What is the GRAPPA MSc Program?

What is GRAPPA?

In GRAPPA we investigate questions in particle physics, astroparticle physics and cosmology at the intersection of theory, particle physics and astrophysics.

Are you interested in questions such as:

  • How did the universe come to be?
  • What is dark matter?
  • What are the properties of the Higgs particle?
  • Is there something beyond the Standard Model of particle physics?
  • What is the origin of cosmic rays?
  • What particles is the universe built of?
  • What is gravity?

And many others…

If these questions intrigue you, the answers (or in some cases the lack of answers), will interest you even more! The GRAPPA track is for ambitious students interested in gravitation, astroparticle and particle physics, giving you a broad curriculum. Members of our group are theorists and experimentalists and you will be able to specialize in either theoretical, experimental (astro)particle physics or astrophysics.


We have designed the curriculum to challenge you and to give you the tools to work on your research topic in your second year (3rd and 4th semester). The compulsory courses give you a foundation in cosmology and (astro)particle physics, the electives allow you to develop your skills in theory, experimental (astro)particle physics or astrophysics. Finally, we also have academic skills courses to help you in communicating and presenting your work. The table below summarizes the time (i.e. number of credits) that you will spend on these individual items.

You can freely choose among the following elective courses (shown in green below). Others are also possible, but should be discussed with the GRAPPA MSc coordinator. Keep in mind that not all courses are taught every year, so it could happen that you have to take a course that is only given every other year in your second year. Also have a look at the Study Guide for GRAPPA.

GRAPPA Courses in academic year 2020 and 2021

Student Profile

We want to attract M.Sc. students that are interested in the physics of a relatively new field that has already generated four Nobel Prizes in the past decade (in 2002, 2006, 2011 and 2015). We offer a study experience in a cross-disciplinary international group at the forefront of fundamental research. The GRAPPA track may be something for you!


The admission to GRAPPA consists of two steps. First there is the formal admission through the UvA website:

If you fulfill the initial criteria to be admitted to the program, you will be invited to contact the GRAPPA Program Coordinator. The second step of the admission program is an intake interview with the GRAPPA Program coordinator, this will happen at the beginning of the year, in September.

GRAPPA Program Coordinator: Patrick Decowski