MSSE Admission

Degree Requirements

Applicants 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. Applicants must have a degree in engineering or sciences and are expected to have math and physics background consistent with an engineering or sciences undergraduate degree program. Applicants with only business degrees and other degrees outside the fields of engineering and science will not be accepted. A prospective student must have degree(s) equivalent to a four-year U.S. undergraduate Bachelor's degree.

GPA Requirements

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 from foreign universities (such as degree certificates and transcripts) be submitted to WES for validation. Although WES can also perform GPA calculation for an additional fee, Graduate Admissions does not use the GPA calculation by WES. The GPA that is used for evaluation is calculated by Graduate Admissions. 

Letters of Recommendation

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.

Admission Test Requirements

English Proficiency

Prospective students applying for admissions must meet a minimum English skills requirement. English proficiency is an SJSU requirement.

The following is additional information about English proficiency:

  • You can find additional information about English proficiency by viewing Domestic Steps to Admission or International Steps to Admission.
  • All documentation and test scores for English proficiency must be sent to Graduate Admissions and not to the department where you are applying.
  • Conditional admits are not given if you do not meet the minimum English skills requirement.
  • English proficiency test scores must be submitted before the Document Deadline published by Graduate Admissions.

If you have questions about English proficiency, please contact Graduate Admissions, and not the graduate advisor for the MS Software Engineering program. 


GRE scores are not required for students with an undergraduate degree from an ABET accredited degree program. You can determine if your degree program is accredited.

GRE scores are required from all 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 is an important factor for admission evaluation and continues to be a requirement during the pandemic.
  • 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 In your resume, you must include the graduation date of your undergraduate degree (month/year) and the begin/end dates (month/year) and responsibilities for any positions you have held in the software industry. Any GRE scores submitted will be used for application evaluation even if you are eligible for a waiver.

Reporting Test Scores

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

Application Submission

Prior to Submitting an Application

Prospective students wishing to apply should first read the information for prospective students on the Graduate Admissions Web site. Deadlines and other important information are available on this Web site. Prospective students are also strongly urged to attend one of the weekly advising sessions for prospective students (see MSSE Advising).


See admission deadlines. Note that admission deadlines can change without notice. Please apply online at Cal State Apply as soon as possible to avoid missing an admission deadline.

Submitting an Application

Applications are submitted using the graduate admissions selection at Cal State Apply. The following are some hints for filling in the application pages:

  • Applicants should select Software Engineering (MS) as the Degree Program. You do not need to specify the specialization you wish to pursue.
  • Enter your Work Experience, list of references, and similar information at My Application -> Experiences.
  • Enter your Statement of Purpose at My Application -> Program Materials -> Software Engineering -> Questions. 

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 Statement of Purpose (SOP) via Cal State 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.

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 submit a Change of Major request to Graduate Admissions. Evaluating the Change of Major request will follow a process similar to admission evaluation. Admission standards for the Regular Session program may be different than the Special Session program and approval of your Change of Major request is not guaranteed. For example, you may be required to provide GRE scores for the on-campus Regular Session program.  In addition, if you are admitted, you may be given admission conditions that need to be met.

Deferred Admission, Reapplying for Admission 

With the exception of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 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.