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Doctoral Program in Astrophysics

school Degree

Doctor in Astrophysics

schedule Duration

8 semesters

edit Application dates

01/07/2024 - 01/08/2025

date_range Classes start

March 2025

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attach_money Tuition

4.510.000 (annually)

Program Description

The objective of the Doctoral Program in Astrophysics is to train high-level researchers who will make full use of the existing infrastructure for astronomy in Chile.

Benefits of studying at the Institute of Astrophysics at PUC Chile:

  • The Institute of Astrophysics of the PUC is one of the leading Astronomy centers in Latin America.
  • Active and dynamic international community comprised 16 faculty, ~30 postdocs, and ~50 graduate students.
  • Latest frontier research in cosmology, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, astrochemistry, astronomical instrumentation, high energy astrophysics, and numerical simulations.
  • Access to 10% of the time in all telescopes installed in Chile, including APEX, ALMA, Paranal, La Silla, Las Campanas, Cerro Tololo, etc.
  • Vibrant scientific environment, including mentorship with world-class faculty members. The program offers various opportunities for scientific interactions, such as weekly seminars and colloquia, daily Journal Club discussions, group meetings, exchange programs with various international institutions, and travel to national and international conferences.
  • Doctoral scholarships are guaranteed for the duration of the program, covering living expenses and 100% tuition and fees.
  • Financing for research trips, publications, and computers.
  • The official language of the Institute is English.


Program accredited by CNA-Chile for seven years until April 2020 (accreditation extended according to Exempt Resolution DJ N°106-4).

Program Objectives

The Doctoral Program in Astrophysics objective is to train high-level researchers who will make full use of the existing infrastructure for astronomy in Chile.

Learning Outcomes

A Doctor in Astrophysics will be able to independently carry out original, novel, and relevant research in the general area of astrophysics. It implies a well-developed critical ability, independence of judgment, and a solid self-learner ability. In particular, it will require a solid knowledge base and understanding of physics and its application to astronomical phenomena. It also includes a broad culture in astrophysics and the most relevant problems of this science today and detailed knowledge of a particular area of astrophysics.

Research Areas

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  • Stellar Astrophysics.
  • Galactic astrophysics.
  • Extragalactic astrophysics.
  • Experimental astronomy and instrumentation.
  • Astrochemistry.
  • Computational Astrophysics and Big Data.
  • Cosmology.
  • High Energy Astrophysics.

Application Requirements

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Applicants must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Astronomy or Physics (or related areas), full-time dedication, and good command of the English and/or Spanish language. Previous research experience, while not a requirement, is considered positive.

Application documents:

  • Letter outlining applicants’ motivation to train as researchers in astrophysics, and in particular at the Institute of Astrophysics of the PUC, research experience (if any), research interests, and career plans and goals.
  • Curriculum Vitae, including list of publications, if any (maximum 3 pages).
  • A minimum of two and a maximum of three letters of reference, in Spanish or English, written by people who know the applicants well and can give a thorough assessment of the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses (e.g., classwork, teaching, investigation, and personal character).
  • Official academic transcripts, in English or Spanish, with a clear indication of the grade scale and student ranking.
  • Academic degree certificate, or letter from academic institution indicating the expected date of graduation.
  • Any other document or information that applicants would like to add, for example the result of a standardized test such as the GRE or TOEFL.
  • All the application documents (with the exception of the reference letters) must be sent through our application form, which will be available on September 1. Shortlisted applicants will be scheduled for interviews. All questions should be directed to gradapp@astro.puc.cl.

Based on these documents, the Postgraduate Committee will prepare a candidate ranking based on the following scale:

  • Cover Letter: 10%
  • Academic background: 20%
  • Reference letters: 25%
  • Curriculum Vitae: 15%
  • Interview: 30%

Those selected who accept our offer will be contacted to initiate procedures related to health insurance (FONASA, ISAPRE or other), visa for foreign students, etc.

The Institute of Astrophysics and the PUC are committed to offering equal opportunities and diversity in their working community, including religious freedom. Minority applications are especially welcome.

Graduation Requirements

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  • To have approved the curriculum of the Doctorate in Astrophysics, consisting of a total of 400 credits.
  • To have approved the research and original text of the thesis by the Thesis Committee.
  • Have spent a minimum of four semesters in the Program.
  • To have approved the thesis, including the thesis defense exam.
  • To certify command of the English language at an advanced level (ALTE 3) and application in academic fields. Exceptionally, the Doctoral Committee may authorize certification of advanced level of some other language whose application to academic and scientific fields is justified for the case of a specific thesis topic and students.
  • Be the lead author on at least one scientific article under review in a mainstream journal or book or lead author of a patent in process. Exceptionally, the respective Doctoral Committee may authorize the non-compliance of this requirement when it is considered that this could favor the subsequent publication of articles of more significant impact.
  • Have passed at least three transversal skills workshops offered by the College of Doctoral Programs (CPD), one of which must be ethical.
  • To carry out a research stay/internship abroad, with teams working on topics relevant to their thesis. In duly justified cases of force majeure, the Graduate Committee of the Program will be empowered to analyze and consider exceptional circumstances to exempt the demand of this requirement.
  • To have carried out at least one annual follow-up activity while the student was benefited from residencies.
  • Comply with the provisions of Title XIV of the Regulations for Doctoral Students.

Academic Units

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