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Sotheby's Institute of Art is vigilantly monitoring the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety and well-being of our community remains our top priority. Check back regularly, as we will keep this page updated with information on any potential scenarios that may impact our programs and operations. You can also visit our FAQ which goes into more detail around policies and common concerns.


Updated: June 16, 2020

For more than 50 years, Sotheby’s Institute of Art has been the leader in training art market professionals and cultural stewards for careers in the future art world. As we continue to monitor and respond to the public health situation regarding COVID-19, our exceptional faculty are evolving our curricula and teaching methodology to meet the new demands of art business and how art impacts cultural dialogue.

Wherever you are in the world, we know that these are unprecedented times. We also know that many of you are eager to know what our arrangements will be for the next academic year. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our community, and to providing you with options and flexibility as you take the next steps toward your future.

We are therefore pleased to inform you that Sotheby’s Institute of Art will be delivering Master’s degree programs with start dates both in September 2020 and in January 2021.

In September 2020, all New York MA programs (MA in Art Business, MA in Contemporary Art, MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design), and two London MA programs (the MA in Art Business and the MA in Contemporary Art) will begin via remote learning. In-person instruction is planned to resume on both campuses by January 2021. The academic year will end at the customary point in both campuses—December 2021 in New York and September 2021 in London.

In January 2021, both New York and London campuses are offering a January start for all MA programs. The academic year will end in April 2022 in New York and in December 2021 in London.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art remains committed to academic excellence, professional practice, and object-based learning via all media. We have extensive experience delivering teaching remotely, and for those of you who remain committed to beginning the program this Fall, we want you to know that we will focus on developing the best possible virtual experience.

Regardless of how or when you embark on your Master’s degree, the Sotheby’s Institute experience goes beyond teaching and learning. Other critical elements include: extracurricular activities, a social and professional network, career-focused workshops and professional development, and privileged access to the interiors of the art world. These aspects of a Sotheby’s Institute graduate education will always continue, for every class and in every format.

The Institute is also deeply committed to diversity and racial equity, welcoming students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds, nationalities, and abilities to further enrich our multifaceted learning environment and to positively impact all sectors of art, culture, and society at large.

We understand that each of you is weighing a variety of factors in these changing times. We remain committed to our students and to our mission, and we look forward to welcoming you in the coming months and developing positive, constructive new ways to contribute to art historical scholarship, the global art market, and cultural initiatives in our dynamic industry.

  • Updated: May 11, 2020

    An expanded virtual course catalog will be offered this summer while our campus facilities in New York City and London continue to follow safety and public health guidelines. New online offerings include a new short-form lecture series, a transition of some of our most popular Summer Institute professional development courses to a remote learning format, and the Pre-College program reimagined for an exceptional virtual experience. These new virtual offerings join an extensive online course catalog that runs throughout the year.

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art has offered online courses since 2012 and remains the leading provider of online art education today. Designed and led by graduate faculty and art world experts, courses span from a one-hour lecture to an eight-week instructor-led deep dives, all carefully curated to explore the international art world.

    Explore Online courses


    In the meantime, it’s important to remember common sense guidelines for good health and safety, such as:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history.
    • Do not come to campus if you have a fever or flu-like symptoms.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve.

    Please review information about COVID-19 so that you can make informed decisions about how best to protect yourself and those in your community:

    We are committed to keeping everyone at SIA safe and healthy. In our commitment to transparency and community, we will keep this space updated with information related to SIA’s actions regarding COVID-19 and how it affects our community and school policy. The SIA administration will remain in contact with local and international agencies and officials to ensure we understand how our programs might be affected and can quickly and effectively enact any recommended actions.

  • Updated: April 17, 2020

    Sotheby’s Summer Institute for Pre-College Students is moving online in 2020. Many leading education providers are making similar decisions in response to social responsibility and safety of our students and communities, and we too feel this is the right choice for the Summer Institute and will help our students keep learning and pursuing their passions this summer while staying safe and healthy.

    Furthermore, we have been working hard to ensure that this virtual experience will be like no other. Instead of translating the Summer Institute into the usual online classroom, we will be bringing you so much more… opportunities to explore not just New York City but the world, to connect in new ways, to focus on unique passions, extra curricular activities, and to be mentored and taught with care and attention from our faculty who have experience teaching online.

