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Branches of Science

The Subject of Science covers a whole lot of territory and I will break this down for you and explain a lot of it. For now we can start out by dividing the whole world of science into three major sections.

These are the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and Applied Sciences. The Natural Sciences and Social sciences are called Empirical because they are based on observation of phenomenon.

People studying these sciences make observations, attempt to understand, make hypotheses and conduct experiments where they can make more observations.


The Applied sciences are a bit different in that they focus on using known theories and phenomenon and "applying" them to real world applications.

Electrical Engineering is a good example of an applied science. You take the phenomenon of running electricity through a piece of tungsten causing it to glow. The engineer would apply this knowledge and come up with useful ways to create light!

If you are thinking about doing a science project but don't know what to do this is a great first step. From this list you can pick the one or two areas that seem the most interesting to you.

NoteNew Concept: " Empirical" -
It means that something is based on observation and experience. You observe and get measurable results. With the empirical method you make observations and collect data.


The Natural Sciences - In the Natural Sciences we study Natural Phenomenon and Biological Life.

Earth and Space Sciences

  • Astronomy - The study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere. The stars, planets, moons, asteroids, galaxies and more.
  • Astrophysics - A branch of astronomy dealing with the motions, physical properties and behaviors of celestial objects.
  • Geography - The science that deals with the earth's surface, its distribution, shapes, characteristics and complex interactive structures including the phyical and biological structures.
  • Geology - The study of the history of the earth and it's life as recorded and expressed in rocks.
  • Geophysics - A branch of earth science that deals with the phyical processes of the earth.
  • Mineralogy - the science dealing with minerals, their characteristics, properties and classifications.
  • Oceanography - The science of studying all aspects of oceans including properties, biological life, patterns, resources and more.
  • Paleontology - The science of studying past geological periods as they are expressed and displayed through rocks, minerals and especially fossils.
  • Seismology - Science that deals with earthquakes and artificially generated vibrations of the earth.


  • Anatomy - A branch of science that deals with the structure of organisms.
  • Cytology - A branch of biology that studies and deals with cells, their anatomy, functions, morphology and history.
  • Entomology - The Study of Insects
  • Herpetology - The study of reptiles and amphibians
  • Histology - The study of tissue structure and organization on a microscopic leve.
  • Ichthyology - The study of fishes
  • Ornithology - The study of birds


  • Bacteriology - The study of Bacteria
  • Protozoology - The study of protozoans (stuff like amoebae and paramecia)
  • Virology - The study of viruses



  • Inorganic chemistry - Branch of chemistry that deals with inorganic compounds (lifeless) typically these are compounds that do not contain carbon.
  • Organic Chemistry - Branch of chemistry dealing with organic (living) compounds.
  • BioChemistry - the study of the chemical compounds, reactions, etc, occurring in living organisms
  • Physical Chemistry - the branch of chemistry dealing with the relations between the physical properties of substances and their chemical composition and transformations.
  • Neuro Chemistry - the study of neurochemicals , which include neurotransmitters and other molecules such as neuro-active drugs that influence neuron function.
  • Metallurgy - studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements , their intermetallic compounds , and their mixtures, which are called alloys . It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use.


The Social Sciences - In the Social Sciences we study human behavior and human societies.

  • Animal Behavior - A branch of biology that deals with animal behavior
  • Anthropology - the science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind.
  • Archeology - the scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other such remains, especially those that have been excavated.
  • Crimonology - The study of crime and criminals
  • Economics - the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind.
  • Education -
  • Ethnology - a branch of anthropology that analyzes cultures, especially in regard to their historical development and the similarities and dissimilarities between them.
  • Government -
  • Linguistics - the science of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and historical linguistics .
  • Political Science - The study of government and politics.
  • Psychology - the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
  • Sociology - the science or study of the origin, development, organization, and functioning of human society; the science of the fundamental laws of social relations, institutions, etc.

Applied Sciences - In the Applied sciences we learn how to apply natural phenomenon to real world applications

  • Engineering - the art or science of making practical application of the knowledge of pure sciences, as physics or chemistry, as in the construction of engines , bridges, buildings, mines, ships, and chemical plants.
  • Aeronautical - the branch of engineering that deals with the design, development, testing, and production of aircraft and related systems
  • Bioengineering - the branch of engineering that deals with applications of biological processes to the manufacture of products, as the use of fermentation to produce beer.
  • Chemical - the branch of engineering concerned with the design, operation, maintenance, and manufacture of the plant and machinery used in industrial chemical processes
  • Civil - The branch of engineering that specializes in the design and construction of structures such as bridges, roads, and dams.
  • Electrical - the branch of engineering that deals with the practical application of the theory of electricity to the construction of machinery, power supplies, etc.
  • Electronic - a branch of engineering that deals with the design, fabrication, and operation of circuits, electronic devices, and systems.
  • Mechanical - the branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction, and operation of machines and machinery
  • Petroleum - an engineering discipline concerned with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons , which can be either crude oil or natural gas .

Computer Science

  • Artificial Intelligence - the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success
  • Algorithms and Data structure -
  • Computer Architecture -
  • Computer Computations
  • Computer Data Bases
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Hardware
  • Programming Languages and compilers
  • Scientific Computing
  • Simulations
  • Systems Analysis
  • Software Engineering
  • Networks

Formal Sciences - Branches of science that deal with formal systems

They differ from other sciences in that they are not concerned with gathering empirical data and making hypotheses but rather they are concerned with the systems themselves.


  • Decision Theory
  • Information Theory
  • Logic
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Systems Theory
  • Theoretical Computer Science


Some lesser known sciences just for fun:

  • Aerology - The science and study of the atmosphere
  • Algology - The study of algae
  • Barology - The study of gravity
  • Catacoustics - The science of echoes and reflected sounds
  • Cynology - The scientific study of dogs
  • epidemiology - the study of diseases
  • Horology - The study of time measurement
  • Hypsography - the study of measuring heights
  • Metrology - The science of weights and measures
  • Osmics - The Scientific Study of smells
  • Somatology - the science of the properties of matter
  • Zymology - the science of fermentation


A+ Science Fair Projects Book

Janice VanCleave's A+ Science Fair Projects

A fabulous collection of science projects, explorations, techniques, and ideas!

Looking to wow the judges at the science fair this year? Everyone's favorite science teacher is here to help. Janice VanCleave's A+ Science Fair Projects has everything you need to put together a winning entry, with detailed advice on properly planning your project, from choosing a topic and collecting your facts to designing experiments and presenting your findings.


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