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.

The MA in Art Business provides a solid foundation in the business of art that is based on instruction from a distinguished faculty drawn from the Drucker School, the Getty Leadership Institute, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and accomplished professionals, arts leaders, and artists who are reshaping the culture in Los Angeles and beyond.

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 then go on to select from a rich array of electives that allow you to personalize the curriculum to 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.

Program Highlights
  • You will complete a Master’s Project of your own design, often directly related to an intended career path; think of it as the first piece of professional work in your future art-world career.
  • You will 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.
  • As an art business student, you will have access to the full curricula of both the art business and arts management programs.

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.


Semester 1
Creative Industries Colloquium (2 units)
Finance & Accounting for Creative Industries (4 units)
Economics of Strategy (2 units)
Legal Foundations for Creative Industries (4 units)
Marketing Management (2 units)
Intro to Art Business Dynamics (2 units)

Semester 2
Contemporary Art Markets or East Asian Art Markets or Comparative Art Markets (2 units)
New Venture Creation or Pre-Practicum (2 units)
Electives (12 units)

Semester 3
Capstone: Startup Studio or Practicum (4 units)
Electives (12 units)

Sample Electives*
The Gallery Business
Appraising Contemporary Art
Art Law
Social & Digital Media Marketing
Comparative Art Markets
Design Thinking
The Auction Business
Fine Art as a Financial Asset
East Asian Art History and Connoisseurship
Contemporary Art Markets

*Elective offerings are subject to change from semester to semester as new electives are added and some electives are discontinued.

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 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

  • 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

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Margo Cash

Assistant Director of Admissions and External Affairs, Sotheby's Institute of Art – Los Angeles
T: 909-607-1186 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)