Universidad de La Serena | Physics and Astronomy Department

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 the 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.

The list of Elective Activities is: Scientific Writing, Dissemination/Popularization of Astronomy in Society, History and Philosophy of Sciences, Archeoastronomy, Ethics in Sciences.

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 Astronomy Group of Universidad de La Serena are:

  • Stellar Astrophysics
  • Galactic Astrophysics
  • Extragalactic Astrophysics

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

    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):

    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, the evaluation committee will interview the applicants.

    Important dates:
    Applications start: September 1st, 2017.
    Deadline for applications: November 8th, 2017.
    Start of the Program: April 2018

  • Dr. Rodolfo Barbá (ULS)
  • Dr. Sergio Torres Flores (ULS)
  • Dr. Alexandre Román Lopes (ULS)
  • Dra. Julia Arias (ULS)
  • Dr. Rodolfo Angeloni (ULS)
  • Dra. Antonela Monachesi (ULS)
  • Dr. Facundo Gomez (ULS)
  • Dr. Hector Cuevas (ULS)
  • Dra. Amelia Ramirez (ULS)
  • Dr. José Nilo Castellón (ULS)
  • Dr. Yerko Vasquez (ULS)
  • Dra. Verónica Firpo (ULS - Gemini Observatory)
  • Dra. Nidia Morrell (Las Campanas Observatory)
  • Dr. Rodrigo Carrasco (Gemini Observatory)
  • Dra. Kathy Vivas (Cerro Tololo Observatory)
    Dr. Sergio Torres Flores
    Director of PhD in Astronomy Program

    sptorres [at] userena.cl

    Departamento de Física y Astronomía
    Avenida Juan Cisternas #1200.
    La Serena
    Región de Coquimbo, Chile.

    Phone number
    +56 51 2204490

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