PhD in astrophysics

Click here to find out how to apply to the PhD program in astrophysics.

The Institute of Physics and Astronomy opened the program of the PhD in Astrophysics in the year 2013.

  • Schedule: Full-time. 
  • Duration: 8 semesters/240 credits SCT. 
  • Places: 5

Chile is equipped with a world-class infrastructure of telescopes and astronomical instrumentation. For all present and future astronomical facilities, astronomers that work in Chilean institutions have access to 10% of guaranteed observation time. This ensures that Chile has the possibility of becoming a leading country in scientific research in the field of astronomy. Furthermore, this implies that our country has unique opportunities for development in this area, which positively impacts employment prospects, increasing the demand for specialized personnel. The goal of the doctoral program in Astrophysics is to contribute to the education of new scientists capable of producing and transferring knowledge in this field. Students in the program will have the opportunity to work with a group of academic excellence, characterized by high scientific productivity. Strategic links with national and international institutions also allow for the possibility of scientific visits during the program. Among such links are the Núcleo Milenio of Planetary Formation, the Anillo project Formation and Growth of Supermassive Black Holes, a Tandem group with the Max-Planck Institute of Astrophysics in Heidelberg, Germany (leader: Johan Olofsson) and a Partner group with the Max-Planck Institute of Astrophysics in Garching, Germany (leader: Patricia Arévalo).

Graduate profile

The Doctoral graduate will be capable of developing research in an independent manner in current areas of astrophysics, as well as being able to interact with other researchers and to use the infrastructure that Chile offers for astronomy. Moreover, it is important to note that the graduate of the program will be possessed of a breadth of knowledge of physics and astronomy. In addition the doctoral student has the opportunity to participate in national and international conferences, allowing for the presentation of their work to the astronomical community and to generate collaborative networks with other scientists. In the case of thesis projects oriented to the area of observations, the graduate can utilise the infrastructure of optical, infrared, millimetre and sub-millimetre telescopes that Chile offers for astronomy.

Research areas

Please see the research areas on our website to find out more about the fields of research available and the academic staff in each area.

Professional profile

Upon completion of the curricular requirement, the student will receive the degree of Doctor in Astrophysics. They will have acquired fundamental knowledge in contemporary physics and advanced astronomy. The graduate of this program will be able to be involved in professional scientific investigation in current research themes, in interactions with other researchers and in the future make full scientific use of the existing infrastructure for astronomy in Chile. These collaborations include both observational astrophysicists that generate and execute scientific projects that make direct use of telescopes, and theoretical astrophysicists whose work is the physical-mathematical modelling of observed phenomena.

Employment opportunities

The Program provides the skills necessary for the student to successfully join the national and international professional astrophysical community, or many other scientifically-inclined organizations. Thus possible future employers include universities, higher studies institutions, astronomical observatories, research centers, scientific instrumentation developers, software developers, many state or private companies, consultants or scientific/astronomical tourism enterprises.

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