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Doctoral program in Agricultural Sciences

school Degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences

schedule Duration

8 semesters

edit Application dates

01/03/2024 - 13/10/2024

date_range Classes start

March 2025

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attach_money Tuition

$3.800.000 (annually)

Program Description

The Doctoral Program in Agricultural Sciences seeks to offer solid scientific training to develop and apply research and state-of-the-art technologies to the national and international agri-food and natural resources sectors. It is the highest academic degree awarded by the Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Through their thesis, doctoral candidates can make a scientific contribution and demonstrate the ability to produce and communicate helpful information to the national and international scientific community. In addition, our graduates are qualified to practice teaching and university education.


Program accredited by CNA-Chile for three years.

Program Objectives

The objective of the Program is to train scientists capable of responding to the demand for scientific research and innovation in areas that together support agriculture, the interrelationships of humankind and the environment, and contribute significantly to achieving human welfare in general.

Learning Outcomes

Their competencies and advanced knowledge distinguish graduates of the Doctoral Program in Agricultural Sciences to contribute to a new understanding applicable to agriculture and the natural resources that support agricultural and forestry activities in Chile and the world.

In specific terms, our graduates are distinguished by:

  • Possessing competencies and skills necessary to develop research independently in agricultural sciences and/or the natural resources that sustain it, enabling them to generate relevant knowledge in the disciplines of their training with autonomy.
  • Describing and diagnosing problems and detecting opportunities in the agricultural and natural resources sector to design appropriate solutions.
  • Being part of interdisciplinary work teams and national and international research centers.
  • Being able to communicate effectively in Spanish and English, to be able to present the results of their research orally (seminars, congresses) and in written form (scientific articles), work in networks of the academic community in general, and interact effectively with the main actors in the agricultural and forestry sector.

Research Areas

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Physiology, Protection and Plant Breeding:

This area integrates knowledge on physiology, biotechnology, and improvement of horticultural, fruit, forestry and ornamental crops, and their relationship with management aspects such as post-harvest, irrigation and nutrition, health and crop protection in the context of sustainable agriculture. The coordinator of this area is Professor Tania Zaviezo.

Domestic and Wild Animals in Agroecosystems:

This area bases its research on the fundamental disciplines of animal sciences, involving aspects of animal structures and development, animal behaviors and welfare, physiology and intermediary metabolism of mammals, birds, and fish, as well as adaptation mechanisms to understand the interactions between domestic and wild animals in agro-ecosystems. The coordinator of this area is Professor José Luis Riveros.

Management, Conservation and Economics of Natural Resources:

This area conducts advanced research in the areas of ecosystem management and conservation, applying knowledge of environmental restoration, global change, ecosystem management and biological conservation. Thus, this research area includes those aspects of natural resources that support agricultural and forestry activities in Chile and the world, also addressing the management and economic valuation of natural resources. The coordinator of this area is Professor Eduardo Arellano.

Application Requirements

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  1. To hold a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree.
  2. To demonstrate understanding of the English language, sufficient to understand it in written form, at a level that allows them to read articles, books and access international documents and databases. To submit academic transcripts from previous university studies.
  3. To submit a letter of intent addressed to the Director of Research and Graduate Studies, clearly explaining their motivation to enter the Doctoral program.
  4. To submit two academic and confidential letters of recommendation.

Graduation Requirements

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  1. Approve the study plan.
  2. Approve the research and final text of the thesis by the thesis committee.

To obtain the degree of Doctor of Agricultural Sciences you need to:

  1. Have met the graduation requirements.
  2. Have had a minimum stay of four semesters in the Program.
  3. Have passed the thesis defense exam as indicated in these Regulations.
  4. Certify proficiency in the English language at an advanced level equivalent to ALTE3 and with application in academic settings.
  5. Prove at least to:
    1. be the main author of an ISI scientific article as accepted or,
    2. be the main author of two ISI articles as submitted or,
    3. be the primary author of a pending patent.
  6. Have approved at least three transversal skills workshops, one of which must be ethical in nature.
  7. Carry out a research stay / internship abroad, with teams that work on topics related to your thesis. In exceptional cases, the Doctoral Committee will be empowered to waive the requirement of this prerequisite or replace it with a stay / internship in the productive sector or in another national university in the context of its thesis.
  8. Have approved at least one annual monitoring activity.
  9. Comply with the provisions of Title XIV of the Regulations for Doctoral Students.

In addition to the academic requirements mentioned above, at the time of opting for the degree of Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, the student may not be registered as a debtor.

To obtain the academic degree of Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, the student must complete a minimum of 350 credits. In addition, it must comply with all the aspects that determine the General Doctoral Regulations and the UC Doctoral Student Regulations.

Academic Units


Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering

For further information, please visit the website for this Doctoral Program

For further information, please visit the website for this Doctoral Program

Go to the doctorate site