PhD in Solar Energy


The PhD in Solar Energy is an interdisciplinary academic program, dedicated to the creation of knowledge in the fields of solar energy production, transport, distribution and storage, by developing its graduates' skills so that they are able to face technological advances in the aforementioned areas.

Duration: The curriculum has a duration of 4 years.

The PhD in Solar Energy program’s main goal is to train graduates with specialized knowledge in solar energy production, transport, distribution, and storage who are able to independently carry out original, innovative, and relevant research within this field.

Doctors in Solar Energy will be trained to:

  • Produce scientific and technological knowledge and apply it in original and innovative ways.
  • Identify, acknowledge, and solve problems within the solar energy field, where solutions require the production of new knowledge through applied scientific research.
  • Innovate and/or adapt solutions in the Solar Energy technological field.
  • Properly address technological problems in their field with analytical capacity and critical judgment.
  • Independently formulate and direct research projects.
  • Lead and organize work groups dedicated to the development of applied research projects.

Photovoltaic Solar Energy and Energy Systems:
This research area comprises several research topics; the first of which is related to Photovoltaic Solar Energy (PV), where applied research and technological development of the technical and economic characteristics of various types of PV technology in the market is carried out on site. A second topic is related to the characterization of solar resources and is dedicated to the study of solar resources’ characteristics, considering terrestrial measurement of solar radiation, its radiometric characteristics and characteristic solar spectrum. Finally, a third research topic consists of the integration of renewable technologies in electrical systems, analyzing the impact of the large-scale integration of solar technologies and energy storage on electrical systems.

Solar Thermal Energy and Energy Storage:
This area studies solar thermal systems by evaluating their behavior under local geographical and meteorological conditions. The insertion of solar thermal energy in heat-dependent industrial processes is also evaluated, as it could reduce fossil fuel consumption. Thermal Storage is essential for the continuous operation of solar thermal plants, which studies materials with the capacity to store heat for a prolonged time, molten salts mixtures, and phase-change materials. At the same time, Energy Storage studies high-efficiency energy storage systems that use lithium batteries. It studies the electrochemical factors playing a part in their storage, and the development and study of new materials to raise lithium batteries’ charge density.

The PhD in Solar Energy program is taught on a semester basis, with a duration of eight semesters. The program consists of a total of 234 SCTs (Transferable Credits System), distributed in 180 Thesis credits, 24 Fundamental Courses credits (which constitute the foundation of the study plan), and 30 Complementary Courses credits (which offer the student alternatives to differentiate, specialize, or deepen their knowledge). A credit is the quantitative expression of the graduate’s actual workload. One (1) credit will be awarded for every 27 hours of actual work done by the student.

Students accepted into the Program must pay the following annual fees for 2020.

2021 Fees

Registration Fee: $200.000 CLP
Program Fee: $3.200.000 CLP

External Scholarships
Internal Scholarships
  • Program Fee Release scholarships exempt their beneficiary from the obligation to pay their respective program’s tuition fees, either fully or partially. However, they must still pay the registration fee in full.
  • Academic Excellence scholarships are awarded to postgraduate students in accredited programs or programs in accreditation or reaccreditation processes (with a report sent to the accrediting entity), considering the beneficiary’s academic merits, and they consist in a reduction of the program’s total tuition fees along with a monthly allowance. However, they must still pay the registration fee.
  • Financial Aid to attend congresses, which consists in support for accredited postgraduate students (or those in the accreditation process), will be granted after an application process that is available twice a year (first semester of each year for congresses taking place within that year’s second semester, and second semester for those taking place in the following year’s first semester). This support will consist of a financial aid equivalent to a verifiable maximum of 15 UF for national congresses and 25 UF maximum for international congresses. For this purpose, that year’s January 2nd UF value will be used.
  • Productivity Allocation scholarships are intended to incentivize students taking postgraduate programs to publish their research in scientific journals. If the publication is in a journal indexed in Web of Science’s (WoS) Journal Citation Report (JCR), this will consist of 15 UF. If the publication is in the SCOPUS or Scielo systems, this will consist of 6 UF. For this purpose, that year’s January 2nd UF value will be used, and it will only be awarded once per publication.
  • Other scholarships, without excluding the aforementioned benefits, Research Centers or other units within the University may use their own resources to provide the University’s graduate students with other benefits.

Application documents will be presented to the Director, in the corresponding forms and within the established deadlines. Professionals with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a field related to the program may also apply, provided their documentation is evaluated by the Board.

Applicants must submit the following information:

  • Application form,
  • Degree certificate,
  • Grade report,
  • Two letters of recommendation,
  • Curriculum vitae.

For students coming from the University of Antofagasta’s Faculty of Engineering, verifying that they have already met the requirements to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree is enough, and it will only be necessary to submit the application form, two letters of recommendation, their grades report, and their curriculum vitae.

Application calendar:
Application period for the 2021 academic year, first call: June 1, 2021, to June 25, 2021.

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