M.S. in Software Engineering


If you declared your major prior to Fall 2021, please follow the M.S. in Software Engineering (Prior to Fall 2021) page.


The M.S. in Software Engineering caters to students interested in software engineering and also other contemporary topics of long-term value to the industry. Most early careers in the industry are based on either software development or managerial aspects of software development. This degree places more weight on software development. For those seeking a greater focus on managerial aspects, we offer the M.S. in Information Technology.

STEM Designation

With a national shortage of professionals trained in STEM-related fields, employers are actively pursuing STEM degree holders. Distinguish yourself in technology with a STEM-designated degree.

The MS in Computer Science has been granted a STEM designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The program achieved STEM designation because of its emphasis on teaching students how to solve computer science problems with a suite of quantitative and technological tools.

Under this STEM classification, international students can extend their training in the U.S. by working in their field of study. Students can qualify for a 24-month OPT (Optional Practical Training) Extension, bringing the total OPT time granted to 36 months.



Students who have taken undergraduate Loyola classes:

Many 400-level courses in the department have closely related 300-level analogues, e.g. COMP 443: Computer Networks and COMP 343: Computer Networks. Students who enter the MS program after taking a Loyola course in this category must choose to take 400-level courses that are not closely related to any 300-level courses taken earlier, unless they have GPD permission.

Overall, to achieve depth and breadth, Software Engineering students must complete the following:

  • Two (2) required courses addressing ethical and social issues in the computing field and a firm base in object-oriented programming.

  • Three (3) courses from restricted categories to ensure a strong software engineering center, while still allowing a considerable the flexibility of interests.

  • Five (5) courses or 15 credits that are general electives.

Major Prerequisites

A four-year undergraduate degree in any field. Computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, or related background recommended. For students without a programming or related background, see below the preparation courses that you have to take.

Prerequisites/Preparation Courses

All of these courses must be taken if you do not have a four-year undergraduate degree in a related field.


Students may not use an introductory course to satisfy a foundation or elective requirement.

Preparatory courses do not count towards the 30 required credit hours of non-preparatory courses.

A student taking any necessary preparation course is considered to be a full-fledged student of the Graduate School. Preparation courses may be taken in the same semester as other graduate courses, provided the prerequisites for the other graduate courses are met. Students are expected, however, to take all necessary preparation courses early in their career.

A student may place out of an introductory course under any of the following conditions:

  • The student has appropriate coursework equivalent to the introductory course.

  • The student has appropriate and verified professional experience equivalent to the introductory course.

  • The student passes a Graduate Competency Assessment (GCA) in the introductory course area.

  • This can be waived under the discretion of the GPD.

If a student has had a preparatory course waived, departmental assistance will usually be necessary to allow the student to register for any other course having that preparatory course as a prerequisite.

Major Requirements (6 Credits/2 classes)


COMP 413: Intermediate Object-Oriented Development is a prerequisite to many other courses.

Restricted Electives (9 Credits/3 classes)

MSSE students must take nine (9) credits of restricted electives.

MSSE students must take at least one course from the following Group 1 list:

MSSE students must also take two additional courses from either Group 1 or the following Group 2 list:


COMP 363: Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms might be required as a prerequisite for some of the courses in Group 1 and Group 2.

If a student enters the program with an academic record of success in a a course similar to COMP 413: Intermediate Object-Oriented Development, or if the student can demonstrate programming experience with the concepts of COMP 413: Intermediate Object-Oriented Development, then the GPD may substitute for the COMP 413: Intermediate Object-Oriented Development requirement a course in Group 1 or 2 that has COMP 413: Intermediate Object-Oriented Development as a prerequisite.

The department may declare that other newly created permanent courses may count as members of either Group 1 or Group 2. Similarly, some Topics in Computer Science offerings (temporary courses) may also be designated as members of either Group 1 or Group 2. Students are responsible for verifying any such substitutions in advance with their Graduate Program Director.

General Electives (15 Credits/5 classes)

MSSE students must take fifteen (15) credits of other electives.

Electives can be any COMP 400 level class, except the preparation courses (COMP 400A, COMP 400B, COMP 400C, COMP 400D, COMP 400E).

General electives include any COMP 400 level course. The elective course options are common for all programs, differing only in the total number of credits required.

There are numerous options for independent study, including a programming project, research, or a service-oriented project.


Students may take up to a maximum of 6 credit hours of COMP 490: Independent Project and/or COMP 499: Internship.