The Doctor of Professional Studies (D.P.S.) in Computing provides information technology (IT) professionals a unique opportunity to pursue a part-time doctoral degree while continuing to work full time. It supports interdisciplinary study among the computing disciplines as well as applied research in one or more of them, providing the background highly valued by industry. It is an innovative post-master’s doctoral program that is structured to meet the needs of the practicing IT professional.

The D.P.S. in computing, while advanced in content and rigorous in its demands, can be distinguished from the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in that its focus is the advancement of the practice of computing through applied research and development. The Doctor of Professional Studies is a professional doctorate that integrates computing and professional cultures. It is considered by the National Science Foundation to be a research doctorate equivalent to the Ph.D.

An Innovative Learning Community

The D.P.S. program provides an intellectually stimulating learning environment in which the cutting-edge and emerging computing and information technology can be discussed and researched in an open-forum style. Students and faculty are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas with everyone in the program. Each fall a class of 20 students is admitted who bring professional expertise in specialized areas of computing to the learning community. The class proceeds through the program as a cohort, and is expected to graduate together after three years.

The long duration of traditional doctoral programs often stems from the difficulty of completing dissertation research in a timely manner. Unlike other programs, Pace D.P.S. students focus on research beginning in the first semester of study, under the guidance of faculty advisors. As students progress through the program’s seminars, readings and discussions, they are exposed to emerging issues in computing and information technology. In many cases, these research seminars help lay a direct foundation for a dissertation or indirectly stimulate interest in an area that ultimately leads to a dissertation. The program has built-in coaching and mentoring by faculty advisors and most importantly, by the students themselves.