The Graduate Software Engineering 2009 (GSwE2009)*

Since August 2007, a group of more than 40 professionals from academia, industry and government, known as the Integrated Software and Systems Engineering Curriculum (iSSEc) Project, have been developing a new reference curriculum leading to a master's degree in Software Engineering.  Distinguished Research Professor, Dr. Arthur Pyster, of Stevens Institute of Technology, has served as the lead researcher of Graduate Software Engineering 2009 (GSwE2009)* initiative, (available at Already, some universities are beginning to adopt elements of GSwERC.  Adoption on a larger scale is expected beginning in 2009.

GSwE 2009 integrates systems engineering into the education of software engineers and reflects the dramatic changes in how software is used and developed since the early 1990s, when the last major graduate reference curriculum was published.  The effort is endorsed by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the US National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Division.  The IEEE Computer Society Educational Advisory Board has a participating author and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has a volunteer contributor.  Sponsorship and funding for this effort are being provided by the US Department of Defense.


Version 1.0 of GSwE2009 was published September 30, 2009, and is available on the GSwE2009 website( 


One of the novel features of GSwE2009 is the development of explicit comparisons of existing graduate software engineering programs to GSwE2009 recommendations and of considerations and advice on the implementation of GSwE2009.  These comparisons and implementation considerations offer a window on how well GSwE2009 aligns with existing practice and will help faculty understand how to adopt GSwE2009 in their own universities.  The GSwE2009 author team welcomes additional comparisons and hypothetical modifications from other universities to provide more insight into the gap between GSwE2009 and current practice and how to close that gap. This information has been crafted into two companion documents for GSwE2009, Comparisons of GSwE2009 to Current Programs and Frequently Asked Questions on Implementing GSwE2009.  Both of these documents were published in November 2009, and are also available on the website.

Several individuals from Stevens Institute of Technology have contributed to GSwE2009, including Professors Richard Turner, Mark Ardis, Larry Bernstein, and David Klappholz, and graduate students Deva Henry, Kahina Lasfer, and Nicole Hutchison.

Dr. Arthur Pyster is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology, Deputy Executive Director of the Systems Engineering Research-University Affiliated Research Center sponsored by the Department of Defense, and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Council on Systems Engineering. He has more than thirty years of experience as a successful senior executive, researcher, engineer, educator, and program and project manager in government, industry, and academia. He has created, delivered, and operated numerous leading edge systems and technologies in telecommunications, aerospace, defense, air traffic control, and information technology domains. Before joining Stevens in March 2007, Dr. Pyster served in several executive positions, including Senior Vice President and Director of Systems Engineering and Integration for SAIC and Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Federal Aviation Administration.


Dr. Mark Ardis is a Distinguished Service Professor in the Software Engineering Program at SSE.  He spent the first part of his computing career at NASA, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Department of Defense.  He has taught software engineering courses at the University of Illinois, Wang Institute of Graduate Studies, and Carnegie Mellon University.   As a member of the Educational Program at the Software Engineering Institute, he helped start several new Master of Software Engineering programs.  In 1991 Dr. Ardis joined the Department of Software Production Research at Bell Laboratories, where he conducted research in formal methods and software product line engineering for systems with high reliability requirements.   In 2009 he joined Stevens Institute of Technology as Distinguished Service Professor, and is current Co-Principal Investigator on the Graduate Software Engineering Reference Curriculum (now "GSwE").  His research interests are in software engineering education, formal methods for specification and design, software product line engineering and software quality assurance.

*Previous document under this effort were published at the Graduate Software Engineering Reference Curriculum (GSwERC). The name was changed based on feedback received in July 2009.

Apply Now

Request Info