Doctor of Science (Latin: Scientiae Doctor), usually abbreviated
Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D., D.S., or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree
awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some
countries, "Doctor of Science" is the title used for the standard
doctorate in the sciences; elsewhere the Sc.D. is a "higher doctorate"
awarded in recognition of a substantial and sustained contribution to
scientific knowledge beyond that required for a PhD. It may also be
awarded as an honorary degree.
Algeria and Morocco
2.1 China, Japan, and South Korea.
3.1 Austria, Germany, and Switzerland
3.3 United Kingdom, Ireland, Pakistan, India and the Commonwealth
3.4 Other European Union countries
3.5 Other European countries
4 North America
4.1 United States
5 Russia and other post-Soviet states
6 South America
6.1.1 Applied sciences
6.1.2 Basic sciences
Algeria and Morocco
In Algeria, Morocco,
Libya and Tunisia, all universities accredited by
the state award a "Doctorate" in all fields of science and humanities,
equivalent to a
PhD in the
United States or the UK.
Some universities in these four Arab countries award a "
the State" in some fields of study and science. A "
Doctorate of the
State" is slightly higher in esteem than a regular doctorate, and is
awarded after performing additional in-depth post-doctorate research
or achievement.
China, Japan, and South Korea.
In these countries usually Sc.D./D.Sc. is equivalent to a United
Ph.D. in science and obtained in Graduate School after
satisfactory evaluation of knowledge, research accomplishment, and the
Higher education institutes in
Thailand generally grant
research doctoral degree, except some universities such as
Chulalongkorn University award D.Sc. In exception, Mahidol University
can grant both
Ph.D. and D.Sc. Doctoral students in Faculty of Science
are always awarded Ph.D., but some other programs award D.Sc.
The higher education institutes in
Uzbekistan also grant D.Sc.
degrees. As an example, the National University of
Uzbekistan and the
Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences offer D.Sc. in various fields.
Austria, Germany, and Switzerland
In Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the
most common doctoral degrees in
Natural Sciences are the following:
Dr rer. nat.: Doctor rerum naturalium, literally "Doctor of the things
Dr rer. pol.: Doctor rerum politicarum, Doctor of economics, business
administration, or political science
Dr rer. medic.: Doctor rerum medicarum, Doctor of medical sciences
Dr sc. nat.: Doktor der Naturwissenschaften, Doctor of Natural
Dr sc. ETH: Doktor der Naturwissenschaften ETH, Doctor of Natural
Sciences, awarded by ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Dr phil. nat.: Doctor philosophiae naturalis, used only by Goethe
University Frankfurt instead of Dr rer. nat.
Dr-Ing.: Doktor der Ingenieurwissenschaften (Doctor of Engineering),
awarded by German technical universities.
Dr mont.: Doctor rerum montanarum, awarded by the Montanuniversität
Leoben instead of Dr techn.
Dr techn.: Doctor technicae, awarded by Austrian technical
In these countries there are some related doctoral degrees with very
similar names, these are the:
Dr sc. agr.: Doctor scientiarum agrariarum, Doctor of Agricultural
Dr sc. hum.: Doctor scientiarum humanarum, Doctor of Humanistic
Dr sc. inf.: Doctor scientiarum informaticarum,
Doctor of Science in
Dr sc. inf.med.: Doctor scientiarum informaticarum medicæ, Doctor of
Science in Medical Informatics
Dr sc. inf.biomed.: Doctor scientiarum informaticarum biomedicæ,
Doctor of Science in Biomedical Informatics
Dr sc. math.: Doctor scientiarum mathematicarum, Doctor of Mathematics
Dr scient. med.: Doctor scientiæ medicæ, Doctor of Medical Sciences
Dr sc. mus.: Doctor scientiae musicae, Doctor of Musicology
Dr sc. oec.: Doctor scientiarum oeconomicarum, Doctor of Economics
Dr sc. pol.: Doctor scientiarum politicarum, Doctor of Political
Dr sc. soc.: Doctor scientiae socialis, Doctor of Social Sciences
All these doctoral degrees are equivalent to the
Ph.D. or Sc.D. of the
American system. Until German Reunification, universities in East
Germany also awarded the Dr.Sc. However, the East German Dr.Sc. was
not equivalent to the
Ph.D. since it was adopted to replace the German
Habilitation and therefore was equivalent to this higher-level
qualification. After reunification the
Habilitation was reintroduced
at universities in Eastern Germany.
The procedure of habilitation is normally required to receive
officially the "venia docendi", which entitles the candidate to
lecture at universities (Privatdozent, for men, or Privatdozentin, for
women). The academic degree after the successful habilitation is e.g.
Dr.rer.nat.habil., by adding the suffix "habil." to the earlier
received Doctors degree.
