Master’s in Software Development (Bridge)

Bridge (Master of Science in Software Development)

Offered By: College of Engineering and Technology

Advance Into the Tech Industry With a Bridge MS in Software Development

Are you looking to take your career in a new direction? You may find a career in software development a promising and rewarding option if you are interested in technology and would like to have a direct hand in creating the software our society uses every single day.

Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Software Development bridge program is directly designed for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. After completing the bridge program, you will have been taught the skills and knowledge you need to be eligible to apply for entry into in the Master of Science in Software Development program.

Complete Your Master’s in Software Development Bridge Online from GCU

GCU’s Bridge (Master of Science in Software Development) pathway is designed with working professionals in mind. Flexible online options allow for you to complete your degree while maintaining your already busy schedule.

Online courses require the same coursework as in-person courses, meaning you can experience the same level of advanced education in both the remote and traditional settings. Laboratory requirements allow you to gain hands-on experience in important field content, providing a workable foundation made up of both theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills.

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Take the First Step to Designing and Developing Software

Even for those with limited to no experience in software development, this bridge offers you the opportunity to gain the background necessary to apply for entry into the master’s-level software development program.

Throughout your courses, you can gain knowledge and hands-on skills. Your courses will cover these topics:

Explore fundamental concepts of the programming languages, focusing on object-oriented techniques as well as troubleshooting, problem-solving and basic algorithm knowledge.

Explore the Java programming language in depth, focusing on advanced techniques. Study topics such as file I/O, generics, collections, multi-threading, networking and unit testing.

Equip yourself with the basic technical skills to implement database solutions. Coursework covers relational and non-relational databases, data definition language, data manipulation language, SQL server management and more topics necessary for creating and interacting with databases.

Prepare to secure data and maintain the privacy of digital information. The coursework explores white-hat hacking techniques, the use of preventative tools and how to identify potential breaches.

Prepare for Tech Careers in Various Industries

Technology is immensely important in our 21st century society. The generation of usable software is necessary in every field, industry and organization. As this necessity increases, job growth for software development-related professions is also increasing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers to increase by about 25% from 2021 to 2031, faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 411,400 jobs in the field.1

Those who pursue a master’s-level software development degree after completing this master’s in software development online bridge program may consider exploring jobs such as:

  • Computer programmer
  • Software developer
  • Software quality assurance analyst and tester
  • Web and digital interface designer
  • Computer network support specialist

Bridge Master’s in Software Development FAQs

If you’re looking to enter into the field of software development, read through some of the most frequently asked questions below and consider completing your online bridge program from GCU.

There is a mix of hard and soft skills that can help software developers be successful at their jobs. Soft skills include communication, teamwork, problem-solving and a close attention to detail. Hard skills include data structure and algorithms, software security and programming languages.2

The master’s in software development online bridge program can help you develop many of these skills while helping you gain competence in areas such as computer programming, Java, cybersecurity and database design and development.

Completing an MS in software development bridge can help you feel prepared to take on a master’s level software development program. By completing the online bridge, you can gain a baseline of knowledge in multiple areas of software development; it can be an ideal option for those with a prior bachelor’s degree who are looking to break into this field yet have no prior experience.

Additionally, in May 2021, software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers had a median annual wage of $109,020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.3

Software development refers to the process of creating software. This can include designing, programming, deploying, testing and troubleshooting software. These are all components that are critical to creating successful computer programs.

Enrolling in GCU’s software development bridge pathway can be your first step toward transforming your career into one you are passionate about. Fill out the form on this page for more information.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers, retrieved on July 3, 2023.

2 Sartore, M. (2023, January 10). Software Developer Career Overview. Retrieved July 3, 2023.

3 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers, as of May 2021, retrieved on July 3, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

Total Credits: 16
Online: 7 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $485 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course introduces the fundamental concepts and syntax of the Java programming language. The course focuses on object-oriented techniques in Java with an emphasis on problem solving and fundamental algorithms.

Course Description

This course focuses on software development using the Java programming language. The course focuses on advanced object-oriented techniques in Java along with advanced topics including file I/O, generics, collections, multi-threading, networking, and unit testing. Prerequisite: CST-105.

Course Description

This course provides students with the technical skills required to design and implement a database solution using both relational and non-relational databases. Students use data definition language (DDL) to create and delete database objects, and data manipulation language (DML) to access and manipulate those objects. Students gain hands-on experience with database design, data normalization, SQL sub-queries, creating and using views, understanding and working with data dictionaries, and loading and unloading databases. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts discussed in the lecture course, specifically creating databases and SQL queries. Prerequisite: CST-105 or CST-150.

Course Description

This course provides a fundamental understanding of the importance of cybersecurity through a broad range of cybersecurity topics. The course introduces core concepts and terminology used in cybersecurity and information systems security. Students learn concepts related to identifying common attack vectors, threats, preventive tools, and keeping information secure as it travels across a network. Students also gain a basic understanding of how cybersecurity threats and social engineering impact society.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.