Develop a career in software engineering
- $320/credit (120 credits)
- Transfer up to 90 credits
- Add advanced skills to your BS Computer Science degree
- University accredited by NECHE
- Learn proven engineering techniques
- Explore emerging system architectures and technologies
Software Engineering Degree Concentration Overview
From open-source databases to popular online payment systems, mobile games and ride-share apps – some of today's most notable innovations wouldn't be possible without software engineers.
With the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering from SNHU, you'll learn the fundamental concepts and principles of software engineering that can help give you the skills and experience you need to break into the field.
A systematic approach used to develop software on time, on budget and within specifications, software engineering stands on the cutting edge of innovation and is highly valued by employers across various industries and geographic locations.
Through the software engineering concentration, you'll dive into several key software engineering topics.
Learn how to:
- Apply user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design and development techniques
- Develop secure code
- Explore various approaches to reverse engineer code
- Explore emerging trends in systems architecture
Online computer science degree students will work to solve real-world problems in courses that emphasize the design and development of computer software. As you progress toward graduation, you’ll create and save examples of your work, building a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to apply sound user experience principles and secure coding practices with a concentration in software engineering.
Software Engineering Career Outlook
Due to the increasing demand for new applications on mobile devices and tablets, the software development field is growing rapidly.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development positions are expected to increase 22% through 2030 – a whopping 409,500 new jobs – which is much faster than the national average for all U.S. occupations.1 The median annual pay for these roles was reportedly $120,990 in May 2021.1
With this concentration, students may be qualified for many software engineering and development roles, including:
- Software engineer. Apply engineering principles and systematic methods to develop programs and operating data for computers.
- Systems architecture designer. Evaluate software architectures and determine how they will be used to fulfill business needs.
- UI/UX developer. Conduct testing, create wireframes and visual prototypes and develop user interfaces for embedded, cloud-based and mobile systems.
- Full-stack developer. Develop client-side (front-end) and server-side (back-end) software. Design the user experience and interactions and develop the database and server-side control software for a web application.
- Secure software developer. Identify security vulnerabilities and write secure code to mitigate risks to software and data.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Software Engineering Degree
Why SNHU For Your Software Engineer Degree Concentration
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
As part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. In fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- U.S. News & World Report named SNHU the 2021 Most Innovative University in the North and one of the nation's "Best Regional Universities"
- Awarded the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology by The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU (according to a 2019 survey of 9,200+ online students). Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
We understand the power of putting yourself out there. That's why we strive to provide our students with opportunities to network, experience and compete with peers and professionals across the globe.
- National Cyber League (NCL) competitions. A "virtual training ground" that allows student teams to compete in real-world cyber simulations, the NCL blends practical experience and play. Our students have gone on to make Top 10 placements, and we proudly hold the distinction for producing the first all-female National Cyber League team to ever enter the (cyber) arena.
- Cyber Security Center of Excellence: Through our Cyber Security Center of Excellence, SNHU proudly supports cyber security students across the globe. To learn more about our contributions to the field, and connect with our academic leaders, visit our Cyber Security Center of Excellence page.
Earn credits for what you already know: Did you know certain work and life experience – like industry-recognized technology certifications, law enforcement training and math knowledge – could save you time and money at SNHU? Learn how you could get credit for work or life experience.
Expanding access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials:
- Completed free undergraduate application
- Prior transcripts, which we can retrieve at no cost to you
- Test scores are not required as part of your application
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
If you’re ready to apply, follow these simple steps to get the process going:
- Complete a free undergraduate application
- Submit any additional documents required
- Work with an admission counselor to explore financial options and walk through the application process
If you have questions or need help filling out your application, call 1.888.387.0861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courses & Curriculum
Courses within this specialized software engineering program emphasize the design and development of computer software, providing you with the specialized math, science and engineering skills you'll need for career success.
In the software engineering concentration, you’ll learn how to use secure coding techniques and reverse engineering strategies while exploring emerging trends in software engineering. You'll also explore user interface and user experience (UI/UX) concepts and techniques, helping you gain the software engineering skills employers are looking for.
Ulugbek Miniyarov '21 uses those skills regularly.
"The Software Reverse Engineering class really helped me understand about the software and the inner working of computer programs in depth," he said. "I never had a chance to learn assembly language and reverse engineering. This class helped me shape not only the language but also how CPU and memory actually execute the programs. Also, the interactive guide in the class helped me learn step by step without distracting with unnecessary information."
Our expert faculty bring with them decades of experience – as computer scientists, software engineers and beyond – and exhibit strong leadership both in the classroom and their professional careers. This experience helps inform courses and curriculum that can help position graduates for success in a field that's always changing.
For people like Dr. Cheryl Frederick, executive director of STEM at SNHU, that means leading the pack for education innovation. Backed by years of software engineering experience, Frederick was 1 of 4 university faculty members whose proposal was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive a $25,000 innovation grant.
Spearheaded by Dr. Scott Overmyer, our associate dean of IT and technical program coordinator with over 30 years of software experience, the proposal represented a commitment to the success of young technologists, specifically in IT and computer science fields.
