Frequently Asked Questions

1. What doctoral programs does UC offer?

UC offers 36 doctoral programs in several fields of knowledge. Specifically:

  • Interdisciplinary area: Architecture and Urban Studies, Geography, Neuroscience, Psychotherapy, Plant Biotechnology, Biological and Medical Engineering
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics: astrophysics, Physics, Statistics, Mathematics, and Chemistry
  • Engineering and Technology: Civil Engineering, Industrial, Engineering and Transport, Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering.
  • Medical Sciences and Health Care: Medical Sciences.
  • Agricultural Science: Agriculture.
  • Social Sciences: Political Science, Communication Sciences, Education, Law, Economics, Psychology and Sociology.
  • Humanities: Philosophy, History, Linguistics, Literature, and Theology.

2. What characterizes the UC  Ph.D. ?

The 36 doctoral programs offer flexible curricula to promote an interdisciplinary approach, the mastery of a foreign language and several activities, such as courses and workshops, to encourage the development of transversal skills. Furthermore, the University promotes the internationalization of studies through cotutelage for dissertation work with the best universities in the world. In this regard, the University, thanks to its academic and educational excellence has become the most sought after university to study at, both by Chilean and international students.

3. Are there any scholarships or financial support to study for a Ph.D. at UC?

More than 90 percent of UC doctoral students have some kind of scholarship that covers their studies and living expenses. This is thanks to several internal and external sources which provide scholarships for doctoral studies and also for research stays and cotutelages at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and first-class universities abroad.

UC favors external financing, scholarships provided by academic cooperation organizations, government agencies, and international mobility programs and academic cooperation If students have been unable to obtain external financial support, the Doctorate Direction (DD) has internal support mechanisms for its students to finance their doctoral studies fully or for supplementary internationalization activities.

4. Is there any financial support for studies outside Chile?

As part of the UC seal, the University encourages research in three crucial fields: inter-institutional cooperation for conducting research stays and Joint doctoral supervision at centers of excellence, attracting top-level international students, and conditions for "internationalization at home" given the regular flow of visits from foreign academics. Consequently, UC has numerous cooperation agreements with internationally prestigious educational establishments. Joint doctoral supervision offers students the opportunity to travel and to have two dissertation advisers: one at the University of origin and another at their host university. Students can thus get a double degree, i.e., a doctorate at their University of origin and another at the foreign university that receives them under the method of cotutelage; otherwise, they can obtain a joint degree which means that, upon completion of their Ph.D. studies, they will be awarded a single degree recognized by both universities.

5. What institutional support does UC have?

UC has the highest level of institutional accreditation (7 years) in all the areas evaluated by the National Accreditation Commission (CNA), an independent body that is responsible for verifying and promoting the quality of higher education in Chile. The accredited areas are institutional management; undergraduate teaching; graduate teaching; research and community engagement. UC is also considered the leading university in Chile and Latin America (World University Ranking QS 2015).

6. What does the admission process to a doctoral program involve?

To apply for a doctoral program, applicants are required to already have a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and/ or a Master’s degree. Each doctoral program has its own admission system and applications schedule (which is available for consultation on the website of each program).

After being accepted into the respective doctoral program, students must complete the enrollment process by following the required steps and submitting the necessary documentation. An important matter to bear in mind is that any doubts and queries should be resolved with the doctoral program itself and students must inform on the existence of study scholarships, if applicable.

7. What is the Doctorate Direction (DD)?

The CPD is a unit of the Vice-Presidency of Research, responsible for integrating the University’s 36 doctoral programs. It is formed by an interdisciplinary team that works together with an advisory committee to ensure the quality of the academic training offered, among other things.

Our mission is to ensure the quality of our programs, promote policies and mechanisms to facilitate curricular flexibility, interdisciplinary studies and the internationalization of doctoral training. Furthermore, it provides guidance to students, scholarships and financial support, and encourages the development of transversal skills. We also encourage students to participate actively in the University and foster interaction between doctoral programs.

8. How can I obtain more information?

The Doctoral College (CPD) has provided a place for students and other interested persons to ask about academic programs and general concerns about UC doctoral programs including financing, cotutelage, and general services for students.


