This minor addresses the cultural significance of fashion with reference to self-fashioning, embodiment, modernity, and globalization through the study of visual and material culture and written texts. Interpretation of fashion as visual and material culture enables students to gain a broad understanding and critical awareness of its meanings as objects, images, and cultural practices that position people in time and space. Introductory-level courses encourage a lifelong understanding of fashion, while upper-level courses offer more advanced and specialized knowledge.

    The Fashion Studies minor is offered through Parsons' School of Art and Design History and Theory and requires successful completion of 18 credits across six subject areas, as outlined in the chart below.

    Note: Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.


    A student who has completed this minor should be able to demonstrate:

    • Competence in thinking, speaking, and writing clearly and effectively and communicating with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
    • A strong knowledge of the tools and techniques of scholarship. Active research and the writing of analytical and critical essays should continue throughout the program.
    • An understanding of the social, cultural, and global dimensions of fashion; an understanding of key issues and debates linked with fashion and its study.
    • A strong knowledge of the evolution of changing perspectives on, and theories of, fashion and the dressed body in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
    • An understanding of the various research methodologies and practices used in fashion studies, including ethnography and interviews, analysis of material and visual culture, and archival materials; introduction to the importance of primary sources for research and approach.
    • Critical and informed awareness of fashion as a potential agent of change; an understanding of the relationship between fashion and gender, race, class, labor, sustainability, and ethics, which are issues central to fashion studies.
    • A strong knowledge of the multiple scholarly disciplines that have approached fashion and inform our understanding of fashion as its study; an understanding of the relevance of fields related to fashion studies, i.e., art history, material culture, anthropology, and sociology.
    • Ability to competently articulate an informed understanding of the social, cultural, and global dimensions of fashion by analyzing fashion using a variety of methodological traditions, styles, and practices.


    Subject Area Course Options Requirements
    Fashion History 3 credits
    Methodology 3 credits
    • Students should select a course or courses with the course subject code PLFS at the 2000 level.
    3 credits
    • Students should select a course or courses with the course subject code PLFS at the 3000 level.
    3 credits
    • Students should select a course or courses with the course subject code PLFS at the 4000 level.
    3 credits
    Studio Practice
    • Students should select a studio course appropriate to their studio skill and experience. Qualifying courses can be found within subject codes beginning PSxx or PUxx.
    3 credits


    Minors are available to all undergraduate students at The New School, though some minors are closed to students in certain majors (please see the list of preclusions for more details). Students may declare minors outside of their own colleges. To explore this option, contact your academic advisor.

    For questions regarding this minor’s curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Caroline Dionne, assistant professor, at