Software Engineering

Program and Application Information
Department Head:Dr. Kendall E. Nygard
Graduate Coordinator:Dr. Gursimran Walia
Department Location:258 QBB (formerly IACC)
Department Phone:(701) 231-8562
Department Email:gradinfo@cs.ndsu.edu
Department Web Site:cs.ndsu.edu/
Application Deadline:February 1 for fall admission; September 1 for spring admission* No summer admission for any Software Engineering Program
Degrees Offered:Ph.D., M.S., M.S.E., Certificate
Test Requirement:GRE (M.S. and Ph.D. only)
English Proficiency Requirements:TOEFL ibT 79 IELTS 6.5
*Spring admissions are given only occasionally, depending on funding and faculty interest. If there are no spring openings, spring applicants are automatically considered for the subsequent fall semester.

Program Description

Software Engineering is focused on the application of systematic, disciplined, and quantifiable approaches to the development, operation, and maintenance of software systems. Inclusive of computer programming but going well beyond, Software Engineering is concerned with methodologies, techniques, and tools to manage the entire software life cycle, including development of requirements, specifications, design, testing, maintenance, and project management. The advent of Software Engineering is a natural result of the continuous quest for software quality and reusability, and the maturing of the software development industry.

The Department of Computer Science offers a Graduate Certificate in Software Engineering, Master of Software Engineering, Master of Science in Software Engineering, and Ph.D. in Software Engineering. The programs are designed to appeal to both full-time students and software professionals who are employed and wish to pursue a program part time. The Master of Software Engineering is a course work only program while the Master of Science in Software Engineering is a course work, comprehensive examination and research program. For additional information, see cs.ndsu.edu or contact the Computer Science Department at (701) 231-8562 or gradinfo@cs.ndsu.edu. 

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, applicants must fulfill the program requirements listed below:

Certificate

  1. B.S. or equivalent degree from an educational institution of recognized standing, including 12 semester hours or equivalent of Computer Science or Software Engineering courses from an educational institution of recognized standing, or at least one year full-time professional software engineering experience;
  2. Programming skill in a modern higher level programming language, preferably C++, C#, or Java;
  3. A 2.85 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA in previous course work.

Master of Software Engineering

  1. Bachelor’s level (B.S., B.A., Sc.B., etc.) degree from an educational institution of recognized standing;
  2. Ability to design and implement a program consisting of several interacting classes that might total approximately 100 executable statements;
  3. International Students require a minimum TOEFL ibT of 79 or an IELTS of 6.5.
  4. A 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA in previous coursework. Conditional admission may be given with a 2.7 or higher GPA and professional experience.

Master of Science

  1. Four year or longer B.S. or equivalent degree from an educational institution of recognized standing with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 grade point scale. Eighteen semester hours or equivalent in Computer Science from an educational institution of recognized standing, or at least 2 years of full-time professional software engineering experience. Full time professional experience may offset the GPA requirement at the rate of 0.1 in GPA for each 18 months of such experience to a maximum of 0.3 in GPA;
  2. Programming skill with one modern higher level programming language, preferably C++, C#, or Java.
  3. A 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA in all previous coursework.

Doctor of Philosophy

  1. Four year or longer B.S. or equivalent degree from an educational institution of recognized standing with at least a 3.25 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 grade point scale. Eighteen semester hours or equivalent in Computer Science from an educational institution of recognized standing, or at least 3 years of full-time professional software engineering experience. Significant full-time professional software development experience may offset this GPA requirement at the rate of 0.1 in GPA for each 2 years of such experience to a maximum of 0.4 in GPA. If the applicant has an M.S. or equivalent degree from an educational institution of recognized standing, the GPA in that degree should be at least 3.35 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Programming skill in at least 1 higher level programming language, preferably C++, C#, or Java.

