Programs > PhD



Started in 2019, our Ph.D. program in Astrophysics has recently been approved by the National Commission of Accreditation for 3 years (maximum allowed for a new program).

More information about the Ph.D. program can be found here (English)

Más informacion en español acerca del program de doctorado lo puedes encontrar aquí (Español)

For specific research projects at UDP: Go here

Our program length is 4 years with great emphasis on cutting-edge research in astronomy focused in the research areas conducted at the Instituto de Estudios Astrofísicos UDP.

Planetary systems: extrasolar planets, high-contrast imaging, planet formation, protoplanetary disks, and laboratory astrophysics of cosmic dust.

Stellar and Galactic astronomy: galactic archeology, stellar spectroscopy, stellar evolution, and galactic transients.

Extragalactic astronomy: Active Galactic Nuclei, supernovae, extragalactic transients, submillimeter galaxies, and galaxy evolution.

We offer a variety of courses which are decided on a semester-to-semester basis depending on the interest and need of the students.

Detailed description of our PhD program: EnglishSpanish

Regulations of our PhD program: EnglishSpanish

Information for PhD/graduate students : English/Spanish


                                  Initial Cycle
1° semester 2° semester 3° semester Qualification exam
Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics

(8 credits)

Planetary systems or elective course (8 credits) Extragalactic Astrophysics or elective course (8 credits)
Research Project 1

(16 credits)

Research Project II

(16 credits)

Thesis Project

(16  credits)

Topics in Astrophysics (colloquia/astro-ph)

(6 credits)

Topics in Astrophysics II (colloquia/astro-ph)

(6 credits)

Topics in Astrophysics III (colloquia/astro-ph)

(6 credits)


                                Thesis cycle
4° semester 5° semester 6° semester 7° semester 8° semester Thesis defense
Doctoral Thesis  I

(30 credits)

Doctoral Thesis II

(30 credits)

Doctoral Thesis III

(30 credits)

Doctoral Thesis IV

(30 credits)

Doctoral  Thesis V

(30 credits)

Program Objectives:

1) Contribute to the training of researchers in astrophysics, one of the areas of science where Chile has the capacity to become a world leader.

2)  To consolidate the group of scientists at the Institute for Astrophysical Studies, including outstanding students, postdoctoral researchers,  and faculty through high scientific productivity; enhancing the impact of the research carried out in the areas of  Astrophysics of Planetary Systems, Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics, and Extragalactic Astrophysics, and its contribution as an internationally relevant actor within the discipline.


Student’s Profile


The program is aimed at applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in astronomy or related sciences  (physics, planetary sciences, etc.).  It is expected that the candidates have excellent qualifications in their previous careers, some experience in research projects and a very high level of motivation for research in astronomy. Applicants must also handle the English language (reading comprehension is essential and highly desirable oral and written expression)  and be able to devote full time to the doctoral program.


Graduate’s profile


The Doctors in  Astrophysics from UDP  will be able to develop original and independent research, contributing to the advancement of the discipline by publishing their results in journals and specialized conferences. They will have a solid formation in physical processes and its manifestation in astronomical phenomena, and the capacity of learning new tools -such as observation techniques, data management, analysis methods, numerical simulations- that will allow them to stay at the cutting-edge of their expertise, be it astrophysics of planetary systems, stellar and galactic astrophysics or extragalactic astrophysics. At the same time, the students will have developed critical thinking skills and capacities to work collaboratively, enabling them to insert themselves in international research networks and grow in demanding and competitive academic and professional contexts. Thus, doctoral graduates in UDP astrophysics will be able to work in purely academic environments, such as universities, or more technical, such as astronomical observatories.



Scholarships include a stipend, health insurance, tuition, and fees. Research funds are also available from a number of different sources.



The deadline to be fully considered is September 10, 2021.

Application materials:

  1. Motivation letter indicating your reasons for applying to the Ph.D. program at UDP, research experience (if any), research interests, and career plans and goals (two pages maximum). The letter should also indicate the preferred starting date (March or August 2022). Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the faculty members best matching their research interests to learn more about possible research projects.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (3 pages maximum).
  3. Copy of undergraduate and/or graduate degrees or letter from University official indicating expected graduation date.
  4. Copy of undergraduate academic transcripts (graduate transcripts too, if available).
  5. A minimum of two and a maximum of three letters of recommendation sent directly by the recommenders to [email protected].

All application materials (including letters of recommendation) should be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] by ~September 10, 2021