Doctorate in Physics

About PhD

doc fisica2The technological development of a country it can be measured by the number of a physicist of their population who do research in universities and/or industries. In Chile, the current situation shows that there is a reduced number of experimental active groups. Therefore, the Institute of Physics UC looks for training postgraduates as a way to contributes with specialized human resources to the country.
One of the most important comparative advantages of the different postgraduate programs offered by the Institute is the opportunity to develop thesis work in high impact research areas and with the support of several institutions in Chile and outside of the country, empowering the interdisciplinary and international collaboration.
The Doctorate Program is credited for eight years until November of 2020 and grants the academic degree of Doctor in Physics. Nevertheless, its plan of study offers the possibility to continue studies in the experimental or theoretical area according to with the interest of the student. Once the minimum and elective courses (3 semesters) and the qualification exam have been approved, the student starts with the thesis research work during five semesters.


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Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics

Ph.D. in Experimental Physics

Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Classical Mechanics

Classical Mechanics

Classical Optics

Classical Electrodynamics

Advanced Laboratory Internship

Mecánica Estadística Avanzada

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Electives I, II y III

Electives I, II y III

Supervised Work I y II

Supervised Work I y II

Annual Monitoring Activity I y II

Annual Monitoring Activity I y II

Doctoral Thesis I, II, III, IV, V y VI

Doctoral Thesis I, II, III, IV, V y VI


If you want to apply to the Doctorate program at the UC, we invite you to review this link where you will find all the information for your application.

For the admission to the Doctorate Program in Physics, it is required to be in possession of the academic degree of Bachelor in Physics or its equivalent. This degree corresponds to approximately five years of university studies in Mathematics and Physics. An average of more than five (5.0 out of 7.0) is required in the areas of Physics and Mathematics.

Sent the following documents:

· GRE Subject Test - Physics (optional, highly recommended)*.

· Certificate of degree notarized.

· Concentration of undergraduate grades (indicate scale of grades).

· Curriculum vitae.

· Two letters of recommendation.

· Personal statement letter addressed to the Program Director indicating motivation and research topic.

· Digital photo in jpg format.

· Foreign applicants must have a health insurance at the time of the formal enrollment.

Application deadlines:

First semester 2018: until November 17th, 2017.

* The cost of the test will be reimbursed once the student has completed his / her application to the doctoral program.

Apply here and send your background to


Attendance to scientific meetings and Congress:

The Postgraduate Programs and Research Office promotes and supports the attendance of the students of the Institute of Physics in Congress and scientific meetings. To be granted with this benefit the student has to complete the following form and send it to attaching additional information of the event.

· Form for congresses attendance

New Doctoral Program Regulations:

The students enrolled in the Ph.D. Program since March of 2015 must be ruled by the following regulations:

Doctoral Study Plan:

Click on the following link to download the study plan sequence suggested:

· A study plan of the Ph.D. Program in Physics.

Qualification Exam:

The Qualification Exam is one of the requirements that the student must approve to obtain the Academic Degree of Doctor in Physics. The student has to present four test that evaluates his/her knowledge and abilities in the following areas: Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetic Theory, Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics. All of them are necessaries to develop a research work by his/her own that will end in the thesis work.

The Exam must be taken in the first opportunity that the student has. The preparation is individual and is highly recommended review as a reference the topics contained in the following courses of the undergraduate program of Physics offered by the UC:

  • FIZ0121 – Classical Mechanics I
  • FIZ0222 – Classical Mechanics II
  • FIZ0221 – Electricity and Magnetism
  • FIZ0321 – Electromagnetic Theory
  • FIZ0322 – Quantum Physics I
  • FIZ0412 – Quantum Physics II
  • FIZ0411 – Statistical Mechanics



The Doctoral Program of the Institute of Physics is part of the list of programs benefited by the agreement signed between the UC and the Ministry of Education that contributes to the organization of activities to promote the international student exchange for academic and research purposes. An example of that is the Summer Schools, Academic Missions, and Contests that support economically the students of the UC to do internships abroad.

International Cooperation Agreements

Since more than 20 years, the International Exchange Program of the UC makes possible that students from other universities of the world came to the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile to study for a semester or a year.

Through an official agreement between the Universities, the students of both institutions pay the fee in the university that he/she came from and is liberated from pay the fee of the university where he/she will do his exchange. More information here.

List of International Universities that the UC has agreements.