Graduate Certificate

Requires 10 semester credit hours consisting of

CSCI 713Software Development Processes3
Select two of the following:6
Software Project Planning and Estimation
Software Requirements Definition and Analysis
Software Design
Software Construction
Software Testing and Debugging
CSCI 790Graduate Seminar (in appropriate area as approved by the student's adviser) Examples include:Database Systems, Extreme Programming, Formal Methods in Software Engineering, Intelligent Agents)1
An extensive project of approximately one third of a semester incorporated into whichever of the above courses the student and her (his) adviser selected. The project may be job related. This project serves as the capstone experience for the student.
Total Credits10

Sample Certificate Combinations:

Software Design

CSCI 713Software Development Processes3
CSCI 715Software Requirements Definition and Analysis3
CSCI 716Software Design (+ Seminar with project)3

Software Testing

CSCI 713Software Development Processes3
CSCI 714Software Project Planning and Estimation3
CSCI 718Software Testing and Debugging (+ Seminar with project)3

Software Project Management

CSCI 713Software Development Processes3
CSCI 714Software Project Planning and Estimation3
CSCI 715Software Requirements Definition and Analysis (+ Seminar with project)3

Software Construction

CSCI 713Software Development Processes3
CSCI 716Software Design (+ Seminar with project)3
CSCI 717Software Construction (+ Seminar with project)3


 

 

Master of Software Engineering


Offered through on-campus classes or through Distance and Continuing Education classes. Please note that F-1 and J-1 non-immigrant international students are only allowed to take one online course per semester.

Completion of 12 courses listed below with grades of B or better and two-semester sequence of CSCI 771 and CSCI 772 Software Development Project. Any CSCI 700 or 800 level course can be substituted for a required course with departmental approval, except CSCI 771 and CSCI 772.

CSCI 713Software Development Processes3
CSCI 714Software Project Planning and Estimation3
CSCI 715Software Requirements Definition and Analysis3
CSCI 716Software Design3
CSCI 717Software Construction3
CSCI 718Software Testing and Debugging3
CSCI 724Survey of Artificial Intelligence3
CSCI 765Introduction To Database Systems3
CSCI 771Software Development Project I3
CSCI 772Software Development Project II3
CSCI 846Development of Distributed Systems3
CSCI 847Software Complexity Metrics3
Total Credits36
  • Successful completion of an Internet-based 16 hour module on Computer Ethics. This module will be required for students starting the program in fall, 2016 or later. Students are required to join a Blackboard group called MSE Ethics Module and complete the ethics module including answering all questions and the three case studies.
  • Maximum of 4 courses may be attempted in any one semester. If a course is started in a particular semester, it must be dropped or completed within that semester.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

The Software Engineering Comprehensive Examination. This examination shall include integrative questions on the 4 courses which make up the software engineering core. The exam must be passed within the first 5 semesters of the program. Each student is allowed a maximum of 2 attempts to pass this examination. Students are encouraged to complete the comprehensive examination early in their program.

Core Courses12
Students must complete the core within five semesters of their entering the program.
Software Development Processes
Software Requirements Definition and Analysis
Software Testing and Debugging
Software Design
Introduction To Database Systems
Six credits (not part of the core) from: 6
Software Project Planning and Estimation
Software Requirements Definition and Analysis
Software Construction
Software Testing and Debugging
Formal Methods for Software Development
Development of Distributed Systems
Software Complexity Metrics
Empirical Methods in Software Engineering
Other Computer Science or Computer Engineering courses selected with and approved by the student's graduate advisory committee. (six -thesis students) or three (paper students)3-6
CSCI 790Graduate Seminar ( in software engineering areas (1 credit each), approved by adviser)3
Research Component*3-6
Master's Paper
Master's Thesis
Total Credits33
*

Either a thesis option or comprehensive study paper based on a significant software development project undertaken by the student, perhaps as a member of a team, either at the University or as part of a job. This project will require design, implementation, and testing of a significant piece of computer software. 

  • Up to 9 previously earned credits from an educational institution of recognized standing with a grade of B or better may be used toward the 33 total credits required for the master degree, upon approval by the advisor, committee members and head of the department.
  • A Final Oral Examination on the paper and course work. This examination shall include questions on design choices, implementation methods, and testing choices for the student project.

Ph.D. in Software Engineering

Program Requirements: 90 semester hours

All Master of Science in Software Engineering from NDSU requirements or their equivalent in transfer or examination credits.

Satisfactory completion of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. This examination will consist of integrative questions on the 4 core courses described under the Master of Science degree. Students must complete this requirement within their first 7 semesters of participation in the program. 

