MaconCatalog : The School of Engineering : Degree Programs : Software Engineering (M.S.E) and Software Systems (M.S.)
 
Software Engineering (M.S.E) and Software Systems (M.S.)
Software enables computer systems to fulfill their promise of solving problems and meeting human needs. The application of engineering principles to software development and maintenance is stimulating the emerging profession of software engineering. Software engineering draws from other disciplines as well, such as research and development in artificial intelligence, computer science, and computer technology, to provide software professionals with the tools to solve real world problems. The purpose of this program is to prepare software professionals who are effective in developing and maintaining software for commercial, industrial, and government needs. The program leads to the degree of Master of Science in Engineering in Software Engineering or Master of Science in Software Systems.
Distance Learning
Because of the widespread practice of software engineering, and because students are working professionals, the Software Engineering/Software Systems program has made a firm commitment to distance learning for the M.S.E. and M.S. programs. Careful attention to instructional design and student interaction provide effective educational experiences for distance education students. For more information, please see the SSE home page at http://engineering.mercer.edu/academics/graduate/software-engineering. cfm.
Mercer University complies with applicable state and federal regulations pertaining to Distance Learning programs, and enrollment in these programs depends on the state laws where the student resides. Mercer University may not be able to offer these programs in your state. There are also special provisions for International applicants interested in the Software Engineering and Software Systems programs. Please contact the MUSE Graduate Office to discuss this as part of your application.
Admission Requirements
The Master of Science in Engineering in Software Engineering degree is limited to students with undergraduate degrees in engineering and as a minimum a semester of multi-module computer programming in a modern high order language. The Master of Science in Software Systems degree is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in subjects other than engineering, e.g., computer science. Students with degrees in subjects other than engineering may qualify for admission to the Master of Science in Software Systems program if they have significant experience in programming and other areas of software development and maintenance. Applications from students with degrees in disciplines other than physical science, mathematics, engineering, and computer science will be considered on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, all students seeking admission to either program should have a semester of multi-module computer programming in a modern high order language or equivalent experience, and a background in quantitative methods in order to be considered.
Academic Requirements
Students enrolled in the program are expected to have a sound foundation in object-oriented and structured programming. This foundation is established in SSE 550 and SSE 554, Object-Oriented Design I and II.
The determination of competence that will result in exemption from the introductory courses, Object-Oriented Design I, SSE 550 or Object-Oriented Design II, SSE 554, will be based on other academic courses or documented work experience utilizing computers.
Curriculum
The objectives of the software engineering and software systems programs are to ensure that all graduates: are proficient in software requirements analysis and software design; are proficient in software construction in using one of three modern programming languages (C#, Java and C++); are proficient in the use of a modern specification language such as UML; are proficient in the use of software processes; and develop additional proficiency through the selection of appropriate electives. A program of study for the degrees will include SSE 554, SSE 657, and SSE 662. At least eighteen hours of the student’s course work must be taken in the software engineering program. Of the courses taken in the software engineering program at least twelve hours must be taken at the 600 level. Special topics courses cover areas of current interest in software engineering. Students may include in their programs elective courses from other Mercer graduate programs with the prior approval of their committee and/or the SSE program director.
The Master of Science in Engineering in Software Engineering curriculum requires that a total of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework be completed. The Master of Science in Software System degree requires that a total of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework be completed. Students choosing the thesis option are required to do a full research program (6 hours of SSE 699), and to write a master’s thesis in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.
Software Engineering/Software Systems Minor
Admission to the minor requires the approval of the software engineering program director. Students approved for the minor complete a minimum of 9 semester hours consisting of SSE 554; and one of SSE 657, or 662; and one additional SSE course to be selected with the approval of the program director. The software engineering minor is not available to computer engineering majors.
SSE Courses
SSE 550. Object-Oriented Design I (3 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of the program director.
This is a beginning course in object-oriented development. It may be taken in one of several object-oriented languages, e.g., C#, Java, or C++. (Every year)
SSE 554. Object-Oriented Design II (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
This second course extends the material covered in SSE 550 with greater breadth and depth. Students will use the same programming language (e.g., C#, Java, or C++) that they used in the prerequisite course. The specific topics covered may vary depending on the language used by the student. (Every year)
 
SPECIAL COURSES: 591, 592, 593 for variable credit. May be repeated for credit with permission of the advisor. (Occasionally)
SSE 591, 592, 593. Special Topics (1-6 hours)
SSE 635. Advanced Computational Techniques (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Topics covered may include genetic algorithms, artificial intelligence, and/or neural networks. (Occasionally)
SSE 636. Computational Intelligence Applications (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Applications of computational intelligence to solve problems in a variety of applications. (Occasionally)
SSE 643. Advanced Graphic Interfaces (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
The development of graphic user interfaces more sophisticated than those covered in the prerequisite course. Development environments and application libraries specifically designed for interface development may be included. Topics may vary significantly depending on the student’s choice of programming language (e.g., C#, C++, or Java). (Occasionally)
SSE 644. Engineering Data Analysis and Visualization (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Techniques and tools for the analysis and visualization of engineering data. (Occasionally)
SSE 657. Object-Oriented Project Methods (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Covers the software development life cycle. General object-oriented analysis techniques (OOA) for software and system specifications are presented and applied to develop application domain models and requirements specifications. Techniques for transforming the requirements specifications into designs are presented and applied to develop language independent object oriented designs (OOD). A modern specification language such as UML will be used. Iterative and incremental software processes. (Every two years)
SSE 660. Software Test (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Software testing at several levels and at several stages of development, including acceptance testing. Software validation and verification. (Occasionally)
SSE 661. Software Architecture (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550 or permission of the program director.
A course in software architectural design. All students will begin with a common core of software architectures and criteria for selecting them. Impact of software architectural choices on: availability, modifiability, performance, security, testability, and usability. Students will then explore architectures selected from among the many available. (Occasionally)
SSE 662. Design, Maintenance and Quality (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.Evaluation of design quality and the impact of design quality on software maintenance and incremental development. Improvement of design quality in existing code. Advanced topics in object-oriented design, including the reuse of successful designs via design patterns. (Every two years)
SSE 663. Parallel Software (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Parallel programming with shared and distributed memory models and API’s for using them are addressed. (Occasionally)
SSE 664. Software Security (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550
Topics in software security. (Occasionally)
SSE 665. Database Design in Software Engineering (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550
Relational databases, database design, data normalization, and agile approaches to database development. (Occasionally)
SSE 674. Software Risk Management (3 hours)
Prerequisite: permission of the program director.
Risk is inherent in virtually every software engineering project. Two kinds of risk are opportunity risk, which is the loss from avoiding risk, and failure risk, which is the loss from taking a risk, but failing to achieve the corresponding goal. The loss may be financial, or it may be competitiveness in a market, or the development and acquisition of reusable software components, or many other valuable things. This course covers topics such as people, process, infrastructure, and implementation in software risk management. (Occasionally)
SSE 675. Lean and Agile Software Development (3 hours)
Prerequisite: SSE 550.
Software management and processes with consideration of process impact on cost, schedule, and development techniques. (Occasionally)
 
SPECIAL COURSES: 691, 692, 693, 698, 699 for variable credit. May be repeated for credit with permission of the advisor. (Occasionally)
SSE 691, 692, 693. Special Topics (1-6 hours)
SSE 698. Professional Seminar (1-6 hours)
SSE 699. Thesis Research (1-6 hours)
A maximum of 6 hours of research may be counted toward the degree. Only grades of satisfactory or unsatisfactory will be assigned.