Liberal arts (in contrast to business, law & the trades), comprises three main areas: sciences, arts & humanities. Examples include: literature, languages, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics, logic, rhetoric etc. In short, they are the pursuits not directly related to the immediate duties of life.
These are the non-technical disciplines ordinarily taught as part of a baseline college education at American colleges. These studies lay the foundation for a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. As such, many American colleges are referred to as "liberal arts institutions." Technical fields of study are common, but not included under the aegis "liberal arts." In Europe and Canada the Liberal arts are generally called the 'Humanities'.
The term bears no connection with the modern political ideology of liberalism, save in the classic, historical sense.