.

The 15-month, 5-quarter program begins in the fall by exposing students to broad topics in computing through hands-on programming, and then offers specialized software engineering courses covering how existing software is engineered as well as foundational principles of the field. The program guides students through extensive practice in the design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of software, and also prepares them for the non-technical aspects of professional careers. A summer internship and capstone project during the final fall quarter allow students to practice skills learned in the classroom and get a taste of what to expect in the field.  Professional development courses embedded into the program prepare students for interviews and help develop career skills to secure a job after graduation.

Assignments in the program include hands-on group projects to mimic the situations in which students will find themselves in industry, and will allow students to gain firsthand experience with the development of large-scale software systems.  Taught by experts in the field, the courses offered as part of the professionally-oriented MSWE program will cover mature software engineering principles and techniques as practiced in the software industry.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Excellence. You will be part of a world-class group of faculty and students who have an outstanding track record of delivering innovative, relevant education.
  • Placement. We have systems in place to prepare our students for rich, fulfilling careers; while this program is new, alumni from related programs in our department have frequently moved on quickly from early jobs as programmers and software engineers to positions of technical and managerial leadership.
  • Support. You join a team that strongly believes that working together is essential to learning. Whether in the classroom, in your projects, or simply as part of a hallway conversation, we encourage you to speak up, join the discussion and contribute.
  • Connections. Alumni from our department have gone on to work for well-known, innovative corporations, and found successful startups. We stay in touch with them, and can help connect you with them for internships that complement your studies.
  • Diversity. UCI was founded with a focus on diversity of thought, experiences, and ideas. Our department faculty represent a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and have in-depth collaborations across campus.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Professional Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

5 quarters

Capstone Type

Capstone Project

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

All prospective students must complete the Online Application for Graduate Admissions.

Please visit the Applying to UCI and Frequently Asked Questions pages for complete application information and answers to common questions.

Applicants should have the following prerequisites completed before enrolling into the MWSE program:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Knowledge of data structures, such as lists, arrays, trees, and associative arrays
  • Proficiency in two general-purpose programming languages. It does not matter which ones. (Projects in this program involve several programming languages, with Python and Java dominating at the moment)

Financial Support

Do you offer fellowships for students?

Yes, we offer a limited number of fellowships each year to students.  We will make fellowship awards based on information submitted with the online application.  Domestic applicants must have a FAFSA on file to be awarded.  

Can I apply for the Reader (Grader)/Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant positions?

No, students in professional programs are not eligible for TA/RA positions.  If you are interested in teaching or research, the MSWE program may not be the right program for you.  You may want to consider the MSSE program.

Tuition & Fees

Cohort entering Fall 2019 - Full Time (5 Quarters)

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Summer 2020 Annual
Program Fee * 9,920.00 9,920.00 9,920.00 9,920.00 39,680.00
Student Services Fee † 230.00 230.00 230.00 0.00 690.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee † 9.00 9.00 9.00 9.00 36.00
Student Center Fee † 139.69 139.69 139.68 139.68 558.72
Bren Events Center Fee † 23.00 23.00 23.00 23.00 92.00
Recreation Center Fee † 88.00 88.00 88.00 88.00 352.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 0.00 4,377.54
Total Fees Paid $ 11,868.87 $ 11,868.87 $ 11,868.86 $ 10,179.68 $ 45,786.28

Cohort entering Fall 2019, Part Time (8 Quarters)

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Program Fee * 6,200.00 6,200.00 6,200.00 18,600.00
Student Services Fee † 230.00 230.00 230.00 690.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee † 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee † 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee † 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee † 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total Fees Paid $ 8,148.87 $ 8,148.87 $ 8,148.86 $ 24,446.60


Posted 17 June 2019:

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* MWSE students pay a cohort program fee and the quarterly program fee does not increase annually except in cases of rounding. Program fee does not include student services access fee.

Campus-based fees include the Assoc. Grad Students Fee, Student Center Fee, Bren Events Center Fee, and Recreation Center Fee. For 2019-20, total fees paid include fall-winter-spring campus-based fees of $779.06 and quarterly campus-based fees of $259.69 for fall 2019 and winter 2020, $259.68 for spring 2020, and annual student services accss fee of $117.00 ($39.00 per quarter).

Core Instructors

Crista Lopes
Faculty Director
Professor, Software Engineering

Iftekhar Ahmed

Assistant Professor in Informatics

Joshua Garcia
Assistant Professor, Software Engineering

André van der Hoek
Professor, Software Engineering

Jim Jones
Associate Professor, Software Engineering

Sam Malek
Associate Professor, Software Engineering

David Redmiles

Professor, Software Engineering

Emily Navarro
Professor, Software Engineering

Matt Beitz
Professor, Software Engineering

Hadaz Ziv
Professor, Software Engineering

Academic Data

Data is not yet available, as this is a new program.  The first cohort of MWSE students will matriculate in Fall 2019.

Career Outcomes

Data is not yet available, as this is a new program.  The first cohort of MWSE students will matriculate in Fall 2019.

Students & Alumni

Information is not yet available, as this is a new program. The first cohort of MWSE students will matriculate in Fall 2019.