    Any enrolled students or those with pending applications will be contacted directly by an enrollment counselor to discuss their options. Our Pre-College team can be reached anytime at +1 (646) 665-1861 or summerinstitute@sia.edu.

    Explore the Sotheby’s Pre-College Summer Institute for more information.

  • Updated: April 6, 2020

    Sotheby’s Summer Institute: We are taking preventative action for the 2020 Summer Institute and will be moving all learning opportunities into an online format to ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. This applies to all summer courses scheduled in London and New York.For registered participants in London or New York summer courses: Tuition credit can be applied to an online course, or if preferred, a refund will be issued. Our enrollment team is reaching out to all participants directly to assist in this process and offer course advisement across our online course catalog. Over 20 four-, six-, and eight-week instructor-led online courses are currently available for registration. Additionally, certain courses previously offered through our short course format or the Summer Institute are being developed into a virtual experience, ensuring we can deliver the high quality and learning outcomes in an online environment. These new offerings will be announced shortly.

  • Updated: March 31, 2020

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art is extending campus closures for the remainder of the spring semester in both London and New York. Currently, Master’s degree (New York, London) and Semester (London) courses are being taught online through the end of the academic year; in London, upcoming short courses and public programs are postponed. London graduation ceremonies, previously scheduled for May 15, have also been postponed with a reschedule date to be announced. Online courses remain open for registration with a wide course catalog offered between April and August.

  • Updated: March 13, 2020

    Having consulted widely on the current situation, Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London will be closed and all teaching will be moved online as of Wednesday 18 March. This is in line with the decision of some major UK universities in the last two days. Students will shortly be able to access the delivery of courses or units online to minimize the disruption of learning. Staff and services are preparing to transition to a remote working scenario. The enrollment office will continue to process applications and be available for any questions or consultations from prospective students.The Bedford Square building will be accessible on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 March. After that time, the Institute will be closed, in the first instance until Tuesday 31 March, when the situation will be reassessed.

    We strongly believe we are taking actions to proactively decrease risk. We appreciate that much of our teaching delivery is based on classroom interactions and site visits. We will endeavor to replicate or substitute as much of the learning experience as possible, in order to facilitate timely and successful completion of courses including assignments.

  • Updated: March 10, 2020

    London Campus

    Sotheby’s Institute - London currently remains open and teaching is continuing as usual in accordance with the UK government’s advice and that of the Office for Students. We are closely monitoring the situation and developing continuity plans. These include preparations to deliver teaching online and solutions to enable colleagues to work from home effectively should they need to.

    We continue to take precautionary measures around travel and student safety, and will communicate directly with our staff and students as updates arise, as well continue to post information on this page.

    Government advice and information

    New York Campus

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art - New York is taking precautionary measures in line with actions of many other New York City universities and businesses: Effective Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York campus will be closed for the remainder of the week so that we can prepare to move our courses online. Any exams or courses scheduled for this week will be rescheduled. In addition, the Career Fair and Field Study will be postponed until further notice. Students can check CANVAS for updates to courses, events, programming, and news about Sotheby’s Institute-New York as we work out the logistics of moving to online instruction for classes. All staff and faculty are advised to conduct meetings by telephone and Skype where possible. We will reassess the policies and communicate any changes as early as circumstances permit.

    Though there are no known cases and no suspected cases of coronavirus on campus, and though no one in our community has traveled to a high-risk area, we are acting in abundance of caution to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Acting now will also give students who wish to do so the option to stay home after Spring Break and meet academic requirements remotely.

    We recognize that the hallmark of the Sotheby’s Institute-New York experience is a hands-on, immersive, object-based approach. We will do our best to replicate as much of the high-quality learning experience as possible online. We also understand that these measures will cause disruption and inconvenience to the campus community, but we strongly believe we are taking actions to proactively decrease risk for our community members.

  • Updated: March 6, 2020

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art (SIA) is closely monitoring the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure that our community and our programs are prepared for whatever steps we may need to take.At this time, there are no plans to close our campuses or cancel programs. If at any point we do need to close facilities or suspend programs, we will communicate that information through the SIA website and by email.