Master’s (MS) in Software Development

Master of Science in Software Development

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Software Development is designed for software developers looking to take their career to the next level.

The MS program focuses on equipping talented working professionals with knowledge and skills in advanced writing and implementation of both generic and customized programs. Courses include instruction in the full software development lifecycle, system design, software design, and software architecture. Additional areas of focus include agile software development and delivery methodologies, mobile development, advanced database design, secure coding and software testing.

Design and Develop Software in a Technology-Driven World

Technology is only growing in its importance, and software developers occupy a uniquely important role in society. GCU’s program helps prepare graduates who are prepared to fill these important roles and equip professionals with the ability to make an impact in the field. As technology progresses, our professionals need to be equipped with more than knowledge of programming languages or product development. Important ethical questions and concerns will undoubtedly arise during every software developer’s career.

GCU’s program addresses these ethical challenges. Learners explore dilemmas regarding data and systems access, data privacy, data accuracy and code of conduct in decision-making. Through discussion and coursework, program candidates analyze ways to make ethical judgments in the implementation, modification and development of technology or software to use software development for the common good.

Do Software Developers Need a Master’s Degree?

Throughout their careers, software developers can advance their own skills and gain a competitive edge in many ways. Though pursuing a master’s degree is a great commitment, it can have large rewards.

GCU's MS in Software Development not only focuses on advanced technical concepts but also prepares graduates with industry-proven skills in leadership and management, which will increase their competitiveness for high-level positions, potentially at the executive level.

Flexible Online Class Options Available

GCU’s master’s in software development online learning management system provides our learners with the flexibility to earn their degree while still working. Assignments and participations are paced to allow every online program to fit into an already busy schedule.

Completing your degree online offers flexibility without removing any opportunities to gain hard, practical skills. Project-based coursework and discussion-driven learning allow students to develop advanced, hands-on capabilities in:

  • Software development lifecycle
  • Agile software development and delivery
  • UML and design patterns
  • System and software design
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Mobile development
  • Technical communication
  • Secure coding
  • Software testing

Advance your career on your own time. Earn your Master of Science in Software Development from GCU. For more information, contact an admissions counselor or apply today!

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Total Credits: 34
Online: 8 weeks [More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

34 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
34 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course covers leading the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes: planning considerations for product definition, development, test, implementation, and maintenance. The course also covers software requirements elicitation and architecture synthesis.

Course Description

This course involves the study of UML, design patterns, software design principles, and system architecture. Also covered are the study and concepts related to architecture frameworks, technical communication, making informed ethical decisions during the software design phase, and future trends in software design. Prerequisite: SWE-520.

Course Description

This course involves the study of concepts, principles, and scope of software system architecture, including architectural styles, languages, leadership in driving architectures, connectors, middleware, dynamism, analysis, testing and domain-specific approaches. Prerequisite: SWE-520.

Course Description

This course covers theories of management, methodologies, and their application to software projects. It also covers leadership in driving successful teams in SDLC projects, economic analysis of software products and processes, software cost and schedule estimation, planning and control. Prerequisite: SWE-530.

Course Description

This course involves the study of concepts, principles and scope of advanced database design and administration. This course includes conceptual, logical, and physical database design, database analysis and selection during the software design phase, and typical administrative database duties that include but are not limited to user administration, performance tuning, and backup/restore. Also covered are the study of how to make informed ethical decisions during the software design phase and the future trends in database design. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: SWE-540.

Course Description

This course involves the study of the design and development of mobile applications. Students will learn how to build a user interface and connect it to programmable events, integration of various mobile phone services, working with data in local databases and remote servers, and the best practices of software design in the mobile environment. Prerequisite: SWE-520.

Course Description

This course involves the study of concepts, principles, and best secure coding practices for software developers. The course studies the most common vulnerabilities found in application code along with the tools and techniques for identifying and resolving those vulnerabilities. Prerequisite: SDD-630.

Course Description

This course involves the study of concepts, processes, tools, and best practices when maintaining and testing existing software. Prerequisite: SDD-640.


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.

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