Carnegie Mellon University

The Master of Software Engineering (MSE) Professional Programs offers flexible graduate certificates for busy professionals seeking to advance their skills and knowledge. The certificates allow working professionals to gain expertise through self-paced online courses, without the extended commitment required for a master's degree. The focused certificates provide valuable training in areas like software architecture, project management, agile methods, cloud computing, and other high-demand subjects. Choose to complete individual certificates, or stack multiple certificates together to earn an MSE degree. The choice is yours.

The certificates also present an attractive option for corporate sponsorship of employees' training and development. Companies can select targeted certificates to align with the specific skills needed for software engineering roles. Whether pursuing standalone certificates or the full degree, students benefit from the MSE program's industry-relevant curriculum and renowned faculty. The graduate certificates deliver the perfect option for today's working software professionals to skill up and stay competitive.

Certificate Practice Areas

Software Architecture

Knowledge and Skills: Software design, architecture principles, architecting scalable systems

Learning Objectives: To be able to analyze software requirements from a software architecture perspective and apply good software design principles, patterns, and tactics to build robust, scalable, and resilient software.

Key takeaways 
  • Identify software design problems and solve them using appropriate design patterns.
  • Analyze systemic software architectural concerns, and apply architectural patterns and tactics to solve systemic concerns.
  • Use attribute-driven design methods to architect the software and analyze the trade-offs.
  • Learn to document the software architecture for different stakeholders.
  • Compare and use different API styles to build well-designed APIs

Prerequisites: Familiarity with a programming language such as C++, Java, Python etc., and a basic knowledge of software design techniques.

Plan of Study
  • 17-635 Software Architecture (Spring)
  • 17-647 Engineering Data Intensive Scalable Systems (Spring)
  • 17-625 API Design (Fall)
  • 17-695 Design Patterns (Fall)

Software Product Management

Knowledge and Skills: Problem analysis, value analysis, business case creation, requirements analysis, and project management

Learning Objectives: To develop the business acumen needed to create, justify and manage software solutions to business and user problems.

Key takeaways:

  • Define business and user problems.
  • Product/solution ideation
  • Elicit and analyze requirements.
  • Determine the value of a solution to its stakeholders.
  • Align software decisions with business strategies.
  • Agile methods for iterative, collaborative software development.

PrerequisitesA background in computer science and some understanding of software development life cycles.

Plan of Study
  • 17-692 Product Management Essentials (Spring) 
  • 17-612 Business and Marketing Strategy (Spring)
  • 17-622 Agile Project Management (Fall)
  • 17-626 Requirements for Information Systems  or 
    17-627 Requirements for Embedded Systems (Fall)

Software Engineering Management

Knowledge and Skills: Software project management and DevOps

Learning objectives: To be able to manage software engineering projects using popular software project management methods, estimate and plan work. Understand DevOps concepts to effectively manage and co-ordinate software engineering activities.

Key takeaways:

  • Theories of leadership, motivation, and team dynamics
  • Common organizational structures, coordination mechanisms
  • Create planning artifacts such as work breakdown structures, milestone plans, activity plans, estimates, risk registers and earned value charts.
  • Basic DevOps practices, deployment pipeline and associated tools. 
  • Understanding of incident response and disaster recovery.

Prerequisites: Exposure to group software development, undergraduate course in Software Engineering. Basic business acumen is a valuable start, experience is an invaluable asset.

Plan of Study

  • 17-642 Software Management Theory (Spring 2025)
  • 17-632 Software Project Management (Spring 2025) 
  • 17-636 DevOps Engineering (Summer 2025)