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Now accepting applications for MA programs starting Fall 2020. Apply Now.
If you are submitting an application for our Master’s programs, please familiarize yourself with the admissions requirements for each program. For more information, we encourage you to attend an open day on one of our campuses, an information session in your city, or book an appointment to speak with an admissions advisor.

Campus Visits
Appointments to visit the New York campus or to speak with an admissions advisor via phone and skype can easily be arranged. To schedule a personalized appointment with one of our advisors click here. This is an opportunity to discuss any questions about the program, your particular background and qualifications, and the admissions process. For further information, please email

Group Sessions
The Admissions Office is happy to provide private tours and information sessions upon request. To schedule an information session for your art history department or art group, or to arrange a tour of our midtown Manhattan campus, please contact

Graduate Certificate Option
A two-semester Graduate Certificate is available to students who complete the required coursework for an MA degree program but who do not wish to complete a Master’s project or thesis.

For International Students
Explore our resource guide, which includes information about international student services, career opportunities, housing, and visa information.

Admissions Deadlines Entrance Requirements Required Documentation Tuition Fees Financial Assistance Gainful Employment Disclosure After You Apply Contact


Sotheby’s Institute of Art reviews all completed applications on a rolling basis. Space is limited so we strongly encourage applicants to submit their applications as early as possible. Our Admissions team is available throughout the admissions process to offer support and answer any questions you may have.

Deadlines for Fall 2020 MA program:

  • Apply by Wednesday, January 15 for priority consideration around financial aid.
  • Apply by Monday, March 2 to qualify for scholarships.
  • Apply by Monday, May 18 if you are an international student who will need to secure a visa for the US or UK.

Entrance Requirements

All MA applicants are required to have completed a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Students in their final undergraduate year may apply for admission and will be required to provide proof of graduation prior to registration.

Applicants should demonstrate the following skills:

  • The ability to perform at a postgraduate level, as indicated by academic achievement and recommendations.
  • Knowledge of art history. This generally requires an undergraduate art history major or minor. In some cases, art-related work experience or exceptional exposure to art practices and/or collecting will satisfy this requirement. Applicants with little or no art history background may be required to take pre-program coursework in our Online, Summer, and Semester (London) programs, or through another institution of their choice that is approved by the Institute’s faculty.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and analytical skills.

GRE Test Scores
Sotheby’s Institute of Art is pleased to accept the GRE test. The GRE is not a required element of our application process; however, we will factor in test scores as part of our decision process for those candidates who have taken the test. The GRE code for Sotheby’s Institute of Art is 4161.

Prior work experience is also not required element of our application process.

Required Documentation

Academic transcripts/mark sheets from all undergraduate and post-secondary academic institutions attended. An official copy of the transcript, indicating that the degree has been awarded, must be sent directly from the student’s institution to Sotheby’s Institute in a sealed envelope.

  • Unofficial copies of transcripts are sufficient for the application process and for issuing decisions. The documents must be in English. The admissions department will require an official transcript once you enroll in the program.
  • Official international transcripts must be accompanied by certified credential evaluations. The evaluation will convert the grades and GPA into the United States grading scale. For more information, please visit the World Education Services website:

Two letters of reference should be sent directly from academic or professional references by mail to:

Admissions Office
Sotheby's Institute of Art
570 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022 USA

or emailed to from the referee’s professional email address. The required Reference Forms can be downloaded here. For those candidates applying directly from their undergraduate studies, two academic references are preferred. For those candidates with work experience, at least one reference should be professional.

Personal statement (max 1000 words). Please tell us about yourself, your reasons for your choice of program, any relevant academic or art related experience, and your future career goals.

A writing sample helps the Admission Committee understand how a prospective student develops ideas, creates a theme, communicates, and defends a position. Please submit one of the following:

  • A graded paper of no fewer than 1,000 words from an art history or art-related course completed within the last three years. Include citations as originally submitted.
  • A 1,000-word original essay written for an art publication or website. If you do not have published work, your essay could be a mock review of a current art exhibition that you have experienced directly and should address some or all of these components: analysis of the works of art, information on the artist and his/her career, commentary on the installation of the exhibition, profile of host gallery or museum. Remember that your editor has asked for 1000 words: if you send him/her fewer than 900 or over 1,100 words, it will not be accepted. Footnotes are required for any citations.

An up-to-date CV or resume that includes all relevant background and experience.

