Ph.D. Programs

The Doctorate in Marine Biology delivers fundamental knowledge concerning the biology and ecophysiology of marine organisms as well as factors related to coastal oceanography, biodiversity, management and conservation, genetic improvement, ecotoxicology, and the impact of global change on marine ecosystems. The activities carried out in the context of this program promote and communicate the ocean sciences throughout the southern regions of Chile. Our nearness to various marine ecosystems of global interest offer students a unique opportunity to carry out research highly relevant to the coastal zone of the southwestern Pacific, the Patagonian fjords, estuaries, and Antarctic ecosystems. The academic training provided by this program is underpinned by intense research activity sustained by a high-level academic body that leads diverse projects.

Program Director: Pirjo Huovinen
Tel.: +56 63 222 1299 [Secretary]

The Doctorate in Agricultural Sciences provides the student with solid preparation in the field, both theoretical and applied, which entails independently carrying out academic and scientific activities in the area of agriculture. The objective is that graduates of the program be top-level researchers, creative and independent scientifically. Likewise, our graduates will be able to work to as part of highly skilled teams capable of conducting applied investigation aimed at innovation and sustainable development in agricultural production and carried out in line with current knowledge in the agricultural sciences, especially in the areas of plant science, animal sciences, and soil science.

Program Director: Rodrigo Arias
Tel.: +56 63 222 1747 [Secretary]

The Doctorate in Aquaculture Sciences is a program that educates advanced professionals from the perspective that aquaculture is one of the most important research areas nationally. It involves a focus on a group of productive “clusters” (salmonids, mytilids, and algae) considered a priority in the policies of development both nationally and within southern Chile. This academic program has a strong interdisciplinary focus with an emphasis on biological factors relevant to the diversification and sustainability (environmental, sanitary, and socioeconomic) of aquaculture activity. Being located in an epicenter of global significance for this field, the program seeks to operate as a gauge of the needs for high-impact, relevant, and quality scientific knowledge in the area. The program is sustained by a multidisciplinary academic team including researchers with notable scientific productivity in areas including aquaculture genetics; aquacultural molecular biology; reproduction, development, and growth of aquaculture resources; sustainability and management of marine resources; animal health and production; and aquaculture nutrition.

Program Director: Marcela Astorga
Tel.: +56 65 227 7122 [Secretary]

The Doctorate in Human Sciences is aimed at developing the talents of studious professionals interested in society and culture from interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary perspectives. The program seeks to form an epistemologically relevant approach to the complex problems that characterize contemporary societies, putting into play various areas of knowledge from different disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. Work is carried out with a focus on the concentration area of Discourse and Culture. It follows that the program emphasizes the application of theories, models, and areas of study and analysis related to discursive and cultural phenomena specifically, mainly in the areas of philosophy, linguistics, literature, sociology, anthropology, history, educational studies, and critical theory. Ultimately, the goal is to have our students develop their own research and likewise to be capable of communicating their results through academic journal articles, books, and presentations.

Program Director: Gonzalo Portales
Tel.: +56 63 222 1312 [Secretary]

The Doctorate in Medical Sciences is aimed at developing expertise at the highest level of biomedical research in the various clinical disciplines, with the objective of strengthening investigative and technical capabilities in the health fields from a transdisciplinary perspective. This program produces doctors skilled in the rigorous application of the scientific method and able to independently carry out original scientific research; able to generate and disseminate knowledge through publications; and capable of utilizing and applying their findings, based on the latest technology, within the scope of the medical sciences. Through these activities, students and graduates help to solve health issues throughout Chile and beyond. The program is organized based on five lines of research: normal and pathological development of the nervous system; maternal and children’s health; molecular mechanisms of cellular homeostasis, immune response, and cancer; pathogenesis and progression of renal diseases; and pathogenesis and epidemiology of agents.

Program Director: Sergio Mezzano
Tel.: +56 63 222 1410 [Secretary]

Founded in 1984, this is the oldest doctoral program at the Austral University of Chile, and it has produced over 100 graduates so far. Its objective is the education of scientists of the highest level who develop a critical mind and the capacity to identify and resolve current problems in the field of biology. The academic design of the program equips students with skills in the understanding and application of the fundamental tools of the disciplines of cellular biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology in order to express their scientific creativity. This will be reflected in the ability to form innovative projects and produce important new knowledge.

The formative process of this program generates graduates with theoretical and practical knowledge along with the perspective and competence necessary to manage and carry out scientific research both individually and as part of a multidisciplinary team, and at a competitive level in both national and international centers. Our graduates will be capable of increasing knowledge in the fundamental aspects of cellular structure and function; taking on the study of cellular and molecular transformations that lead to the development of pathologies; and solving biological problems that apply to the productive sector.

The program is overseen and taught by a team of academics from the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, and Valdivia’s Center for Scientific Studies (CECs), which operates independently of the university. This multidisciplinary environment, along with the facilities, infrastructure, and equipment available, creates an exceptional space for the development of research that contributes to knowledge in theoretical and applied science and links UACh with the productive sector nationally and the scientific community internationally.

