Universidad de La Serena | Department of Astronomy

PhD in Astronomy

Créditos: AURA/Gemini Observatory/Manuel Paredes

The PhD in Astronomy program aims to train high-level scientists, capable of developing original and independent astronomy research based on a solid conceptual background. Both the astronomical infrastructure available in the north of Chile as well as international facilities will be used to strengthen the country´s scientific development.

The graduates of this PhD in Astronomy program will have a solid background in physical and astronomical concepts, and this will allow them to understand the processes related to the formation and evolution of different kinds of objects and structures in the Universe, ranging from the formation of stars to the formation of clusters and superclusters of galaxies. Also, the PhD graduates will be autonomous and creative scientists, trained to carry out original research, which will be a real contribution to the national and international knowledge of Astronomy. The graduates will be able to work both independently and collaboratively in working groups, with a high self-critical awareness.


The PhD program's duration is 4 years (8 semesters) on a full time basis and consists of the following courses:

Observational Astronomy, Radiative Processes in Astrophysics, Stellar Astrophysics, Extragalactic Astronomy, Research Workshop I, Elective Astronomy I, Research Workshop II, Elective Astronomy II, Thesis Project, Elective Activity I, Elective Activity II.
The list of elective courses in Astronomy is:Galactic Dynamics, Interstellar Medium and Star Formation, Galactic Structure, Radio Astronomy, Binary Stars, Large-scale Structure of the Universe and Cosmology, Formation and Evolution of Galaxies, Stellar Populations, Modern Topics in Astrophysics.
The list of Elective Activities is: Scientific Writing, Dissemination/Popularization of Astronomy in Society, History and Philosophy of Sciences, Archeoastronomy, Ethics in Sciences, Introduction to Python.

The PhD Program also includes a written qualification exam, which must be completed and approved by the end of the first year.


To apply to this program candidates must have an undergraduate and/or master's degree in Astronomy or Physics, or have an academic degree or related professional degree similar in level, content and duration.
Applicants must possess a solid knowledge base in Physics and/or Astronomy, computational skills and interest and commitment to research.


The main research areas developed by the members of the Department of Astronomy at Universidad de La Serena are:

  • Stellar Astrophysics
  • Galactic Astrophysics
  • Extragalactic Astrophysics
  • Galaxy formation and evolution
  • Numerical astrophysics

  • For more information regarding the research areas visit astro.userena.cl


    Accepted applicants could apply to Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID) scolarship program for PhD studies in Chile. Also, the program supports the highest qualified applicants with grants to cover living costs and University tuition fees.


    To apply visit the following link: apply here (in Spanish or English):

    Applicants must submit the following items:

  • Curriculum vitae, including publications and participation in research projects (when applicable).
  • A list of undergraduate and postgraduate (when applicable) courses with their corresponding grades.
  • A copy of the academic degree and / or professional degree.
  • A motivation letter to enter the Program.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

  • As part of the selection process, an Evaluation Committee will interview the applicants.

    Important dates:
    Applications start: August 23rd, 2021.
    Deadline for applications: October 23rd, 2021.
    Start of the Program: April 2022.
    Notification of results: Mid November.


    Dr. Facundo Gomez
    Director Programa de Doctorado en Astronomía

    fagomez [at] userena.cl

    Departamento de Astronomía
    Universidad de La Serena
    Avenida Juan Cisternas #1200 Norte, La Serena
    Región de Coquimbo, Chile

    +56 51 220 4490

    Departamento de Astronomía - Facultad de Ciencias - Universidad de La Serena - La Serena, Chile.