An English language proficiency exam is required for non-native English speakers. A minimum score of IELTS level 7 or TOEFL 100 IBT will be considered. If your undergraduate coursework was conducted in English or if you have extensive English-speaking professional experience, it may be possible to waive the English language proficiency exam, upon review of your application. Please note TOEFL and IELTS scores expire two years after the test date.

An interview is an opportunity for candidates to discuss their application. It is a dialogue to explore a candidate’s interests, abilities, and how the Institute can help meet the candidate’s educational and career goals. Interviews may be conducted by members of the admissions staff, a member of faculty, or the director of the applicant’s program of choice. Interviews generally include a discussion of art historical or art-related subjects. In-person interviews conducted on the Institute’s New York campus are preferable. Exceptions can be made — interviews may be held at the Institute’s London or Los Angeles campuses or via Skype — if necessary.

A non-refundable application fee of $100 (USD)

Tuition Fees

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020

Sotheby's Institute of Art tuition and fees are updated annually based on the curriculum and the field study destinations. The Institute offers a range of scholarships and financial assistance grants. Apply early to secure priority consideration for scholarships and financial assistance grants. Please see the Master’s Degree Curriculum 2019-2020 for details.

Tuition and Fees for Master’s Degree

Deposit: $1,000

Semester 1: $22,300 + Field Study $3,400*

Semester 2: $23,300 + Field Study $700*

Semester 3 Summer/Fall: $13,300 Thesis/Master’s Project only (submit in Fall)


Semester 3 Fall Option**: Thesis/Master’s Project (submit in Fall) + three courses + Field Study (Tuition: $23,300 + Field Study Fee)

Tuition and Fees for Graduate Certificate

Deposit: $1,000

Semester 1: $22,300 + Field Study $3,400*

Semester 2: $23,300 + Field Study $700*

The Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York Master’s Degree requires a minimum of 36 academic credits (two semesters of coursework plus a Thesis/Master’s Project) and a minimum of 30 academic credits for the Graduate Certificate (two semesters of coursework). Students may also elect to do a Semester 3 Option,** allowing them to take their 3rd semester on another campus or by taking courses in another of our Master’s Degree programs in New York.  

Note: A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required to secure your place on all programs.

*Field Study Fee: All MA and GC programs require field-study travel and student activities in semesters one and two. The Field study fee covers airfare/transportation, accommodations, and privileged access to art world events and experiences in local, US, and international destinations. Travel fees are due during registration for Semester 1.

**Optional 3rd Semester: Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York (SIA NY) requires a minimum of 36 credits for the MA degree, which includes a 6 credit capstone (Thesis or Master’s Project). Coursework is completed over two semesters of full-time study, and the capstone is completed over the summer with final presentation of the capstone in October.

SIA NY also offers an Optional 3rd Semester for students seeking the opportunity for additional coursework in a second area of study. These students enroll in a 3rd semester of full-time coursework which includes the completion of their Thesis/Master’s Project (submitted in October), and take three (3) MA courses and Field Study in an additional program different from their degree program. Students who graduate with this option would be awarded a Portfolio in an second area of specialization in addition to the MA degree. All courses in the student’s degree program would count toward the GPA: all courses taken in the Portfolio would be listed with grades on the transcript. Portfolio course grades would not count toward the GPA.

Financial Assistance

Sotheby's Institute of Art-New York offers full-time degree students financial assistance through both need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships. U.S. citizens may also participate in several loan programs. Institutional scholarships and financial assistance, in the form of partial-tuition awards, is intended to provide assistance to students in paying their tuition and fees; it will not fully fund the cost of attending.

Acceptance to Sotheby’s Institute of Art is a prerequisite for the awarding of financial support. Applicants for financial support must have completed the application process and been accepted into their program of choice.

Financial Assistance grants range from $1,000 to $6,000 per term. Admitted students applying for financial assistance are required to fill out an application which asks basic information regarding their financial position. Financial need will be assessed by guidelines provided by the US Department of Education regarding Cost of Attendance (COA) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee as part of the rolling admissions process.

How to Apply

Once accepted into a degree program, you will receive the Institute’s Financial Assistance application form. US citizens must also complete the online application for FAFSA; include Sotheby’s Institute federal school code: G41798.

International students must submit a bank letter (on bank letterhead) including the following information: type of account, name of account holder, balance, and date opened.

