Mastering the Digital Age

Whether we're at work or play, computers and software have become an integral part of everyone's daily lives. From business and engineering to healthcare, government and entertainment, worldwide industries are increasingly depending on software to get the job done.

To meet that need, the University of Utah’s School of Computing is proud to announce Utah’s only master’s program in software development geared specifically for those with no computer science background.

The Master of Software Development (MSD) is a comprehensive and rigorous 16-month program producing capable coders, big data analysts, computer security experts and more for graduates looking to carve out a new career path. It's also the perfect next step for those who want to enhance their careers by learning software development.

"Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. "
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why the MSD program might be right for you


For a new digital era.

Whether it's in finance, retail, government, or even the arts, software is a critical component to every industry.  Software development has become a vital — and valuable — work skill as companies have turned to mobile apps and cloud computing to boost productivity and make life easier.


New possibilities.

Feel like you've reached a career dead end or realized your bachelor's degree hasn't opened as many doors as you once thought? Here's a chance to reset your earning potential. The Master of Software Development is a key to new possibilities in an area with unbelievable growth.


No CS degree? No problem!

This innovative program requires no computer science or related degree, but it will engage students in an extensive 40-credit-hour curriculum that covers everything from writing high-quality software to data analytics and security. We're looking for hard-working graduates with strong analytical thinking skills.


Expert faculty.

The MSD courses are taught by faculty from the University of Utah's world-renowned School of Computing. A pioneer in computer graphics, computer networking, computer architecture and digital media, the School of Computing has more than 40 faculty that touch every aspect of modern computing research.


Program Acceptance

We will be offering rolling admissions. We encourage students with little to no computer science or related backgrounds to apply. Applicants to the program must demonstrate problem-solving skills and the ability to reason mathematically and logically through undergraduate or higher-level courses in one or more of the following: Calculus, Probability Theory, or Statistics (examples of courses at the University of Utah that satisfy this requirement would include MATH 1100, 1170, 1210, ECON 3620, 3640, or PSY 3000).

Admissions Criteria

  • Bachelor's Degree

    You may apply if you have received a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Four years of study is required for most international university degrees. If you are currently finishing up your degree, BS or MS, please note your status in your applications statement of purpose, and upload available transcripts to date into the application system. You can be admitted based on this information and, official transcripts will be verified before the start of the semester. You need to have a bachelor’s degree before starting the MSD program.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Test Score

    There are no minimum GRE scores required for application. Applicants are encouraged to meet overall program GRE averages, but all application materials are evaluated to determine the strength of the application. The GRE requirement could be waived in a few cases for domestic students who are able to demonstrate their verbal, quantitative, and analytical abilities through other verifiable means.
  • Transcripts/GPA

    This requirement includes a list all colleges and universities applicants have attended including the University of Utah, regardless of length of attendance. Official transcripts from each institution will be required.A minimum cumulative 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required for admission. The transcripts should include courses that demonstrate the ability to reason mathematically and logically.
  • English Language Proficiency

    International applicants must receive a minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) iBT exam or 6.5 on the IELTS exam.

Needed for Application

  • School of Computing MSD Online Application

    Apply by clicking the following link: Online Application
  • Statement of Purpose

    One statement of purpose essay describing the applicant's intent and goals for joining the program (submitted within the online application).
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

  • Resume

What you need to know

CoursesScheduleCostLiving in SLCLocal IndustryTestimonialsFAQ

The duration of the MSD program is 16 months (Fall/Spring/Summer/ Fall) involving classroom teaching and extensive lab and project experiences. The MSD program will use active-learning and project-oriented approaches to equip students with tools and perspectives for problem solving while honing their critical-thinking skills that transcend specific software languages or applications. All MSD students are required to take the following courses (4 credit hours each).

Fall (Year 1)

Introduction to Software Development
Computer Programming
Data Structures and Algorithms

Spring (Year 1)

Systems 1 (Computer Arch + Operating Systems)
Systems 2 (Computer Networks + Security)
Software Engineering

Summer (Year 1)

Database Systems and Applications
Data Analytics and Visualization

Fall (Year 2)

Application System Design
Master of Software Development Project

Tentative for Fall 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30 Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture
9:30 Lecture Lab Lab Lecture Lecture
10:30 Lab Group Assignment Lab Group Assignment TA Assisted Lab
11:30 TA Assisted Lab TA Assisted Lab
12:30 Done Done Done Done Done

Cost of the entire MSD program (Fall/Spring/Summer/Fall):

  • $39,897.60 for Residents
  • $54,259.96 for Non-residents

Each student will be provided a laptop with software and access to online resources. The above amount includes the cost of the laptop + software + online resources. Students will be able to retain their laptops after finishing the program at no extra cost.

There’s a plethora of reasons why people are flocking to Utah to both work and play. From the rugged snow-capped Rocky Mountains that are home to some of the best skiing and hiking in the world to the heavenly landscapes of five national parks, Utah’s scenery is an outdoor recreationalist’s dream. Meanwhile, Utah and the stunning Salt Lake Valley are also the center of robust economic growth with one of the fastest-growing technology sectors in the country. Don’t believe us? Utah and Salt Lake City have both received national accolades in recent years.

Salt Lake City

  • #1 America's 25 Best Cities for Young Professionals — Forbes
  • #1 Best Place to Start a Career — CNBC
  • #1 Best Cities to Start a Career — WalletHub
  • #3 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs — NerdWallet
  • #4 Most Attractive City — Travel & Leisure
  • #7 25 Best Cities for Jobs — Glassdoor
  • #10 Best Places to Live in the U.S. — U.S. News & World Report


  • #1 Best State for Employment — U.S. News & World Report
  • #1 America's Top States for Business — CNBC
  • #1 Best States for Business — Forbes
  • #1 Best States for Business — 24/7 Wall Street
  • #1 Fastest-Growing Tech States — Business Insider
  • #1 Economic Outlook Ranking — American Legislative Exchange Council
  • #1 Most Entrepreneurial States — NerdWallet
  • #1 Top Destination in the World to Visit — Fodor’s Travel
  • #1 Favorite Mountain Towns (Park City) — Travel & Leisure
  • #2 Best Business Climate — Business Facilities Magazine
  • #2 Economic Growth Potential — Business Facilities Magazine

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Is the MSD program online or in-person?
What is the expected load?
Are the classes held during evenings/weekends?
Are there any scholarships associated with the MSD program?
Could one be admitted to the MSD program in the Spring semester?
How should the MSD fees be paid?
How is the MSD program at the School of Computing different from its MS programs in Computer Science or Computing?
How is the MSD program different from the MSIS program in the School of Business?
What does the MSD tuition cover?
How is my degree labeled?



Sneha Kumar Kasera

Program Director
School of Computing


Mike Kirby

School of Computing


John Regehr

School of Computing


Zvonimir Rakamaric

Assistant Professor
School of Computing


David E. Johnson

Assistant Professor
School of Computing


Ben Jones

Assistant Professor
School of Computing


Daniel Kopta

Assistant Professor
School of Computing

Contact Us!

For more information, contact program director Sneha Kumar Kasera at or (801) 581-4541 or use the form below.

Contact Us