MSSE New Student Welcome

This document has information for students newly admitted to the MS Software Engineering program for the  Spring 2022 semester. 

This web page contains details about:

  • Orientation
  • Communication via Google Groups
  • Announcements and Class Registration


You are invited to attend an online orientation for MS Software Engineering graduate students. The orientation will be specific to MS Software Engineering and will be held by the graduate advisor for all MS Software Engineering students, Dan Harkey. This is an orientation that is separate from the orientation sponsored by Graduate Studies for all SJSU newly admitted graduate students.

Communication via Google Groups

Google Groups are used to manage the communication with newly admitted MS Software Engineering students. From this point, please do not send email to the graduate advisor regarding topics for Fall 2021 admissions, class registration, and other MS Software Engineering topics (unless the questions are personal in nature). Instead, make postings to the Google Group for newly admitted students. Questions that are sent directly to the graduate advisor that could have been answered via the Google group will be ignored. Your questions should be answered by this web page or by postings to the Google group. 

You can request access to the groups using the links below. After clicking the link, you will receive a dialog asking you to enter information about joining the group. If you are logged into Google, you will see a dialog similar to the following, but specific for Fall 2021. As a new student, you have received a Gmail email address in the form This gives you access to all Google services at SJSU. You must use this email address to log into Google prior to joining the Google Groups. When logging into Google, enter your SJSU email address. You will see an SJSUone dialog where you enter your student ID and password for authentication.

Join Google Group

Note: The Google Groups are moderated and require final approval after you make a join request. You may experience a delay before you are able to access the group features.

Once you have joined the groups, you can use this group to ask questions and connect with other newly admitted students and your graduate advisor.

You can request access to a Google group where academic topics are discussed.  This group will be monitored by SJSU professors or other SJSU staff. Please restrict your posts to this group to academic topics. If you do not join this group, I will assume you are not coming to SJSU.

I have also created a Google Group where you can connect with other newly admitted students for "social" issues such as housing, travel, etc. You can optionally join the group. This group will not regularly be monitored by SJSU professors or other SJSU staff.

Announcements and Class Registration

This section provides information about a number of topics. Note that this information is subject to change. Changes will be added to this web page as they occur and will be announced on the Google group.

New Program Requirements

There are important catalog changes at both the university and degree program level for students that were admitted for Fall 2020 and later. These changes are summarized here.


Attending the department orientation is mandatory and is separate from orientations held the university for all graduate students. During the orientation, you will be given information to formulate your complete plan of study. You will not need to complete a formal Program of Study (POS) form as long as you follow the course plan described on the MS Software Engineering web site. You will need to complete a Program of Studies form only if there is good reason for you to deviate from the normal plan of studies or in some other situations (such as for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for students on an F1 visa) where an approved POS form is required.  Please have your acceptance letter available during the orientation session.

First Semester Classes

You should take classes according to the following priorities:

Any admission pre-requisite classes (described in the section Information for Students Admitted Conditionally Classified below)
   b. Degree core and Specialization classes
   c. Technical electives
   d. Masters Project or Masters Thesis

For the first semester, a fully classified, full time student should take two degree core from the list of degree core classes (CMPE 202, CMPE 255, and CMPE 272) and one specialization core class. A conditionally classified students should take prerequisite classes and optionally, CMPE 272.

There are six specializations in the MS Software Engineering program: Enterprise Software Technologies (EST), Cloud Computing/Virtualization (CCV), Software Systems Engineering (SSE), Networking Software (NS), Data Science (DS), and Cybersecurity (CYBER). These are described in more detail. A typical first semester for a full-time, fully classified student might be:

  • Two degree core courses: CMPE 272 and CMPE 202. CMPE 255 may also be substituted for one of these courses.
  • One specialization core chosen from CMPE 273 (EST), CMPE 285 (SSE), CMPE 287 (SSE), CMPE 206 (NS), CMPE 281 (CCV),  CMPE 283 (CCV), CMPE 257 (DS), or CMPE 279 (CYBER) (depending on the specialization you choose).

If you do not follow this recommendation, it is likely that the time it takes for you to graduate will be extended. 

A full load is three classes and I strongly recommend that you do not take more than three classes in your first semester. You must not take more than four classes while you are a student in the MS Software Engineering program. This includes any internship class (CMPE 298i) you may take.

Note that you may find that the classes you want are full. If you encounter this situation, you should register for another section for the class you desire. If no other sections are available, select an alternative class or register on the waitlist for the class you want. Registering on the waitlist for a class does not guarantee you will be given a seat in the class but does help the department determine if a schedule adjustment should be made. Note that you can only be on the waitlist for one class.

You will be given a registration appointment date via your mySJSU account. The first day you can register is on your registration appointment date. Note that you will only be able to register beginning with your registration appointment day and time. Late registration may require a permission number to register for any class and you may incur additional fees. Please pay close attention to class drop and add deadlines and the deadlines for paying fees. Failure to pay fees on time will result in your class registrations being dropped. You can find a list of important dates for the semester at Registration Calendars

Information for International Students

If you are an international student, you must purchase medical insurance before you can register for classes. More details about this requirement can be found insurance page.

Also as an international student, you need to register for one hybrid class if you are entering the US on an F-1 visa for the first time. You can determine which classes are hybrid by viewing the class schedule at Class Schedules.

Provisional Admission

If you were extended a provisional admission pending providing final documents or other such material, please work as quickly as possible to provide the required material to Graduate Admissions (GAPE). Note that provisional admission is a requirement imposed by GAPE. This is different from Conditional Admission that is imposed by your degree program.

Retaining Your Admission

You must enroll in at least one class during the new semester to retain your admission.  If you are on an F-1 visa, you must take at least 9 units (3 classes). Note that admission deferrals are typically not granted by the Computer Engineering department. However, the university may provide a deferral option. If you cannot attend the new semester, you will have to apply again for a future semester or defer to a future semester.

Information for Students Admitted Conditionally Classified

This section is for students admitted Conditionally Classified. If you were admitted Fully Classified, you may ignore this section.

If you have received admission conditions, you should remove admission conditions as soon as possible. 

Note: The only way to remove admission conditions is to take the assigned prerequisite courses.  The department does not accept certification exams, review transcripts for similar classes, and does not provide challenge exams.

Note that if you have admission conditions, a recommended order to take them is:

Semester Courses to Take
Semester 1 CMPE 180A
Semester 2 CMPE 180B and CMPE 180C

Depending on your programming skill level, you may be able to take all prerequisite classes in the same semester.

You can take a maximum of three graduate courses prior to completing your admission condition courses. However, keep in mind that these courses are intended to prepare you for graduate courses. In addition, instructors that teach graduate courses that have programing exercises may require that you complete all admission conditions prior to enrolling for their class. In particular, you must complete all admission conditions before you can proceed to CMPE 202. You should review the course catalog for class prerequisite information for all classes.

And Finally ...

That's it for now. Again, welcome to San Jose State University. We look forward to working with each of you as you pursue your academic goals.