International Ph.D. in Sciences

In 2016, the UC signed an agreement with tres catholic universities: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Bélgica), University of Notre Dame du Lac (USA) and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italia), with the purpose of impulse the establishment of an international scientific research network that allows the students of the Institute of Physics UC study an International Doctoral Program in Sciences. In addition, this program also applies to different sciences areas such as physics, astrophysics, mathematics, chemistry, nanotechnology, biochemistry and biology. More information here.

Elective courses

The Institute of Physics offers the following elective courses for the postgraduate students. If the students have interest in taking one or more of these courses during the next academic year, we thankful write an email to informing his/her interest.


SiglaNombre del cursoCréditos
FIM3129 Introduction to Quantum Information 15
Offer to the student the basic abilities to understand the fundamentals of the quantum information through the debating of ideas, basic definitions, and application of computing and quantum information.
FIM3110 Introduction to Theories of Gauge 15
Familiarize the student with basic conceptual techniques of Theories of Gauges including quantization, renormalization theory, Feynman diagrams, anomalies, and supersymmetry.
FIM3029 Quantum Optics 15
Familiarize the student with the Topics related with the interaction radiation-matter, the theory of coherence, open systems, quantum paths, QND measures, EPR type entanglements and quantum communications.
FIM9500 Relativity and Gravitation 14
Present to the student a modern and geometric view of Einstein's theory of gravitation. Basic principles are developed, including the necessary elements of differential geometry (within the context of physical applications to Space and General Relativity), and the emphasis is placed on astrophysical applications such as compact stars, black holes, (no rotation), and cosmology.
FIM3406 Quantum Field Theory I 14
The Quantum Field Theory is studied from the point of view of the path integrals.
FIM3120 Quantum Field Theory II 15
Familiarizar al alumno con aspectos formales y fenomenológicos de Teoría Cuántica de Campos e introducirlos a técnicas recientes: método funcional y grupo de renormalización.
FIM3006 Topics in Materials Science  15
This course addresses some general topics about materials related to their structure, mechanical behavior, and microstructural changes to finish with topics of interest to the applied physics and technological materials areas such as nanomaterials and functional materials.
FIM3405 Advanced Solid State 14
Give the student an overview of advanced classical topics of solid physics to prepare him/her for contemporary research topics in this area.
FIM4008 Experimental Techniques for Materials Characterization 14
Train the student in the use of SEM, Raman and/or XRD equipment.
FIM3407 Many Body Theory, Superconductivity and Magnetism 14
Familiarize the student with contemporary techniques, especially condensed matter physics, quantum optics and statistical mechanics.
FIM3410 Advanced Topics in Relativity and Field Theory 15
Familiarize the student with an advanced aspect of general relativity, classical field theory and technological theories that allows him/her to take advanced courses in string theory.
FMD3019 Laboratory of Medical Images 10
Offer to the student theoretical basic knowledge about the processing of medical images; develop analytical and processing skills of medical images of images DICOM and applying these skills to the solution of real problems of processing images in Medical Physics.
FMD3018 Instrumentation and Equipment in Radiotherapy 10
This course provides to the student the knowledge about the technical aspects related to the instrumentation and basic and advanced equipment in radiotherapy.
FMD3020 Monte Carlo Techniques in Radiotherapy 10
This course provides to the student the knowledge about the technical aspects related to the use of Monte Carlo simulations in the radiotherapy field.
FIM3403 Mathematical Structures in Quantum Mechanics 10
Present the quantum mechanics in its contemporary formulation based on operators algebra (algebraic formulation).
 FIM3404 Biophysics 10
The study of biological systems is an increasingly active branch of modern physics. Traditionally the impact of physics within the biological sciences has been restricted to the field of instrumentation; however, this is changing with the emergence of nanoscopic bio-technologies where the physical nature of the cell has proven to be fertile ground for more contributions theoretical-conceptual aspects of physics. The goal is to deliver the basic knowledge and familiarize yourself with the areas of active research in biological physics.
FIM3030 Elctronics for Physicists I 15
Train and guide students in the development of initial skills that allow them to evaluate systems and simple circuits in a laboratory environment as well as develop the ability to apply computational models to circuits and physical systems.
FIM3031 Elctronics for Physicists II 15
Provide the student with the conceptual tools necessary to understand and design systems for measuring physical parameters using sensors in real and adverse conditions, transfer and process information so that reliable information is obtained.
FIM3402 String Theory  
It is the most promising theory known to date to achieve the unification of all fundamental interactions (the unfulfilled dream of A. Einstein). This theory requires a thorough understanding of various aspects of modern physics such as General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. This course will give an elementary introduction to the subject, oriented to Ph.D. students, so that they are prepared to delve deeper into more advanced topics.