Program Director: Rody San Martín
Tel.: +56 63 222 1299 [Secretary]

This academic program is oriented toward strengthening scientific development surrounding the fields of ecology and evolution with high impact both regionally and nationwide. It includes renowned national and international academics and an interdisciplinary plan of studies that allows for an education that is not only complete but also state-of-the-art in the area of ecological and evolutionary sciences. This education takes place in a region of great natural abundance unique to the southern regions of Chile, which establishes a commitment to knowledge, the natural world, and sustainable development as a hallmark of our program.

Program Director: Leonardo Bacigalupe
Tel.: +56 63 222 1299 [Secretary]

This program has the mission of educating high-level doctoral students who possess a solid training in the discipline and are endowed with a wide and critical vision of scientific thinking. Our graduates are capable of partaking and performing successfully both in the academic sphere and in advanced research in microbiology, contributing to the generation of knowledge in the field. In addition, they are able to provide solutions in terms of both the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline, including potential applications that arise from the knowledge they have created. The program places special emphasis on the problems and needs of the region and the nation.

Program Director: Jaime Figueroa
Tel.: +56 63 222 1299 [Secretary]

Created in 1997 as the first program of its type in Chile, the Doctorate in Veterinary Sciences has the central objective of educating high-level professionals in the field capable of understanding, integrating, and generating knowledge; identifying and providing solutions for problems; and proposing novel approaches to the development of veterinary sciences and to its application to academic, investigative, and productive activities in Chile and beyond.

The program addresses three main research areas: animal health, ecosystem health, and animal science. The area of animal health includes veterinary immunology and pharmacology; pathology of aquatic organisms and biotechnology; veterinary neurology; and medicine and health of herd animals. The area of ecosystem health incorporates the areas of disease ecology; epidemiology, preventive medicine, and infectious disease; and veterinary microbiology. Lastly, the area of animal science focuses on animal wellbeing; animal food and nutrition; animal reproduction and biotechnology; meat quality; and wildlife management and conservation.

Graduates are expected to be capable of leading the search for new knowledge in the fields covered by this program, and doing so in a critical context based on rigorous training in the scientific method. This culminates in the generation of professionals highly skilled in entering and/or collaborating with the productive and public sectors, offering solutions to scientific and technological problems in areas such as agri-food production, biomedical fields, public health, and biotechnology development.

Program Director: Rafael Burgos
Tel.: +56 63 221548 [Secretary]

Created in 2017 by the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, this program is aimed at the advanced training of lawyers of the highest intellectual level and researchers in the various fields of constitutionalism and law. This education occurs over a period of eight semesters and culminates in the creation and defense of an original investigative work. The program puts special emphasis on cultivating mentoring relationships between professors and doctoral students that lead to the independent creation of a high quality doctoral thesis. The work of our students and graduates allows them to contribute to high-level knowledge in the area of constitutionalism and law, and to do so in response to the problems and challenges that exist in this field at both national and international levels.

The Constitutionalism and Law concentration does not correspond to a doctoral program exclusively focused on this disciplinary sphere. Rather, it refers to a particular approach to legal phenomena that takes into account the impact of the presence of policy documents at all levels in addressing juridical issues in all areas of law, as well as the implications for the manner of reasoning employed by jurists. The program does not assume, then, any given theory or ideology to be correct. Instead, it seeks to address constitutionalism as a phenomenon that demands scrutiny.

The program includes the following lines of research: constitutionalization of private law; judicial activism and the constitutional state; human rights and disadvantaged groups; evidence and constitutionalism; and theory of the norms of legal reasoning.

Program Director: Álvaro Núñez
Tel.: +56 63 222 1942 [Secretary]

The main objective of this program is to educate high-level researchers in the sciences associated with the management and conservation of forest ecosystems and natural resources. Graduates acquire an integrated and innovative vision in the areas of ecology and restoration of native forest and forestry plantations, silviculture, sustainable management, and the sourcing and processing of biomaterials. Likewise, graduates will gain valuable experience in the fields of watershed hydrology and plant ecophysiology. Students in this program will study the effects of human activity and climate change on the quality and quantity of ecosystem services, evaluated at different spatial and temporal scales, through the description, monitoring, and modeling of natural resources and their relation to the wellbeing of society.

Through an eight-semester plan of study that culminates in the completion of a doctoral thesis, which is the central activity of the program, this doctorate is meant to form researchers capable of detecting new issues that prompt innovative solutions, allowing for the generation and maintenance of lines of investigation through the formation and execution of research projects. Our graduates will also be equipped to establish networks of national and international collaboration and to incorporate themselves into the academic communities present in distinct universities and research centers, both public and private, at the national and international levels. The program seeks to educate researchers highly skilled in solving problems associated with development at regional, national, and international scales in the area of forest ecosystems and natural resources, generating novel, high-impact research in the field.

Program Director: Carlos LeQuesne
Tel.: +56 63 222 1491 [Secretary]