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Master’s Degree Programs in Fashion Overview

Majors Overview February 12, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in fashion and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Fashion

Students enrolled in a graduate-level fashion studies degree program are given a background in fashion history and offered instruction in the inner workings of fashion. Program coursework requires students to examine fashion and art from a global perspective and also emphasizes practical business knowledge. Elective courses may be chosen to help students meet their career goals. Students complete a master’s thesis and perform research.

Programs vary in length; in some schools, they require students to complete 30 credit hours. In others, enrollees are required to complete up to 42. Students in most programs can choose between full- and part-time study options.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. They must also meet an undergraduate GPA (grade point average) standard, and submit Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores, a personal statement, a portfolio, and letters of recommendation. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination is necessary for international students seeking admission to the program.


Program coursework covers topic areas such as fashion history, culture studies, and consumer behavior. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Aesthetic theory
•Environmental Apparel
•Apparel Management
•Labor Studies

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek various roles in the fashion industry. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Fashion writer
•Fashion consultant
•Marketing Manager
•Fashion Merchandiser
•Fashion designer

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, fashion designers and marketing managers brought in respective average annual wages of $64,030 and $123,450 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, marketing managers were expected to see a nine percent job growth while fashion designers were expected to witness a three percent job growth, attributable to the competitive nature of the industry.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education and professional certification can become members of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). The Fashion, Textiles, and Apparel Competency assessment and industry certification is available through AAFCS, which also provides continuing education opportunities via annual expos and conferences.

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