Optional Subjects

The UPSC Main Examination consists of 2 Qualifying papers and 7 merit ranking papers listed below:

  • Qualifying Papers
    • English
    • Any One Indian Language from the Eighth Schedule of The Constitution of India
  • Merit Ranking Papers
    • UPSC Essay
    • General Studies Paper I
    • General Studies Paper II
    • General Studies Paper III
    • General Studies Paper IV
    • Optional Paper I
    • Optional Paper II

In this article, we will discuss the subjects and syllabus for UPSC Optional Papers I and II.

The UPSC Optional Subject list consists of 48 subjects, out of which one can be selected by the candidate for both the papers. Each optional subject comprises of two papers (Paper I and Paper II) each of 250 marks, making it a total of 500 marks

The syllabus of the optional papers is at the honours degree level, which is higher than an undergraduate degree level but lower than a masters degree level. Candidates can also take literature subjects as an optional paper. Your choice of optionals can substantially influence your chances of success in UPSC 2019.

In this article, we have collated the detailed UPSC Syllabus for Civil Services Mains Optional Subjects that will help you decide on your Optional Subject for IAS exam. Given below is the list of optional subjects in UPSC and the links to UPSC Optional Subjects syllabus PDFs.

Optional Subjects Syllabus PDF and Strategy Links

The following is the list of Optional Subjects in UPSC 2019 along with link to download the optional subject syllabus PDF:

UPSC Optional Subjects

IAS Agriculture Optional Syllabus

IAS Civil Engineering Syllabus

IAS Geology Optional Syllabus

IAS Mechanical Engineering Optional Syllabus

IAS Psychology Optional Syllabus

IAS Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Optional Syllabus

IAS Commerce Syllabus

IAS History Optional Syllabus

IAS Medical Science Optional Syllabus

IAS Public Administration Optional Syllabus

IAS Anthropology Optional Syllabus

IAS Economics Syllabus

IAS Law Optional Syllabus

IAS Philosophy Optional Syllabus

IAS Sociology Optional Syllabus

IAS Botany Optional Syllabus

IAS Electrical Engineering Syllabus

IAS Management Optional Syllabus

IAS Physics Optional Syllabus

IAS Statistics Optional Syllabus

IAS Chemistry Optional Syllabus

IAS Geography Optional Syllabus

IAS Mathematics Optional Syllabus

IAS Political Science Optional Syllabus

IAS Zoology Optional Syllabus

UPSC Literature Optional Subjects

Assamese

Gujarati

Kashmiri

Malayalam

Nepali

Bengali

Bodo

Konkani

Manipuri

Oriya

Dogri

Kannada

Maithili

Marathi

Punjabi

Sanskrit

Santhali

Sindhi

Tamil

Telugu

Urdu

English

Hindi

Choosing an Optional Subject for UPSC should be based on the following factors:

  • Average success rate of UPSC optional papers, a higher success rate would be a good indicator of the availability of IAS study material for those subjects
  • Candidates’ expertise in the optional subject, for example, a practicing doctor would have considerable expertise on Medical Science and should ideally choose this as the optional subject to reduce effort and time spent on IAS preparation.
  • UPSC optional subjects chosen by IAS toppers in the past also indicate high scoring potential and availability of preparation material for IAS topper’s optional subjects.

To read more about UPSC preparation, please visit:

Related Links:

IAS Preparation

UPSC Books

IAS Coaching

UPSC Notification

How to Write Answers for Literature Optionals

Interesting Statistics About Optional Subjects

Odia is a language of the Indo-Aryan family used in the state of Odisha, parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.
Geography is an important subject as far as the UPSC civil services exam is concerned. It is a part of the UPSC prelims and mains exams.
Santhali Literature or Santali is an optional subject in the UPSC Civil Services examination. The language is used in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand,
Hindi is one of the most popular languages in India and is understood by a vast majority of the population. The Government of India uses Hindi as
The UPSC allows Urdu literature as one of the optional literature subjects for the Civil Services Main Examination. Urdu is one of the 22
Telugu is one of the classical languages of India. It is a language of the Dravidian family and is primarily used in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana