When you’re comparing colleges as a prospective student, consider what kind of school is right for you and what kind of education you want. Liberal arts colleges provide students with a broad education that combines numerous subjects of study in the arts, natural and social sciences and humanities for the purpose of learning how to think and communicate. Rather than preparing students for a single career path, a liberal arts education equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to be better learners, thinkers and global citizens.

A Liberal Arts Curriculum

At a liberal arts college, you will study a variety of subjects in the arts, humanities and natural and social sciences.

Students in liberal arts colleges may study several of the creative arts. Courses in fine art, music, theatre and creative writing are common.

The humanities refer to subjects that study the human condition and culture. In liberal arts programs, students often take humanities courses such as history, classical or modern foreign languages, philosophy, English literature and theology.

Social sciences, too, hold an important place in a liberal arts curriculum. Expect to study subjects like sociology, geography, anthropology, political science and economics during your liberal arts education.

You might not be able to tell by the name, but mathematics and science are crucial subjects of study in a well-rounded liberal arts education. Courses like biology, physics and chemistry are common in a liberal arts curriculum. Students typically have to take a minimum of one college-level math class during their academic careers, with options ranging from statistics to algebra, trigonometry and calculus.

An Education for the Sake of Learning

At a liberal arts college, the main goal is education itself, more so than job training, according to  The Hechinger Report. Instead of focusing mainly on learning specific technical skills that can become outdated very quickly thanks to changes in technology and the economy, a liberal arts education teaches students to think, learn and communicate.

That doesn’t mean a liberal arts education is useless for getting a job – far from it. A liberal arts curriculum includes plenty of reading, critical thinking and work involving written and spoken communication. This makes for great preparation for graduate school in subjects such as business, engineering, law and even medicine.

The education path also allows students a chance to cultivate versatile skills that employers in all fields prize, like teamwork, communication and analytical skills, CBS News reported. Liberal arts students become good at thinking critically, seeing the big picture, working with a team and communicating well. Between these skills and their solid educational background in many subjects, liberal arts students have a strong foundation that allows them to fit into a wide variety of careers.

A liberal arts education is a great choice for students who love to learn and want to develop abilities that make them better students, more insightful employees and more enlightened citizens.

Also see:

The Top 10 Most Affordable Liberal Arts Colleges