In Switzerland, the Dr sc. is a doctoral degree awarded only by the
two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (EPFL and ETHZ), the
University of Fribourg
University of Fribourg and the Department of Informatics of the
University of Zurich. The Swiss Dr sc., like the D.Sc. in the US,
is equivalent to the PhD. It is earned with the approval of a
committee on the basis of original research, publications, and
extensive applied professional contributions and is awarded in
doctoral level science and technology programs. Since 2004 the Dr sc.
is the only doctoral degree awarded by the ETH Zurich. The École
polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne awards the degree Docteur ès
sciences, abbreviated Dr ès sc.and translated into English as PhD.
In Poland "Doctor of Sciences" (pl doktor nauk) is the equivalent of
Ph.D. degrees in Poland are similar to degrees awarded in Germany.
Doctorate is always translated into English as PhD. Just like in
Germany and Austria—habilitation (doktor habilitowany or dr hab.) in
Poland is the higher academic qualification, sometimes translated as
D.Sc. (or DSc). The highest scientific degree in Poland is
professorship (professor), which is called a scientific title of
United Kingdom, Ireland, Pakistan, India and the Commonwealth
In Ireland, the United Kingdom and the countries of the Commonwealth,
such as India (in the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay), the
Doctor of Science is one of the Higher Doctorates. In some
older universities it typically has precedence after Divinity, Laws or
Civil Law, Medicine, and Letters, and above Music. The degree is
conferred on a member of the university who has a proven record of
internationally recognised scholarship. A candidate for the degree
will usually be required to submit a selection of their publications
to the board of the appropriate faculty, which will decide if the
candidate merits this accolade. The award or obtaining of a regular
PhD degree is not in any way a pre-requisite for obtaining a DSc, as,
for example, it can happen in the sciences that an academic who does a
lot of publishing can be awarded a DSc without ever having done a PhD
The degree is only exceptionally and rarely awarded to a scholar under
the age of forty. However
Marie Stopes obtained hers
at the age of 25,
Alexander Aitken at the age of 31 (without first
obtaining a PhD), Charles W.Lovelace at the age of 25, and Kevin
Warwick had been awarded two by the time he was 40.
The first University to admit an individual to this degree was the
University of London
University of London in 1860. In 1893 Maria Ogilvie was the first
woman to receive this degree. However, the
University of London
University of London ceased
awarding the degree more than ten years ago.
In former times the doctorate in science was regarded as a greater
distinction than a professorial chair and hence a professor who was
also a D.Sc. would be known as Doctor. The
Doctor of Science may also
be awarded as an honorary degree, that is, given to individuals who
have made extensive contributions to a particular field and not for
specific academic accomplishments. It is usual to signify this by
adding D.Sc. h.c. (for honoris causa).
Other European Union countries
Czech Republic and
Slovakia "Doctor of Sciences" (DrSc. behind
the name), established in 1953, is equivalent to the degree of Doctor
of Science in the sense in which the D.Sc. is used in the
Commonwealth. It is the highest academic qualification, different from
Ph.D. and PhDr. titles. In the Czech Republic, DrSc. is not
awarded since 2001; instead, since 2006, a "Doctor of Sciences" degree
(DSc. behind the name) is awarded not by universities but by the
Academy of Sciences of the
Czech Republic mostly for research in the
field of natural or formal science. In Slovakia, "Doctor of Sciences"
(Dr.Sc.) is awarded by the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
In Hungary, "Doctor of Sciences" (D.Sc.) is awarded by the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences.
In Finland, most doctoral degrees awarded in the fields of natural
sciences, technology and economics are termed D.Sc. degrees in
English, with a suffix indicating the field of study. However, there
is no translation of the term
Doctor of Science to Finnish. For
example, the proper translation for the doctorate in technology
(tekniikan tohtori) would be D.Sc. (Tech.), whereas a doctorate in
economics and business administration (kauppatieteiden tohtori) would
be translated as D.Sc. (Econ.). When conversing or writing in English,
the prefix Dr may be used to address a holder of a doctoral degree
awarded in Finland. The degrees are equivalent to filosofian tohtori
(FT, English: PhD), but FT is usually awarded only in general
sciences, not in specializations like engineering, economics or
In France the
Doctor of Sciences degree (doctorat ès sciences also
called doctorat d'État) was a higher doctorate in the fields of
experimental and natural sciences, superseded in 1984 by the
In Denmark Dr Scient. is a higher doctorate.
