Prospective Students Undergraduate Studies - What is Software Engineering?

Software Engineering is defined in IEEE Standard 610.12 as "the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software." David Parnas, an internationally-known scholar in computer science and engineering, recently noted that "as chemical engineering is a marriage of the science of chemistry with ... engineering areas..., the software engineering field should be a marriage of the science of software with the older knowledge of the engineering profession." This program recognizes the growing need for programs preparing students for careers in the engineering of large complex software systems and products. The BS program in Software Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org

Program Educational Objectives

The program educational objectives of the department with respect to the Bachelor of Science Degree in Software Engineering are as follows:

  • The graduate will demonstrate an understanding of engineering principles and an ability to solve unstructured engineering problems through the successful entrance into and advancement in the engineering profession.
  • The graduate will demonstrate an appreciation for lifelong learning and for the value of continuing professional development through participation in graduate education, professional education or continuing education opportunities, attainment of professional licensure, or membership in professional societies.
  • The graduate will demonstrate an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities to the profession, society and the environment incumbent on an engineering professional.
  • The graduate will successfully interact with others of different backgrounds, educations, and cultures.
  • The graduate will demonstrate effective communication skills in their profession.

Student Outcomes

The Software Engineering program enables students to attain, by the time of g raduation:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and inte rpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs w ithin realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering soluti ons in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learnin g
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools neces sary for engineering practice.


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Degree Requirements

2010-2011 Degree Requirements and Illustrative Program of Study


International/Intercultural Approved Electives

For further information, view the University's Degrees,Core Requirements,and Credits section of the most recent Bulletin.

The requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree are specified in the annual Bulletin of Mississippi State University (the catalog). Each year the requirements change slightly, and every few years there are substantial changes in requirements. These changes are, of course, to assure that computer science graduates from Mississippi State University are well-prepared and competitive with graduates from any program in the country.

Students beginning their studies at MSU or at a community college who remain in near continuous enrollment can satisfy the requirements for the B.S. degree by completing the requirements specified in the Bulletin for their freshman year OR they can opt for the requirements specified in any more recent Bulletin. However, students must satisfy ALL requirements of one Bulletin, with any course substitution approved in writing by the student's advisor and the Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs.

The degree requirements are presented in the Bulletin in the form of an illustrative program of study showing on order of course enrollments that satisfy the requirements. There are, of course, many others. The requirements from recent Bulletins and a corresponding illustrative program are given above.

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