The Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS) 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 DPS in computing, while advanced in content and rigorous in its demands, can be distinguished from the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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.

An Innovative Learning Community

The DPS 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 DPS students focus on research beginning in the first semester of study, under the guidance of faculty advisers. 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 advisers and, most importantly, by the students themselves.

The DPS program is designed to achieve a doctoral degree in computing while working. Going into the DPS program, I wanted my research to focus on driving public cloud adoption. Cloud technologies is forefront and a top priority of the Microsoft CEO (Satya Nadella). My role at Microsoft deals with the Azure domain group. As a result of my research in cloud technologies, obtaining my DPS degree advanced my career at Microsoft. I loved the DPS program, the teachers, the curriculum, the learnings, and the attention that was afforded me—all of which enabled me to succeed and realize my dream of obtaining my doctoral degree from a well-known university!
Mike Egbert, DPS ’15, Sr. Engagement Manager and Pursuit Lead—Modern Apps, Microsoft