Select 5 from the courses listed below and not duplicating any items used to satisfy requirements for the Master of Science degree:15
Software Development Processes
Software Project Planning and Estimation
Software Requirements Definition and Analysis
Software Design
Software Construction
Software Testing and Debugging
Formal Methods for Software Development
Development of Distributed Systems
Software Complexity Metrics
Empirical Methods in Software Engineering
Courses in Computer Science or Electrical and Computer Engineering approved by the student's Supervisory Committee.9
CSCI 899Doctoral Dissertation36-45
  • Thirty-six to 45 semester credit hours for research, preparation, and defense of a dissertation in Software Engineering. These hours will be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.

Additional course work requirements:

  1. A student holding a Master of Science degree from an educational institution of recognized standing may use:
    30 credits of previously completed coursework toward the 90 total credits required for the doctoral degree   OR
    Up to 9 credits previously earned from an educational institution of recognized standing with a grade of B or better may be used toward the 90 total credits required for the doctoral degree.
  2. The 90 credits may include a maximum of 15 credits of independent study and seminar hours. Seminars are limited to four of those credits.
  3. The student's supervisory committee, the department chair, college dean, and the graduate dean all must approve the course work on the plan of study at least 4 semesters before graduation.

Department Faculty

Anne Denton, Ph.D.
University of Mainz, 1996
Research Interests:  Data Mining, Bioinformatics, Scientific Informatics, Databases, Geospatial Data, Cloud Computing

Dean Knudson, Ph.D.
Northwestern University, 1972
Research Interests: Software Engineering, International Capstone Programs, University/Industry Relationships

Jun Kong, Ph.D.
University of Texas, Dallas, 2005
Research Interests: Human Computer Interaction, Mobile Computing, Software Engineering

Juan (Jen) Li, Ph.D.
University of British Columbia, 2008
Research Interests: Large-scale Distributed System ( P2P and Cloud Computing, Distributed Search, Routing Algorithms), Semantic Web Technologies, Social Networks, Information Retrieval, Knowledge Discovery

Simone Ludwig, Ph.D.
Brunel University, 2004
Research Interests: Swarm Intelligence, Evolutionary Computation, Fuzzy Reasoning, Cloud Computing

Kenneth Magel, Ph.D.
Brown University, 1977
Research Interests: Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interfaces, Software Complexity, and Software Design

Kendall Nygard, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1978
Research Interests:  Data Science, Optimization Modeling, Smart Grid, Sensor Networks, Agents, Artificial Intelligence, Security, Adaptive Systems, Swarm Intelligence

Saeed Salem, Ph.D.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2009
Research Interests: Bio-Informatics and Data Mining

Brian Slator, Ph.D.
New Mexico State University, 1988
Research Interests: Artificial Intelligence, Educational Media

Jeremy Straub, Ph.D.
University of North Dakota, 2015
Research Interests: Multi-tier Mission Architecture & Control, Autonomous Data Link Reduction, Autonomous Vehicle Control, Machine Vision, Super Resolution

Vasant Ubhaya, Ph.D.
University of California-Berkeley, 1971
Research Interests: Algorithm Analysis, Approximation and Optimization

Gursimran Walia, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University, 2009
Research Interests: Empirical Software Engineering, Software Errors and Software Quality Improvement, Requirements Engineering, Human Cognition in Software Engineering, Managing and Estimating Software Quality

Changhui Yan, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 2005
Research Interests: Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Genomics, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Big Data, Cloud Computing

Professors of Practice

Oksana Myronovych, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2009

Mark Pavicic, Ph.D. 
Columbia University, 1985

Affiliate Faculty

Otto Borchert, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2015
Research Interests: Artificial Intelligence, Educational Games, STEM Learning

Hyunsook Do, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska, 2007
Research Interests: Software Engineering, Software Testing, Regression Testing, Software Maintenance, Requirements Verification, Software Empirical Methodologies

Hassan Reza, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2002
Research Interests: Software Architecture, Cloud Computing, Architectural Analysis & Description

Xiaodong Zhang, Ph.D.
Dalhousie University, Canada, 2001
Research Interests: Satellite Sensing, Geographic Information Systems