Branches of Chemistry

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Branches of Chemistry

Were you one of those kids who used to wander in the chemistry lab of the school looking at the beakers filled with different chemicals? Were you curious about various chemical explosions and dreamt of making this your career? Every year thousands of students enrol in various Chemistry courses at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. There are several international universities offering quality degree programs in Chemistry. But before moving forward with the course of your choice, it is important to know every detail associated with it. Here’s an insightful blog to walk you through the main branches of Chemistry which constitute all the chemical and reactive compounds in the subject.

What is Chemistry?

The study of matter and the chemicals that make it up is the focus of the scientific subdiscipline of chemistry. The characteristics of these chemicals and the processes they go through to produce new compounds are also covered. Atoms, ions, and molecules, which in turn make up elements and compounds, are the main subjects of chemistry. Through chemical bonding, these chemical species frequently communicate with one another. It is essential to remember that the study of chemistry also examines how matter and energy interact.

Relationship Between Chemistry and Other Branches of Science

Science is the methodical study of the natural world, including its composition and all of its constituent parts. The vastness of the natural world has led to the division of science into several fields that focus on different facets of the cosmos. These three main branches of science can be divided into these disciplines:

  • The Formal Sciences: involves studying the linguistic fields related to formal systems. This group of scientific fields includes logic and mathematics, as examples. regarded as the “language of science.”
  • The Natural Sciences: involves doing experiments and making observations to learn about natural events. These sciences include biology, physics, and chemistry.
  • The Social Sciences: involves researching human cultures and the interactions between the people who live in them. This group of scientific fields includes sociology, psychology, and economics as examples.

Understanding Chemistry

Branches of Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of chemical reactions taking place between the different elements and compounds. This is one of the major branches of Science stream after Physics and Biology. Everything around us that takes up space and mass is known as ‘matter’ which is primarily made of the tiny particles known as ‘atoms’. A study of chemistry provides scientists with insights into other aspects of Physical Science and to develop powerful analytical tools for scientific applications. Due to a wide scope of the study, the subject has been organized into the following distinct branches of Chemistry that emphasize on the subsets of chemical concepts.

Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry is one of the most important branches of chemistry that studies chemical compounds containing carbon elements combined with ‘carbon-hydrogen’ bonds (hydrocarbons). It is often known as the ‘Chemistry of Life’ that deals with the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds. A study of Organic Chemistry helps students to identify and classify the various naturally occurring compounds and to create one with desired properties and functions. Graduates can work in several industries such as pharmaceuticals, fuel, rubber, cosmetics, plastic, detergents, agrochemicals and coating industries. 

Branches of Chemistry
Credits: Science Notes

Inorganic Chemistry

Inorganic Chemistry studies the structure, properties and reactions of noncarbon chemical compounds or those that do not contain carbon-hydrogen bonds. In other words, it is one of the branches of Chemistry which deals with chemicals that are ‘non-organic’ in nature. The subject includes the synthesis and behaviour of inorganic or organometallic chemical compounds found in the earth’s crust and non-living matter.

Physical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry covers the ‘physical properties’ of chemical compounds using law and various concepts of Physics, such as motion, energy, force, time, statistical mechanics, quantum chemistry and thermodynamics. This is one of the most exciting branches of Chemistry which allows students to understand the physical characteristics of chemical compounds like temperature, volume, pressure, conductivity, plasticity, strength, surface tension in liquids, solubility, viscosity, boiling point, melting point and colour. The subject is studied using various mathematical models and formulas.

Branches of Chemistry
Credits: Science Notes

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry is one of the quantitative branches of Chemistry that deals with the ‘identification, separation and quantification’ of chemical substances. The knowledge of Analytical Chemistry enables chemists and scientists to determine the amount of chemical substances in a given material. The subject has been further classified into the following two categories:

  • Qualitative Analysis: It involves processes that are carried out to identify a chemical substance in a given sample.
  • Quantitative Analysis. It involves finding out the concentration or amount of the substance in the given sample. 


Known to be one of the most important branches of Chemistry, Biochemistry studies the biological structure, composition and chemical reactions at the cellular and molecular level. This covers a range of living organisms such as planta, insects, viruses, microorganisms, etc. Biochemistry is an amalgamation of Biology with Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. Various topics covered in this subject include issues related to diseases, the chemical basis of heredity and how living organisms derive energy from food.

Environmental Chemistry 

It is a study of biochemical processes that occur in the natural environment. Environmental chemistry is a mixture of various subjects such as biology, maths, toxicology to find out the ways for sustainable development. Environment chemistry is an essential branch of chemistry because it deals with environmental functions.

