Carnegie Mellon University
Skip navigation and jump directly to page content

Nov. 5: Carnegie Mellon Master's Degree Program To Focus on Management, Technology and Business Aspects of Software Engineering


Kelly Kimberland, SEI                   

Anne Watzman, School of Computer Science

Ken Walters, Heinz School

Carnegie Mellon Master's Degree Program To Focus on Management,
Technology and Business Aspects of Software Engineering

PITTSBURGH — As worldwide dependence on software grows, so does the demand for informed and experienced managers. Carnegie Mellon University is responding to this need by introducing the Master of Science in Information Technology, Software Engineering Management (MSIT-SEM) degree. A collaborative effort from Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), the new degree program offers a multi-disciplinary view of software engineering that can give managers a unique edge in today's complex marketplace.

The MSIT-SEM degree is a competitive credential that will equip managers for leadership positions within their organizations. The degree couples graduate studies from the School of Computer Science and Heinz School with the professional courses in software process management offered by the SEI, which lead to one or more SEI certificates in Software Engineering Process Management.

"In 1987, SEI helped launch the Carnegie Mellon master of software engineering degree.  We are proud once again to be part of this new program because it combines technical training in software engineering offered by Carnegie Mellon and the SEI with business and management preparation," says Paul Nielsen, director and CEO of the SEI. "This degree program is different from other MSIT programs because of the integration of SEI-specific courses into the required curriculum."

The program's reliance on professional training from the SEI makes it particularly relevant to managers who work in organizations that have invested in process improvement methodologies, including the SEI's Capability Maturity Model Integration(r) - the de facto standard in process improvement.

The MSIT-SEM degree is suited for professionals who are interested in earning a degree while working. Because most of the courses required for the program are offered via distance learning, students can earn a Carnegie Mellon graduate degree without relocating. The program can be completed in about four years of part-time study to complete and, depending on the courses a student chooses, costs around $65,000.

"MSIT-SEM students will learn the foundations of software engineering and gain important skills that can be applied immediately within their organizations," said Randal Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science.

Students who enroll in the MSIT-SEM degree program complete core and elective courses in computer science, business and management, as well as professional training from the Software Engineering Institute and a practicum component that provides hands-on learning.

The practicum is a key component to this degree program, said Heinz School Dean Mark Wessel. "These projects are for real clients in real organizations. Practicums require the students to apply what they've learned in class - there is no substitute for this experience."

Carnegie Mellon will accept the first class of candidates for the MSIT-SEM degree in 2008. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and have at least five years of work experience in a management position or in an information technology/software development position. For more information about the MSIT-SEM degree, visit