Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

The IEEE Computer Society defines software engineering 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. (SWEBOK)"

The Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (BSSE) program goes beyond programming to include the methodologies used by teams to develop large complex computer applications.


The program prepares students to enter the profession immediately or to go on to graduate school.

The goal of the BS program in Software Engineering is the preparation of software engineers: professionals who develop software products on time, within budget and that meet customer requirements. The course work builds on computer science fundamentals and mathematical principles to cover the design, analysis, verification, validation, implementation, deployment, and maintenance of software systems. The program focuses on practical aspects of building and deploying real software systems in a socially responsible way.

The hallmark of the program provides the students with an educational experience that builds on traditional computer science and engineering, but distinguishing itself in the following ways:

  • Courses emphasize the team approach to building software and provide leadership opportunities for every student.
  • Courses place an emphasis on software processes and lifecycles.
  • Courses include significant learning in management areas such as project planning, resource allocation, quality assurance, testing, metrics, maintenance, configuration management and personnel management.
  • A degree that has a stronger emphasis on mathematics and use of engineering methods in software design.

The software engineering curriculum culminates in a year-long capstone sequence where the students work in teams to build a large software system. Students are encouraged to complete a co-operative education experience prior to enrollment in these courses, in order to gain some direct, industrial experience before embarking upon their own project.

BS SE Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon graduation, successful graduates of the BSSE program will attain the following program outcomes:

(a) Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
(b) Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
(c) Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
(d) Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
(e) Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
(f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
(g) Ability to communicate effectively.
(h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
(i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
(j) A knowledge of contemporary issues.
(k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

University Learning Goals:

San José State University graduates will have developed:

  • Specialized Knowledge
    • Depth of knowledge required for a degree, as identified by its program learning outcomes.
  • Broad Integrative Knowledge
    • Mastery in each step of an investigative, creative or practical project (e.g. brainstorming, planning, formulating hypotheses or complex questions, designing, creating, completing, and communicating).
    • An understanding of the implications of results or findings from a particular work in a societal context (e.g. social or economic implications of a scientific finding).
    • Students graduating with a baccalaureate degree will have demonstrated an understanding of critical components of broad academic areas, the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences and their integration.
  • Intellectual Skills
    • Fluency in the use of specific theories, tools, technology and graphical representation.
    • Skills and abilities necessary for life‐long learning: critical and creative thinking, effective communication, conscientious information gathering and processing, mastery of quantitative methodologies, and the ability to engage effectively in collaborative activities.
  • Applied Knowledge
    • The ability to integrate theory, practice, and problem‐solving to address practical issues.
    • The ability to apply their knowledge and skills to new settings or in addressing complex problems.
    • The ability to work productively as individuals and in groups
  • Social and Global Responsibilities
    • The ability to act intentionally and ethically to address a global or local problem in an informed manner with a multicultural and historical perspective and a clear understanding of societal and civic responsibilities.
    • Diverse and global perspectives through engagement with the multidimensional SJSU community.