The Master of Arts in Art Business offered in Los Angeles focuses on the visual arts with an emphasis on the commercial infrastructure of market players involved in exhibiting, promoting, and selling works of art.

The program provides a solid foundation in the business of art that is based on instruction from a distinguished faculty drawn from Claremont Graduate University, Museum Leadership Institute, and leading art scholars and professionals who are reshaping the industry.

Program Highlights
  • Core courses in finance, accounting, law, strategy, and marketing are followed by required courses such as art market dynamics, comparative art markets, and new venture creation.
  • You will choose from a wide array of electives, allowing you to personalize the curriculum based on your own interests and career path.
  • As an art business student, you will also benefit from access to the full curriculum of the MA in Arts Management.
  • You will benefit from field study, an important part of the Master’s program. You will go on regular trips in Los Angeles as well as abroad to experience the art world firsthand and get a practical example of what to expect in the industry after graduation. Past trips have included Hong Kong for Art Basel, Shanghai, and Mexico City.

Program at a Glance

48 units

1.5 years


MA in Art Business

Featured Courses

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.

Creative Industries Colloquium

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

Looking at and Writing About Art for Arts Professionals

Teaches practical writing about visual art by looking at a wider range of genres of, and contexts for, writing about art and artists. Types of writing include artist profiles, wall texts, and press releases, as well as short critical reviews and coverage pieces.

The Gallery Business

Gives a detailed look into a contemporary art gallery: what it is, how it functions, how it’s structured, and what role it plays in the greater art world. Includes site visits to galleries to meet with the gallery owners and concludes with each student creating a business plan for a gallery.

Appraising Contemporary Art

Provides the essential framework and methodology of personal property appraisal with an emphasis on contemporary art. Explore the duties of a professional appraiser; learn about different types of appraisals; examine the types of value and valuation approaches used in appraisal reports; investigate different markets and market levels; and explore challenges specific to appraising contemporary works of art.

Curatorial Practice: Foundations of Curating

Explores the function and role of the contemporary curator through the full life cycle of mounting and managing an exhibition. Includes visits to and from professionals at Los Angeles-area museums.

View All Courses

Field Study

Field study travel introduces students to emerging and established art markets, and provides behind the scenes access to artists, art businesses, arts organizations, and leaders in the field. The trips are designed to accelerate the formation of international networks and ensure familiarity with the complexity of the international arts landscape.

View recent international itineraries:


Mexico City

Past global destinations include:

  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghai
  • Beijing
  • Seoul
  • Tokyo
  • Mexico City

Past destinations within LA include:

  • Institute of Contemporary Art, LA
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, LA
  • The Broad

Program Features

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 Onsite” 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 T.D. Neil profile image

    Jonathan T.D. Neil

    Director, Center for Business & Management of the Arts

    Research Interests

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

  • Alma Ruiz profile image

    Alma Ruiz

    Senior Fellow, Center for Business & Management of the Arts

    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

  • Jay Prag profile image

    Jay Prag

    Clinical Full Professor

    Research Interests

    Corporate Finance, Investments, Economics of Strategy, Macroeconomics

  • Melody Kanschat profile image

    Melody Kanschat

    Executive Director, Museum Leadership Institute

  • Hovig Tchalian profile image

    Hovig Tchalian

    Assistant Professor of Practice
    Director, Claremont Game Lab

    Research Interests


Request information about the Art Business program

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Margo Cash

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1186 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)