The liberal arts education prepares the student for higher education at a university. They are thus meant for the more academically minded students. In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a liberal arts education often study Latin and Ancient Greek. Some liberal arts education provide general education, others have a specific focus. (This also differs from country to country.) The four traditional branches are:
- humanities education (specializing in classical languages, such as Latin and Greek)
- modern languages (students are required to study at least three languages)
- mathematical-scientific education
- economical and social-scientific education (students are required to study economics, world history, social studies and business informatics)
Curricula differ from school to school, but generally include language, mathematics, informatics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, art (as well as crafts and design), music, history, philosophy, civics / citizenship, social sciences, and several foreign languages. Schools concentrate not only on academic subjects, but on producing well-rounded individuals, so physical education and religion or ethics are compulsory, even in non-denominational schools which are prevalent. For example, the German constitution guarantees the separation of church and state, so although religion or ethics classes are compulsory, students may choose to study a specific religion or none at all.