Credits : Free Animated Education

Industrial Chemistry

Industrial Chemistry is important to manufacture new products. Raw products are dissolved, heated, filtering and various other techniques to form a new product. Examples of industrial chemistry are petrochemicals – ethylene, propylene, benzene, styrene, Ceramic products – silica brick, frit, etc.

Also Read: Top 5 Countries to Study Chemistry

Polymer Chemistry

It focuses on polymers and macromolecules. Polymer structures are present in organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry as well. It can also be included in nanotechnology. It can further be classified into thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, and synthetic fibers.

Also Read: Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry Class 11

Nuclear Chemistry

As the name implies, it is the study of nuclear reactions. It is vividly used in various treatments and cures. It revolves around radioactivity, nuclear processes, and transformations. 

Credits: Medophysics Repiostry


Geochemistry is an in-depth study of Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Geochemistry is important to understand the mineral, weathering agents, and other environmental aspects. Earth is composed to various chemicals and geochemistry is the study of all those chemical processes

More Branches of Chemistry

  • Agrochemistry 
  • Astrochemistry
  • Coordination Chemistry
  • Forensic Chemistry 
  • Geochemistry 
  • Medicinal Chemistry 
  • Organometallic Chemistry 
  • Petrochemistry 
  • Phytochemistry 
  • Polymer Chemistry 
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Radiochemistry
  • Solid-State Chemistry 
  • Spectroscopy 
  • Stereochemistry 
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Thermochemistry 
  • Quantum Chemistry

Also Read : Chemistry Project for Class 12: Topics & Sample Projects

Branches of Chemistry PPT

Credits: SlideShare

Career Prospects in Chemistry

Owing to the diverse branches of Chemistry and its emerging interdisciplinary specializations, there are numerous career opportunities available for those interested in making a career in this field. Take a look at the some of the popular and top chemistry jobs you must know about:

Branches of Chemistry with Examples 

Now that you are aware of the all 10 branches of chemistry. Let us understand the concept better with the help of examples:

Branches of Chemistry Real Life Examples
Organic ChemistryWashing detergents, Plastics, Hair dyes
Inorganic ChemistryFloor cleaner, Soap
Physical ChemistryWater boiling, Water freezing
Analytical ChemistryWater and Soil Testing
Biomedical ChemistryKidney function test, Blood test
Environmental ChemistryChemicals from consumers
Industrial ChemistrySulphuric acid from factories
Polymer ChemistrySynthetic fibers clothes
Nuclear ChemistryManufacturing weapons
GeochemitryIndustrial effluent and sewage sludge

Also Read : Courses after BSc Chemistry

Branches of Chemistry With Real Life Examples

 Chemistry involves the study of how different substances change colours, shape, size and their forms when reacted with another material or a set of substances. Furthermore, the application of various branches of chemistry across different fields has led to many discoveries and high-end innovations which has helped mankind in one or the other way. Understanding Chemistry in everyday life is important because, The food we eat, the cosmetics we use or the medicines we take, all of these undergo chemical reactions. It can help you make decisions related to a wide range of things like watering plants based on seasons, setting the temperature to bake a cake, choosing the right medicine for acidity, applying a particular SPF sunscreen, etc. To know more, read our blog on – Examples of Chemistry in Everyday Life

Top 5 Branches of Chemistry for Masters

We are surrounded by chemistry from studying in school to masters chemistry has wider scope. Many students choose to build a career in chemistry major and even choose to puruse masters. Masters is great way to push your limits and gain in-depth knowledge on the subjects. Let us explore the branches of chemistry for Masters:

Branches of Chemistry Class 11 PDF

Branches of Chemistry Class 9 PDF

Major Universities for Chemistry Courses

Now that you are familiar with the major branches of chemistry, here are the top-ranked universities in the world offering a plethora of specialised and varied programs in Chemistry:

UniversityQS World University Rankings 2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)1
Harvard University5
University of Cambridge2
Stanford University3
University of California, Berkeley27
University of Oxford4
ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology9
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)6
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)19
National University of Singapore (NUS)11
The University of Tokyo23

Major Colleges in India for Chemistry

If you are planning to study in India. Here is the list of best universities and colleges offering a major in chemistry:

  • Indian Institute of Science
  • Banaras Hindu University
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
  • Jadavpur University
  • IISER Pune
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Roorkee
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  • University of Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Chemistry is often called the ‘Central Science’ as it provides a framework for understanding both fundamental and applied scientific disciplines of Science. We hope that this blog helped you to become familiar with some of the main branches of Chemistry. You can also reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and get the best guidance in choosing the right university to kick-start your career in the field of Chemistry.

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