Doctor of Applied Science: Degree Info by Field of Study

Learn about Doctor of Applied Science and related degree programs. Get information on areas of study, prerequisites, curriculum and career opportunities.

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Essential Information

A Doctor of Applied Science (DAS) is not a common degree, though a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) is offered in many subjects. These programs may be provided as alternative options to Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree programs. They can cover broad academic categories, such as engineering, mathematics and health, as well as sub-categories, including atomic and molecular physics, epidemiology and applied bioscience.

Most of these programs, regardless of the area of study, require that students have at least a master's degree or the equivalent. The length of the programs varies, with some taking as few as three years of study, others encompassing up to seven years. Most programs combine classes, lab work and research and usually call for a dissertation.


Doctor of Applied Science in Engineering

The academic discipline of engineering encompasses numerous subcategories such as bioengineering, environmental science and civil engineering. Students normally work with an academic advisor in the department of their chosen specialization to map out the details of their program.

Colleges and universities usually require that candidates applying for admittance to Doctor of Applied Science degree programs hold a master's degree. Most doctoral degree programs in engineering require students to earn their degree within seven years.

Program Coursework

The curriculum requirements for Doctor of Applied Science degree programs can vary from school to school. Most programs are interdisciplinary in nature so that students gain an understanding of how computational systems interact with the model on which they are based.

Students typically complete either an all-inclusive exam or a thoroughly researched dissertation. Other commonalities shared by many of these programs can include classes like the following:

  • Molecular biology
  • Materials science
  • Advanced research methods and resources
  • Applied biotechnology
  • Computational mathematics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), overall job prospects for engineers are predicted to increase by 11% between 2010 and 2020, which is about the average for all job fields. Engineering incorporates a number of specialties, such as aerospace engineering, electrical and electronic engineering and chemical engineering, and these individual specialties will experience differing levels of job growth.

OccupationJob Outlook, 2010-2020Mean Annual Income (May 2012)
Aerospace Engineers 5%$104,810
Chemical Engineers6%$102,270
Electronics Engineers 5%$95,250
Electrical Engineers 7%$91,810
Health and Safety Engineers13%$79,760
Petroleum Engineers17%$147,470

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Doctor of Applied Science in Computer Science & Mathematics

D.Sc. degree programs with an emphasis on computer science and mathematics cater to students considering a career in networking, technology development or academia. They can also prepare graduates for executive roles. They usually cover broad interdisciplinary subject areas like information science and technology, probability and statistics, and theoretical engineering.

Education Prerequisites

It's common for many D.Sc. degree programs to require that candidates possess both a bachelor's and master's degree or an internationally recognized equivalent program. Other prerequisites can include demonstrated competency in computer science applications and a certain amount of technical information systems work experience.

Program Coursework

Doctor of Applied Science degree programs in computer science and mathematics typically take about three years of full-time study to complete. They often include traditional classroom instruction, comprehensive oral and written qualification exams and a field research thesis. In addition to advanced coursework in math subjects like statistics, algebra and geometry, students are usually encouraged to enroll in related subjects, such as the following common courses:

  • Introduction to astrophysics
  • Fundamental of logic, probability and number theory
  • Principles of theoretical physics
  • Communication and information technology
  • Economics and legal concerns related to information systems

Popular Careers

In addition to careers in education and organizational management, D.Sc. graduates gain the knowledge and skills to consider a variety of employment options. Examples of positions that utilize education and experience in computer science and mathematics include the following:

  • Network administrators
  • Statisticians and economists
  • Computer information systems managers
  • Software engineers
  • Computer programmers

Doctor of Applied Science in Health

There are a number of colleges and universities that offer Doctor of Health Sciences (D.H.Sc.) degree programs via the Internet and other distance learning systems. They are primarily developed to give healthcare professionals instruction and training on methods for critically evaluating and analyzing the current challenges, policies and issues existing in healthcare.

Those aspiring to project management and similar leadership occupations in the healthcare industry can consider D.H.Sc. degree programs as an option for learning decision-making techniques and strategies for managing organizational behavior and long-term projects. Advanced research methods are also taught in these programs, often culminating with the student's doctoral dissertation.

Education Prerequisites

A master's degree in a healthcare related field is normally required for admission to D.H.Sc. degree programs. Some institutes of higher learning offer applicants the option of applying to the school's master's degree program first. Since the curriculum for both of the master's and doctoral degree programs are often the same during the first year, those who enter the master's degree program will typically not have to do additional work upon transferring to the doctoral degree program.

Program Coursework

Optional concentrations available in most D.H.Sc degree programs include organizational behavior and leadership, global health and advanced physician assistant studies. In addition to an applied research dissertation or thesis, some of the coursework commonly found in these degree programs can include:

  • Principles of decision analysis
  • Management in the healthcare profession
  • Healthcare information and computer systems
  • Legal and ethical issues pertaining to healthcare
  • Work environment principles, policies and practices

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the BLS, employment opportunities in the healthcare management field are expected to increase by about 22% during the 2010-2020 decade. The BLS also states that in 2012, the average yearly income for medical and health services managers was $98,460.

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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
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    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
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  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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