Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Software Development


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. in Software Development

Format: Online

Program Description:

Pursue Your Master’s in Software Development

The Master of Science in Software Development degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU) is designed for software developers looking to position themselves for possible career advancement. With a comprehensive curriculum that covers the latest technologies and industry best practices, this program can teach you the advanced skills and knowledge needed within the field of software development.

The MS in software development is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of software development practices and techniques, as well as the ability to apply this knowledge to solve practical problems.

25% Job Growth
For software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers expected to grow by 25% from 2021 to 2031.1

Topics You Will Study in GCU’s Master’s in Software Development Online Degree

The MS in Software Development online program at GCU is focused on equipping talented working professionals with knowledge and skills in advanced writing and implementation of both generic and customized programs. Pursuing an online master’s degree in software development may assist with balancing your studies with work, family and other commitments. Topics covered in this online master’s degree in software development include the following:

    Full software development lifecycle
    System design
    Software design and testing
    Software architecture

    Agile software development and delivery methodologies
    Mobile development
    Advanced database design
    Secure coding

MS in Software Development Online Students Learn From Industry Experts

Technology is only growing in its importance, and software developers occupy an uniquely important role in society. GCU’s online master’s degree in software development program can help prepare graduates to fill these important roles and equip professionals with the opportunity to make an impact in the field. As technology progresses, our professionals need to be equipped with more than knowledge of programming languages or product development.1

Important ethical questions and concerns will undoubtedly arise during every software developer’s career. This master’s in software development at GCU addresses these ethical challenges with a Christian worldview of software development practices while also emphasizing Christian values such as honesty, integrity and compassion.

You can explore dilemmas regarding data and systems access, data privacy, data accuracy and code of conduct in decision-making. Through discussion and coursework, program candidates analyze ways to make ethical judgments in the implementation, modification and development of technology or software to use software development for the common good.

Develop Advanced Software Skills From the Convenience of an Online Setting

GCU’s online learning management system allows you the flexibility to balance your studies with work, family and other commitments. Assignments and participations are paced to allow every online program to fit into an already busy schedule.

Completing your master’s in software development degree online offers flexibility without removing any opportunities to gain practical skills. Project-based coursework and discussion-driven learning allow students to develop advanced, hands-on capabilities in:

    Software development lifecycle
    Agile software development and delivery
    UML and design patterns
    System and software design
    Enterprise architecture

    Mobile development
    Technical communication
    Secure coding
    Software testing

Career Outcomes for Master’s in Software Development Degree Graduates

The increasing need for software developers comes from the continuous expansion of software development for artificial intelligence, robotics and other automation applications, as well as rising concerns about threats to computer security.2 Job growth for software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers is projected to grow by an estimated 25% from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.3

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers, retrieved on March 7, 2023.

2 Daniel, Emily (2019, July 19). How can a Software Developer keep Updated with new Technical Skills? Search Medium. Retrieved on May 24, 2023.

3 U. S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved on June 9, 2023.

4 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Software Developers, as of May 2021, retrieved on March 7, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as software developers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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