2019-2020 Bulletin 
    Jul 29, 2021  
2019-2020 Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Art Business and Information Systems & Technology, MA (Interfield Degree)

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Art Business + Information Systems & Technology

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

Marrying the core curriculum of Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s degrees in Art Business and Arts Management with core courses offered by Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Information Systems and Technology (CISAT), this unique “arts and technology” interfield MA is designed for students with an interest in the application of computer and data science to arts and cultural fields, or for students with an arts background who have a demonstrated interest and capacity for software engineering and information technology.


Students complete core courses in two degree programs (the MA in Art Business/Arts Management and the MS in Information Systems and Technology) as well as a handful of specialized and interfield courses, all of which lead to a capstone entrepreneurship course called Startup Studio, where students develop and pitch their own arts and technology applications or initiatives.

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.

GRE Test Scores

The GRE is not a required element of our application process, however we will factor in test scores as part of our decision process for those candidates who have taken the test.


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 a 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, communicates and defends the work 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’s research will thrive with the goals of the department and greater University.
  • 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. It is highly recommended that applicants conduct their interviews on the CGU campus or at SIA-NY or London. However, special accommodations will be made for applicants who must interview over the telephone or via Skype.
  • 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. We require the following exam scores for Masters and Certificate programs: IELTS level 7: TOEFL 100 IBT for the internet based exam; If you have received an undergraduate degree from an Institute where you were taught in English it may be possible to waive the English language Proficiency Exam, upon review of your application.


Programming and Database requirements. Prior to enrollment in Software Development & Programming, students are expected to demonstrate competency in an object-oriented programming language, such as Java, Python, C++, VB.net, or Ruby. Students with limited knowledge of relational databases and SQL are expected to complete a series ofself-paced mini-courses offered by Stanford University. At minimum, completing the following mini-courses is required: (1) Data Models: Introduction & Relational Databases; (2) Querying Relational Databases: Relational Algebra; (3) Querying Relational Databases: SQL; and (4) Database Design: Relational Design Theory.




Semester 1: 16 units (12 SIA; 4 IS&T)

Finance & Accounting for Creative Industries (4)

Marketing Management (2)

Economics of Strategy (2)

Art Business Dynamics (4)

Creative Industries Colloquium (0)

Field Study (0)

Databases and Big Data (4)


Semester 2: 16 units (8 SIA; 8 IS&T)

New Venture Creation (2)

Marketing Elective(s) (2)

Art Business Elective (4)

Software Development and Programming (4)

Communications and Networking (4)


Semester 3: 16 units (8 SIA; 4 IS&T; 4 T-Studies)

Legal Foundations for Creative Industries (4)

Startup Studio (4)

Transdisciplinary Studies Course (4)

Management of Information Systems & Technology (4)


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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