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.
This program is part of Parsons’ School of Art and Design History and Theory (ADHT). Learn about the
ADHT community and explore our
blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.
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.
The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority 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
All applicants selected for admission into our program are considered for a merit scholarship award that is determined by the strength of their application. Scholarship award notification is communicated at the same time as the admission decision. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Web at
www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)
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
Hazel Clark, Program Director
Read and download viewbook