MSE, General Engineering FAQ

I have been admitted to MSE for the coming semester.  Can I start my study at a later time?    

No.  You must re-apply if you are not able to start your study in the semester that you are admitted to.

I have been admitted to MSE.   Can I take online courses for the first semester and delay my arrival to the campus ?

No. MSE does not offer any online course at this time.

How many courses or units should I take in my first semester at SJSU?

If you are an international student holding F1 visa, you are required to take at least 9 units (3 courses).   US resident students can take anywhere from 3 to 16 units. Most graduate students take 3 courses (9 units).   

What/how many units or courses does the MSE program require?

MSE program requires 30 units.  This 30 units includes 9 units from 4 required courses and 21 units (7 courses) from approved elective units.   The 4 required courses are:

3 units:  ENGR 201 Engineering Analysis

3 units:  ENGR 202 Systems Engineering or ENGR 203 Engineering Management

1 unit:   ENGR 281 Master's Project/Thesis Preparation Seminar

2 units:  ENGR 298 Master’s Project

Are there any other required courses?

All SJSU graduate students are required to meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  If you have a Bachelor's degree from a California State University System campus or a University of California system campus, you already satisfied this requirement.  Most other students take one writing course (such as ENGR 200W) in addition to the 30-unit major requirement to meet the GWAR requirement.

What courses should I take in the first semester?

MSE students admitted for the fall semester typically take ENGR201, ENGR202 (or ENG203) and one elective course in the first semester.    The elective course must be within the general scope of the Statement of Education Objective submitted in the admission application. Students are advised to discuss their elective course choices with the Program Director by email before arriving on campus.   

Any general advice about selecting the elective course for my 1st semester?

  1. Select a course from the class schedule for the coming semester, not from the university course catalog.   Not all courses in the catalog are offered every semester.
  2. Select a course that is within the scope of the Statement of Education Objective submitted in the admission application.
  3. Select a course that you have the proper background for.   
  4. ENGR 200W is a possibility, but is not advised for international students whose native language is not English.  

Students are advised to discuss their elective course choices with the Program Director by email before arriving on campus.   

When can/should I register for courses ?

MSE students (including incoming MSE students) will be able to see their enrollment appointment date/time in their MySJSU account sometime in June for fall admission.  Students can register for classes online after their appointment date/time. Students should register for courses as soon as they can, i.e., on and after the enrollment appointment date. 

What if the course I intend to take is full or the registration system does not allow me to register for the course?    

You should attend the first class meeting and ask the instructor for a permission code. There is no guarantee that you will get the permission, however. For that, it is advisable that you plan for an alternative class just in case you can’t get in your first choice.  

When should I propose the seven elective courses?

MSE students are encouraged to plan for their study at SJSU at time of admission. However, it is not required nor practical to finalize the seven courses before students arrive the campus.    MSE students should meet with the Program Director or Advisor to work out a study plan by the end of the first semester.   The study plan can be changed later. The study plan should be consistent with the Statement of Educational Objective submitted during the admission process.

Are there any restrictions to the seven proposed courses?

A MSE advisor will evaluate student’s proposal based on the student’s educational background and educational objective. The selection of courses cannot be strictly within any one discipline area such as only in computer science or computer engineering.  Typically, proposed courses are from at least three major areas.   Some upper division courses (Senior and Junior level courses) and non-engineering courses can be included in the program of study.  

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.

How long will it take me to complete the program?

If you take 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 my major after being admitted to MSE?

You can petition for change of major.  However, such petition is rarely granted to the request of 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 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) after I graduated from MSE program?


When can I start my Curricular Practical Training (CPT)? 

The required conditions for MSE students to start CPT are as follows:

1. Completed all admission conditions.

2. Overall SJSU GPA 3.0 or better. 

3. Be a classified MSE graduate student. 

4. Must be in full-time status for one academic year (2 semesters). 

5. Enroll in a 3-unit ENG298I.

Additional information about CPT can be found here.

Applied Computing FAQ

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.

I have a BS in computer science and my original major objective is Computer Science or Software Engineering. Is the Applied Computing 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.