Doctor of Applied Science: Degree Info by Field of Study

Oct 12, 2019

Depending on your specific area of interest, you can enroll in one of several doctoral programs related to applied science. Learn more about each to decide which one is right for you.

Essential Information

A Doctor of Applied Science (DAS) is not a common degree, but a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) is offered in many subjects. DAS programs 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 the area of study, most of these programs require that applicants hold a bachelor's and master's degree. Program length varies from three to seven years. Most programs combine classes, lab work, and research. A dissertation may be required for graduation.

Doctor of Applied Science in Engineering

Students enrolled in DAS programs in engineering can choose to specialize in a subcategory such as bioengineering, environmental science or civil engineering. They normally work with an academic advisor in the department of their chosen specialization to map out the details of their research and coursework. Although curriculum varies by school, most programs are interdisciplinary and emphasize how computational systems interact with the models on which they are based. Before they can graduate, students must pass a comprehensive exam or submit a final research dissertation. Common classes include:

  • 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 careers in academia or executive positions in networking or technology development. These interdisciplinary programs integrate advanced studies in information science and technology, probability and statistics, and theoretical engineering. They often include traditional classroom instruction, comprehensive oral and written qualification exams and a field research thesis, and usually take about three years to complete. In addition to coursework in mathematical subjects like statistics, algebra and geometry, students may enroll in some of the following classes:

  • 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

Doctor of Health Sciences (D.H.Sc.) programs train students to analyze current healthcare challenges, policies and issues. They also emphasize studies in organizational behavior and long-term project management, as well as advanced research methods. Optional concentrations available in most D.H.Sc degree programs include organizational behavior and leadership, global health and advanced physician assistant studies. Common course titles 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

Most of these programs are designed for healthcare professionals looking to advance to leadership positions in the field, so they are often available online in order to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. 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.

Popular Careers

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

  • Network administrator
  • Statisticians and economist
  • Computer information systems manager
  • Software engineer
  • Computer programmer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Job outlook and income for engineers varies based on specialty area, as demonstrated by the following statistics:

Occupation Job Outlook, 2018-2028 Mean Annual Income (May 2018)
Aerospace Engineers 2% $117,100
Chemical Engineers 6% $114,470
Electronics Engineers (except computer) -1% $107,930
Electrical Engineers 5% $101,600
Health and Safety Engineers (except mining safety engineers and inspectors) 5% $93,630
Petroleum Engineers 3% $156,370

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

According to the BLS, employment opportunities in the healthcare management field are expected to increase by 18% during the 2018-2028 decade. The BLS also stated that in 2018, the average yearly income for medical and health services managers was $113,730.

Students who are interested in an applied science doctoral program have a wide variety of degree majors available, including engineering, computer science and mathematics and health. These programs prepare graduates for various career options in each specialty field.

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