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Master's Programs in Los Angeles

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Sotheby’s Institute of Art began its partnership with Claremont Graduate University in 2013, offering a three-semester MAs in Art Business and Arts Management in collaboration with CGU’s Drucker School of Management. Building upon the Institute’s now more than 45 years of educating art market professionals, the Los Angeles partnership brings a new dimension to the study of the arts – both performing and visual – their markets, and the management of the firms, organizations and institutions charged with their flourishing.

Art Business or Arts Management, which one is right for you?

Choosing between the Art Business and Art Management program depends on the student’s career aspirations and educational interests.

Art Business focuses on the visual arts with an emphasis on the commercial infrastructure of companies that exhibit, promote and sell works of art. Art Business students typically pursue careers as gallerists, auction specialists, advisors, and curators, as well as positions with art fairs, art magazines, public relations firms, museums and arts organizations.

Arts Management focuses on performing arts organizations and museums, as well as on the nonprofit infrastructure of arts and cultural organizations more broadly. Arts Management students typically pursue careers in program management and development, audience engagement and outreach, fundraising for the arts, arts education, arts policy and research, and arts access.

Both programs are designed with entrepreneurship in mind. Graduates of both programs often go on to start their own innovative art businesses or initiate new ventures and programs within existing arts organizations.

Our Curriculum

The Los Angeles campus of Sotheby’s Institute of Art offers two Master’s Degrees: MA in Art Business and MA in Arts Management.
Request your copy of the Los Angeles 2017-18 Master's Degree curriculum.

A Management Core 

Both MA programs share a core curriculum, taught primarily in the first semester, which provides all students with a powerful set of highly transferable professional skills and a solid foundation in the business and management practices that are essential to successful careers in the world of art and culture. The core curriculum consists of strategy, finance, accounting, marketing, and law – the fundamentals of any elite business education.


The core curriculum shared by both MA programs leads to six different concentrations. In Art Business, the concentrations include Contemporary Art and Its Markets, East Asian Art and its Markets, and Latin American Art and its Markets (the only program of its kind). The Art Business program also includes a General Art Business track, which allows for the greatest flexibility in selecting one’s courses of study. In Arts Management, the concentrations include Nonprofit Management, Art Museum Management (offered in collaboration with the Getty Leadership Institute) and Arts Media.

Program Flexibility

After the first semester of study, students may choose to switch their degree program (from Arts Management to Art Business and vice versa) in order to take full advantage of the six different concentrations offered across the two degree programs. You may apply to either program and still have access to the full curricula of both.

The Entrepreneurship Sequence and the ‘Master’s Project’

Students in both degree programs complete their degrees with the presentation of a new venture (top students in the Arts Management program may elect to complete through the consulting practicum). This ‘Master’s Project’ is of the student’s own design, and is often directly related to an intended career path. It can be completed individually or in small teams.

Beginning with strategy and design thinking courses in the first semester core, the sequence continues with Cultural Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation courses in the second semester. There students generate ideas for new businesses, arts initiatives, education programs, nonprofit startups, etc., which are then refined into proposals for the final Master’s Project itself. From the project description to its scope, schedule for completion, and final format, the student or team determines the shape and nature of the project.

In the third semester, students take part in the Startup Studio, where they regularly share and critique one another’s works-in-progress. At the end of the semester, every student or team submits a final deliverable and pitches their new venture to invited faculty, arts professionals and industry leaders.

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