2019-2020 Bulletin 
    Oct 26, 2020  
2019-2020 Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Art Business, MA

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Art Business, MA

See the Addendum  to this Bulletin for changes to this degree program.

The MA in Art Business prepares its graduates for careers in the field of international arts and culture. It’s unique focus is on the commercial and nonprofit infrastructure of the visual arts as well as the value networks of market players involved in exhibiting, promoting, selling, and collecting works of art. The program provides a foundation in business and management practices taught by faculty from The Drucker School of Management, the Getty Leadership Institute, Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s own ranks, and, leading scholars and professionals in the region who are reshaping the industry.


Core courses in finance, accounting, law, strategy, and marketing are followed by a wide array of electives allowing students to personalize the curriculum based on their own interests and career paths. Art Business students also benefit from access to the full curriculum of the MA in Arts Management.


Entrance Requirements

Criteria for admissions include the high probability of the student’s success in graduate study and their potential to thrive in subsequent professional careers following graduation. In keeping with the philosophy of Claremont Graduate University and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the admission decision is individualized and based on a wide range of information about the applicant, rather than on rigid, pre-selected criteria.

Documentation Requirements & Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated based upon the following:

  • Quality of previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate work. CGU requires applicants to submit proof of a completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The school also requires a minimum standard of a B average in undergraduate coursework (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with international credentials must submit academic records in both their original language and literal English translation.
  • A writing sample. The writing sample helps the Admission Committee understand how a prospective student develops ideas, creates a theme or a position, and communicates and defends their ideas in writing. Please submit one of the following:
    • A graded paper of no fewer than 1000 words from an undergraduate or graduate course, completed within the last 5 years. These may be course papers, published articles, professional reports, or other materials that exhibit the candidate’s capacity for written communication. An emphasis on business, performing/visual art, or communications is preferred.
    • A 500-word original review of a current performance or visual art exhibition (modeled on a standard newspaper or magazine review). Please address some or all of the following: analysis of the work, information on the artist and his/her career, profile of the organization hosting the piece.
  • Strength of CV/resume. Candidates are required to submit a resume as part of the application.
  • Candidate’s personal statement of his or her academic career objectives and their relation to the intended program of study. The personal statement allows the faculty to gauge whether the candidate is a good fit for the chosen program.
  • Strength of letters of recommendations from individuals competent to judge the candidate’s probable success in graduate coursework. These letters are usually from individuals the candidate knows well including former professors, mentors, supervisors or those who can give an in-depth evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in regard to his or her preparedness for graduate study. All applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation. A third is recommended, but not required.
  • Interviews. All applicants that are invited for an interview will be notified via email. Interviews are required for admission.
  • Other evidence of potential success in graduate studies. Candidates may submit additional materials that they think are relevant to their application to CGU.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $100 (USD).
  • TOEFL/IELTS (Only Applicable to International Students) The Institute does require an English language Proficiency Exam for non-native English speakers: A minimum TOEFL score of 75 iBT, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, is necessary to be considered for admission to CGU through the International Scholars Program (ISP). A minimum TOEFL score of 95 iBT, or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with no sub-score lower than 6.5, is required for direct-entry admission. Admitted students who score below 95 iBT on the TOEFL, or below 7.0 on the IELTS, will be required to successfully complete ISP (earning a grade of B or higher in each required ISP course) prior to beginning their degree programs.


The Art Business program is a 48-unit, three-semester, full-time MA program that includes a common set of required core courses in general management topics, such as marketing and finance, that have been tailored to the arts and culture industries. The program then deploys a set of competency requirements that prepare students for the professional scenarios that are its target, and it provides students with an array of elective course options for further specialization or broader intellectual sampling. 

All Art Business students are required to take the following 22 units of coursework:

  • ARTBUS 410 Creative Industries Colloquium 0
  • ARTBUS 383 Economics of Strategy (2)
  • ARTBUS 321A Marketing Management (2)
  • ARTBUS 317 Finance & Accounting for Creative Industries (4)
  • ARTBUS 301 Legal Foundations for Creative Industries (4)
  • ARTBUS 300A Intro to Art Market Dynamics (4)
  • ARTBUS 303 New Venture Creation (or: SCE or Pre-Practicum) (2)
  • ARTBUS 309B Startup Studio (or Capstone: Practicum) (4)
  • ARTBUS 308 Art Business On-Site (Field Study Travel) (0)

Students must also take a minimum of four (4) units of the following Professional Practice courses:

  • ARTBUS 314 The Gallery Business (2)
  • ARTBUS 312 Fine Art as a Financial Asset (2)
  • ARTBUS 380A Collections Management (2)
  • ARTBUS 304A The Gallery Business (2)
  • ARTBUS 304B Appraising Contemporary Art (2)

A minimum of two (2) units of additional markets courses:

  • ARTBUS 300B Comparative Art Markets (2)
  • ARTBUS 300C Contemporary Art Markets (2)
  • ARTBUS 406 Secondary Art Markets (2)

And a minimum of two (2) units of additional marketing courses:

  • ARTBUS 325 Strategic Communications for Art, Culture & Media (2)
  • ARTBUS 324 Publicity, Marketing, and Promotions in the Art World (2)
  • ARTBUS 327 Art Collaborations (2)

Capstone: The Entrepreneurship Sequence: All students are required to complete a capstone project developed from the entrepreneurship sequence of New Venture Creation and Startup Studio courses, in which business plans for new ventures, initiatives, or businesses are presented publically to panels of arts professionals and leaders.


Art Business on Site: All students are required to participate in field study travel in their first two semesters within the program. In the past, students have traveled to Mexico City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo.




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