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Doctorate Degree in Software Engineering: Program Info

If you are interested in studying computer science and engineering at the doctoral level, you may consider a Ph.D. program in software engineering. Find out what you can expect from these programs and what students do upon graduation.

Essential Information

Doctoral programs in software engineering are geared toward individuals interested in conducting research related to the development of software systems. Students can expect to learn about modern software design and experimental prototyping. Most of these programs last five to seven years and culminate in a dissertation or exploratory thesis.

In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree in a related field or have equivalent industrial software design experience. Other application requirements include GRE scores and undergraduate transcripts.


Ph.D. Programs in Software Engineering

Ph.D. students are encouraged to explore new and existing dilemmas related to the design, development, engineering, production, and maintenance of high-quality software. Coursework in these programs typically covers software design, systems analysis, research methodologies, and business plans. Example course titles include:

  • User interfaced software and secure software systems
  • Advanced computer networks
  • Software systems models and software management
  • Policy and privacy technology law
  • Software engineering and economic theory
  • Software artifact analysis

Popular Career Options

Most graduates pursue careers in academia or research. Possible job titles include:

  • Professor of software engineering
  • Industrial laboratory researcher
  • Software engineer
  • Engineering laboratory director
  • Industrial developer
  • Software system developer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for software developers is expected to increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024(www.bls.gov). Employment for systems software developers is expected to increase 13%, and for applications software developers, it is expected to grow 19%. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for applications software developers was $98,260 while it was $105,570 for systems software developers.

In conclusion, a Ph.D. in software engineering provides graduates with the technical skills they need for advanced positions in the IT industry or academic research careers.


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