On-Campus Software Engineering Admissions

Students considered for admission into the MS Software Engineering program have academic degrees and/or industry professional experience in computer related fields including Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Information Systems. Students are expected to have math and physics background consistent with an Engineering or Sciences undergraduate degree program. A prospective student must have degree(s) equivalent to a four-year U.S. undergraduate Bachelor's degree.

The MS Software Engineering program is looking for students that have achieved a GPA of at least 3.0 (or equivalent) but will consider applicants that have GPAs as low as 2.75 (or equivalent).

Graduate Admission requires that degree documents such as degree certificates and transcripts be submitted to WES for validation. Although WES can also perform GPA calcuation for an additional fee, Graduate Admissions does not use the GPA calculation by WES. The GPA that is used is calculated by Graduate Admissions. 

Prospective students applying for admissions must meet a minimum English skills requirement. This can be demonstrated by having:

  • An undergraduate degree from a U.S. university; OR
  • Passed the TOEFL exam with a score of at least 550 paper based, 213 computer based, or 80 for the Internet based test; OR
  • Passed the IELTS with a score of 6.5 or better.

Conditional admits are not given if you do not meet the minimum English skills requirement. Test scores must be submitted before the Document Deadline published by Graduate Admissions at http://www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/deadlines/index.html.

GRE scores are not required for students with an undergraduate degree from an ABET accredited university. GRE scores are required from other universities. The following minimum scores are required to be considered for admissions into the MS Software Engineering Program:

  • Quantitative + Verbal (GRE q+v) score = 294 or higher
  • Analytical Writing (GRE AWA) score  = 3.0 or higher

Please note the following:

  • GRE scores must be from a single test date.
  • Applications with GRE q+v scores under 294 will be denied.
  • Applications with GRE AWA scores under 3.0 will be denied.
  • GRE q+v score higher than 294 may be required for successful admission because of the competitive nature of MSSE admissions.
  • Applicants that have at least five years of professional software development experience following completion of their undergraduate degree and prior to the opening of admissions for the academic term where the application is being made, can request a GRE test waiver by sending a detailed resume to Dan.Harkey@sjsu.edu. In your resume, you should include the graduation date of your undergraduate degree and the begin/end dates (month/year) and responsibilities for any positions you have held in industry. Any GRE scores submitted will be used for application evaluation even if you are eligible for a waiver.


Letters of Recommendation from Academic and professional references are not required. Please do not send Letters of Reference unless specifically requested by the MSSE graduate advisor.

Students that want to transfer from another university need to apply like any other applicant. There is no transfer application. If you are admitted, some of the credit from your current university might be transferrable to SJSU as described here.

Open University

The Computer Engineering department does not enroll Open University students in Computer Engineering department classes. 

Spring 2019 Admissions

See http://www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/deadlines/index.html for information about the opening of admissions and deadlines for Spring 2019.

The MS Software Engineering program conducts rolling admissions applications may not be reviewed after the program reaches its capacity.

Fall 2018 Admissions

Admissions for the on-campus MS Software Engineering degree program for all applicants is closed for Fall 2018. 

Switching from Special Session to Regular Session        

Switching to the Regular Session (on-campus) MS Software Engineering program from a Special Session (off-campus) program requires that you reapply to the Regular Session program via Cal State Apply (http://calstate.edu/apply) for the next available semester. Admission standards for the Regular Session program may be different than the special session program and your admission is not guaranteed. For example, you may be required to provide GRE scores for the on-campus program.  In addition, if you are admitted you may be given admission conditions that need to be met.


See http://www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/deadlines/index.html for admission deadlines. Note that admission deadlines can change without notice. Please apply online at Cal State Apply (http://calstate.edu/apply) as soon as possible to avoid missing an admission deadline.

Prior to Submitting an Application

Prospective students wishing to apply should first read the information for prospective students on the Graduate Admissions Web site at http://www.sjsu.edu/graduateadmissions/. Deadlines and other important information are available on this Web site. Prospective students in the San Francisco Bay Area are also strongly urged to attend one of the weekly advising sessions for prospective students (see MSSE Advising).

Submitting an Application

Applications are submitted using the graduate admissions selection at Cal State Apply (http://calstate.edu/apply). The following are some hints for filling in the application pages:

  • Page 1: Applicants should select Engineering-Software Engineering (MS) as the Major/Program Objective. You do not need to specify the specialization you wish to pursue.
  • Pages 8 and 9: Enter your Work Experience, list of references, and Statement of Purpose in the fields on Pages 8 and 9 of the online application. 
Note: The MS Software Engineering program does not require resumes, CVs, or Letters of Recommendation (LORs). Please do not send these or any other application document directly to the MS Software Engineering program. 

You must submit all application information including your

Statements of Purpose (SOP) via Cal State Apply (http://calstate.edu/apply)
Note: If you have questions about submitting documents (such as transcripts, degree certificates, and test scores) or about WES, please direct your questions to Graduate Admissions. Please do not contact the MS Software Engineering advisor.

Test Scores

GRE and TOEFL test scores should be routed to San Jose State University, code=4687. No department code is required.

Deferred Admission, Reapplying for Admission

The MS Software Engineering program does not provide deferred admission if you are unable to attend during the admission semester that is offered to you. If you were admitted and could not join SJSU or if you were denied admission for a prior semester due to limited space, you can re-apply. In both cases, you must submit a new application on Cal State Apply (http://calstate.edu/apply) and pay the application fee again. There is no guarantee that you will be admitted.

If you reapply within one year, you do not have to resubmit admission documents to Graduate Admissions except for visa and financial documents. Contact Graduate Admissions to determine which documents you need to resubmit.

Additional Information

 Additional information about admissions can be found in the FAQ on this site. There are also regular Q&A and advising sessions for prospective students. Click here for details. If you need further information, please email Dan Harkey at dan.harkey@sjsu.edu.