"To retrain the numbers of people required to fulfill open jobs in the modern technology-driven economy, we need new approaches, thinking in new ways, and providing new opportunities for students at all levels," Overmyer said.Curriculum Requirements & Resources
- General education courses: All online bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
- Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
- Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|BS in Computer Science - Software Engineering|
|Courses May Include|
|BS In Computer Science Software Engineering Online|
|CS 210||Programming Languages||Students will develop functional programs that comply with industry regulations and best practices using various programming languages. Special attention will be paid to the importance of developing code that is not only functional, but also secure, efficient, and professional.|
|CS 305||Software Security||Through the analysis of advanced security concepts, students will learn how to develop secure code that complies with security testing protocols. In addition to exploring and implementing security concepts through code, students will also learn why and how to apply encryption technologies and techniques to communicate securely.|
|CS 319||UI/UX Design and Development||Students will explore User Interface (UI) and User eXperience (UX) design concepts and development techniques with an emphasis on user-centric and contemporary design patterns and techniques. Students will learn to conduct and evaluate user testing to inform user experience design. Use a variety of software tools to create wireframes and visual prototypes. This course provides students with authentic experiences in designing and developing user interfaces for embedded, cloud-based, and mobile systems.|
|CS 340||Client/Server Development||Students will learn how to apply database systems concepts and principles to develop client/server applications that interface client-side code with databases.|
|CS 350||Emerging Systems Architectures & Technologies||Students will explore emerging systems, architectures and technologies. Students will be provided with an in-depth evaluation of emerging system architecture focusing on performance and the software/hardware interface. Emphasis is on analyzing fundamental issues in architecture design and the impact on application performance to enable better understanding of the concepts. Students will learn to evaluate software architectures, both established and emerging, and gain experience in determining when to implement architectures and technologies to fulfill business needs.|
|CS 360||Mobile Architecture and Programming||Students will apply mobile development principles and best practices to develop mobile applications using user-centered design principles and industry standards. Upon completion of a fully-functional mobile application, students will conduct security, product assuredness, and compatibility checks before launching the application.|
|CS 405||Secure Coding||Students will focus on common security vulnerabilities that are found in software. Students will learn techniques and strategies to develop robust and secure code, leveraging secure programming principles. Students will gain authentic experience identifying security vulnerabilities and writing secure code to mitigate risks to software and data.|
|CS 410||Software Reverse Engineering||Students will learn the basics of reverse engineering specific to software systems. Learn how reverse engineering is used to recreate missing documentation to support legacy software code. Examine how reverse engineering is used to make new software products, enhance the functionality and efficiency of software components, and recreate the code for applications. Apply fundamental reverse engineering technologies and practices for maintainability and security-related use cases.|
|CS 465||Full Stack Development I||Students will design and develop a full stack application through the utilization of programming language frameworks. In creating a full stack application, students will also be responsible for developing a database as well as the code that interfaces their application to the database. This course is the first course in a two-course sequence.|
|Total Credits: 120|
Tuition & Fees
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
|Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*||$675||$225||$6,750|
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a systems software engineer?
Like so many other industries, the skill set of engineers working in the IT industry can vary. Both software engineers and systems engineers are responsible for developing software components. However, systems engineers are also responsible for building, maintaining and supporting the organization's technical infrastructure.
As a systems software engineer, you could streamline internal operations and communications, design the organization's intranet or implement a computer security system.
Can you get a software engineering degree online?
Yes, you can. At SNHU, online software engineering degrees are designed with flexibility in mind. You can attend class when it’s convenient for you, whether that’s early in the morning or late in the evening. With six 8-week terms per year, you can complete your undergraduate degree at your own pace.
As a leader in online education, we're dedicated to creating hands-on experiences for learners everywhere. Online students have access to virtual computing tools and real-world learning opportunities, including the development of computer software. You’ll develop key coding and design skills and build a portfolio of your work that can help position you for success when applying for jobs.
You’ll also still have access to networking opportunities as an online student. SNHU even offers clubs for online students, as well as tutoring, writing services and career counseling to help you turn your software engineering degree into a career.
Is a software engineering degree worth it?
This all depends on your own passions and career goals. If you've ever thought a software engineering career could be right for you, a bachelor's degree would be a great place to start. Maybe you're a military service member whose experience with advanced technology sparked a passion for coding. Perhaps you've wondered what it'd be like to build an application that can help connect people with healthcare services in your community.
As more and more businesses rely on technology for their day-to-day functions, software engineering degree holders are highly sought after across many industries.
Ulugbek Miniyarov '21 has been working in the industry for over a decade and is now using his degree to take his career to the next level. "I am on the verge of relocating to a different country and [my] degree is the main evidence that I am a great talent in the computer science field."
Some data suggests that earning a degree could also help position you for higher earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median weekly earnings for bachelor’s degree holders were reportedly 39% higher than associate degree holders in 2021.1 In that same period, bachelor’s degree holders had an unemployment rate of just 3.5%, compared to 4.6% for associate degree holders and 8.3% for workers without any college degree.1
With the skills gained in a software engineering degree, you’ll be prepared to develop new programs that solve problems, move business forward and even improve daily life for people around the world.
