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The HRSMC Class of Excellence is a 2,5-year programme (15EC) that covers the three areas of Synthesis, Spectroscopy, and Theory. The student follows this programe within one of the UvA-VU or UL Chemistry tracks.


During their first year, the students will follow basis and more advanced courses within the followed chemistry track (UvA-VU or UL). For these courses, the following needs to be taken into account: 

  • at least 6 EC within the UL Chemistry Master if you are inscribed in the UV/VU joint Chemistry Master and vice versa;
  • within each research area of the HRSMC (1. synthesis, 2. spectroscopy and 3. theory) at least one course needs to be followed.

Research projects/rotations

During their first and second year, students will participate in two mini-research projects of at least 6 ECTS and one long graduation project of at least 40 ECTS. These are the minimum requirements, extension of projects is possible.

The rotations will be performed in different HRSMC research groups. The students are free in their choice as long as 

  • the three internships involve at least one in Amsterdam (UvA or VU) and one at the UL; and
  • the three internships cover at least two of the three research areas of the HRSMC (synthesis, spectroscopy and theory).

At the end of the rotation a report is written in consultation with the supervisor.


All students are expected to attend the annual HRSMC symposium. This is a unique and important activity for the HRSMC since it engages the entire scope of molecular chemistry. It provides also an excellent opportunity for the students to network amongst HRSMC staff members, postdocs and PhD students. Students will also be invited for the staff dinner after the HRSMC symposium.

HRSMC Courses and School

The HRSMC Excellence students can also participate in HRSMC courses (For Molecular Modeling, you have to follow the master course Molecular Computational Chemistry) and attend one HRSMC school. Fees will be covered by the HRSMC. For these activities the students will get a HRSMC certificate. No marks will be given.

Research proposal (3EC)

During the second year, typically during their graduation internship, the students will choose two staff members of different HRSMC research groups for discussions and consultations regarding the research subject for their research proposal. Students have complete freedom in choosing a topic as long as it fits within the research programme of the HRSMC.

Students will write their proposal following a template (guidelines) that will be downloadable from the HRSMC website. The student can defend his/her proposal for a panel of HRSMC staff members (pitch).

ECTS HRSMC Class of Excellence

The HRSMC Class of Excellence students are required to obtain at least 15 EC extra to the regular master programme and the total has to be finished in 2.5 years. These 15EC, including marks, will be mentioned on the extracurricular part of the Master diploma/degree.

The 15 EC (minimum) are composed of:

  • One rotation (6 EC) in a different city, finished with a grade (positive).
  • One cursorial course (6EC) in a different city, finished with a grade (positive).
  • Writing a research proposal (3EC), assessed with a ‘pass’.

The followed HRSMC courses, school and symposia will only be mentioned on the final HRSMC certificate (For application of the certificate, check here.)