Chemistry Studies and Branches (Fields of Chemistry)


Chemistry Studies and Branches (Fields of Chemistry)

Chemistry is an experimental science which combines the study of theory to the acquisition of practical and research skills.

It is in fact the science which studies matter, its properties and its transformations.

The physical environment in which we live as well as all biological systems are based on chemical principles. It is often a required subject for many other higher education courses (for example, medicine, biology and environmental science).

Fields of Chemistry Studies and Explanations

Below are the various branches of chemistry (or divisions of chemistry) and their related definitions and sources.

Analytical ChemistryIt characterizes matter and develops tool to measure it. Analytical techniques include both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their chemical composition and structure. This incorporates standardized experimental methods in chemistry. These methods may be used in all subdisciplines of chemistry, excluding purely theoretical chemistry. Analytical chemists use their skills and expertise to analyse substances, identify what components are present and in what quantities, as well how these components may behave and react with one another. This can include the analysis of drugs, food and other products to determine effectiveness, quality and to ensure they are safe for human consumption or use.
AgrochemistryStudy and application of both chemistry and biochemistry for agricultural production, the processing of raw products into foods and beverages, and environmental monitoring and remediation. Examines chemical processes important to agriculture.
AstrochemistryStudy of chemical reactions in space and study of the abundance and reactions of chemical elements and molecules in the universe, and their interaction with radiation..
AstrochemistryStudy of the abundance and reactions of chemical elements and molecules in the universe, and their interaction with radiation.
Atmospheric ChemistryBranch of atmospheric science which studies the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere and that of other planets.
BiochemistryStudy of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms. The field focuses on nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins. Biochemistry and organic chemistry are closely related, as in medicinal chemistry or neurochemistry. It is also associated with molecular biology and genetics.
Bioinorganic ChemistryIt combines organic chemistry and biochemistry toward biology. Is a field that examines the role of metals in biology. It includes the study of both natural phenomena such as the behavior of metalloproteins as well as artificially introduced metals, including those that are non-essential, in medicine and toxicology. Many biological processes such as respiration depend upon molecules that fall within the realm of inorganic chemistry. The discipline also includes the study of inorganic models or mimics that imitate the behaviour of metalloproteins.
Biophysical ChemistryIs a physical science that uses the concepts of physics and physical chemistry for the study of biological systems.
CalorimetryThe study of heat changes in physical and chemical processes.
Chemical BiologyScientific discipline spanning the fields of chemistry and biology and involves the application of chemical techniques and tools, often compounds produced through synthetic chemistry, to analyze and manipulation of biological systems.
Chemical EngineeringA branch of engineering that applies the physical sciences (e.g., chemistry and physics) and/or life sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology and biochemistry) together with mathematics and economics to processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. Chemical engineers are involved the the design and development of new products from raw materials. They use their knowledge of chemical properties and reactions to transform materials from one state to another, for example making plastic from oil. Chemical engineers may work in almost any industry, assisting in the production of innovative, high-end products such as ultra-strong fabrics or biocompatible implants.
Chemical kineticsStudy of rates of chemical processes.
Chemical OceanographyStudy of the behavior of the chemical elements within the Earth’s oceans
Chemical physics Investigates physicochemical phenomena using techniques from atomic and molecular physics and condensed matter physics; it is the branch of physics that studies chemical processes.
Chemo-informaticsUse of computer and informational techniques applied to a range of problems in the field of chemistry.
Click chemistryIn chemical synthesis, it is a class of biocompatible small molecule reactions commonly used in bioconjugation, allowing the joining of substrates of choice with specific biomolecules.
