MSc in Astrophysics

About the program

The Master in Astrophysics, before the PhD, is for those who have a strong motivation to develop in the area of astrophysics, but for various reasons do not have the interest or the ability to follow a program requirement and duration of a Ph.D.. These people will be well trained to perform high-level support to the astronomical research, teaching or dissemination on the astronomical area.

A graduate from the Masters in Astrophysics will have advanced training in physics applied to astronomical phenomena, critical thinking and independent judgment, and research experience.

Application dates: from October 2-26 of 2018 to start in March 2019.


The curriculum for the Masters in Astrophysics include:

  1. A series of three minimum courses in Astrophysics (Physical Processes in Astrophysics, Advanced Stellar Astrophysics, Extragalactic Astrophysics and Advanced), often dictates bi-annual. All students in the program must take these three courses at some point in their first four semesters. The first covers matters of physics that are essential for the analysis of astrophysical phenomena, but are usually not covered in the required depth (in physics courses), such as (classical and quantum) processes of interaction between radiation and material and gas dynamics and plasmas. The other two courses deepen subjects of astrophysics into two main areas, establishing close contact with current research.
  2. Three semester modules for a research project. In these, students will do an original research in astrophysics, under the supervision of a teacher. Each concludes with a written report and a public oral presentation. Students may take the three courses under the supervision of the teacher and these form an integral part of their theses. It is desirable that at least one of these works gives rise to an article in which the student has a relevant role and is accepted for publication in an international journal.
  3. Two elective courses: to be taken by students in consultation with the Graduate Committee, which should be minimum courses in Physics or PhD program in astrophysics today. In addition to courses in physics, it shall be made with some frequency courses on specific subjects of astrophysics that may be of interest to students, for example: Galactic Astronomy, Cosmology, Supernovas, Interstellar Medium, neutron stars or Extrasolar Planets.
  4. The Master's thesis must be completed after complete the credits relating to the minimum and elective courses, or under special authorization.


  Course 1 Course 2 Course 3
Semester 1  

AdvancedExtragalactic Astrophysics

Physical Processesin Astrophysics

Optional 1
Semester 2

AdvancedStellar Astrophysics

Optional 2 Research work A
Semester 3 Research work B Research work C  
Semester 4 Master's thesis    



The Master's thesis also constitute an original contribution from the student to knowledge in the area. Although it is desirable that the Master's thesis gives rise to some(s) publication(s) with principal responsibility for the student, this will not be a requirement for the approval of the same.

The publication of such work may be before or after the presentation of the thesis to the Faculty. It should be understood, however, that acceptance of manuscripts for refereed journals it is not a condition or constitutes acceptance of the thesis by the Faculty. It will allow the thesis is a juxtaposition of individual jobs where there is a logical continuity.

The thesis and oral defense will be evaluated by the Thesis Committee appointed by the Graduate Committee of the Faculty and integrated by the Dean (or the Director of Graduate Studies, who represents), the Head of mention, Guide thesis Professor, and two correctors professors.

Graduation requirements

Students will graduate from the Master's or doctoral program after they have passed all the credits of the program in question, including those pertaining to the thesis work, but not including the presentation and defense of the thesis. The graduation requirement is the written submission and public presentation of the thesis and the defense of it against the Thesis Committee.

The format in which it the Master's or doctoral thesis must be written is described in this document.

Entry requirements

May apply for the Master's program graduates in Astronomy or Physics or who are in possession of a related degree or equivalent level. To accept your income, the Graduate Committee will evaluate each applicant motivation, previous performance as an undergraduate and/or graduate, basic training to successfully take mandatory classes of the graduate program. The Committee will request to each applicant, at least:

  • A letter with a detailed description of your motivation to train as a researcher in astrophysics. In the case of applicants to the master's program, the letter should include a paragraph about its financing agreement with one of the teachers of the program.
  • Their official academic records, translated into spanish if necessary and conversion of the grading scale system the Universidad Católica.
  • Your title or academic degree certificate or certified photocopy notarized. Students who have not obtained their degree or diploma when they apply must submit a certificate from their academic institution attesting that they are able to obtain it before starting the graduate program and send the official certificate when you have obtained.
  • His Curriculum Vitae, including list of publications if any.
  • Not less than two and no more than three reference letters in spanish or english language written by people who can give confidential information about the candidate. Which should arrive together with the application in a sealed envelope with signature/security seal or separate mailing, or by electronic means that the Committee deems appropriate. It is expected that the person sending the references of the applicant is a teacher or tutor of this, being able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant.
  • Two color passport photos and identity card number or passport.
  • Photocopy of identity card or passport.
  • Any other information that the student would like to add, for example the result of some standardized as the GRE in case the applicant has taken the test.

From this background, the Graduate Committee will prepare an order of merit of the candidates of sufficient quality for the program, and will offer a number of candidates according to the capacity of the Faculty to accept new students.

To register you will also need:

  • Photocopy of health insurance card (FONASA, ISAPRE or other). The extrajeros Students must have a valid health insurance.

For general information on the application process to the Masters of the Universidad Católica you can consult here or write an email to


The Physics Faculty and the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics have funds to support students of magister, but are more limited and generally are associated with specific research projects managed by professors from the Institute of Astrophysics and their collaborations. Candidates for the master's program should consult with teachers working on issues of interest about their ability to finance their master students and get a funding agreement prior to the application. Once it is done, it should be included in the motivation letter as a paragraph about the agreed syllabus for funding. It is recommended that the teacher who sponsors a student also send a reference letter in support of the application.

Some teachers have specific information about possible research projects on the link "Research Opportunities" on these pages, although the details might be outdated. It is strongly recommended candidates to the Master adopt a proactive attitude, talk to teachers interested about possible research topics and converge with one of them a blueprint of what will be their academic program and how it will finance.

  • CONICYT Scholarship: Since november 2003, the Astrophysics Ph.D. it is accredited by the Comisión Nacional de Acreditación de Postgrado (CONAP), therefore chilean or foreign students with definitive residence in Chile can apply for CONICYT scholarships, after they have been admitted to this program. This students will require the application before considered for DIPUC scholarships.
  • "Proyecto de fondos basales" Scholarship: Dedicated to advanced students working on topics related to the research areas of the Project Basal "Centro de Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines."
  • Andes Scholarship: Our graduate students can research internships up to 4 semesters at universities such as Princeton, Johns Hopkins or other .
  • Research assistantships: For students working on issues related to research areas of professors who have individual FONDECYT projects, there is the possibility of supplementing their incomes with specific research assistantships funded by such projects. These amounts vary, FONDECYT still limited at an annual maximum of $1.300.000 pesos.
  • Teaching Assistantships: Graduate students have the option of working as teaching assistants in lab courses, undergraduate or graduate, or as assistants in the Undergraduate Computer Room. The amounts of these assistantships range from $150.000 to $ 210.000 pesos per semester.
  • International Scholarships: Students with citizenship from other countries may be eligible for specific grants that vary by country. One of the more general scholarships for citizens of the Americas are the scholarships of the OEA, covering tuition fees (100%) and maintenance. Typically the maintenance grant is $500 per month. These grants must be handled by students in their home countries with the support of the graduate committee of the Faculty of Physics.
  • Funding for conferences: Graduate students can apply for various funding sources to present papers at international conferences or workshops. Depending on the progress of their work can apply for CONICYT, SOCHIAS or UC funding (to apply to this last fund you must fill this form).