Our world is increasingly run by computer software and processes. Being a software engineer is all about addressing critical issues across the life cycle of a software product. 

The undergraduate bachelor's degree program in software engineering involves applying engineering principles to the construction of such software.

At Clarkson, software engineering is unique in its collaborative nature, spanning multiple departments. We combine the expertise, knowledge and experience of faculty from the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) and  Computer Science to deliver you mastery of theory. This collaborative approach provides you with knowledge and understanding of software processes, honing your ability to develop effective and cost-efficient software systems. The program is also designed to help you build interpersonal and communication skills, enabling you to launch a successful software engineering career in today’s world.

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Software Engineering Careers

Clarkson Class of 2020 97 percent employment

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistently ranked software engineer at the top of its job list for many years. Demand for software engineers spans many sectors, such as:

  • social media and entertainment
  • energy
  • automotive
  • aviation
  • telecommunication
  • finance and banking

According to PayScale, the average software engineer salary is nearly $85,000. Almost most all organizations require some form of software engineering to support their business. Clarkson software engineering majors have been recruited by companies such as Aetna, Aurora North, Gracenote, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Northeast Information Discovery and Saab Defense and Security.  

In recent years, our software engineering majors have also chosen to attend graduate schools, such as Duke University or Clarkson's own Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. program.

Software Engineering Curriculum & Academic Options

Major in Software Engineering

The software engineering bachelor's degree curriculum includes courses from both computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, statistics and communication. Software engineering majors take courses such as:

  • Algorithms & Data Structures
  • Computer Architecture
  • Database Systems
  • Fundamentals of Software Engineering
  • Software Design for Visual Environments
  • Software Engineering Junior and Senior Design


Core Requirements

The software engineering program consists of 39 credit hours in software engineering, 27 hours in engineering common curriculum, 12 credit hours in computer science, 3 credit hours in electrical science, 12 credit hours in mathematics, and 6 credit hours in professional electives. 6 credit hours are in free electives.

Click here for a sample curriculum schedule

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Software Engineering

  • CS341 Programming Languages
  • CS344 Algorithms and Data Structures
  • CS444 Operating Systems
  • CS458 Formal Methods for Program Verification
  • EE260 Embedded Systems 
  • EE262 Intro to Object-Oriented Programming and Software Design
  • EE264 Introduction to Digital Design 
  • EE361 Fundamentals of Software Engineering 
  • EE363 Software Components & Generic Programming 
  • EE368 Software Engineering 
  • EE407 Computer Networks 
  • EE408 Software Design for Visual Environments 
  • EE418 Software Engineering Senior Design 
  • EE462 Software System Architecture 
  • EE466 Computer Architecture
  • EE468 Database Systems

Professional Experience

  • Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:
    ES499 Professional Experience (0 credits)

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credits)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

Common First Year Courses

Students must complete the following courses in their first year:

  • CM131 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science (4 credits)
  • ES100 Introduction to Engineering Use of the Computer (2 credits)
  • ES110 Engineering & Society 
  • MA131 Calculus I 
  • MA132 Calculus II 
  • PH131 Physics I (4 credits)
  • PH132 Physics II (4 credits)
Core Electives

Students must complete the following courses:

  • MA211 Foundations 
  • MA231 Calculus III 
  • MA232 Elementary Differential Equations
  • MA381 Probability
    or STAT383 Probability & Statistics
  • EE221 Linear Circuits
  • ES250 Electrical Science

Professional Electives

Software engineering professional electives may be any course numbered EE300+, CS300+, MS300+, AS300+, BR400, ME444, COMM442, COMM444 or CS242.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

Students will have at least 12 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives

Students will have 6 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.


Minor in Software Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering also offers a minor in software engineering, which students in any degree program at Clarkson may pursue. The software engineering minor is designed to help students master important principles in software engineering, and most students can complete the minor in four years. Software Engineering majors may also consider a variety of minors to complement their software engineering degree program.

