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The branches of science (also referred to as "sciences", "scientific fields", or "scientific disciplines") are commonly divided into four major groups: natural sciences, which study natural phenomena (including fundamental forces and biological life), formal sciences (such as mathematics and logic, which use an a priori, as opposed to factual, methodology), social sciences, which study human behavior and societies, and applied sciences, which apply existing scientific knowledge to develop more practical applications, like technology or inventions.

The natural sciences and social sciences are empirical sciences, meaning that the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and must be capable of being verified by other researchers working under the same conditions.

Natural science, social science, and formal science make up the fundamental sciences, which form the basis of interdisciplinary and applied sciences such as engineering and medicine. Specialized scientific disciplines that exist in multiple categories may include parts of other scientific disciplines but often possess their own terminologies and expertises.
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