Alameda 340, 4th floor, Santiago
(+56) 2 2354 21 08.

9. What documents do international students need?

There are essential documents for any foreigner who comes to Chile, specifically:

Visa: the student residence visa is issued to foreigners who travel to Chile to study as regular students, either in state-owned educational institutions or in private ones recognized by the state. Generally speaking, this type of visa only authorizes students to conduct specific studies, i.e., it does not authorize them to perform other activities in Chile, such as working. It lasts for a maximum of one year, renewable until the course of studies is completed. Visas should be obtained at the pertinent Chilean consulate in the students’ country of origin.

Identity card: After the visa has been processed, students must obtain an identity card for foreigners through the offices of the Civil Registry and Identification Service, within a period of 30 days from the date of delivery of the certificate of permanent residence or after the pertinent visa is stamped on the student’s passport.

10. What services does UC offer to students?

One of the most important units in this regard is the Directorate of Student Affairs (DAE), which supports the overall development of undergraduate and graduate students. DAE promotes programs that provide support and prevention in aspects such as health, sports and university life in reply to the needs of students.

DAE carries out extracurricular activities to enrich university life for students by offering co-curricular training possibilities, through consultancy in student projects, literary and photographic competitions, support for job placement, extracurricular workshops, mass recreational activities throughout the year, use and rental of sports facilities, among others.

The University has a student health-care service to guide and address the health-care needs that may arise during the students’ academic activities. Furthermore, the University provides health insurance for graduate students which covers most of their basic needs in the event of illness or accident.

11. How can students join English courses for doctoral students?

By taking a test (Versant English Placement test) (acronym CPD0100) coordinated by the Doctoral College in conjunction with English UC as a way to determine the doctoral students’ entry level of language proficiency.

12. What is the procedure for the entry-level English test and on what dates is it available?

At the beginning of the academic year, the Doctorate Direction and English UC issue a summons to take the entry-level English test. There are three instances, depending on whether students start in the first or second semester of the academic year.

The Doctoral College will summon new entry students, once they have enrolled in the program, via their UC email account.

To take the Versant English Placement test, students should consult the CPD Protocol on Entry Level Recognition English Courses.

13. What is the procedure for the exit-level English test and on what dates is it available?

The English certification test, coordinated by the Doctoral College with English UC, is a test intended to determine whether the level of proficiency in English achieved by the Ph.D. students meets the advanced linguistic levels established by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, as part of the graduation requirements for doctoral candidates. Students are required to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which is internationally accepted by over 9,000 institutions to certify user level English for academic purposes, labor or immigration.

The level prior to CPD8000 is CPD7000 which is a way of preparing for taking the IELTS test.

14. How do I certify my level of English?

The Protocol on the Entry Level Recognition of English Courses of the Doctoral College applies to students who have previously taken an international certification test that it not more than two years old. Depending on the type of external test submitted by students and the equivalent score according to the CPD Validation Protocol, students shall be able to choose validation and enter the pertinent English level (CPD course).

For further information, see the Protocol on English courses.

15. Is there any support available for doctoral students to write scientific manuscripts in English?

Yes, through the Academic Writing Course (AWC), a service offered by English UC. It provides training through self-study activities consistent with the student’s linguistic level to develop writing skills for academic purposes through activities suited in difficulty to the student’s linguistic level. This is determined by the teacher, María Gracielle Pereira, a specialist in the area who is part of the UC English team. The service is available for doctoral students and academics of the programs. Applications must be submitted by sending a request via email to grpereira@uc.cl so as to be included in the calendar of Remote Learning: Academic Writing.

16. What are the requirements for each Transversal Skills Workshop of the Doctorate Direction?

The requirements of each CPD workshop and/ or CPD English course are available through the UC course catalog. The search must be conducted via the Academic Unit of the Doctoral College.

Workshops are posted on the Banner on the pertinent dates according to the academic calendar. Registration dates for UC courses for graduate students are posted on the site. The common requirement for all is to be enrolled as a doctoral student but some activities have specific requirements.