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Master of Fashion: Schools with Master's Programs in Fashion or Textiles

A master's degree is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice.  Within the area studied, graduates are posited to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.  The degree is awarded upon graduation from a university.  The two most common titles of master's degrees are the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S., MSc, M.Si., or M.C.A.); these may be course-based, research-based, or a mixture of the two. 

In regard to the fashion industry, the majority of students stop at the achievement of a bachelor's degree.  However, options are available for motivated people that wish to achieve a higher level of learning.   If you have already attended fashion school but have a desire for further education, you can research the offerings listed below.

Below you will find a few Master Degree opportunities in the realm of fashion or textiles.

Master of Science in Fashion Design - Drexel University: The MS in Fashion Design is a full-time program that stresses the development of technical skills and research and experimentation. A typical graduate sequence may consist of seven terms of graduate courses and five terms of prerequisite coursework, beginning with the summer term accelerated design and drawing courses.  The curriculum is organized so that studio, laboratory, and classroom work give the graduate student a directed experience in the study of aesthetics, criticism, and contemporary art concepts; contemporary and historic art and design; current technology; the discipline of drawing; and the making of art. Students learn to integrate design's aesthetic, psychological, and social needs with the construction of clothing.  The goal of the MS program in fashion design is to integrate the understanding of design with the construction of clothing so that the final products answer physical, aesthetic, psychological, and social needs within the context of contemporary fashion and industrial limitations. This approach provides a sound basis for a broad range of employment in the fashion industry and in education. Other professional opportunities lie in merchandising, costume design, curatorial work, and computer-aided design.  The faculty of the Department of Fashion, Product and  Design & Merchandising includes art historians, CAD specialists, designers, fiber artists, merchandising specialists, painters, and sculptors. The department also draws on practicing professionals as adjunct professors for specialized coursework and for critique of student work.

Fashion Studies (MA) at the School of Art and Design History and Theory – Parsons: Recognizing the growing significance of fashion, MA Fashion Studies offers a new academic route to advance the research and analysis of fashion as a cultural phenomenon. This 42-credit program, which can be completed full-time or part-time, will be of particular interest to students with degrees in the humanities and social sciences as well as students with art, design, and fashion industry backgrounds who want to gain a deeper understanding of fashion and its scholarship. The program provides an entryway for students who want to pursue careers in fashion research, including fashion archives, museums, and galleries, media and consulting, as well as teaching and academia. MA Fashion Studies also prepares students for advanced research in fashion leading to a PhD.  The courses in this master's program are informed by perspectives and approaches from a variety of disciplines, including fashion history and theory, art and design studies, history, museology, anthropology, sociology, ethnology, cultural studies, and film and visual studies.  Core and elective courses open up broad perspectives on fashion and its interfaces with design, production, consumption, imagination, representation, embodiment, and identity. Students investigate the complex material and visual dimensions of fashion, as dress, image, and bodily practice, and as a major culture industry that positions the individual within the social and global world. They will be challenged to explore the interdisciplinary theories and methodologies that have informed the evolving field of fashion studies and contribute their own inquiries to its advancement.

MA in Liberal Studies - CUNY college: MALS students take four classes within the program—Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies, two core courses in their chosen track, and the thesis—and choose their remaining electives from among all courses offered across the doctoral and certificate programs at the Graduate Center.  The Graduate Center, CUNY — located on Fifth Avenue in a landmark building, the former B. Altman department store — is the only University in the US that is not a design or fashion school to offer a Master's degree in Liberal Studies with a track in Fashion Studies. This is a groundbreaking area of specialization that offers the chance to study the phenomenon of fashion from a variety of standpoints and in a unique interdisciplinary framework. The track in fashion is the result of more than a decade of academic international conferences, exhibitions, film screenings and festivals, and PhD seminars that have taken place at the Graduate Center and that culminated with the establishment of the PhD concentration in Fashion Studies available to PhD students.  This new concentration will enable students to serve as adjunct instructors in the CUNY colleges and beyond where fashion courses are taught.   After being trained in the core courses the program requires, students choose from among a number of electives that will be offered through the Inter-Disciplinary Studies Concentration in Fashion and the wide range of courses offered in the social sciences and the humanities by departments and programs at the GC. Students will receive guidance to develop their own plan of study according to their main research interest and training. The Track's two core courses are: MALS 71200. The Culture of Fashion. The course will introduce students the fashion system, its implications with body, gender and class. It will also consider its role and power in the context of global history, from nations to empire and to globalization as well as recent developments in digital technology. Students will get acquainted with the foundational theories of fashion as well as the most recent research in fashion studies.; and MALS 71300. The Business of Fashion. The course will offer students in depth and critical knowledge of how the business of fashion works through study of new scientific research in technology, design, textile, the functioning of modeling industry etc. as well as addressing issues of globalization, sustainability and the environment.

