Doctor of Applied Science: Degree Info by Field of Study

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.) programs.

Essential Information

A Doctor of Applied Science (DAS) 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.

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

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's and master's degree
  • Program Length: Duration varies from 3-7 years
  • Other Requirements: In some cases, a dissertation is needed for graduation

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

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, 2012-2022Mean Annual Income (May 2014)
Aerospace Engineers 7%$105,380
Chemical Engineers4%$96,940
Electronics Engineers 4%$95,790
Electrical Engineers 4%$91,410
Health and Safety Engineers11%$79,760
Petroleum Engineers26%$130,050

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to the BLS, employment opportunities in the healthcare management field are expected to increase by about 23% during the 2012-2022 decade. The BLS also states that in 2014, the average yearly income for medical and health services managers was $92,810.

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