PhD is the highest education level and first science
Doctor of Science is the second and the highest science
Other European countries
In the former Yugoslavia, (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia), title doktor nauka or doktor
znanosti (literally "doctor of science") is used in a much broader
sense than D.Sc., simply referring to a field of academic study –
from art history (doktor znanosti/nauka povijesti umjetnosti),
philosophy (doktor znanosti/nauka filozofije), and literary studies
(doktor znanosti/nauka književnosti) to hard sciences such as
molecular biology (doktor znanosti/nauka molekularne biologije). It is
therefore formally recognized as a
Starting in 2016, in Ukraine
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ukrainian:
Доктор філософії) is the highest education level and
first science degree. "Doctor of Sciences" (DSc. Ukrainian:
Доктор наук) is the second and the highest science degree,
awarded in recognition of a substantial contribution to scientific
knowledge, origination of new directions and visions in science. A PhD
degree is a prerequisite for heading a university department in
Belarus "Doctor of Sciences" (D.Sc., Belarusian: Доктар
навук) is awarded by The
Higher Attestation Commission under the
aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus.
In the United States, the formally recognized traditional Doctor of
Science is an academic research doctoral degree awarded by research
universities. The academic research Sc.D. (or D.Sc.) is considered by
United States Department of Education
United States Department of Education and the National
Science Foundation to be equivalent to the more commonly awarded
The first North American Sc.D. was inaugurated by Harvard University
in 1872, when graduate studies first began at Harvard, and where the
Ph.D. and Sc.D. degrees were introduced in the same year. The
Doctor of Science research degree is earned with the formal
dissertation defense and approval of a committee on the basis of
original research and publications, and it is awarded predominantly in
doctoral-level science programs, such as engineering, medical and
health sciences, and health economics.
Although rarer than the Doctor of Philosophy, the Doctor of Science
research degree has been awarded by institutions such as Columbia
University, The George Washington University (although as of
2011 the University decided to offer only the more widely recognized
Ph.D. degree), Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Robert Morris
University, Towson University, Tulane University. and
University of Baltimore.
A few university doctoral research programs offer both the Sc.D. and
Ph.D. degrees in the same academic field, such as Johns Hopkins
University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with
identical requirements for obtaining either. Currently, research
programs that offer the formal research Sc.D. but not the
for a given field include several doctoral programs at Harvard
University, Boston University, Capitol Technology
University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
and Dakota State University. The University of Baltimore, School
of Information Arts and Technologies offers an Sc.D. degree in
Information and Interaction Design, a program focused on usable
design/user experience (UX) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI).
There are programs where the Sc.D. and
Ph.D. have different degree
requirements, though the two degrees are officially considered
equivalent. The Engineering school at Washington University in St.
Louis, for example, requires four graduate courses in the D.Sc.
program not required for the
Ph.D. degree, while the Ph.D requires
teaching assistance services.
The Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University also offers
Ph.D. and Sc.D. in certain programs, with only minor
differences in university administration of the degrees. In some
institutions, the Sc.D. has been converted to the Ph.D. For
instance, the doctoral degree in biostatistics at Harvard recently
converted from Sc.D. to Ph.D., even though the doctoral degree
structure and requirements have remained identical.
In addition, some institutions offer
Doctor of Science degrees through
distance learning. They include Rocky Mountain University of Health
Professions in Health Science,
Aspen University in computer
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University in emergency management
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Jewish
See also: List of universities in Mexico
In Mexico there the
PhD level is considered a doctoral degree (level
8) similar to the doctorate degrees in Canada and the United States.
Doctor of Sciences degree is instead recognized as a Higher Degree
Russia and other post-Soviet states
Main article: Doktor nauk
In Russia and various other post-Soviet states, as well as in some of
Communist Bloc countries, the status of Russian Doktor nauk
(literally 'doctor of sciences') is a post-doctoral degree. The degree
has no American equivalent but does have a Western
equivalent in the degree of
Doctor of Science in the sense in which
the D.Sc. is used in the Commonwealth.
See also: List of universities in Argentina
In Argentina the formal title
Doctor of Science would be attributed to
different fields of the hard or soft sciences. To get into an
Ph.D. program the applicant must have experience in research
and at least an Engineering, Licentiate or master's degree:
Doctorate of Agronomic Sciences (University of Buenos Aires, NU of LP,
NU of C, NU of R, NU of MP, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Sciences in Lacteal Technology (NU of the L)
Doctorate of Sciences in Material Technology (NU of the S, NU of MP)
Doctorate of Computer Sciences (University of Buenos Aires, NU of C,
NU of SL, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Engineering Sciences (NU of C, NU of Cu, NU of RC, NU of
the S, ITBA)
Doctorate of Geological Sciences (NU of C, NU of Cu, NU of SJ, NU of
SL, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Informatics Sciences (NU of LP)
Doctorate of Basic Sciences Applied (NU of Q)
Doctorate of Science and Technology (NU of GS)
Doctorate of Geological Sciences (University of Buenos Aires)
Doctorate of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NU of SAM)
Doctorate of Systems Control (NU of the S)
Economics Sciences (NU of LM)
Doctorate of Economy (NU of LP, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Geography (NU of the S)
Doctorate of History (NU of the S)
Doctorate of Chemical Engineering (NU of the S)
Doctorate of Biological Sciences (U of BA, NU of LP, NU of C, NU of R,
NU of the L, NU of Cu, NU of RC, NU of MP, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Biological Chemistry Sciences (U of BA, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Molecular Biology Sciences (U of BA)
Mathematics Sciences (U of BA, NU of LP, NU of SL, NU of
Doctorate of Chemistry Sciences (NU of LP, NU of R, NU of C, NU of RC,
NU of MP, NU of the S)
Doctorate of Physics Sciences (U of BA, NU of LP, NU of MP, NU of SAM,
NU of the S)
Natural Sciences (U of BA, NU of LP)
Doctorate of Philosophy (NU of the S)
In Brazil only the Doctor in Sciences (D.Sc.) category is recognized
as a higher doctorate, generally followed by the concentration
area (program field).
