The Master of Arts in Art Business provides a powerful set of transferable professional skills and a solid foundation in the business and management practices essential to a successful career in the art industry.

Offered in partnership with Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the Master of Arts in Art Business is designed to prepare graduates for careers in the many asset-driven sectors of the visual art world. With campuses in New York and London in addition to Los Angeles, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the undisputed leader in art market and art business education, provides students a broad perspective on the increasingly international world of art and its markets. Our program gives students access to a dynamic and innovative local arts community as well as to an international coterie of visual arts professionals via Los Angeles’s great museums, galleries, collections, and arts organizations.

The MA in Art Business provides a solid foundation based on instruction from a distinguished faculty dedicated to three pillars of management education: the “Drucker Difference,” the “Practice of Management,” and “Management in the Creative Industries.” Students typically pursue careers with auction houses, museums, public art organizations, and other art enterprises or they start their own innovative art businesses, such as galleries, media properties, or consulting and advisory firms.

Program Highlights
  • All students complete a Master’s Project of their own design, often directly related to an intended career path; think of it as the first piece of professional work in each student’s future art-world career.
  • All students undertake field study outside of Los Angeles and work with art practitioners and professionals in thriving global cultural hubs like Hong Kong, Beijing, and Mexico City.
  • After the first semester of study, students may choose to switch their degree program (from Art Business to Arts Management and vice versa) in order to take full advantage of the seven concentrations offered within the program. You may apply to either program and have access to the full curricula of both.

Program at a Glance

48 units

1.5 years


MA in Art Business

Featured Courses

Finance & Accounting for Creative Industries

Explores basic rules governing the preparation of financial statements in the creative industries, the flexibility that exists within these rules, the possible incentives of management to make choices from within these rules.

Economics of Strategy & Design Thinking

Employs business-related tenets of economics to generate a modern, consistent, formal framework for strategic decision making, addressing issues ranging from outsourcing to new product lines.

Creative Industries Colloquium

Provides students with an introduction to the curriculum concentrations offered in the program that may be pursued in subsequent semesters. 

Legal Foundations for Creative Industries

Provides an overview of major art law and business topics, including the U.S. legal system, contracts, intellectual property, artist rights, authenticity and title, First Amendment, business structures, and business challenges.

Marketing Management

Examines the process of strategic marketing management and considers its role within organizations, exploring fundamentals of the marketing concept and considering its relationship to other concepts, like innovation and entrepreneurship.

Art Market Dynamics

Introduces students to the structures and dynamics of international art markets: the people, places, and institutions responsible for the flow of works around the globe as well as by and through which they gain their value.

Areas of Concentration



Art Business Onsite
As an ever-evolving part of the cultural landscape, the art world has to be experienced to be understood, let alone mastered. Field study, which is called “Art Business on Site” is a key component of the Art Business curriculum and offers students access to professionals and practitioners outside of Los Angeles as well as opportunities to gain familiarity with other global centers. Sites visited in the last two years have included Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City, and Las Vegas.

The Master’s Project
Every student in the Art Business program pursues a Master’s Project of the student’s own design. Beginning in their second semester, students generate ideas for businesses, products, research, exhibitions, or similar pursuits, which are then refined into proposals for the project. In the third semester, students take part in the Master’s Project Seminar, where they regularly share and critique projects as they move toward completion. At the end of the semester, every student or team submits a final deliverable (e.g. strategic plan, proposal, report, white paper, etc.) and gives an oral presentation to a panel of invited faculty and art world professionals.

Faculty & Research

  • Jonathan Neil profile image

    Jonathan Neil

    Director, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Los Angeles

    Research Interests

    Modern and contemporary art, Architectural history, International art market, Critical writing/theory, History of photography

  • Sarah Odenkirk profile image

    Sarah Odenkirk

    Assistant Professor of Art Business
    Associate Director, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Los Angeles

    Research Interests

    Art law, Intellectual property, Museum policy

  • Alma Ruiz profile image

    Alma Ruiz

    Senior Fellow, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Los Angeles

    Research Interests

    Contemporary Latin American Art, Exhibition Making & Managing​

  • Kibum Kim profile image

    Kibum Kim

    Program Director, Art Business

    Research Interests

    Art Market Dynamics, Comparative Art Markets

  • Jenny Darroch profile image

    Jenny Darroch

    Henry Y. Hwang Dean, Drucker School of Management
    Professor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Marketing

    Research Interests

    [Marketing] strategy, Innovation and entrepreneurship, Brand management, Knowledge management, Consumer behavior

  • Jay Prag profile image

    Jay Prag

    Clinical Associate Professor

    Research Interests

    Corporate finance, Investments, Economics of strategy, Macroeconomics, Nonprofits, Corporate culture

Request information about the Art Business program

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Matt O’Connor

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1185 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)
E: Matthew.O'