UT Dallas to Launch Software Engineering Degree Program
New Bachelor’s Degree to be One of Few Such Offerings in the Country

The University of Texas at Dallas, which several years ago became the first university in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications engineering, is preparing to join the ranks of a select group of universities that grant a B.S. degree in software engineering.

Students in UT Dallas’ Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science will be able to enroll in classes under the new degree program beginning this fall.

UTD, with one of the top-ranked engineering and computer science programs in the nation, already offers a master’s degree in computer science with a major in software engineering. In addition, the university is reviewing a proposal to begin offering a Ph.D. degree in the same discipline.

“This new degree program will both broaden the scope of UTD’s engineering and computer science offerings and help meet the increasing need from industry for software engineering training,” said Dr. Simeon C. Ntafos, professor of computer science, who this fall will become director of a new Software Engineering and Systems Division of the Computer Science Department. “ UTD will become one of only a handful of universities in the U.S. to offer a degree in this rapidly-growing field.”

According to Ntafos, the software engineering degree should have substantial appeal to the North Texas region’s “ Telecom Corridor,” home to as many as 900 high-technology companies. Many of those firms, located in close proximity to UTD, have close ties to the university through involvement in research and hiring its graduates.

The new degree program will be similar to that of an undergraduate computer science degree, but will require that students enroll in five courses specific to software engineering – basic software engineering, requirements engineering, software architecture, testing and quality assurance and a “ capstone” project.

The project class, to be taken during a student’s senior year, will involve student teams taking a substantial software system through all stages of development.

UTD will seek ABET accreditation for the software engineering degree, Ntafos said. However, he said that no accreditation criteria currently exists for such a degree — a reflection of how new such degree programs are.

UTD is one of the leading producers of engineering and computer science graduates in the nation, ranking first nationally in the number of computer science degrees awarded to women, second in the number of master’s degrees awarded in computer science and fifth in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science. In addition, the university ranks 14th in the country in the number of master’s degrees awarded in electrical, electronics and communications engineering and 25th in the country in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in those disciplines.

Last March, UTD broke ground for construction of a 152,000-square-foot addition to the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. When completed in July 2002, the new facility will nearly double the school’s capacity to approximately 5,000 students.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls approximately 6,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit its web site at

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].