This kind of doctorate is obtained in Graduate School after
satisfactory evaluation of knowledge, research accomplishment, and
thesis defense. This doctorate is comparable to a
Ph.D. program found
in other countries. In the state of São Paulo, the doctorate title is
the second highest academic title given by the state's universities
(University of São Paulo (USP), State University of Campinas
(UNICAMP) and São Paulo State University (UNESP)) and most Federal
Universities, such as the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP).
The highest academic title is the Livre-Docência, which is not
equivalent to the German Habilitation, since "Livre-Docência" is not
a requisite to be a Professor in brazilian universities, and German
Habilitation is a requisite to be a Professor in german universities.
^ Ordinance on the doctorate conferred by the École polytechnique
fédérale de Lausanne (English translation), Federal Chancellery of
Switzerland, 1 September 2008 (page visited on 5 July 2017).
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved
^ Pages xiii and xiv of The
University of London
University of London and the World of
Learning, 1836–1986 by Francis Michael Longstreth Thompson.
Published by Continuum International Publishing Group, 1990
^ Haines, Catharine M. C.; Helen M. Stevens (2001). International
Women in Science. ABC-CLIO. p. 115.
^ Кабінет Міністрів України. Постанова
від 23 березня 2016 р. № 261 / Cabinet of Ministers of
Ukraine. Decree from 23 of March 2016 #261 (in Ukrainian)
^ "Structure of the U.S. Education System: Research Doctorate
Degrees". U.S. Department of Education. Archived from the original on
January 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
^ "History and Organization". Harvard and Radcliffe and the Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2007-07-27.
Doctorate Programs". U.S. Department of Education.
Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved
^ "Doctoral Degrees: Eng.Sc.D. and Ph.D." Columbia University.
^ "GW Graduate Programs Near You - Programs -
Doctor of Science in
Computer Science - Program Curriculum". Retrieved 2013-03-06.
^ "Degree Abbreviations". Harvard University. Retrieved
^ "Doctoral programs at the school". Johns Hopkins University.
^ a b http://aeroastro.mit.edu/graduate-program/doctoral-degree
^ a b "Doctoral degrees". MIT. Archived from the original on June 4,
2011. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University D.Sc. Program: Information Systems and
Communications". Robert Morris University. Archived from the original
on 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
^ Information Technology Doctor of Science. Towson University. 2013
Tulane University Executive
Doctor of Science (ScD)". Tulane
University. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved
University of Baltimore
University of Baltimore
Doctor of Science in Information and
Interaction Design (D.S.)". University of Baltimore. Retrieved
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-30. Retrieved
Capitol Technology University http://captechu.edu/node/112 .
Accessed 2017 July 2.
Doctor of Science (DSc) degree is offered in Information
Assurance. Capitol College 2012—2013 Catalog, p. 56.
Dakota State University
Dakota State University D.Sc. Program: Information Systems". Dakota
State University. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
^ a b "HSPH Department of
Biostatistics Now Offering
Harvard School of Public Health. Archived from the original on
2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
Doctorate of Science in Health Science". Rocky Mountain University
of Health Professions. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
Doctorate of Science in Computer Science". Aspen University.
^ "DSc in Emergency Management". Jacksonville State University.
^ "Spertus Institute's
Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies". Spertus
Institute. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
Doctorate in Sciences at the
Latin American docta serch:Doctorado
Ciencias Archived 2010-04-21 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Doutor é quem faz Doutorado :: Notícias JusBrasil" (in
Portuguese). Jusbrasil.com.br. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
Levels of academic degree
ISCED level 5
Higher National Diploma/Diploma of Higher Education/Certificate of
ISCED level 6
ISCED level 7
ISCED level 8
Candidate of Sciences
No dominant classification
Ad eundem degree