Domus Academy: The Master program provides an integrated approach between cultural, design, production, marketing and communication aspects through a dialogue with experts in the field. The program is designed to contribute to the development of professionals able to express their creativity and face the new challenges coming from the Fashion world.  The Master program aims at providing participants with a 360 degree perspective on cultural research culminating in a design project.  Domus Academy was founded in Milan in 1982 as the first postgraduate design school in Italy, and as an open project focusing on the Italian Design and Fashion experience. Throughout the years, DA also asserted its importance as a school, in the full meaning of the term: a place for postgraduate education and research lab investigating innovation and design topics.  In December 2009 Domus Academy joined the Laureate International Universities Network  , an internationational network which includes more than 80 accredited campus-based and online universities  in 29 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Northern Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Istituto Marangoni Professionals: Aimed at candidates who have previous undergraduate study in the fields of communication, advertising, business and marketing or similar, or proven work experience.  They have masters programs for women's fashion design, men's fashion design, knitwear, photography, media, luxury brand management and more.  The womenswear fashion design master degree is dedicated to all those students with specific competences in fashion design and to professionals that wish to expand their knowledge on specific themes. Starting from the study of Women's fashion design the course will give an in-depth view of the different fashion trends through the evolution of society. Besides the practical study of how to coordinate a women's fashion collection, the students will acquire also the basic structures of free-hand and digital drawing and the right research tools for identifying trends and contemporary culture.  A women's fashion designer is a precursor of styles: starting from the analysis of the market's history and of the changes of habits and traditions, he/she is capable of designing a collection responding to the needs and requirements of a contemporary woman.

LIM College MPS in Global Fashion Supply Chain Management: LIM College has received approval from the New York State Board of Regents to offer a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree in Global Fashion Supply Chain Management.  The LIM College MPS in Global Fashion Supply Chain Management is a 30-credit, one-year program that will launch Fall 2015. Designed for professionals seeking to advance into strategic management roles, it is comprised of courses dealing with both the technical and management aspects of the field. Students will also gain firsthand exposure to an actual supply chain network via visits to retailers, shipping ports, and local manufacturers.

The Savannah College of Art and Design:  SCAD exists to prepare talented students for professional careers, emphasizing learning through individual attention in a positively oriented university environment.  Fashion M.A. students are required to develop and complete a final project that represents the culmination of their academic program. Prerequisite(s): FASH 716 and completion of the review for candidacy.

Raffles College of Design and Commerce: The Master of Design is a professionally-oriented degree targeted at designers who already have an undergraduate degree in design or the equivalent educational and professional experience. There is a clear demand in the design community for a Masters program that is targeted towards the professional and commercial needs of the design professions and industry internationally.  The following specializations are available: Digital Media, Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Photography.

The Master in Fashion, Experience & Design Management (MAFED) is a full-time, one-year intense program that is taught entirely in English and attracts students from all over the world.  MAFED aims at the culture of results-oriented creativity, which implies coping with the unlimited imagination of creative people, your awareness of the beautiful and original, and the constraints of timing and the fickleness of consumers.  From footwear to clothing, from a scooter to a Ferrari, Italian style is famous around the globe.  Not surprisingly, an Italian city (Turin) was nominated the world's first industrial design capital in 2008. Milan is a European and world fashion center, where the sector includes more than 12,000 companies, 800 show rooms and 6,000 sales outlets, while four weeks each year are dedicated to top shows and other events.  MAFED offers an Italian take on fashion.

IFA Paris: IFA Paris is a fashion school that offers students around the world a vast range of unique and tailored courses.  They give students the choice to study in two of the most globally influential fashion capitals in Paris, in Shanghai and now in Istanbul that sets them apart from other fashion schools.  IFA Paris originated from France and they pride themselves in their strong French heritage. Whether you choose to study in Paris, Shanghai or Istanbul, their lecturers are mostly recruited from France. This approach provides students the French fashion heritage that can be felt as you begin your studies in either school. Having two locations also adds a different edge that mixes the classical side of fashion in Paris with the fast changing fashion and luxury world of Shanghai and the well-connected and the most strategic location for all kinds of trades of Istanbul to truly create a one of a kind learning experience. They offer courses in fashion design & technology, knitting design, luxury brand management, fashion distribution management, fashion entrepreneurship, and more.  They offer bachelor and MBA classes.

We hope that this page has helped you adequately research an appropriate school to attend.  If you have suggestions regarding any master degree programs that should be added or removed from this section, please let us know.

By the way, if you complete research papers while attending a MA degree program or after you graduate, you are welcome to submit your fashion relevant research to Apparel Search for possible publication.  We would very much like to help you share your research findings with the world.  It could help you, help us, and help people interested in learning more about clothing & textiles.

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