Cluster chemistryAn atom cluster (or simply cluster) is an ensemble of bound atoms or molecules that is intermediate in size between a simple molecule and a nanoparticle; that is, up to a few nanometers (nm) in diameter. The term microcluster may be used for ensembles with up to couple dozen atoms.
Computational chemistryIt uses computer simulation to assist in solving chemical problems. It uses methods of theoretical chemistry, incorporated into efficient computer programs, to calculate the structures and properties of molecules and solids.
Coordination ChemistryStudy of coordination complexes, which consist of a central atom (usually a metal) surrounded by ligands.
CosmochemistryStudy of the chemical composition of matter in the universe and the processes that led to those compositions.
ElectrochemistryIt studies chemical reactions which take place in a solution at the interface of an electron conductor (the electrode: a metal or a semiconductor) and an ionic conductor (the electrolyte), and which involve electron transfer between the electrode and the electrolyte or species in solution.
Environmental chemistryStudy of chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur diverse aspects of the environment such the air, soil, and water. It also studies the effects of human activity on the environment.
FemtochemistryArea of physical chemistry that studies chemical reactions on extremely short timescales, approximately 10−15 seconds (one femtosecond).
Flow ChemistryStudy of chemical reactions in continuous flow, not as stationary batches, in industry and macroprocessing equipment.
Forensic ChemistryIt applies chemical principles to investigate crime, They also develop the communication skills needed to convey laboratory results through reports and in the courtroom. It includes study of toxicology, forensic osteology, and strategic crime analysis.
GeochemistryStudy of minerals, rocks, and the atmosphere of the Earth or other planetary body and the mechanisms behind major systems studied in geology.
Green ChemistryIs a philosophy of chemical research and engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances.
Hazardous Waste ChemistHazardous waste chemists deal with the management and safe relocation of hazardous materials (hence the common abbreviation ‘hazmat’). They use their expertise to identify harmful chemical components in the air, water or soil, evaluate the danger they present and coordinate their removal and containment.
Immunochemistry It involves the study of the reactions and components on the immune system.
ImmunohistochemistryInvolves the process of detecting antigens (e.g., proteins) in cells of a tissue section by exploiting the principle of antibodies binding specifically to antigens in biological tissues.
Inorganic ChemistryStudies inorganic compounds, including metals, ceramics, and minerals. Some carbon compounds are included, but they don’t contain C-H bonds. Study of the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. The distinction between organic and inorganic disciplines is not absolute and there is much overlap, most importantly in the sub-discipline of organometallic chemistry.
Materials ChemistryPreparation, characterization, and understanding of substances with a useful function. The field is a new breadth of study in graduate programs, and it integrates elements from all classical areas of chemistry with a focus on fundamental issues that are unique to materials. Primary systems of study include the chemistry of condensed phases (solids, liquids, polymers) and interfaces between different phases.
Materials science Is an interdisciplinary field investigating the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties.
Mathematical chemistry Area of study engaged in novel applications of mathematics to chemistry. It concerns itself principally with the mathematical modeling of chemical phenomena.
MechanochemistryCoupling of mechanical and chemical phenomena on a molecular scale and can be seen as a coupling of chemistry and mechanical engineering.
Medicinal ChemistryDiscipline which applies for medical or drug related purposes. It designs, synthesizes, and studies drugs and other therapeutic agents.
Molecular biochemistry and genetic engineeringAn area of biochemistry and molecular biology that studies the genes, their heritage and their expression.
Molecular biologyStudy of interactions between the various systems of a cell. It overlaps with biochemistry.
Molecular mechanicsApplies classical mechanics to model molecular systems.
NanotechnologyStudy and application of matter that is at an atomic and molecular scale. This broad field interacts with chemistry at such scales.
Neurochemistry Study of neurochemicals; including transmitters, peptides, proteins, lipids, sugars, and nucleic acids; their interactions, and the roles they play in forming, maintaining, and modifying the nervous system.
Nuclear ChemistryStudies atoms and chemical reactions at the nuclear level. It includes the chemical study of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay. Learning how subatomic particles come together and make nuclei. Modern Transmutation is a large component of nuclear chemistry, and the table of nuclides is an important result and tool for this field.
