UPSC Optional Subjects – Complete List

UPSC Exam has 3 stages – Prelims, Main Exam and Interview. Of these 3 stages, the Main Exam is the most important as it covers close to 75% marks of the Final UPSC result (1750 marks). In the Main exam, the candidates have to appear for 2 papers of a UPSC optional Subject. The UPSC optional Subject is to be selected from the list of UPSC Optional subjects provided by the UPSC. In this blog, we have given the UPSC optional subjects list for you.

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UPSC Optional Subjects – Complete List

This is the complete list of UPSC Optional subjects for civil services main examination. You have to opt for any one subject.

  1. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  2. Anthropology
  3. Botany
  4. Chemistry
  5. Civil Engineering
  6. Commerce and Accountancy
  7. Economics
  8. Electrical Engineering
  9. Geography
  10. Geology
  11. History
  12. Law
  13. Management
  14. Mathematics
  15. Mechanical Engineering
  16. Medical Science
  17. Philosophy
  18. Physics
  19. Political Science and International Relations
  20. Psychology
  21. Public Administration
  22. Sociology
  23. Statistics
  24. Zoology
  25. Literature of anyone the following language: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.
  26. Agriculture

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UPSC Optional Subjects – Popularity

From the UPSC Optional Subjects list, some subjects are more popular than others. The following table shows the number of candidates who appeared for UPSC Main Exam selecting a particular optional subject. The Optional Subject’s popularity depends upon a number of factors like availability of quality study material, Exam syllabus of the subject, Coaching facilities for the subject, Scoring possibility, etc.


Number of Applicants


3000 +/- 50


3000 +/- 50

Public Administration

3000 +/- 50


3000 +/- 50

Philosophy + Psychology + Political Science + Economics


All other science/art subjects (in total)


All Other Literature Subjects

Less than 1000


Around 15000

*The figures mentioned above are approximated and not actual.

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This brings us to the end of our blog – UPSC Optional Subjects: Full List. We hope you find this information useful.

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