University of Michgan Dearborn or Drexel for M.S. in Software Engineering?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by MadCoder, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. MadCoder

    MadCoder New Member

    I'm in the process of selecting a school to pursue my graduate studies in software engineering via distance learning. Two schools that are on my list is the University of Michigan Dearborn and Drexel.

    Price for distance learning is comparable between the two, so cost isn't a factor. Both schools seem to be known for engineering (though when people think of University of Michigan, they're most likely going to think the Ann Arbor campus). Both schools have been favorably ranked by U.S. News, at least with respect to their brick and mortar versions.

    So it comes down to the actual learning experience. Anybody here have any experience with either of these schools? Which would you choose and why?

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Well, if cost is not a factor. Then, you should consider these schools.

    University of Southern California
    Southern Methodist University
    University of Colorado at Boulder
    Steven Institute of Technology
  3. Go_Fishy

    Go_Fishy New Member

    Cost is not a factor when it comes to choose between the two schools the OP mentions because they cost about the same; not a non-factor in general.
  4. tcmak

    tcmak New Member

    I think there is a way easier for you to make the decision. This is to look carefully on their curriculum.

    The curriculum with UM Dearborn is more focused on embedded systems or electronics, and this programme is run by the electronic engineering department.

    The MS Soft Eng programme by Drexel is run by their Computer Science department. But I am not quite impressed by their choice of electives and tracks. I don't think they have enough content on Software Engineering in order to be called an MSc in Software Engineering.

    The MSc in Stevens Institute of Technology is "Quantitative Software Engineering". This programme has substantially more SE elements than the other SE programmes. However, the trade-off is that they rather focuses "Quantitative methods", Metrics, over the people element in the software development process. However, if metrics is something you believe essential for good software development process. This is the one to go.

    If $$ is not the issue, you should also consider Carngie Mellon, MSc in IT on Software Engineering programme. However, $$ is really a big matter there.

    If you are pretty free to travel UK from time to time. Oxford is also an option.

    There are some good ones that you might want to consider:

    1) Arizona State University
    2) DePaul University
    3) Texas Tech University
    4) West Virgina University

    Good Luck!

  5. MadCoder

    MadCoder New Member

    SMU and Stevens are also on my list! I'll be sending apps to those schools as well. SMU is of particular interest because they offer a doctorate in software engineering that can be, mostly, done via distance. But apparently, according to another poster here, there may be an on-campus component.

    I didn't know about the other two schools you listed up there, though. Thanks. I'll check them out too.
  6. MadCoder

    MadCoder New Member


    All of the schools I've considered so far (UMD, SMU, WVU, Stevens) all basically cost the same: all around $1000 per credit. One school I've come across, Regis, is actually fairly cheap (about $650 per credit if I recall). Unfortunately, their computer science department doesn't fall under their engineering department and therefore wouldn't be accredited by ABET. That sort of thing matters to me.

    A local school, Loyola College, offers the M.S. in Software Engineering at only $650/credit also. Loyola is ranked pretty high by U.S. News too. Too bad they don't do the distance thing (yet), even if they are relatively close to me.
  7. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I don't know the first thing about software engineering, but I can provide you some feedback on UM-D. I live in the area and have three friends that went there- 2 for engineering and 1 for teaching. It's very well-respected around here for both its teaching and engineering programs. It's known mostly for those two fields and provides a very good education. The only school better for engineering in MI is MI Tech, but they don't have a DL option and they're way up North in the state.

    Out of the 3 UM schools, generally the ranking in order of prestige is UM-AA, UM-D, and UM-Flint.

    Hope that helps a bit!
  8. MadCoder

    MadCoder New Member

    Excellent post! I like how you went into detail in comparing the curriculums between UMD and Drexel (and Stevens, which is a school I'm actually considering as well). It was very informative and appreciated.

    Would you happen to know anything about Southern Methodist University's M.S. in software engineering program? I'm strongly considering SMU also because they offer a D.Eng. in software engineering via (mostly) distance, and taking the masters at SMU would make doing the D.Eng. there a little less of a hassle.

    I knew about Texas Tech. Unfortunately, they apparently require the GRE for admissions despite having several years of industry experience already. Although, I'll have to worry about the GRE sooner or later if I want to get into SMU's D.Eng. program since they require it for the doctorate as well.

    I also knew about WVU. Definitely a school worth considering, and I'll be sending them an app as well.

    I didn't know about Arizona or DePaul. I'll check them out too.

  9. MadCoder

    MadCoder New Member

    It does help, and thanks!

    One thing I found attractive about UMD's DL is that apparently the DL courses are literally the same as the on-campus version. In fact, if I'm understanding the material at UMD's DL web site correctly, you have the option of "attending" the on-campus class at the same time as the on-campus students via streaming video and actually ask questions in class to the prof via online chat. That sounds very cool to me. It also leaves no doubt that the coursework is exactly the same as the brick and mortar version and is not watered down in any way for distance learning delivery.
  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    SMU use the same method! Some course, the Professor expects sudents taking the exam as the same time as on-campus.

Share This Page