The Online Learning Experience

Explore your passion for art, wherever you are.

Discover the people, places, and ideas that define the international art world today.

The Sotheby’s Summer Institute pre-college program offers a dynamic online environment for high school students to explore art and its markets with personal guidance from expert faculty and industry professionals with extensive online teaching experience. The unique accessibility of the virtual classroom brings a world of art and architecture vividly into students’ homes through direct access to inspiring guest speakers and faculty-guided virtual tours of museums and monuments in America, Europe, and Asia.

Designed to prepare students for college-level academic expectations, these two-week online courses guide students as they delve into new ideas, develop critical thinking and writing skills, practice self-discipline, connect with their peers, and discover possible careers paths in the international art world. Special events, including an interactive master class and college night, complement the curriculum with practical skills that students will take with them into university and beyond.

2021 applications are now closed.
Sign up to be notified when applications open for the 2022 program by clicking "Notify Me."

  • What to Expect

    No matter where you are in the world, a computer and a reliable internet connection is all you need to participate in our online pre-college program.

    • A New Kind of Classroom

      All courses take place online in Sotheby’s Institute’s intuitive learning platform, Canvas. Live video discussions are conducted via Zoom and are an integral part of the online classroom experience. The accessibility of this virtual classroom provides students with direct access to international art-world professionals who host daily live sessions with inspiring guest speakers. Guided virtual tours of art sites around the world illuminate famous examples of art and architecture vividly for students. Instructors provide guidance to students every step of the way, empowering students to reach their academic objectives in a comfortable and collaborative learning environment.

    • Course Structure

      All courses are designed to be accessible across different time zones. Each day (Monday-Friday) starts with a welcome session to prepare students for the day. Students then attend a two-hour live session with their lead instructor, followed by a one-hour guided group activity. All live sessions will be recorded. Daily self-paced projects, readings, and viewings are assigned to enhance the course content. Extracurricular and community-building events are also an integral aspect of the program. On the last day, students present final projects and have a wrap-up session with faculty and peers. View sample schedule.

    • Creative Final Projects

      At the end of each two-week course, students will present their final project as a culmination of the program experience. After virtually traveling the globe with private tours of the Whitney conservation lab, the Louvre’s collection, or artists’ studios, students created their own fashion lines, analyzed art as propaganda, and much more. Click here to explore some of the projects students developed in the 2020 program.

    • Meet Your Classmates

      Creating peer-to-peer experiences that allow students to socialize and build meaningful relationships is integral to the pre-college learning experience. Students have many opportunities to meet and get to know others in their course and the larger program throughout the two weeks of each term. In addition to orientation on the first day of class, daily welcome sessions engage students in building connections across all courses. Students also strengthen their relationships through participation in program-hosted events that will focus solely on building community.

    • Study with the Experts

      Since 2012, Sotheby’s Institute has been the leading provider of online art education today. All courses are taught by art industry experts who have extensive online teaching experience. Instructors for each course invite guest speakers from top art-world businesses globally to join live teaching sessions and interact directly with the students. During self-paced study modules, students have access to a team of faculty and academic assistants to answer questions and offer feedback. After the course concludes, students receive a certificate of completion and an evaluation from their instructors summarizing their growth and progress. Students can include these evaluations in their college applications.

    • Extracurricular Opportunities

      Offered at the end of each day, extracurricular events are designed to enhance students’ academic and social experiences. Students can expect a Master Class during which they will hear from a luminary from the art world and will have the opportunity to actively interact and ask their questions. University admissions experts will host a College 101 event, providing guidance on the college application process. An Academic Lounge will be available and staffed by academic assistants who will offer guidance on both coursework and college application essays. Other community-building opportunities include online game nights and social gatherings that will further engage students with their peers.

Applications Now Closed

Sign up to be notified when applications open for the 2022 program by clicking "Notify Me."

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