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  • Software Architecture Online Graduate Certificate Program

    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Software Architecture

    Drexel University’s online Graduate Certificate in Software Architecture equips you with state-of-the-art practices for designing, analyzing, documenting, and implementing software architectures. Designed for those with programming skills and experience, you’ll take courses in areas like software design, software architecture, requirement engineering and management, and software project management to prepare you for roles in this field.

    What Does A Software Architect Do?

    A software architect is the technical expert who is responsible for defining the overall solution for the software system to be developed. As a software architect, you'll make critical decisions on architectural styles, quality attributes, key interfaces, and technologies that will best serve the project, act as a liaison between business partners and the development team, maintain the overall framework, and ensure product quality.

    Software architects must showcase a range of technical skills throughout their daily tasks. You’ll need to know:

    • software engineering and design
    • programming
    • the ins-and-outs of various platforms

    You’ll also need to act as a project manager, utilizing soft skills such as:

    • communication
    • organization
    • leadership techniques

    Online Software Architecture Certificate Program Features

    • Five-course, 15-credit program
    • 100% online for distance-learning
    • Graduates of the certificate program who meet certain grade requirements may transfer those credits into the Master of Science in Software Engineering

    Online Software Architect Program Requirements

    To be eligible for this certificate, you should have a four-year bachelor's degree or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or related STEM field, plus work experience equal to Drexel's Graduate Certificate in Computer Science. If your previous education experience is not in Computer Science or Software Engineering, you must complete the Graduate Certificate in Computer Science. For more information, including requirements for international students, please see the Admissions Criteria page.

    What Is the Salary for a Software Architect?

    Salaries can vary based on location, job title, and years of experience. However, some job titles and salaries that this certificate can prepare you for include:

    • Computer and Information Research Scientist - $126,830
    • Computer Network Architect - $116,780
    • Computer Programmer - $89,190
    • Software Developers - $110,140

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020

    Online Certificate in Software Architecture Program FAQs

    What are the differences between software design and programming?
    Software programmers are responsible for writing code for software, operating systems, and other computer programs. Often, programmers take on additional work, though coding is typically at the heart of the position.

    Software designers, on the other hand, make decisions on various aspects of the software projects. They consider how to create code to satisfy user requirements, fit the computer hardware and systems it will be interacting with, interact with other software systems, ensure performance or security, etc. This also tends to be more of a front-facing position, with designers responsible for communicating with both clients and the development team.

    Is experience required for this program?
    Drexel recommends that you have a few years of work experience in the software development field before entering this program.

    Do I have to come to campus for this program?
    This program can be completed 100% remotely. A face-to-face version of the program is also available. Learn more about the on-campus program.

    Related Programs

    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Required Courses
    SE 570 Agile Software Development Process 3.0
    SE 575 Software Design 3.0
    SE 577 Software Architecture 3.0
    Elective Course (Choose 1)
    CS 500
    Fundamentals of Databases
    CS 590
    CS 645
    Network Security
    CS 647
    Distributed Systems Software
    SE 572
    Web Services and Mobile Architectures
    SE 576
    Software Reliability and Testing
    SE 578
    Security Engineering
    SE 610
    Open Source Software Engineering
    Total Credits 12.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A four-year bachelor's or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or related STEM degree, plus work experience equal to Drexel's Graduate Certificate in Computer Science Foundations
    • A GPA of 3.0 or higher, in a completed degree program, bachelor's degree or above

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
    • One letter of recommendation required, two suggested (academic, professional, or both)
    • Essay/Statement of Purpose
      • In approximately 500 words, describe what professional goals you hope to achieve, how an advanced degree facilitates that success, and anything else you want the Admissions Review Board to know about you.
    • Resume
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $1438 per credit.

    For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • This program is not eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

    December 11, 2023

    December 16, 2023

    Winter 2024

    January 8, 2024

    March 16, 2024

    March 18, 2024

    March 23, 2024

    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

    June 8, 2024

    June 10, 2024

    June 15, 2024

    Summer 2024

    June 24, 2024

    August 31, 2024

    September 3, 2024

    September 7, 2024


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