Taught course

Fine and Decorative Art and Design - New York

Sotheby's Institute of Art · Fine and Decorative Art

Entry requirements

All MA applicants are required to have completed a BA degree or its equivalent. Students in their final undergraduate year may apply for admission and will be required to provide proof of graduation prior to registration.

Applicants should demonstrate the following skills:

  • The ability to perform at a postgraduate level, as indicated by academic achievement and recommendations.
  • Knowledge of art history. This generally requires an undergraduate art history major or minor. In special cases, art-related work experience or exceptional exposure to art making and/or collecting will satisfy this requirement. (Applicants with insufficient art history background may be required to take coursework at the Institute or an institution of their choice that is approved by the Institute’s faculty).
  • The ability to speak, write and analyze required subject matter fluently in English.

Work experience is not required. However, relevant employment and/or internships enhance a student’s application.

Months of entry


Course content

The Fine and Decorative Art and Design curriculum is based on a simple belief: the fundamental currency of the art world is objects. The program prepares students for careers in the art world, focusing not only on the history of art in America, Europe and Asia but also on the connoisseurship, valuation and curation skills necessary to study and evaluate objects and engage directly with the marketplace; it examines the diverse cultural histories of objects, makers, and markets of each period. Internships at prestigious art and design fairs, travel and study trips form an essential part of the experience, providing a deeper understanding of global differences and expanding students’ professional networks.

Students in the program come from diverse backgrounds but share a common goal: a career that allows them to connect audiences and objects. Whether in sales, art history, cultural institution management, or the museum world, graduates have the ability to think critically and actively seek ways to foster connections to art through interpretation. Alumni of the program now hold significant positions in galleries, auction houses, art and valuation consultancies, and museums.

Qualification and course duration


full time
15 months

Course contact details

+1 646 438 7234