Doctoral Program in Software Engineering

Today’s software-based systems are essential parts of business and everyday living in the emerging global economy. As software becomes ubiquitous, the relationship between end users and software development undergoes fundamental changes. No longer is software produced from scratch by a team of experts and delivered to clients. Increasingly software is developed by adapting existing components and services; more and more the delivered systems are highly distributed and software-intensive but not purely software; systems must be designed and fielded under economic and legal constraints, and system requirements emerge as the clients understand better both the technology and the opportunities in their own settings. Essentially, all aspects of the Software Engineering industry demand a new more educated, more versatile workforce.

The PhD in Software Engineering program answers this call. By enrolling in the PhD program, students have the opportunity to prepare themselves for faculty positions in software engineering, for research positions in industrial laboratories, and for leadership positions in development. Those graduates who choose a career in education are distinguished by their genuine understanding of software design and development issues. Graduates who become industrial developers understand not only academic research issues but also engineering constraints that arise from public policy, economic, regulatory, and market issues. And graduates who become senior software system developers have a distinctive perspective that addresses specific problems in the context of the principles and results of the field.

In addition to the talent and research skills that allow graduates to fill these industry needs, these PhDs will also understand the practical issues of software design and development from requirements acquisition through maintenance. They are prepared to enter research or advanced development positions in application areas, distributed networks, embedded/critical systems, and other specialties as well as conventional software system development. Furthermore, graduates’ experience with managing projects and their overall general knowledge of the software industry make them excellent candidates for industry consulting positions.

The PhD in Software Engineering program is unique in its interaction with industrial-strength software development in a real (not just realistic) setting, for hands-on education.

For more information, visit the PhD in Software Engineering's website, or contact isri-phd@cs.cmu.edu.