MSE, General Engineering FAQ

  • What/how many courses am I required to take for the MSE program?

The MS Engineering degree is an interdisciplinary program with the objectives of offering the opportunity to develop a wide range of knowledge and skills needed to function in today's complex industrial environment. The program provides flexibility for students who need interdisciplinary coursework that are not available through other engineering programs in the college.  Students must earn 30 units to qualify for MSE degree requirement including 9 required units and 21 elective units.

Students are required to take the following four courses (9 units):

  • ENGR 201 Engineering Analysis (3 units)
  • ENGR 202 Systems Engineering or ENGR 203 Engineering Management (3 units)
  • ENGR 281 (1 unit)
  • 298 Master’s Project (2 units)

In addition to these required courses, students propose seven courses (21 units), mostly from other departments, to complete the MSE program requirement. These seven proposed courses need to be approved by an MSE advisor for the units to be counted towards meeting the MSE 30-unit graduation requirement.


  • Are there any restrictions to the seven proposed courses?

An MSE advisor will evaluate the student’s seven course proposals based on the student’s educational background and objective. The selection of courses cannot be limited to any one disciplinary such as computer science or computer engineering, but rather a variety of areas. Senior level undergraduate courses and non-engineering courses can be included in the MSE program of study but will require special approval.    


  • Are there any other required courses?

All SJSU graduate students are required to meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). Most graduate students take one additional writing course (such as ENGR200W) to meet this graduation requirement. 


  • I have a BS in computer science and my original major objective is Computer Science or Software Engineering. Is the Applied Computer area in MSE a good alternative major for me?

It depends on your educational and career objective. If your objective is to get a computer scientist or a computer engineer job right after graduation, MSE might not be a good alternative. The goal of the Applied computing area in MSE program is not to train computer scientists or computer engineers. It is a good alternative if your objective is to further develop your computer knowledge and skills for applications in areas such as data science, business, management, or other industry or business.


  • Will the approved courses be available for me to take, in the semesters that I plan to take them?

Not all SJSU courses are offered every semester. It is important for students to consider the course offering pattern when planning for their program of study. The recent history of course offering (available online) is a good indication of the pattern. Students should check with the course’s offering department for course availability during certain semesters. Even if a course is offered, the course may not accommodate every interested student. The enrollment priority is dependent on the student’s time of enrollment, major, academic standing, etc. It is not unusual that offering departments give higher priority to their own students. For example, computer engineering students have a higher priority enrolling in computer engineering courses.


  • Is “Applied Computing” a degree program?

No, Applied Computing is not a degree program. Applied Computing is an area of study in the MSE program. Students who complete the Applied Computing area of study will receive the same degree as other MSE students --- Master of Science in Engineering. Applied Computing is geared toward students whose undergraduate major is not in computer areas. Students who majored in computer as their undergraduate study can take some advanced courses in applied computing but not the foundation courses. Those who did not major in computer can take and apply foundation courses towards their MSE unit requirement.


  • How long will it take me to complete the program?

If a student takes 9 units (3 courses) every semester, the MSE program can be completed in 2 years. 


  • Can I take more courses than the approved ones?

Yes. The approved courses are for meeting the MSE graduation requirement. You can take additional courses. 


  • Can I change major?

Current SJSU students can petition for a change of major.  However, such petition is rarely granted for changing into a high-demand program such as Computer Science or Computer Engineering. 


  • Are there any scholarship opportunities in MSE?

Currently, MSE does not offer scholarships to students. There are student assistant positions and other on-campus work opportunities. However, these opportunities are typically only offered to current students, not incoming students.


  • I am an international student. Would I be eligible for Optional Practice Training after I graduated from the MSE program?

Yes.