Organic ChemistryStudy of the structure, properties, composition, mechanisms, and reactions of organic compounds. An organic compound is defined as any compound based on a carbon skeleton.
Organometallic ChemistryIt bridges both organic and inorganic chemistry. It is the study of compounds containing chemical bonds between carbon and a metal.
Organometallic chemistryIs the study of organometallic compounds, chemical compounds containing at least one chemical bond between a carbon atom of an organic molecule and a metal, including alkaline, alkaline earth, and transition metals, and sometimes broadened to include metalloids like boron, silicon, and tin.
Petrochemistry Petrochemistry is the branch of organic chemistry focusing on petroleum and natural gas processing and refining and transformation of petroleum and natural gas into useful products or raw materials.
PharmacologyBranch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action along with the chemical effects.
PhotochemistryStudy of chemical reactions that proceed with the absorption of light by atoms or molecules.
Physical ChemistryStudy of the physical and fundamental basis of chemical systems and processes. In particular, the energetics and dynamics of such systems and processes are of interest to physical chemists. Important areas of study include chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, statistical mechanics, spectroscopy, and more recently, astrochemistry. It has large overlap with molecular physics and it involves the use of infinitesimal calculus in deriving equations. It is usually associated with quantum and theoretical chemistry. It shares close ties with the science of physics, particularly the discipline of thermodynamics. Physical science applies thermodynamics and mechanics to chemistry.
Physical Organic ChemistryStudy of the interrelationships between structure and reactivity in organic molecules.
PhytochemistryIt is the study of chemicals derived from plants.
Polymer ChemistryIs the sub-discipline of organic chemistry concerned with the chemistry of plastics and polymers. It is multidisciplinary science that deals with the chemical synthesis and chemical properties of polymers or macromolecules.
Quantum Chemistry Whose primary focus is the application of quantum mechanics in physical models and experiments of chemical systems. It applies quantum mechanics and mathematics to describe the motion and interaction of subatomic particles in atoms and molecules.
RadiochemistryStudies radioisotopes and uses radioactive materials to study chemical reactions.
Solid-State ChemistryExamines reactions and properties of matter in the solid-state phase. Study of the synthesis, structure, and properties of solid phase materials, particularly, but not necessarily exclusively of, non-molecular solids.
SonochemistryStudy of effect of sonic waves and wave properties on chemical systems.
SpectroscopyStudy of the interaction between matter & radiated energy and the interactions between light and matter.
StereochemistryStudies the spatial arrangement of atoms within molecules.
Supramolecular chemistry It refers to the domain of chemistry beyond that of molecules and focuses on the chemical systems made up of a discrete number of assembled molecular subunits or components.
Surface scienceStudy of physical and chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two phases, including solid–liquid interfaces, solid–gas interfaces, solid–vacuum interfaces, and liquid-gas interfaces. It examines chemical processes on the surfaces of materials.
Synthetic chemistryStudy of chemical synthesis.
Theoretical chemistryStudy via fundamental theoretical reasoning (usually within mathematics or physics). In particular the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry is called quantum chemistry. Since the end of the Second World War, the development of computers has allowed a systematic development of computational chemistry, which is the art of developing and applying computer programs for solving chemical problems. It has large overlap with (theoretical and experimental) condensed matter physics and molecular physics.
Thermochemistry The branch that studies the relation between chemical action and the amount of heat absorbed or generated. Is the branch of physical chemistry dealing with heat in chemical systems.
Water ChemistAnalysing and maintaining the quality and condition of water, essential for human life on Earth. This is a highly interdisciplinary field, so as well as chemistry you may also need knowledge of linked fields such as microbiology and geology. You may find similar roles under a variety of names, for example hydrologist or hydrogeologist.
Wet chemistryIs a form of analytical chemistry that uses classical methods such as observation to analyze materials. It is called wet chemistry since most analyzing is done in the liquid phase. It is also called bench chemistry since many tests are performed at lab benches.

