In the groundbreaking interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Fashion Studies program, students develop a critical and historical understanding of fashion and its complex intersections with identities and cultures. MA Fashion Studies investigates the material
and visual dimensions of fashion as dress, image, and bodily practice and as a major cultural industry that positions the individual within society and the world.
Explore the MA Fashion Studies community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at adht.parsons.edu/fashionstudies. This program is part of Parsons’ School of Art and Design History and Theory (ADHT).
Offered both in New York City and at Parsons Paris, the 42-credit program challenges students to explore the interdisciplinary theories and methodologies that have shaped fashion studies and to contribute to the advancement of the field. Core and elective courses open up broad perspectives on fashion and its connections with design, production, consumption, imagination, representation, embodiment, and identity. Informed by perspectives from a variety of disciplines, courses examine material from art and design history, gender studies, visual studies, film and media studies, anthropology, sociology, and material culture studies. In addition to a broader study, MA Fashion Studies offers two pathways, in fashion curation and fashion journalism, enabling students to gain a deeper knowledge of fashion curation and archival practice or fashion journalism through a series of electives offered by the program and throughout The New School. Interested students can also explore paths throughout the university by completing the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS), designed to promote intellectual collaboration on issues of gender and sexuality in a variety of disciplines.
The program draws on New York City’s museums, exhibitions, and public events. The curriculum also calls for students to observe streets, neighborhoods, and retail environments critical to the fashion system. The program sponsors public events, panels, and symposia such as “Fashion Criticism” and “Fashion Curation.” Student-led projects, like the journal BIAS, offer students opportunities to publish work and collaborate with MA Fashion Studies peers.
Students complete internships at fashion magazines, museums, and fashion companies including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, V Magazine, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Diane von Furstenberg, Comme des Garçons, Ralph Lauren, Halston, and Hermès. Students have the opportunity to spend a second-year semester at Parsons Paris, where they have direct access to some of the most prominent fashion and textiles collections in France through the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Musée Galleria, and the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.
MA Fashion Studies graduates have gone on to pursue PhD degrees at top universities around the world; others work at top fashion media companies and publishing houses, including Rizzoli Publishing, Vogue, W, Nylon, I-D, and InStyle. Some graduates are actively involved in teaching in higher education, while others work in institutions such as the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and as archivists, consultants, researchers, merchandisers, buyers, and public relations professionals in fashion houses and at corporations such as Alexander Wang, Gucci, J.Crew, and Louis Vuitton.
Graduates pursue careers in fashion archiving and curation, museum administration, journalism, media and consulting, criticism, and academia.
The Master of Arts degree is awarded for completion of 42 credits, including a master's thesis. A maximum of six credits of graduate-level coursework may be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point
average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.
Fashion and Materiality: Cultural Practices in Global Contexts
Fashion is intimately tied to the material world. With a focus on...
Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia
Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia considers the role of bodily...
Fashion and Materialism
A cultural and historical philosophy of fashion in economic and social life...
Fashion Projects: On Fashion Curation
Fashion Projects #5 is devoted to fashion curation, examining the meteoric rise...
Fashion and Everyday Life: London and New York
Taking cultural theorist Michel de Certeau's notion of "the everyday" as a...
Fashion Curating: Critical Practice in the Museum and Beyond
As the practice of fashion curation extends into commercial galleries, public and...
Experimental Fashion: Performance Art, Carnival and the Grotesque Body
Experimental Fashion traces the proliferation of the grotesque and carnivalesque within contemporary...
Fashion Studies: Research Methods, Sites, and Practices
The study of fashion has expanded into a thriving field of inquiry...
Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History
Chanel's ambitions and accomplishments were unparalleled. Her hat shop evolved into a...
Fashion Projects: On Fashion Criticism
This issue is devoted entirely to the subject of fashion criticism...
The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, and Globalization
Fashion is both public and private, material and symbolic, always caught within...
Old Clothes, New Looks: Second Hand Fashion
Recent interest in vintage and secondhand clothes among both fashion consumers...
Fashioning Memory: Vintage Style and Youth Culture
The valuing of old clothes as “vintage” and the recollection of the...
Fashioning Indie: Popular Fashion, Music and Gender
Fashioning Indie describes indie's evolution from a 1980s British music subculture into...
As critical thinkers, equipped with strong research and writing skills, our MA Fashion Studies graduates are making their mark on fashion academia, media and publishing as well as in the fashion industry.
MA Fashion Studies graduates employ their skills across a variety of career paths. They have gone on to pursue PhD degrees at universities around the world; others work at fashion media companies, magazines and publishing houses, including Rizzoli Publishing,
Meredith, Vogue, W, Nylon, I-D, and InStyle. Some graduates are actively involved in teaching in higher education, while others work in institutions such as the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum
of Art and as archivists, consultants, researchers, merchandisers, buyers, and public relations professionals in fashion houses and corporations such as Alexander Wang, Tory Burch, Gucci, Net-a-porter, J. Crew, and Louis Vuitton.
Our MA Fashion Studies graduates have continued their studies in interdisciplinary PhD programs at top universities in the United States and abroad. They include the following:
MA Fashion Studies graduates work in various fields in fashion, from higher education and museum institutions to fashion media and magazines, fashion buying, merchandising and operations, market research, nonprofits, and start-ups, including the following:
The application deadline is January 2. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the deadline pending space availability in the
program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.
Financial Aid Deadline
Merit Scholarships: All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships.
Federal Student Aid: If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at
www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal
aid. Submit your FAFSA by our February 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline.
All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.
Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an
Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.
See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.
Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
Explore the Fashion Studies Community
Heike Jenss, Program Director
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