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Software Engineering Minor

Software Engineering Minor Core I

Students are required to complete the courses in one of the following options:

Option 1

  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • CS142 Introduction to Computer Science II
  • CS344 Algorithms and Data Structures

Option 2

  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science I (4 credits)
  • EE262 Intro to Object Oriented Programming and Software Design
  • EE363 Software Components and Generic Programming

Software Engineering Minor Core II

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • CS242 Advanced Programming Concepts in Java
  • or EE408 Software Design for Visual Environments

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • EE368 Software Engineering
  • or CS350 Software Design & Developments

Software Engineering Minor Core III

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • EE465/CS452 Computer Graphics
  • CS455/EE407 Computer Networks
  • EE468/CS460 Database Systems
  • or course approved by the Software Engineering Program Committee.


Robotics Minor

The minor in Robotics is designed to provide students with a solid and coherent introduction to the field and consists of two parts: four required core courses (9 credit hours) to give students a strong, working foundation in the associated technology and three elective courses (9 credit hours) that allow students to explore various sub-areas within the field or specialize more deeply in one area. 

Robotics Core Courses

To graduate with a minor in Robotics, students must earn an average GPA of 2.0 in six courses (18 credit hours).

  • MA339 - Applied Linear Algebra (3 credits) OR MA330 - Advanced Engineering Mathematics (3 credits)
  • EE455 - Introduction to Mobile Robotics (3 credits)
  • EE456 - Introduction to Robot Manipulators (3 credits)
  • MP414 - Applied Robotics or equivalent robotics project experience (0 credits)

Robotics Elective Courses

With elective courses, some course substitutions are possible - a list of acceptable substitutions will be maintained by the Coulter School of Engineering in conjunction with the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering department, the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and the Computer Science department and updated annually. 

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • EE260 - Embedded Systems
  • EE401 - Digital Signal Processing
  • EE408 - Software Design For Visual Environments
  • EE446 - Instrumentation
  • EE450 - Control Systems
  • EE451 - Digital Control
  • EE452 - Optimization Techniques in Engineering
  • EE465 - Computer Graphics
  • EE506 - Image Processing and Computer Vision
  • EE652 - Computer Vision

Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

  • ME385 - Design of Electromechanical Systems
  • ME443 - Optimal Engineering
  • ME444 - Computer Aided Engineering
  • ME450 - Control Systems

Computer Science

  • CS449 - Computational Learning
  • CS451 - Artificial Intelligence
  • CS452 - Computer Graphics
  • CS459 - Human-Computer Interaction
  • CS461 - Mixed Reality
  • CS465 - Mobile Robotics/Human-Robot Interaction
  • CS652 - Computer Vision

Experiential Learning

Research Opportunities

Our software engineering professors are also active researchers. Rich research opportunities are available from projects sponsored by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force Research Lab, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and private companies. Past student projects include construction of web and mobile apps, data analysis using Python, machine learning applications, biometrics, and cyber security.

Internship and Co-op Opportunities

There are a plenty of internship and co-op opportunities from companies, government offices and other organizations available for our software engineering majors. Clarkson's Fall and Spring Career Fairs, which bring in nearly 200 companies each, are very effective in helping our students secure such opportunities, often leading to full-time job offers before graduation. Recent companies where our students have interned with include, but are not limited to, BAE Systems, Syracuse Research Corporation, IBM, General Dynamics Electric Boat, GE, and Lockheed Martin.

Software Engineering Student Clubs

a photo of members of the student club

Clarkson software engineering students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to software engineering. These include:

  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
  • Autonomous Robotics Club
  • Gaming Initiative
  • Gaming Society
  • Clarkson Open Source Institute (COSI)
  • H2Code LLC
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
  • Order of Omega 
  • Power and Energy Society
  • Robotics Living Learning Community
  • Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
  • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • Tau Beta Pi - National Engineering Honor Society
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