PhD in Astronomy

The objective of this program is to train students to produce original contributions in order to improve the global knowledge of Astronomy.

During their studies, our students have access to data obtained with world-class telescopes located in the North of our country. Usually, the research projects involve students making the observations themselves.

Our PhD program has been accredited before the National Accreditation Commission (CNA), for seven years starting from January 2012.

Academic Degree

PhD of Science in Astronomy.

Academic Program

The average length of our program is eight semesters on a full time basis. Doctoral students must complete four core courses:

1. Radiative Processes
2. Galaxies
3. Galactic Structure
4. Observational Astronomy

Additionally, students must pass all courses in areas in which they are considered weak and devote at least 25 percent of their time on a research project during the first year.

At the end of the first year, students must pass a qualifying examination (written and oral), which assess general knowledge of Physics and Astronomy, knowledge of the research work done, motivation, communication skills and creativity.

Prior to the election of the dissertation topic, the student must work a minimum of two research topics under the supervision of different teachers. To graduate, a candidate must have a minimum of one publication accepted, demonstrate advanced mastery of technical English and produce a successful thesis. The latter consists of an original research project for the global advancement of astronomy.


To access our program, candidates must have a Bachelor of Science or similar degree in Astronomy. The selection of applicants is based on curricular merit. Special consideration is given to the performances in physics and astronomy courses, and potential research experiences. The program is open to applicants of all nationalities. Nominations are traditionally performed during the month of October.


The State of Chile offers several studentships to Chilean and foreign students through the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT).

Universidad de Chile – Yale Joint Program

Since 1999, our institution and the Department of Astronomy of Yale University (USA offer a joint program of graduate training and research in astronomy.

This initiative provides an opportunity for our graduate students to perform an internship at the prestigious Yale University for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years, where the student may take courses and participate in research projects. The joint investigations have access to telescopes operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) including VLT telescopes, Las Campanas Observatory (including twin Magellan telescopes), the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, Gemini Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). In addition, the facilities of the Yale University, such as the WIYN and SMARTS telescopes are also available.