Outline of academic disciplines

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Main article: Discipline (academia)

An academic discipline or field of study is a branch of knowledge that is taught and researched as part of higher education. A scholar's discipline is commonly defined and received by the university faculties and learned societies to which he or she belongs and the academic journals in which he or she publishes research. However, no formal criteria exists for defining an academic discipline.

Disciplines vary between well-established ones that exist in almost all universities and have well-defined rosters of journals and conferences and nascent ones supported by only a few universities and publications. A discipline may have branches, and these are often called sub-disciplines.

There is no consensus on how some academic disciplines should be classified (e.g., whether anthropology and linguistics are discipline of social sciences or fields within the humanities). More generally, the proper criteria for organizing knowledge into disciplines are also open to debate.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to academic disciplines.


Main article: The arts

Performing arts

Visual arts




Main articles: History and Outline of history

Languages and literature


Main articles: Philosophy and Outline of philosophy


Main articles: Theology and Outline of theology

Social sciences


Main articles: Economics and Outline of economics


Main articles: Law and Outline of law

Political science



Main articles: Sociology and Outline of sociology

Natural sciences


Main article: List of life sciences


Main articles: Chemistry and Outline of chemistry

Earth and space sciences


See also: Branches of mathematics and Mathematics Subject Classification

Pure mathematics

Applied mathematics


Main articles: Physics and Outline of physics

Applied sciences

Agriculture and agricultural sciences

Computer science

Also a branch of electrical engineering

Engineering and technology

Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Educational Technology

Electrical Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Systems science

Medicine and health sciences

See also

Main article: Branches of science


  • Abbott, Andrew (2001). Chaos of Disciplines. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-00101-2. 
  • Oleson, Alexandra; Voss, John (1979). The Organization of knowledge in modern America, 1860-1920. ISBN 0-8018-2108-8. 
  • US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). National Center for Education Statistics.

External links

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