Chemistry Job Profiles

A basic degree in chemistry allows you to develop excellent laboratory skills but as it overlaps with specialisations, it also gives you skills that are useful in other areas of science like physics, medicine, engineering and geosciences.

Job ProfileDescription
Analytical chemistJob responsibilities include to investigate the chemical nature of substances
BiotechnologistYou sill study the genetic, chemical and physical attributes of cells, tissues and organisms to develop new technology
Chemical engineerDesign and develop a diverse range of products focusing on changing the chemical, biochemical and physical state of a substance
Healthcare scientistAnalyse samples taken from patients to help with the diagnosis and treatment
Forensic scientistProvide scientific evidences to be used as evidences in court proceeding
NanotechnologistManipulate matter in nanoscale to develop new materials and equipment
PharmacologistUnderstand how medicines work for effective treatment
Research scientistStudy non living system to understand how physical world work
ToxicologistIdentify, monitor and evaluate the impact of toxic material, chemicals, potential new medicines and radiation on the environment and human & animal health

List of Other Chemistry Careers

This list is not remotely complete. You can work chemistry into any industrial, educational, scientific, or governmental field. It is a very versatile science. Mastery of chemistry is associated with excellent analytical and mathematical skills. These skills are useful for any job! So use this list as a jumping off point for your project. You are not in any way limited to only this list of careers.

• Chemist
• Ethnobotany
• Environmental Law
• Patent Law
• Technical Writing
• Pharmaceuticals/Pharmacist
• Oceanography
• Software Design
• Space Exploration
• Government Policymakers
• Forensic Science
• Biotechnology
• Metallurgy
• Food Industry
• Ceramics Industry
• Plastics Industry
• Paper Industry
• Medicine
• Petroleum Industry
• Textiles Industry
• Teaching
• Engineering
• Geochemistry
• Agrochemistry
• Military Systems
• Biomedical/Biotechnology research
• Genetic Engineering
• Pharmacology
• Exploration of Alternative energy
• Forensic Science
• Environmental Remediation
• Toxicology
• Mining/Geochemistry
• Petrochemical industry
• Public health/nutrition
• Science Journalism
• Agriculture
• Computer Science
• Science Education
• Food Technology
• Government Service
• Chemical management and sales
• Environmental Law
• Textile Design
• Archeologist
• Spectroscopist
• Fire fighter
• Conservator
• Quality Control

A chemistry degree is great start for a variety of careers.

  • Anesthesiologist
  • Assayer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Ballistics Expert
  • Biochemist
  • Cardiologist
  • Chemical Analyst
  • Chemist
  • Chemist, Analytical
  • Chemist, Clinical
  • Chemist, Food
  • Chemist, Industrial
  • Chemist, Inorganic
  • Chemist, Organic
  • Chemist, Pharmaceutical
  • Chemist, Physical
  • Chemist, Police
  • Chemist, Pollution Control
  • Chemist, Polymer
  • Chemist, Production
  • Chemist, Quality Control
  • Chemist, Quality Assurance
  • Chemist, Research
  • Crime Lab Analyst
  • Criminologist
  • Dentist
  • Dermatologist
  • Dialysis Technician
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Food and Drug Inspector
  • Food Technologist
  • Genetic Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Gynecologist
  • Hydrographer
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Instrument Designer
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Lawyer, Patent
  • Microbiologist
  • Neurologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Obstetrician
  • Opthalmologist
  • Osteopathic Physician
  • Otolaryngologist
  • Patent Examiner
  • Pathologist
  • Pediatrician
  • Perfumer
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Retailer
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physicist
  • Physician
  • Physician, General Practice
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Proctologist
  • Professor
  • Quality Control Supervisor
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Researcher
  • Sales, Retail
  • Sales, Wholesale
  • Sanitarian
  • Sanitation Inspector
  • Soil Scientist
  • Spectroscopist
  • Supervisor, Publications
  • Surgeon Systems Analyst
  • Teacher
  • Technical Sales
  • Technical Writer
  • Technician, Chemical Laboratory
  • Technician, Dialysis
  • Technician, Fingerprint
  • Technician, Histologic
  • Technician, Instrument Repair
  • Technician, Medical
  • Technician, Ophthalmic Laboratory
  • Technician, Optical Laboratory
  • Technician, Quality Control
  • Technician, X-ray
  • Technologist, Food
  • Technologist, Forest Products
  • Technologist, Hematology
  • Technologist, Medical
  • Technologist, X-ray
  • Translator, Scientific Documents
  • Toxicologist
  • Urologist
  • Water Resources Specialist

Photo source: Pixabay


Learn More →