Undergraduate Education - ISR - Carnegie Mellon University

Software Engineering Minor

Effectively building modern software systems at scale requires not just programming skills, but also engineering skills. These skills include the ability to interact effectively with customers to gather the requirements for a system in a precise way; to develop a design that resolves competing quality attributes; to make tradeoffs among schedule, cost, features, and quality to maximize value to stakeholders; to work effectively with other engineers; and to assure the quality of the delivered software system. We hear regularly from industry that these skills are crucial to them, and that they are interested in students with a strong software engineering background.

Overview

The software engineering minor is designed to teach the fundamental tools, techniques, and processes of software engineering. Through internships and a mentored project experience, students gain an understanding of the issues of scale and complexity that motivate software engineering tools and techniques. The core curriculum includes material both on engineering the software product and on the process, teamwork, and management skills that are essential to successful engineering. Graduates of the program should have the technical, process, and teamwork skills to be immediately productive in a mature engineering organization.

Admission

The Software Engineering Minor is open to undergraduate students in any major in the university. The program is limited to 15 students per incoming class (as of Fall 2011, however, we are not yet close to that limit).  For priority consideration, applications are due 10 days before the beginning of Spring and Fall course registration, and decisions will be made 3 days before course registration begins so students can plan effectively. Upcoming due dates are April 11, 2014; November 7, 2014; and April 10, 2015. Students may petition the Director for admission outside this schedule.

To apply, send us an email.  Include in your email:

  • Full name
  • Andrew ID
  • Preferred email address (if different)
  • Semester you intend to graduate
  • QPA
  • All (currently) declared majors and minors, or home college if no major declared
  • Statement of purpose (maximum 1 page) - Describes why you want to take this minor and how it fits into your career goals
  • Proposed schedule of required courses and internship (this is your plan, NOT a commitment)

Prerequisites

  • 15-214 Principles of Software Construction: Objects, Design, and Concurrency

Core Course Requirements

There are two required core courses in the minor degree:
  • 15-313 Foundations of Software Engineering
  • 15-413 Software Engineering Practicum

Electives

The minor requires 3 elective courses, one selected from each of the following categories:

Required Internship and Reflection Course

A software engineering internship of a minimum of 8 full-time weeks in an industrial setting is required. The student must be integrated into a team and exposed to industry pressures. The intern may work in development, management, quality assurance, or other relevant positions. The director of the SE minor program has sole discretion in approving an internship experience based on these criteria. Students should confirm that an internship position is appropriate before accepting it, but internships that fulfill the criteria will also be accepted after the fact.
  • 17-413 Internship Reflection (required 6 unit course, number to be determined, to be offered Fall semester): Each student will write an issue-focused reflection and analysis of some personal software engineering experience, typically (but not always) based on the engineering internship above. This report must be passed by one SCS faculty member and one SE Ph.D. student, for both technical content and effective written communication. Initial course meetings will cover the reflective, writing, and speaking process. In later meetings, each student will present his or her experience through a 30-45 minute talk, which will be evaluated for communication skills and critical reflective content. This course is limited to enrollment of 16, and students who are admitted to the minor program are given first priority.

Double Counting Rule. At most 2 of the courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be counted towards any other major or minor program.


Jonathan Aldrich
Director, Software Engineering Minor Program
Wean 4128
412-268-7278

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