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Building the Master of Software Engineering Curriculum


Today, there are more than 100 accredited software engineering schools in the United States, and about 1.5 million people work in fields related to software development. Nearly all university software engineering-related curricula trace their lineage to SEI-led efforts. 

The SEI education effort provided needed leadership during the early years of curriculum development in software engineering education. In shaping a software engineering curriculum, the SEI engaged the academic community in creating the materials and amplified technology transition with government and industry by making materials available to allow other organizations to teach material it had developed.

In the winter of 1988, the SEI held a workshop of leading software engineering educators to design a recommended curriculum for a Master of Software Engineering degree. The SEI curriculum recommendations that grew from that workshop were published at the annual Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T), a series started by the SEI that continues today with its own independent steering committee and sponsorship.

The number of software engineering programs nearly doubled in the first three years after the publication of the guidelines. Most of those programs followed the recommended guidelines. Another outgrowth of the curriculum project was the development of materials called curriculum modules and educational materials, which helped to transition the MSE curriculum and support faculty members who wished to offer software engineering courses.

In subsequent years, the SEI worked with the Association of Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and others to influence the quantity and quality of undergraduate software education.

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