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Programs Description



The joint Carnegie Mellon - University of Coimbra (CMU-UC) Master Programs in Software Engineering are premier professional programs in producing software engineering industry leaders and agents of change by teaching the practical application of innovative theories in a mentored studio environment.


All students pursuing the joint CMU-UC Masters at Coimbra must complete a course of study consisting in 5 core courses, 4 electives and a large scale software project.


As a set of courses, the core constitutes approximately one third of the MSE and MSIT-SE curriculum. These are usually taken early in the program as preparation for the Studio and in-depth electives.

The courses are:
› Models of Software Systems
› Methods: Deciding What to Design
› Managing Software Development
› Analysis of Software Artifacts
› Architectures for Software Systems


The Software Development Studio represents approximately 40% of the total time spent in the MSE and extends over the four semesters of the program. The Studio provides an opportunity for you to apply the knowledge and skills gained in other courses as you synthesize a solution to a significant, realistic, and practical problem. You will work in teams, with a faculty member as coach, to analyze a problem, plan a software development project, and implement a solution. After delivering a result, you evaluate the efficacy of your solution as used by customers. The work in the Studio is typically done for an outside customer.

The Studio teams work closely with faculty mentors during all phases of the project and periodically make presentations about the technical work and process issues. These presentations are attended by customers, MSE faculty, other students, and experts from the SCS, SEI, and industry. You are encouraged to gain knowledge about how you solve software problems through this application of reflective practice, in which you not only do the work, but analyze how it was done.

In the case of the MSIT-SE program, being aimed at younger career professionals, the Studio project is adapted to fit the experience and skill level of students. Being shorter in duration (12 months), it offers students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real-world problems. Project work is guided by an experienced group of mentors with extensive industry background in managing software development projects. Mentors focus on teamwork, organization and the use of disciplined software processes to guide students as they apply methods, tools and techniques to solve practical problems. The Software Development Practicum is done in teams of two students.


Electives constitute approximately 30% of the curriculum of both the MSE and MSIT-SE programs. Elective courses provide you with the opportunity to tailor the program to your individual interests and background. Early in the program, students meet with advisors to select appropriate electives that are consistent with your career goals.

In order to fulfill the elective’s requirement, students must complete the equivalent of four 9- to 12-unit full-semester courses.


“The MSE program has afforded me the privilege of learning from some of the best minds in the Software world, people such as Mark Paulk, David Garlan, Mary Shaw and Ed Clark, to mention just a few. The experience was intense, fun and inspiring, greatly improving my skills as an Engineer. Professionally,
CMU’s prestige and its alumni network have opened the door to great career opportunities, in the US and all over the world.”




Former MSE student. QuarkSoft