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Doctorate in Sciences with a Specialization in Geology




8 semesters


General Description

The Doctoral program in Sciences with a Specialization in Geology is delivered by the Department of Geological Sciences at the Universidad Católica del Norte. This program aims to train doctors in the field of Earth Sciences, particularly Geology, Geophysics and similar areas.

In the national context, this program aims to contribute to the development of geology in Chile by training professionals who are prepared to take on challenges in disciplines such as Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Hydrogeology, Economic Geology, Geo-Metallurgy and Neotechtonics.


Consolidate the Doctoral program at the national and international level as a high-quality program for the development of skilled human capital in Geology and related disciplines, recognized for its scientific publications and its interaction with academic networks and the professional community.


To train doctors in Geology with a broad foundation of knowledge in at least one of the following lines of research: active continental boundary tectonics, Andean metalogeny, hydrogeology, geomorphological processes in desert regions and/or magmatism of active continental boundaries, and the ability to carry out original, autonomous and high-quality research.

Lines of Research

The Doctoral program works with the following lines of research: Andean metalogeny, geodynamics (tectonics, volcanism, structural geology), hydrogeology and evaluation of mining resources.


The central aim of the doctoral program in Sciences with a Specialization in Geology is to increase the quality and quantity of professional scientists dedicated to carrying out research in the area of geology at the regional and national level.

The program aims to train creative, independent scientists who are capable of forming part of teams for basic and applied research at universities, research centers and public and private institutions.

With this in mind, the specific objectives of this program are:

  • To generate research excellence in line with regional and national development strategies, working efficiently, forging strong links with the business community and responding to the requirements for basic and applied research of a knowledge-based society.
  • To contribute to the development of knowledge in the field of geology, with a focus on cutting-edge research in areas such as active continental boundary tectonics, Andean metalogeny, hydrogeology, geomorphological processes in desert regions and magmatism in active continental boundaries.
  • To take full advantage of the singular geology of northern Chile and reinforce the position of the Universidad Católica del Norte as a prestigious scientific and academic institution capable of attracting foreign institutions with an interest in researching complex issues with a far-reaching impact on the society of knowledge.
  • To reinforce the synergies between the Universidad Católica del Norte and the industrial sector, the mining industry in particular, establishing agreements for cooperation that allow the university to increase its capacity for research and maximize its positive impact on social and economic development at the regional and national level.
  • To be an academic unit that delivers clear functions, the quality of which can be measured by means of internal and external evaluation systems.

Graduate profile

Graduates of the Doctoral Program in Sciences with a Specialization in Geology will have a solid theoretical basis in Geoscience, complemented by consistent methodological knowledge which allows them to conceive, plan and develop innovative, high quality projects for basic and applied research which serve the overall development of the discipline.

Graduates will be capable of working autonomously or as part of a multidisciplinary team, with the oral and written communication skills necessary to disseminate their results and enhance their professional development. As geology is an applied scientific discipline, doctoral candidates in Geology at UCN will develop advanced research skills allowing them to understand, relate and integrate knowledge in order to identify and creatively resolve problems in their area of specialization.

Graduates will make efficient use of available technologies, and will be highly motivated to carry out independent study and keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. Graduates of this program will also possess communication skills allowing them to carry out their professional activities within the mining industry, governmental organizations and national and international institutions for primary research.

Graduates will be strongly committed to the development and sustainable growth of society, respecting cultural diversity, human dignity and the environment. Their professional performance will be governed by a code of professional ethics, with an emphasis on self-care and safety.

Candidate Profile

Applicants to this program should have an undergraduate degree from a university in Chile or abroad, in an Earth Science or Engineering-related field such as Geology, Geophysics, Oceanography or Meteorology, with a minimum average grade of 5.0 (scale of 1-7) or equivalent.

Plan of Studies

The doctoral program has a duration of 8 academic semesters on a full-time, face-to-face basis. The program is made up of obligatory courses, elective courses and a thesis project. Obligatory courses are designed to provide an introduction to recent advances in key thematic areas in geology, such as Geotechtonics, Stratigraphy, Petrogeny and Metalogeny.

Courses in research methodology are also included: these units will prepare the student to formulate research projects in the context of a high-level scientific system and to prepare their own thesis project. Elective courses incorporate advanced knowledge in subjects relating to students’ thesis projects.

Elective Courses:

• Metalogeny
• Hydrothermal Alteration
• Geostatistics
• Economics and Evaluation of Projects
• Environmental Geology
• Remote Sensing
• Environmental Isotopes in Subterranean Hydrology
• Applications of Vectors and Tensors in Structural Geology
• Mechanisms of Plutonic Ascent and Placement
• Active Techtonics
• Fluid Transportation in Magmatic Arcs


The Academic Body

  • Adriana Aránguiz Acuña
  • Cecilia Demergasso Semenzato
  • Christian Herrera Lamelli
  • Felipe Aguilera Barraza
  • Fernando Martinez Ortiz
  • Gabriel Gonzalez Lopez
  • German Aguilar Martorell
  • Mahesh Shrivastava
  • Millarca Valenzuela Picon
  • Pablo Salazar Reinoso
  • Rodrigo Riquelme Salazar
  • Valentina Figueroa Larre
  • Barbara Fuentes Siegmund
  • Eduardo Campos Sepulveda
  • Francisco Remonsellez Fuentes
  • Guillermo Chong Diaz
  • Jose Luque Marin
  • Martha Hengst Lopez
  • Rodrigo Gonzalez Tapia
  • Shoji Kojima
  • Agustín Medina Sierra
  • Carlos Pedrós-Alió
  • Chiara Del Ventisette
  • Christopher Harris
  • Diego Fontaneto
  • Emilio Custodio
  • Estephano Corti
  • Franko Tassi
  • Joav Avni
  • Joseph Martinod
  • Karoly Nemeth
  • Marco Bonini
  • Mauricio Parra
  • Petrus Le Roux
  • Richard Allmendinger
  • Roland Bol
  • Sebastien Carretier
  • Stephanie Brichau
  • Teresa Jordan
  • Tibor Dunai


Prerequisites for application to this program are:

  • Undergraduate degree from a university in Chile or abroad, in Earth Science and Engineering-related fields such as Geology, Geophysics, Oceanography, Meteorology or Mining Engineering.
  • Grade average of 5.0 or equivalent (scale of 1 to 7) in undergraduate courses. Foreign students should have an equivalent grade average.


General Fee $278.000.- (CLP)
1st yeear Enrollment Fee $3.000.000(CLP)
Total Program Fee $12.000.000 (CLP)
Observations Program fee does not include general fees or cost of academic diploma.

*2019 Admission Fees


Campus: Antofagasta

Classes from Monday to Friday on a full-time basis.


Director: Dr. Rodrigo Riquelme
Teléfono: (56-55) 2355971
Email: rriquelme@ucn.cl

Secretary: Xeomara Soto
Telephone: (56-55) 2355971
Email: xsoto@ucn.cl





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