Higher Education Institutions and Qualifications in Chile

Higher Education Institutions

There are three types of higher education institutions in Chile: 
  • Universities
  • Professional Institutes
  • Technical training centers
Universities (Universidad)
There are public as well as private universities in Chile. The universities in Chile offer bachelor, master and doctorate degree programmes. 

Professional Institutes (Institutos Profesionales)
Professional institutes provide programmes that lead to a professional title or Titulos Profesionales. This type of higher education institution was formed in 1981. The professional institutes are all private and provide specialised education. 
  • Duration: 2 to 3 years 
Technical Training Centers (Centros de Formacion Tecnica)
The technical training centres offer programmes in the field of technology and business administration, and lead to the title of higher technician (Tecnico de nivel superior)
  • Duration: 2 to 3 years

Higher Education Qualifications


Technician (Tecnico)

The technical training centres offer this degree programmes. This degree is awarded in the field of vocational and technical education. 
  • Duration: 2 to 3 years
  • Title awarded: Higher Technician (Tecnico de Nivel Superior or Tecnico Superior, 
  • Admission requisite: Students must hold a Licencia de Educacion Media

Professional title (Titulos Profesionales)

This degree is awarded by universities and professional institutes in Chile. The professional title is offered in a wide range of undergraduate areas. 
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Admission requisite: Entry to this degree programme is based on the Licencia de Educacion Media and entrance exam. 
Universities give professional titles in the following fields of study:
  • Medicine:  Medico Cirujano (Licenciado en Medicina)
  • Agronomy:  Ingeniero Agronomo (Licenciado en Agronomia)
  • Law:  Abogado (Licenciado en Ciencias Juridicas)
  • Pharmacy: Quimico Farmaceutico (Licenciado en Farmacia)
  • Engineering:  Ingeniero Civil (Licenciado en Ciencias de la Ingenieria)
  • Social work: Trabajador Social o Asistente Social (Licenciado en Trabajo Social o Servicio Social)
  • Biochemistry:  Bioquimico (Licenciado en Bioquimica)
  •  Psychology: Psicologo (Licenciado en Psicologia)
  • Architecture:  Arquitecto (Licenciado en Arquitectura)
  • Economic Sciences:  Ingeniero Comercial (Licenciado en Ciencias Economicas o Licenciado en Ciencias en la Administracion de Empresas)
  • Dentistry:  Cirujano Dentista (Licenciado en Odontologia)
  • Forestry:  Ingeniero Forestal (Licenciado en Ingenieria Forestal)
  • Journalism: Periodista (Licenciado en Comunicacion Social)
  • Veterinary Science: Medico Veterinario (Licenciado en Medicina Veterinaria)
  • education Profesor de Educacion Basica (Licenciado en Educacion), Profesor de Educacion Media en las asignaturas cientifico-humanisticas (Licenciado en Educacion),Profesor de Educacion Diferencial (Licenciado en Educacion), Educador de Parvulos (Licenciado en Educacion)

Bachelor Degree (Bacherillato/Bachiller)

The bachelor's degree is awarded in a wide range of fields of study. The duration of this qualification varies depending on the field of study. This qualification provides a basic knowledge of a specific field.
  • Duration: 4 years (6 years for medicine studies)
  • Admission requisite: Entry into the bachelor’s degree programme requires a Licencia de Educacion Media and passing of an entrance exam- University Selection Test (PSU).


This qualification requires a completion of thesis or final examination and internship. The Licenciado programmes comprises of compulsory as well as elective subjects. 
  • Duration: 4 to 5 years 
  • Title awarded:  Licenciado, which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree
  • Admission requisite: Entry into the Licenciado requires Licencia de Educacion Media and passing of an entrance examination- Prueba de Seleccion Universitaria (PSU).

Graduate Studies

Master’s degree (Magister)

The admittance into the master’s degree programmes is based on bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional degree, and is provided by universities only. This degree provides an in-depth education in one or more fields of study. 
  • Duration: 1 to 2 years
There are 2 types of master’s degree:
  • Academic master’s (Maestria Academica): The academic master’s is offered in one or more areas.
  • Professional master’s (Maestria Profesional): The professional master’s emphasize on a specific area of work or profession. 
This degree programme can be completed by completion of a graduation assignment or through a dissertation. 
Students who complete this degree programme are eligible to apply for doctorate programme. 

Doctoral Degree (Doctorado)

The doctoral; degree is the highest academic degree awarded in Chile. This degree requires carrying out an original research. Students must prepare and defend their thesis in order to complete their doctoral programme, and also finish their related coursework. Upon successful completion of the programme, a title of Doctor is awarded. 
  • Duration: 3 to 5 years
  • Admission requisite: Entry into the doctoral studies is based on master’s degree. 
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