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What are "liberal arts"?

The Liberal Arts are those subjects which are not applied professional (how to do a job). They tend to concentrate on the "why and what" of the world as opposed to the "how to" of a specific job.

Historically the liberal arts were grammar, rhetoric, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy.
These days we use the term liberal arts to refer to all of the arts and sciences and include the Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Maths. It also includes the interdisciplinary areas such as Women's Studies, Marine Science, or Computational Economics and the like.
Examples you'd find in most colleges are Literature, Biology, History, Psychology, Sociology, Music, Theater, Art, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Political Science, Philosophy, Languages, etc....
The opposite of Liberal Arts are the Applied Sciences. Fields like nursing, education, business, engineering, architecture, computer science, etc... are applied/professional sciences. They concentrate heavily on 'how to' of a specific job.
A "liberal arts major" is a major in any of the liberal arts subjects. A "liberal arts college" is a college that believes that every student (no matter what major) should have a strong founding in the liberal arts (aka 'general education'). You can complete a liberal arts major in a school that isn't a liberal arts college (such as a research university) and you can complete an applied professional major at a liberal arts college.
A "liberal arts degree" is one that required all students (regardless of major) to take a significant foundation of courses in the liberal arts. Most people call this "general education" or "the core". One could get a liberal arts degree in an applied professional major. This is especially common at liberal arts colleges and in the field of education (teacher training).
A degree with the major "Liberal Arts" is one that included a study of all (or many) of the liberal arts subjects as the major coursework but didn't concentrate on any one subject.
These days, except in very few fields, an advanced degree is required for a professional position in the liberal arts fields. Almost all of those fields will require a master's or higher for good employment prospects whereas a bachelor's degree in the applied sciences (such as engineering) usually offers sufficient employment prospects.

As you look at college majors, consider what is required of the career you'd like to enter. If you don't have a career goal but are picking a major, you're going about the process backward (unless you're rich and a job doesn't matter). Pick the career and then see what degree is required for that career. Otherwise you'll be writing here in four years the question "what job can I get with a degree in Socioeconomic Philosophy of Russian Art?"https://artscolumbia.org/

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