BSD - Software Development

Program Information: 
Program Code: BSD
Credential Awarded: Honours Bachelor of Technology (Software Development)
Campus: Seneca Newnham Campus
Duration: 8 Semesters (4 Years)
Start Dates: Fall, Winter *Start Dates are subject to change

This unique and innovative degree program was created to address the need for knowledgeable software developers, skilled in both the technical and non-technical aspects of business information technology. A strong theoretical base is developed through extensive practical experience on a variety of computer platforms. The program also emphasizes development of English communications and business skills for today's knowledge-based economy, and includes features such as a paid co-op work term that prepares graduates who are fully functional upon employment.

The Honours Bachelor of Technology (Software Development), known as the BSD Program, is a four-year (eight semester) program that offers students the opportunity to start in either September or January. Students attend the Seneca Newnham campus in Toronto.

Look around you - every day, society increases its dependence on computer technology, and programmability is the defining characteristic of computers.

Without software - the detailed sets of instructions telling the computer exactly what to do - a computer does nothing. Software developers are the key people shaping the solutions of today and tomorrow.

Gaining extensive practical experience on a number of computing platforms, students study various programming languages, multiple operating system platforms, internet development techniques, information security, and database technology.

The School's relationship with the Open Source community provides unique opportunities to learn about Open Source methodologies, and contribute to prominent Open Source projects around the world.

We designed this program to be unique, yet matched to the needs of today's business community. There's no other program like this one at any other Ontario college or university.

Areas of Study by Topic

The chart shows the program's topic areas, and the proportion of time spent on each.

It's a well-balanced program, where you concentrate on technical subjects, and also learn soft skills that are personally rewarding, and make you a more employable graduate.

You can enter the Software Development program in September or January. (In our current program delivery model, those who enter first year studies in January are in school for four consecutive semesters - winter, summer, fall, and winter. These students resume second year studies in the fall semester, following a summer break.)

The normal academic year has two semesters: The Fall term runs from September through December, and the Winter term runs from January through April. The summer term is reserved for vacation, summer job, co-op work term, research internship, catching up, or working ahead (subject to course availability).

What You Study
  • Programming languages and algorithms
  • Operating system platforms
  • Systems analysis and design methodologies
  • Internet development techniques
  • Information security
  • Database technology

Compared to other degree programs that teach computer programming, Seneca's program offers more real-world opportunities and experience. For example, Seneca's enthusiasm for Open Source development models, combined with the technical and practical focus of the curriculum, has created expertise that enables students to contribute to the world-wide Open Source community, thereby gaining experience that can lead to fast-track opportunities.

A Note about the Programming Languages you Learn

You will become a skilled programmer in the following languages and technologies:

  • C, C++, and C#
  • Java
  • Vanilla JavaScript, xHTML, CSS, PHP, and XML
  • SQL(Oracle SQL and MySQL)
  • React, AJAX, Angular, and Node.js
  • Linux and Unix environments (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora, etc.)

In first year, you will study C and C++. Why do we start with the C family of languages, while other colleges and universities start with Java?

The C language family is powerful, flexible, and widely-used. Commercial-grade software (both open source and proprietary), as well as operating systems, are written using the C programming language. Once you learn C, and the object-oriented C++ and C# languages, you are ready for Java, which is syntactically similar. As a first-time instructional language, Java doesn't offer the learning experience our students need.

An environment for student success
  • Small class sizes
  • Hands-on activity-based learning
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Expert faculty who are committed to teaching

Students are also supported by an excellent array of student services, including library resources, counselors, peer tutors, student advisers, and athletic and recreation services.

Career Opportunities

Career Information

The Software Development program delivers what employers want now and in the future. We know because they've asked us for a new breed of graduate - one with both practical and conceptual knowledge, capable of high-impact performance in today's business world - and they expect ours to go straight to the top. The degree of difference that defines today's career success starts at Seneca. Graduates from the Software Development program are prepared to pursue numerous opportunities in such sectors as business technology, financial services, health care, and the entertainment industry.

Career titles include:

  • System Analyst
  • Programmer/Analyst
  • Internet Designer/Developer
  • Client/Server Application Developer
  • Database Application Specialist
  • Project Manager

Although the Software Development program provides the student with the opportunity to study areas of specialization, all graduates must prove expertise in a wide array of topic areas, providing the necessary flexibility to meet the demands of a rapidly-changing workplace.

What will you do with your degree?

What does the future have in store?

How does this program prepare you for the working world?

We designed the Software Development program so that students graduate with real-world skills that they can use right away, and as opportunities for advancement arise. Create your own future, and use the Software Development degree as your passport to success!

What can you do with your degree? Here are some of the career paths graduates can follow:

A career in software development
But that's not all - you learn the non-technical skills that employers want through our emphasis on communications and business subjects.

A career in an information technology (IT) discipline 
This could be in an IT business unit, or in product manufacturing, or in a service industry, in any type of business, including the "hot" sectors of today's economy.

Business administration and management 
At all levels of an organization, from entry-level to executive.

Self-employment, entrepreneurship, consulting 
Do you like the idea of working for yourself? You learn a great mix of technical and other skills in the Software Development program.

Graduate studies 
In business administration and management, information technology, and computer programming related fields of study.

IT skills - especially programming - are portable across industries and market sectors. What are the "hot" sectors of the economy? Well, they change over time. However, as a Seneca-trained software developer, you can move into and among these sectors with your portable skill set.

Graduate studies pathways

You may have interest in pursuing masters-level or doctorate-level graduate studies in the future. As a Software Development program graduate, can you?


The Software Development degree program is related to traditional "computer science" degree programs. Therefore, if a Master's graduate study program requires its applicants to have an undergraduate degree in "computer science or a related field", this program is eligible.

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, and the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board has identified the major categories of degrees offered in Ontario and the degree-level standards appropriate for each. The Council of Ontario Universities, which is made up of the public universities of Ontario, has agreed on the same wording for its degree-level expectations.

A bachelor’s program in an applied area of study is normally designed to require a level of conceptual sophistication, specialized knowledge, and intellectual autonomy similar to that in an academically-oriented honours program but with the disciplinary content oriented to an occupational field of practice.

Students in applied programs learn by doing, with a focus on preparing for entry into an occupational field of practice. In addition to personal and intellectual growth, the programs are primarily designed to prepare students for employment in the field of practice, second-entry professional degree programs, or, depending on the content of the program and the field, entry into either graduate study or bridging studies for an appropriate graduate program.

The Council of Ontario Universities has addressed this topic with the following COU Statement on Advanced Study at Provincially Assisted Ontario Universities. It reads in part:

Applicants to provincially assisted universities in Ontario are considered for admission on an individual basis in a process whereby the appropriate range of academic and other relevant evidence is weighed.

Each applicant is considered on his or her own merits, according to standards set by each institution, program by program.

As of 2014, some of our Software Development program graduates have completed Masters programs at universities in Ontario and beyond. In addition, students from other Seneca degree programs, as well as students from other Ontario college degree programs, have completed graduate programs in Ontario, in Canada, and internationally.


Program Coordinator:

Eden Burton


Student Adviser:

Ana Hernandez


(416) 491-5050 Ext. 22826


Admissions Advisor:

Karishma Jacob


(416) 491-5050 Ext. 22805


International Admissions:

Susan Gao


(416) 491-5050 Ext. 22365