Fashion Management (Online MPS)

  • Parsons’ online master’s in Fashion Management enables you to become a leader in the fashion business world while studying 100 percent online from anywhere in the world. In this one-year Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program, you learn to develop groundbreaking ideas and approaches for fashion businesses, start-ups, and fashion-related services. You graduate with in-depth knowledge and advanced skills in global and local manufacturing, ethical production, value chains, marketing, and merchandising.

    In response to increased interest in online degree opportunities, Parsons continues to accept fall 2020 applications to this online MPS program on a rolling basis.

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    World-Class Online Learning

    The 100 percent online format allows you to conveniently access and complete coursework wherever you may be. Parsons’ hands-on online education is meant for working professionals all over the globe. You participate in online courses featuring asynchronous work (on your own time) combined with real-time learning sessions, using Zoom, in which you engage with your professors and collaborate with fellow students. Our small class sizes and leading-edge online learning platform allow for close interaction with classmates, faculty, and industry leaders.

    Fashion Leadership for the 21st Century

    The MPS in Fashion Management immerses students in the fashion industry as a system. The 12-month course of study addresses the rapidly changing fashion industry from a range of perspectives, including technology, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, consumer psychology, strategic management, and new business models. Students engage in conversations about ways businesses and start-ups can reinvent existing systems, solutions for social media and e-commerce, and the crucial need for sustainability and social responsibility at all levels of the industry.

    Designed for Makers and Managers

    The program is designed to attract a dynamic cohort of working professionals with previous fashion industry experience as well as individuals with undergraduate degrees and backgrounds in other disciplines relevant to retail and consumer goods industries. Students combine creativity and commerce to develop insights and strategies that influence consumers’ perceptions, shopping habits, and interactions with brands and designers. Guided by expert faculty and experienced industry practitioners, students identify business opportunities, new ways to streamline processes for profitability and efficiency, and methods for rapid innovation that unlock emerging opportunities in retail.

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of careers in the fashion and brand management fields, including Fashion Styling, Fashion Production, Fashion Editorial, Fashion Merchandising, Brand Management, Fashion Marketing, Advertising, and Visual Merchandising.

  • Curriculum

    This 12-month curriculum consists of fall, spring, and summer semesters. The program begins with a one-week orientation seminar that provides a deep dive into the New York City fashion industry, including guest speakers and retail visits. All Fashion Management students, on-site and online, are invited to participate together, in person, during this week. For online students unable to come to campus, there is also a fully online version of the orientation seminar.

    Each semester consists of five-week intensive course modules and one semester-long course.  On-campus and online students follow the same sequence of courses.

    Online classes are organized on a weekly schedule, giving students the ability and flexibility to complete self-paced learning around their own schedules and the opportunity to interact live with faculty and peers. These real-time class sessions are scheduled for times that work best for each course section and for students around the globe.

    Semester 1 (Fall)
    PMFM 5000 Introduction to Fashion Management 1
    PMFM 5010 Individual Research 2
    PMFM 5020 Systems and Strategies 3
    PMFM 5030 Technology and Innovation 3
    PMFM 5040 Entrepreneurship 3
    Semester 2 (Spring)
    PMFM 5050 Manufacturing and Production

    In this studio course, conducted in collaboration with external partners and industry professionals, students explore diverse product life-cycle systems while building a strategic understanding of the value chain. Students acquire a functional vocabulary of global merchandising jargon related to product and resource development, import/export frameworks, and sourcing matrices.

    PMFM 5060 Global and Local Leadership

    In this course, innovative management methodologies are explored and compared with traditional organizational structures and hierarchies through a global, cross-cultural lens. Leadership principles that govern a variety of roles within a company and are specific to industry are discussed. Strategizing company culture in view of human dynamics, collaborative models, and conflict resolution case studies provides a framework within which to differentiate a company and enable it to compete in the HR landscape.

    PMFM 5070 Retailing and Service Design

    This course, which involves a project-based external partnership, offers an overview of the principles, procedures, and applications involved in successful retailing. The class examines the functions and structures of retailing and learns how they serve society. Students explore promotion, global retailing, location, and image development as well as new technologies used in successful retail organizations.

    PMFM 5910 Professional Development 1
    Semester 3 (Summer)
    PMFM 5080 Digital Studio and Branding

    This studio course, which is supported by external partners, explores the way the relationship between fashion branding, design, and the role of "product" shapes the development of the commercial aesthetics, function, and value of branded textiles and services in fashion. Teams of students are paired with an external industry partner to address contemporary issues related to branding and learn how to create a brand architecture to generate long-term growth for a fashion brand.

    PMFM 5090 Communication and Social Media

    This studio course, which is supported by external partners, explores the relationships between marketing, brand perception, communication, and brand value as a connected system in the fashion industry. Teams of students are paired with an external industry partner to address contemporary issues related to communicating the core values and codes of a brand.

    PMFM 5100 Research 2: Capstone Project

    For the research capstone, students develop the intellectual and organizational skills necessary to carry out and complete a major project as an individual body of research, whether it is a case study, business plan, or practical project with documentation. The course is grounded in bibliographic and IT skills. Different research methods are discussed and critiqued before focused attention is given to one of these methods in subgroups arranged by discipline and/or methodology.

    *Total number of required credits; elective credit may result in 30+ credits. 30*

    Online Learning Benefits

    Added Flexibility and Self-Paced Experience

    The flexibility of an online program is ideal for students juggling full-time jobs, work travel, and personal commitments alongside graduate school. Rather than requiring you to leave the office early or skip family weekend plans to attend class on campus, many lectures and course components allow you to log on when it’s convenient for you. You also have the freedom to revisit past material or pause a lecture to perform additional research or organize your notes, ensuring that you master the material.

