S&E Field Classification


The NSF Survey of Scientific and Engineering Expenditures at Universities and Colleges currently collects data for the following fields of science and engineering:


Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering:
Includes Aereospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering, Aerodynamics, and Space Technology.
Chemical Engineering:
Includes Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum Refining Process, Polymer/Plastics Engineering, and Wood Science.
Civil Engineering:
Includes Civil Engineering, Architecture, Architectural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Health Engineering, as well as Geotechnical, Hydraulic, Sanitary, Environmental, Structural, and Transportation Engineering.
Electrical Engineering:
Includes Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering as well as Computer Engineering and Power Engineering.
Mechanical Engineering
Includes Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.
Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
Includes Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Materials Engineering, and Materials Science. Also includes Ceramic Sciences and Engineering, Geological Engineering, Geophysical Engineering, Mining and Mineral Engineering, Textile Sciences and Engineering, and Welding.
Other Engineering
Includes General Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Engineering Science and Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering. Also includes Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Marine and Ocean Engineering Systems, Nuclear Engineering, Ocean Engineering, Systems Engineering, Systems Science and Theory, Engineering Design, Engineering/Industrial Management, and all other Engineering fields.

Physical Sciences
Includes Astronomy, Astrophysics, Gamma-ray, Neutrino, Optical and Radio, and X-ray.
Includes Chemistry, also Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Organo-metallic, Pharmaceutical, and Physical Chemistry, as well as Polymer Sciences. (Does not include Biochemistry.)
Includes Physics as well as Acoustics, Atomic/Molecular, Chemical, Condensed Matter, Elementary Particles, Nuclear Structure, Optics, Plasma, and Theoretical/Mathematical Physics.
Includes General Physical Sciences, Miscellaneous Physical Sciences, and Other Physical Sciences. (Used for multidisciplinary projects within physical sciences and for disciplines not requested separately.)

Environmental Sciences

Includes Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Aeronomy, Extraterrestrial Atmospheres, Solar, and Water Modification.
Earth Sciences
Includes Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geological and Related Sciences, Surveying, and Cartography. Also includes Engineering Geophysics, General Geology, Geodesy and Gravity, Geomagnetism, Hydrology, Inorganic, Isotopic, Lab Geophysics, Organic Geochemistry, Paleomagnetism, Paleontology, Physical Geography, and Seismology.
Oceanography Sciences
Includes Oceanography, Marine/Aquatic Biology, Biological, Chemical, Geological and Physical.
Used for multidisciplinary projects within Earth, Atmospheric, and Ocean Sciences.

Mathematical Sciences

Includes General Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Operations Research, Mathematics/Computer Science, Algebra, Analysis, Foundations and Logic, Geometry, Numerical Analysis, and Topology.

Computer Sciences

Includes General Computer and Information Sciences, Management Information Systems, Design, Development, and Application of Computer Capabilities to Data Storage and Manipulation, and Information Science.

Life Sciences

Includes Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Production, Renewable Natural Resources, Aquaculture, Plant Sciences, Landscape Architecture, International Agriculture, and Soil Science. Also includes Agricultural Chemistry, Agronomy, Animal Science, Conservation, Fish and Wildlife, Forestry, and Horticulture.
Includes General Biology, Biological/Life Sciences, Biophysics, Zoology, Microbiology/Bacteriology, Botany, Anatomy, Parasitology, Biometrics, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Epidemiology, Toxicology, Biostatistics, Entomology, Plant and Animal Genetics, Human and Animal Pathology, Human and Animal Physiology, Human and Animal Pharmacology, Medical Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology, Medical Toxicology, Medical Pathology, Medical Immunology, Medical Physiology. Also Foods and Nutrition Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, Allergies and Immunology, Biogeography, Biotechnology, Pathology, Physical Anthropology, Virology, and Miscellaneous Biological Specializations.
Includes Neurosciences, General Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Radiation Biology/Radiobiology, Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatry, Dentistry, Nursing Psychiatry/Mental Health, Public Health, and Other Medical Basic Sciences.
Specialty disciplines include Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Colon and Rectal Surgery, Dental/Oral Surgery, Dermatology, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Geriatric Medicine, Hematology, Internal Medicine, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Physical and Rehabiliative Medicine, Plastic Surgery, Preventive Medicine, Psychiatry, Thoracic Surgery, Urology, and Other Medical Programs. Residency programs are excluded from the survey.
Includes Gerontology, Health and Medical Laboratory Technologies, Physical Therapy, Communications Disorders Sciences and Services, Nursing Technologies, Rehabilitation/Therapeutic Services, Health and Medical Administrative Services, Occupational Therapy, and Other Health Professions and Related Services. Also used for multidisciplinary projects within life sciences.


Includes General Psychology, Clinical Psychology, School Psychology, Art Therapy, Animal Behavior, Education Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Human Development and Personality, and Social Psychology.

Social Sciences

Includes Economics, Agricultural Economics, Business/Managerial Economics, Applied, Development, Econometrics, Industrial, International, Labor, Public Finance and Fiscal Policy, Quantitative, and Resource Economics.
Political Science
Includes Political Science and Government, Public Administration, Public Policy Analysis, International Relations and Affairs, Comparative Government, Legal Systems, Political Theory, and Regional Studies.
Includes Sociology, Demography, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Comparative and Historic Sociology, Complex Organizations, Cultural and Social Structure, Group Interactions, and Social Problems and Welfare Theory.
Includes General Social Sciences, Archaeology, Geography, Linguistics, City/Urban, Community, and Regional Planning, Area and Ethnic Studies, Criminal Justice and Corrections, Community Services, History of Science, and Socioeconomic Geography.

Other Sciences, not elsewhere classified

Used when the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary aspects make the classification under one primary field impossible.