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Software Engineering: Where Do Curricula Stand Today?

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

SE Curriculum and Projects

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1071.1 - 15.1071.17



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Paper Authors

author page

Susan Conry Clarkson University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Software Engineering: Where Do Curricula Stand Today? ABSTRACT

Despite the fact that it has been over a decade since the first university in the United States offered a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, opinions still differ as to whether the software engineering discipline is a distinct engineering discipline or whether it is more properly regarded as a sub-discipline of computer science. Software engineering curricula and an identifiable body of knowledge for the discipline have been under development for some time. Curricular guides have been developed (e.g. Software Engineering 2004) and a revised guide to the SWEBOK is due out in 2010. Development of undergraduate programs in software engineering has been proceeding at a deliberate pace, so that as of October, 2009, there were nineteen baccalaureate programs in software engineering accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. This set of degree programs is of particular interest because each of them has been reviewed by a visiting team from ABET and found to be in compliance with the general criteria for all baccalaureate engineering programs as well as with the program criteria applicable to software engineering programs.

Of the nineteen accredited software engineering programs, eleven are housed in departments that also offer a program in computer science that is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. All of these departments are found in administrative units with other engineering disciplines. Six of the accredited software engineering programs are at institutions offering computer science programs that are not accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and of these six, three are at institutions in which software engineering and computer science are not housed in the same academic unit. One is found in an institutional context that combines science and engineering in the same academic unit. One of the accredited software engineering programs is offered by an institution that does not offer a computer science program of any kind. One is at an institution that houses accredited programs in both software engineering and computer science in a college of computing that does not administer any engineering programs other than software engineering.

The diversity in the institutional contexts that is evident in this profile is remarkable. In this paper, we consider the curricular content of the accredited software engineering programs along several dimensions. One of these is the profile of the institutional context in which each program exists. Other dimensions considered include degree of overlap with computer science programs on the same campus, topical content of shared courses, and areas that are unique to each of the sister disciplines on the same campus. We also consider relationships between curricular content and the identified body of knowledge as reflected in this set of curricular exemplars.

Conry, S. (2010, June), Software Engineering: Where Do Curricula Stand Today? Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16202

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