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 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 a number of key software engineering topics. You'll 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 as a full stack developer.
Software Engineering Career Outlook
With 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 21% through 2028 – a whopping 284,100 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 $105,590 in May 2018.1
With this concentration, students will 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.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, SNHU 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). Regional accreditation, like that from NECHE, is older and more widely accepted across the country, meaning your credits transfer more easily from one institution to the next.
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. As a student at SNHU, you may have access to a number of extracurricular activities and events, including:
- Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Named after U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, an early pioneer in computer programming, this is the world's largest gathering of women technologists. Each year, SNHU sends faculty and students from our online STEM programs and our campus College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics (CETA) to attend.
- ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. Created with the belief that inclusion drives innovation, this event brings together students, faculty, researchers and professionals in computing to celebrate diversity, connect communities and inspire action in their field. It has also helped our students explore internships and job opportunities.
- Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS). Aimed to help women bridge the gap in the global cybersecurity workforce, this invite-only conference offers a number of learning, working and leadership sessions. Past student attendees have had a powerful opportunity to network and improve job readiness by way of walk-in resume reviews and interview prepping.
- 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.
- Teradata University Network (TUN) data competition. Hosted by the Teradata University for Academics, which aims to prepare students and educators for success in a data-driven world, this competition challenges participants to analyze real-life data sets and submit their findings. Finalists are awarded a scholarship to attend the Teradata Universe Conference, a near week-long event that features keynote speakers, collaboration and hands-on training.
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter. This online community gives members a resource to gain knowledge and interest in the science, design, development, languages, management and applications of modern computing. As of 2020, this chapter consisted of over 100 students, nearly half (44%) of whom are women.
As an SNHU student, you'll have access to a powerful network of peers, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
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.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand 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.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so we can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
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.
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, senior associate dean 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 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 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 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.|
|CS 470||Full Stack Development II||In this course, students will develop a full stack application that runs in the cloud. Through the application of cloud-based development principles and best practices, students will take their software stack from Full Stack Development I and utilize frameworks to build the cloud architecture upon which the software stack application will run. In addition, students will also demonstrate their career-readiness by articulating highly technical content to various audiences and in various formats. This course is the second course in a two-course sequence.|
|MAT 140||Precalculus||This course emphasizes the algebra and concepts of functions. Students will learn the properties and graphing techniques for different types of functions including: linear, polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Students will also learn to solve a variety of real world problems that rely on a number of different problem solving strategies and an understanding of these different types of functions. This course is intended for those students who wish to prepare for Calculus.|
|Total Credits: 120|
Computer Science Minimum Specifications
Windows 10, 64 Bit
Windows 10, 64 Bit
Intel 8th Gen i5 or i7
Intel 9th Gen i7
8 GB RAM
16 GB RAM
500+ GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
Discrete/dedicated (such as NVIDIA or AMD)
802.11 a/c dual band
802.11 a/c dual band
Office 2013 Professional or newer
Office 2013 Professional or newer
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
CD/DVD drive, external hard drive, extra power cord and headphones/earbuds
CD/DVD drive, external hard drive, extra power cord and headphones/earbuds
SNHU Purchase Programs
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We 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|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 2018.1 In that same period, bachelor’s degree holders had an unemployment rate of just 2.2%, compared to 2.8% for associate degree holders and 4.1% 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, FL. 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 engineer?
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, and taking that into consideration when choosing a degree program.
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 will 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 a 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.
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 will provide you with specialized math and engineering skills, including statistics, quantitative analysis, calculus, algebra and more.
General education mathematics courses, including pre-calculus, will 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 allow you to talk through problems with your peers and instructors.
What is a salary of a software engineer?
According 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 $105,590 in May 2018.1 That said, the salary of a software engineer can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as area of expertise, industry and geographical location.
Take, for example, the fast-growing field of applications development. According to the BLS, software developers working in applications earned an overall median salary of $103,620 in 2018.1
Some of the top-paying industries for software engineers working in applications development are computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing ($130,460); cable and other subscription programming ($125,510); securities, commodity contracts, and other financial related activities ($125,050); and aerospace products and parts manufacturing ($123,450).1
The highest paying states for these jobs were Washington ($131,790), California ($127,950), New York ($116,830), Virginia ($113,690) and the District of Columbia ($112,510).1
Salaries for software engineers working in systems software development were also above the median annual wage for all employers – professionals in this field reportedly earned a median salary of $110,000 in 2018.1
Some of the top-paying industries for software engineers working in systems software were advertising, public relations and related services ($131,410); technical and trade schools ($128,350); semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing ($127,810); and central banks ($125,530).1
The highest paying states for these jobs were California ($131,700), New Hampshire ($126,790), Colorado ($124,410), New Jersey ($123,370) and Washington ($121,250).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 21% by 2028 – 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 applications developers are projected to see the most growth – about 26% by 2028.1
Earning a software engineering degree can help you start and grow a technology career. According to Code.org, while the majority of all new jobs in science, technology, engineering and math are projected to be in computing, only 10% of technology graduates earn a degree in computer science.5 This skills gap means qualified software engineers are in high-demand.
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/careeroutlook/2019/data-on-display/education_pays.htm (viewed March 30, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-4 (viewed March 30, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-5 (viewed March 30, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-6 (viewed March 30, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes151132.htm (viewed March 30, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes151133.htm (viewed March 30, 2020)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.
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
4 ComputerScience.org, Software Engineer Careers, on the internet, at: https://www.computerscience.org/careers/software-engineer/ (viewed Mar. 22, 2020)
5 Code.org, Why Computer Science?, on the internet, at: https://code.org/promote (viewed Mar. 22, 2020)