Software Engineering Degree

Learn to apply systematic engineering principles to the design, construction, and maintenance of large software applications.

Key learning outcomes

Through the degree program in software engineering you:

  • Develop an understanding of current technologies, such as databases, communication protocols, cloud computing, and web frameworks and their application.
  • Gain the ability to specify, design, implement, analyze, and improve software solutions from a wide variety of domains.
  • Learn how to adapt to new and emerging technologies.

Program Overview

This degree includes nine courses and a thesis or 11 courses and a capstone, with at least one course taken on campus.

  • Get started. You begin by completing three admission courses from the program curriculum. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
  • Apply to the program. While you are completing your third admission course, you submit your application. We have application periods in the fall, spring, and summer.
  • Continue your studies, online and on campus. As you progress through the program, you choose from courses offered on campus or online, in the fall, spring, or summer. To fully experience Harvard, you take at least one course on campus as part of your degree. Short, intensive on-campus options are available.
  • Complete a thesis or capstone.
    • If you choose the thesis track, you work independently with a thesis director to conduct in-depth research on a software engineering topic relevant to your professional plans.
      • For the capstone track, you work in teams in a classroom setting to define an architectural model and a project plan, then implement a system.
  • Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in extension studies, field: Software Engineering.

Explore Courses & Requirements

Learn about admission, courses & on-campus study

Degree Course Listings

Once you've explored the degree requirements, you can search for course offerings that count toward the degree. See the degree courses

Cost

Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2016–17 graduate tuition is $2,550 per course; the total tuition cost of earning the graduate degree is approximately $25,500 to 30,600.

There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.