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Doctorate in Psychology




8 semesters


The Doctorate in Psychology at UCN is part of a regional effort to deepen research into issues affecting the wellbeing and quality of life of the population of the central and southern Andes region, including northern Chile, northern Argentina, southern Peru and Bolivia.

The Doctoral program aims to build research and teaching skills through a full-time scientific program requiring exclusive dedication. The program is administrated by the School of Psychology, which has 18 years’ experience and has positioned itself in the north of the country as a leading institution for Psychology teaching and scientific research.

Lines of research

1. Sexuality and Gender

This line of research focuses on the psychological, psycho-social and social processes associated with the construction of gender and sexual relations and the power relations and other mechanisms that maintain differential positions between men and women within the sex/gender system.

Processes of stigmatization and violence in minority groups and the effects of such processes on physical and mental health are also addressed. The overall aim of this line of research is to understand how gender and sexual relations as well as processes of stigmatization generate particular modes of integration but also forms of violence.

2. Mental health and relational contexts

This line of research involves the study of factors linked to mental health in children, adolescents and adults. Research on attachment throughout the life-cycle is also included, with a specific emphasis on adult attachment and its relationship with the variables of mental health, wellbeing and quality of life, as well as intimate relationships (satisfaction, violence, adjustment to divorce, forgiveness). This area also covers the adaptation and validation of instruments for research in the field of Clinical Psychology.

3. Health, Wellbeing and Quality of Life

This line of research involves the adaptation and validation of self-reporting instruments used for research in the area of perceived health and other indicators associated with human wellbeing, as well as studies of factors linked to health, wellbeing and quality of life in specific populations (age groups, minority groups, migrant populations etc.). Additionally, psychological factors linked to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of physical illnesses are studied, with a special emphasis on chronic pathologies.


General Objective

The Doctoral Program in Psychology at UCN aims to train expert researchers and academics who are able to work autonomously, generating and disseminating high-quality scientific knowledge in the context of the central and southern Andean region.

Specific Objectives

1. To provide a solid academic foundation, allowing graduates to update and refine their knowledge of the discipline, with a special emphasis on the areas of gender and sexuality, health and wellbeing.

2. To develop skills for original research, allowing participants to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in Psychology and to address relevant issues in the central and southern Andean region.

3. To develop skills that allow graduates of the program to carry out high-quality teaching work at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Candidate Profile:

Candidates will hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related discipline in the field of Social Science or Health Sciences, from a university in Chile or abroad.

Plan of Studies

This is a full-time, daytime program that requires exclusive dedication from students. The program has a duration of eight semesters, during which time the student should complete 223 SCT credits, on the following basis:

Six obligatory methodology courses (8 SCT credits each), two core courses (8 SCT credits each), three advanced thematic electives, one of which should focus on university teaching (5 SCT credits each), one elective methodology course (8 SCT credits), two refresher seminars (1 SCT credit each), four Thesis Workshops (2 workshops of 4 SCT credits each and two of 6 SCT credits each), two teaching assistantships (6 credits each), two research assistantships (3 SCT credits each) and the development of their thesis (equivalent to a total of 96 SCT credits). (See curriculum and SCT credit distribution for Doctorate).

Students of the doctoral program should undertake a period of study at a national or international university, taking credits equivalent to one thematic elective course, or 5 SCT credits. The final grade for all courses and the thesis should be no lower than 4.0.

Malla Doctorado en Psicología


  • Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related field (Social or Health Sciences), from a university in Chile or abroad.
  • Proven English level equivalent to ALTE3 or higher. Candidates who cannot provide certification of their English language level will be asked to take an entrance exam administrated by the School of English at UCN.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with research experience and prior knowledge of scientific research methods, and to candidates with a proven record of academic excellence in their previous studies, with an overall average grade of 5.5 or higher (on a scale of 1-7) or a rank within the top ten of their graduating class.

Candidates should send an application form by email or traditional mail, attaching the following documents:

1. Letter addressed to the Academic Committee, outlining:
a. The candidate’s motivation and interest in the program.
b. A specific area of study or area of interest, including a brief outline of a possible thesis topic.
c. A summary of the candidate’s academic and professional goals d. An explicit statement of complete dedication to the program

2. CV, using the CONICYT format.
3. Notarized photocopy of undergraduate degree (originals should be shown upon acceptance into the program).
4. Transcript of grades and ranking for undergraduate degree.
5. Two letters of recommendation from professionals and/or academics outside the program, supporting the candidate’s application (confidential letters).
6. Certificate of English level. The committee reserves the right to approve or reject applications based on the information provided by the candidate.


General Fee $264.000.- (CLP)
1st year Enrollment Fee $3.000.000.- (CLP)
Total Program Fees $12.000.000.- (CLP)
Observations Program fee does not include general fees or cost of academic diploma.


*2016 Admission Fees

Campus and Schedule

This is a full-time, daytime program with classes from Monday to Friday.


Director: Alfonso Urzúa Morales
Email: alurzua@ucn.cl


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