When to Apply

Applicants are urged to complete and submit their applications for financial assistance by March 1, 2019. The Institute will accept later applications, however, funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis as part of the rolling admissions process. For any questions about financial assistance, please contact 


Accepted students who demonstrate strong academic merit (average GPA of 3.5 or above, or its equivalent) or have previous work experience in the art world are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Scholarship amounts typically range from $1,000 - $6,000 per term. Students must complete an application form answering three questions from our faculty in essays of 300 words each. The form to apply for scholarships will be sent to accepted students who are eligible, upon request. Applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship and Financial Assistance Committee as part of the rolling admissions process.

US Federal Loans

Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York students who are US citizens are eligible for the William D. Ford Direct Student Loan program and for the Direct PLUS Loan program. Student and PLUS loans are unsubsidized. Students are responsible for the interest on an unsubsidized loan from the time the loan is made. No payments are required on any federal student loan until 6 months after a student leaves school or if he/she enrolls in fewer than 6 credits. If possible, students may want to pay accrued interest on an unsubsidized loan while enrolled; if not, the interest that accrues while in school is added to the amount owed upon graduation. An unsubsidized student loan is not based on need; students who wish to borrow additional money beyond tuition and fees may do so.

The Institute has established a Virtual Financial Aid Office to assist in applying for Federal student loan programs. The VFAO provides both an overview of federal assistance and a detailed guide to the application process.

How to Apply
There are three steps in the loan application process: 

  1. Complete and submit the Sotheby’s Institute Financial Assistance application form (available upon request for accepted students).
  2. Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  3. Visit the VFAO and complete the loan application form.

When to Apply

Applications for US Federal Loans for the 2019-20 academic year will be available beginning January 1, 2018.

For Additional Information and Assistance 

The Institute and VFAO staff are dedicated to serving all students’ needs and helping every student obtain the financial assistance needed to achieve educational goals.
For any questions about federal loan programs, please call the VFAO at 877.906.1723.
For information about institutional grants and merit awards, or to discuss the cost of attending, contact the Institute via email at

Veterans’ Assistance 

Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008
Effective August 30, 2011 Sotheby’s Institute of Art is approved for the training of veterans and immediate family members in accordance with the Provisions of Section 3675, Title 38, US Code. Applicants will be deemed eligible by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Please visit for more information.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

For Gainful Employment Disclosure for the NY MA programs, please visit here.

After You Apply

Applicants will receive an email from the admissions team acknowledging receipt of their application within 1–2 business days. This email will include an update on any documents or required information that may still be outstanding.

After the admissions team has received the required documentation, eligible candidates will be contacted for an interview with faculty and/or staff.

Admissions decisions
The Admissions Committee reviews and processes applications on a “rolling basis.” This means that applications are considered throughout the year as long as space is available. Applicants whose documentation is complete generally receive an admissions decision within two weeks of their interview.

Terms and conditions of enrollment and acceptance of an offer
Once students receive an offer of admission, they will be sent an official letter along with the terms and conditions of enrollment and the financial obligations to the program. Students must formally accept their offer by signing the terms and conditions and returning it to Sotheby’s Institute along with a deposit to hold their place. Please note: Scholarships and financial assistance grants are disbursed in increments and directly to student accounts, each term in New York.  Awards are not transferable and are not eligible for cash reimbursement.  Should a student withdraw from the program before the program concludes, they will forfeit the scholarship or financial assistant grant.  

Deferral fee
Students are permitted to defer their admission to Sotheby’s Institute for one year by paying an additional non-refundable and non-transferable fee of $1,000.

Applicants who require visas are advised to apply through their appropriate consulate or other government agencies at least 10 weeks prior to the start of classes in order to ensure sufficient time for processing. Students who require visas will receive visa documentation after they confirm their intention to enroll by returning their reply forms and deposits (non-refundable and non-transferable). Please refer to the Information for International Students page for additional questions.

Welcome site
Applicants who have been accepted to the Institute will be given access to a password-protected new student welcome site. This portal will provide an opportunity to meet other entering students and to access important information about accommodations and health care. Reading lists and other academic information will be posted on the site during the summer.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York does not provide housing for graduate-level students, but recommends resources to help you find accommodation in one of New York City’s five boroughs.

Tel: +1.646.438.7234

New York Campus
Admissions Office
Sotheby's Institute of Art
570 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022 USA