"Computer science is challenging and ever-changing and it sometimes makes me feel behind the curve. With that said, technology is shaping our world and I can always be proud that I am a part of it," said Danielle Hoopes '18, the first female graduate of SNHU’s online computer science degree.
Finally, a degree could also help open doors to powerful connections within the industry. Our alumni network, for example, is comprised of over 100,000 grads around the world. In addition, some of our students have even been able to attend national conferences in person, allowing them to meet their peers along with academics, industry experts and employers from all over the world.
Just ask computer science student Azita Dadresan '19. A month before graduating, she joined 26,000 people – 29 from SNHU – to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando, Florida. Ready to advance her career as a software developer, Dadresan spent every opportunity she had at the event's career fair, and her efforts paid off – she left the conference gaining the interest of 22 companies and accepted a job offer from one of them.
Beyond direct job offers, networking opportunities like these could result in meaningful long-term professional connections. Internal data from LinkedIn, for example, found that 56% of software engineers moved to companies where they knew at least one employee – citing "connectedness" as a major factor in the decision-making process.3
Which degree is best for software engineers?
The best degree is the one that prepares you for the career you want. Most software jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science or a related field, according to the BLS.1
If you’re interested in pursuing a software engineering career, it’s important to understand the difference between software engineering and software development.
The positions often work together, but software engineers use engineering principles to analyze and design full software systems, while software developers work on the creation of the software itself, according to ComputerScience.org.4
A software engineering bachelor’s degree can give you the specialized math, science and engineering skills you’ll need for an engineering career. You’ll also gain the collaboration, communication and analytical skills that employers often look for.
If you want to advance in the computer science field and take on leadership positions, a graduate degree – such as an online master's in information technology - may be required, according to the BLS.1 Earning professional certifications for specific software, programming languages or skills – like cybersecurity – may also be important depending on your ideal career path.
Read more about what you can do with a computer science degree.
Does software engineering require math?
You will need a strong understanding of math to succeed as a software engineer. Courses within SNHU’s online software engineering program can provide you with specialized math and engineering skills, including statistics, quantitative analysis, calculus, algebra and more.
General education mathematics courses, including pre-calculus, should help prepare you for the more advanced mathematics and engineering courses you’ll take later in your degree program.
If you're worried about succeeding in advanced math courses, we offer virtual tutors that can help you tackle any courses that challenge you, as well as online discussion forums that allow you to talk through problems with your peers and instructors.
What is a salary of a software engineer?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which combines job projections for roles in software development and software engineering, professionals in the field reportedly earned a median annual wage of $110,140 in May 2020.1 That said, the salary of a software engineer can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as area of expertise, industry and geographical location.
Some of the top employers of software developers in 2020 include computer systems design corporations, manufacturing companies, software publishers and insurance carriers.1 The median annual wage of software developers in each of these industries in 2020 varies. Developers in software publishing earned $124,050, developers in insurance earned $102,380 and developers in manufacturing earned $119,280.1
Within the computer industry, software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers earn about 21% more on average each year.1
Is software engineering a good career?
With a software engineering bachelor’s degree, you could find work across many industries as an applications developer, systems developer, software engineer, full-stack developer or programmer analyst.
Job prospects for software engineer degree holders appear promising in the coming years. According to data from the BLS, employment of software developers is projected to grow 22% by 2030 – much faster than the average for all occupations.1
Much of this growth will occur thanks to increasing demand for computer software and new applications for smartphones and tablets. In fact, jobs for software and web developers are projected to grow by about 19% by 2030.1
Earning a software engineering degree can help you start and grow a technology career. According to Code.org, a computer science major has the potential to earn 40% more than the college average.5 Computing jobs are also the #1 source of new wages in the U.S. and with over 400,000 positions currently open, qualified software engineers are in high demand.5
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151252.htm (viewed May 31, 2022)
- https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2022/data-on-display/education-pays.htm (viewed May 31, 2022)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 Study.com, Systems Software Engineer: Job Outlook & Career Requirements, on the internet at: https://bestaccreditedcolleges.org/articles/systems-software-engineer-job-outlook-and-requirements-for-a-career-in-systems-software-engineering.html (viewed Sept. 29, 2021)
3 LinkedIn, 7 LinkedIn Data Points That Will Help You Recruit Software Engineers in the U.S., on the internet, at https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2018/7-linkedin-data-points-that-will-help-you-recruit-software-engineers-in-the-us?trk=lilblog_02-21-18_software-engineers-salary_tl&cid=70132000001AyziAAC (viewed June 3, 2021)
4 ComputerScience.org, Software Engineer Careers, on the internet, at: https://www.computerscience.org/careers/software-engineer/ (viewed Sept. 29, 2021)
5 Code.org, Why Computer Science?, on the internet, at: https://code.org/promote (viewed Sept. 29, 2021)