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Now accepting applications for MA programs starting Fall 2020.
Qualified candidates who apply before January 15, 2020 will receive priority consideration for admission and scholarships.
 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 Financing Your Study 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 course by course 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 for Master’s Degree 2020-2021

Semester 1: $23,300
Semester 2: $23,300
Semester 3: $13,300 (offsite) or $23,300 (onsite)
Off-site: capstone (thesis or project), can be undertaken remotely or while working
On-site: includes a third semester of coursework, capstone, and field study

Deposit: $1,500
Field Study: $3,400 per semester (required in Semester 1 and 2)
Materials & services fee: $850
International student fee: $500

Sotheby's Institute of Art tuition and fees are updated annually based on the curriculum and field study destinations. Course work is completed in semesters 1 and 2 for 30 credit hours, the minimum necessary for a Graduate Certificate. For students pursuing a Masters degree, a thesis or capstone project is required and represents a total 36 credit hour requirement for the MA.  This is undertaken in the third semester, either independently off-campus or alongside continued coursework on campus, which includes a third field study opportunity.
Field study is required of all students in semesters one and two. The fee covers all transportation, accommodations, and privileged access to venues and events.
The materials & services fee allows Sotheby’s Institute to operate as a fully-fledged and independent academic center including our library, full technology resources, student and academic advising, and career services.
The international students fee is required of students who are not United States citizens to ensure support for the unique needs of our international population.
A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 upon acceptance is required to secure your place on all programs.

Payment calendar:
If accepted, a deposit is due to secure your place in the program, as space is limited. The field study fee for semesters one and two are both due at the beginning of semester one.

Financing Your Study

Sotheby’s Institute distributes financial assistance on the basis of merit and need. Applications for financial assistance opens on December 11, and the first deadline is January 15. You must submit your application to the Master’s program in advance of applying for aid.

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.

Applications for US Federal Loans for the 2020-21 academic year will be available beginning January 1, 2020.

To discuss financing your Sotheby’s Institute education, please contact

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