What is ScD Degree?
Doctor of Science: Scientiae Doctor (ScD) in Latin, which is often abbreviated to Sc.D. or D.Sc. in short, is an academic program designed for people with exceptional research abilities. It is usually awarded to scholars in recognition of their substantial contribution to scientific knowledge required beyond that of a Ph.D. (Doctorate of Philosophy). Also, in some countries, it is awarded as a ‘higher degree’ when a certain amount of work has been done in the scientific field but whereas in some other countries, it is a decree handed–down for a standard doctorate in the sciences.
ScD vs PhD
Compared to a Ph.D., an Sc.D is a lesser-known degree. In the U.S, the Sc.D is considered prestigious as a Ph.D. and is often awarded to researchers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics field, thus being considered equals. In contrast, in the U.K, the Sc.D is awarded to people only who have submitted their portfolio of works along with their thesis and further research as well. And even if it is mentioned that an Sc.D is awarded to anyone belonging to the STEM, one also has to keep in mind that all universities might confer the degree to everyone belonging to science but instead confer it to scholars particular courses. And the biggest difference between an Sc.D and a Ph.D. would be that an Sc.D is awarded to researchers from the Science discipline and not from the Literature, Music, or Law. However, a Ph.D. can be awarded to any researcher irrespective of their discipline. The Sc.D is an honorary degree awarded to scholars who have exceptional knowledge in science (most often) and research and is eager to discover new things and help society with their contributions. But one thing that both an Sc.D and a Ph.D. have in common are that these two are the highest academic degrees, unlike the Juris Doctor (J.D), Doctor of Social Work (D.S.W.), or the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), which are professional doctorate degrees awarded in a specific field of work.
The research universities award an Sc.D as an academic research doctoral degree in the United States. The same is considered by both the NSF (National Science Foundation) and ED (United States Department of Education) to be equivalent to the more often conferred Ph.D. degree.
The origin of the start of the Sc.D degrees in America traces down to Harvard University in 1872 when they inaugurated the Doctorate of Science degree as a degree in the university when the first graduate studies began at Harvard. Even though a Doctorate of Science is a rare degree compared to a Doctorate of Philosophy, many universities in the U.S do offer the Sc.D like Columbia University, Bowie State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, and many more. Not only that, many universities even offer Doctorate of Science through distance learning like the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Health Science, Jacksonville State University in Emergency management, Aspen University in Computer Science, and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Jewish Studies thus coming to the fact that Sc.D is awarded through distance learning only for certain courses like the Computer Science, Emergency Management and more. And even though a Doctorate of Science is awarded to researchers working in the field of Science, there are some exceptions when they are also awarded outside of the Science field, like in Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning.
And although both Ph.D. and Sc.D are considered equivalent in their honor, there might be different degree requirements for them. In most countries, the applicants must have a Ph.D. degree, but the requirements might differ from University to University. Other than having a Ph.D. in the field of STEM/ Computer Science/ Surgery or any related discipline, the applicant is also supposed to have a minimum of two research papers published in a journal of International importance or knowledgeable experience gained through the distinct contribution made in the society, as well as a minimum of three recommendation letters or referrals from experts acknowledging his/her contribution in the concerned field in the society or a minimum qualification of an MS and MD when applying for the medical discipline. All this should be topped with vast experience in the concerned field that one has applied for, i.e., post-doctoral research work. All the applicant’s achievements like the paper publications, contribution to the advancement of science and learning, and others should clearly be mentioned in the application. Although liked mentioned earlier that the requirements for an application might vary from university to university, the Washington University’s Engineering School in St. Louis requires more than four graduate degrees in the field of Science. Simultaneously, a huge difference in a Ph.D. course requirements would be experienced in teaching or teaching assistance services.
A doctorate of Science is awarded or earned through the formal dissertation defense, the approval of a committee based on the research work, and its publications, which are awarded in the doctoral level science programs, which is very similar to earning a Ph.D. And the tenure to complete the Doctorate of Science could yet again vary from person to person and institute to institute. The minimum number of years to complete an Sc.D degree would take six years, but this can also go up to eight years and sometimes even up to ten years. And this contrast may occur due to the University, the field of study, or even the country of study.
The pathway to earn a Doctorate of Science degree is very difficult. A researcher may have to face many problems while completing their course, but with the difficulties comes the honor and recognition once the degree is earned. And once the degree is earned with that comes a higher income as where a graduate might earn up to $35K annually, and in the case of a postgraduate, the amount may rise to $60K annually. Still, for a doctorate holder, the amount can be $100K or more. Thus, it is obvious that though an Sc.D would be difficult to earn as it needs lots of hard work and love for one’s profession and field of study and one thing that would be assured at the end of the strenuous journey is the achievement of being the best in their field of work and a promising high income.
Even though the route to earning a specific doctorate is fixed, a degree may sometimes be awarded based on the set of submitted work, thus deciding the worth of the highest degree that shall be conferred. Thus, Sc.D, in a nutshell, is a doctoral degree awarded to scholars or researchers who have immense knowledge in the field of science and as well as have contributed for the development of same along with the desire to learn more and research about newer aspects in the specific disciplines. And although the Doctorate of Science and the Ph.D. are two different degrees, they sum up to the same value in many countries like the U.S.