Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
The Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering degree is housed within the Electrical, Computer, Software & Systems Engineering (ECSSE) department, and prepares students for an entry-level software engineering position in a variety of industries ranging from aerospace to video game development. Because of the inclusion of real-world hands-on projects, such as flight control of an autonomous aircraft, or power control in a hybrid automobile, the program gives students a chance to develop the knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking required to design and implement large software systems.
The program combines the system design and development practices of the professional software engineering community with a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of software engineering, along with a knowledge of how embedded computer hardware works, such that graduates enter the workforce ready to make a contribution and a difference.
The BSSE program focuses on software for embedded, real-time, computer systems: The kinds of systems at the heart of technologies from mobile phones and handheld computers to the control systems of modern aircraft and spacecraft. Embedded controllers take information from the physical world, such as an airplane’s altitude or the amount of light entering a lens, and use a microprocessor to generate control signals to component devices, such as that airplane’s control surfaces or a camera’s aperture opening. Many embedded devices, particularly those employed in aviation, space, and medicine are part of safety-critical systems: applications and devices for which failure endangers life and limb. The design and development of such safety-critical systems depends on the use of well-developed processes for determining a system’s requirements and specifications, converting those to operational software, and then employing quality assurance approaches to ensure minimal risk.
The BSSE curriculum gives the student an opportunity to start to work with embedded systems, such as a small, mobile robot, upon entering the program. Through the program, not only will you will how to develop software effectively, but also how to construct large, complex software systems in a way that ensures that they meet design specifications, customer requirements, and mandated levels of safety. The program culminates in a two-semester capstone design sequence in which you’ll work with a team of other student software engineers, computer engineers, and electrical engineers to specify, design, build, and demonstrate a working system, or even system of systems, often for a real-world "customer."
The detailed objectives of the program are that our graduates:
- Effectively analyze, design, and implement computer systems, including embedded, real-time, and safety-critical computer systems;
- Demonstrate professionalism in their work and grow professionally through continued learning and involvement in professional activities;
- Contribute to society by behaving ethically and responsibly;
- Communicate effectively in oral, written, and newly developing modes and media; and
- Assume a variety of roles in teams of diverse membership.
The Software Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; Telephone: (410) 347-7700, http://www.abet.org).
Why a Software Engineering degree from ERAU?
The Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering allows students to being develop projects for the real world from the first day of classes. Design and build are hands on from day one. Working both individually and in teams, students have the opportunity not only to learn about developing software, in particular for embedded computer systems, but also to develop those larger software systems and learn from that process throughout the curriculum.
The sequence of design culminates in a near real-world capstone design experience: Students, working in multidisciplinary teams of engineers with a core of software, computer, and electrical engineers, determine a customer’s requirements for a system, convert those to system specifications, perform the design of a system to meet the requirements using a formalized process from industry, implement and build the system, and then test the system to ensure that it meets the customer’s requirements, fully documenting the process along the way. Capstone design students get not only a chance to show their skill in designing and developing software systems, but also their proficiency in managing the process and communicating with each other and the “customer.” Employers come back to ERAU year after year for program graduates both because of the software development proficiency and because of those graduates’ ability to enter the workplace familiar with design, development, and quality assurance processes, with industrial-strength documentation, and with working with teammates to bring a project to a successful conclusion.
The BSSE program has an expert faculty, many with industrial experience, and instruction takes place in small classes with state-of-the-art facilities, including a wide range of software and hardware development environments. Being located at Embry-Riddle allows the student to take advantage of knowledge and expertise on campus of a vast array of aviation and aerospace matters. And beyond the projects in the curriculum, student projects are available through professional organizations like the Student Branch of the IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers) or competition hosts like AUVSI (Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International).
View requirements for the B.S. in Software Engineering degree on the Catalog site.