    Demonstrated Self-Motivation

    By successfully earning your master’s degree online, you’re demonstrating your ability to practice time management and your self-motivation, which are among the top qualities employers look for in new hires. The online curriculum is challenging yet highly engaging, befitting the future fashion business leaders in the program. By studying online, you prove that you can tackle multiple tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing work conditions.

    Exceptional Digital Collaboration Skills

    As an online student, you participate in discussion boards with your classmates and communicate with professors by video conference, email, text chat, and online discussion boards. Interacting in this way enables you to improve your communication skills and practice effective teamwork in a virtual workplace.

    Global Perspectives

    Online classrooms have students from across the United States and around the globe. Discussions with such diverse classmates develop your cross-cultural understanding and prepare you to succeed in the global fashion industry. 

    Close-Knit Community

    Although students in the online Fashion Management MPS are based across the country and world, the design of the online program depends on close interaction between students and faculty. Each year, the online program’s student body forms a distinct, highly collaborative cohort that learn and grow together throughout their studies and after graduation.


      Full-Time Faculty

      Mentorship Experience

      The Fashion Management MPS features a unique mentorship experience that deepens your education and accelerates your career development. During your first semester, you attend an online mentor networking event and are then paired with a fashion industry mentor who aligns with your career and research interests. Mentors include highly regarded fashion executives and creatives with extensive knowledge and networks.

       Throughout the program, you engage one-on-one with your mentor using formats and with a frequency that benefit you most. You can meet by video conference, phone, and email, and in person when convenient.

      Current and recent professional mentors include leading professionals from companies and organizations such as:

      • Calvin Klein
      • The Council of Fashion Designers of America
      • The Fashion Scholarship Fund
      • John Varvatos
      • Prada
      • S'Well
      • True Religion

      A number of Parsons board members and alumni also serve as mentors.


      What is the online program’s structure and schedule?

      The distinctive structure and schedule of the online MPS Fashion Management program make make it perfectly suited to the needs of today's professional.

      • The 12-month curriculum is divided into three semesters: fall, spring, and summer.
      • The program begins with a week-long orientation seminar on the Parsons campus in New York City. For students who cannot attend in person, an online version of the orientation week will run simultaneously.
      • Each semester consists of a series of courses, offered consecutively, each lasting five weeks
      • In a typical week, a new class module is released on Monday. You engage in self-paced learning throughout the week, and a real-time class session is held toward the end of week. Assignments for the week are generally submitted by Sunday evening.

      Can I switch to the on-campus version of the program?

      As a rule, students must stay in their program cohort, as either on-site or online students. The program is designed to build a cohort of peers who begin the program at the same time and complete the program at the same pace, in the same classes, all together. This ensures that students build a strong network as the program progresses, with the convenience of taking just one course at a time. However, students facing extenuating circumstances may speak with the program director about switching formats.

      How can I experience New York City as an online student?

      While online students can complete the program from anywhere in the world, the curriculum and courses are deeply rooted in New York City as the fashion business capital of the world. Online students benefit from exclusive content such as video interviews with industry leaders recorded on-site in important NYC locations. They also participate in virtual site visits to retail venues, showrooms, and fashion headquarters throughout the city.

      In addition, we encourage online students living near or planning to visit NYC to take part in the weeklong orientation seminar in person on the Parsons campus. (You also have the option of completing a fully online version of the seminar.) With prior permission, you can arrange to attend on-site lectures and events related to the program. You also have full access to campus facilities such as libraries, study areas, and making centers.

      What career services do I have access to as an online student?

      Online students can access the full range of services provided by The New School’s Career Development and Experience (office. This includes internship support, online job boards, and individualized career advising consultations.

      What if I’m not in the NYC time zone?

      All synchronous (real-time) components of the program are developed and scheduled based on the composition of the student body to accommodate all time zones as effectively as possible. Keep in mind that synchronous sessions are essential and require approximately two hours per week. All other synchronous work is group based and is scheduled on your own time.

      What makes a Master of Professional Studies different from a traditional master’s degree?

      The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) is a graduate degree that, like a traditional master’s degree (Master of Arts or Master of Science), requires rigorous discipline-specific study but focuses more directly on specialized professional skills that can be applied immediately in business settings.

      In contrast to MA and MS degree programs, an MPS degree program:

      • Emphasizes specialized professional knowledge, applied research, hands-on practice, and client engagement rather than theory
      • Is taught mainly by experienced industry experts rather than scholars, giving you real-world insights and expanding your professional network
      • Culminates with an applied capstone project instead of a written research thesis
      • Usually offers a flexible schedule tailored to working professionals (e.g., weekend and evening classes)

      Is financial aid available?

      The New School provides a comprehensive program of financial aid services, including significant institutional scholarship support based on merit and need. All applicants who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are considered for Parsons institutional scholarships. The New School participates in all available federal and state aid programs, including the Federal Pell Grant, Equal Opportunity Grant, and Federal Family Educational Loan programs.

      For more information about FAFSA, university and external scholarships, student loans, campus employment, and other funding resources, visit The New School’s Office of Financial Aid.

      Are scholarships available?

      Applicants to all academic programs at Parsons are automatically considered for partial scholarships based on merit. There is no separate application for a merit scholarship.

      Admission Requirements


      Application Deadline

      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 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.

      Application Instructions

      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.

      Some of your required application materials may be submitted through SlideRoom:

      1. If you choose to submit a portfolio for your application, please finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application, as we need to receive all required materials before we can place your application under review.
      2. Once you have submitted the required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this for your records and enter it on the online application when requested.

      Required Application Materials

      1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
      2. Application Fee: The application fee is $50. The fee is paid through the online application and is non-refundable. There is also a $10 SlideRoom fee.
      3. Transcripts:
        Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
        • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
        • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
        • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
        • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
        The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

        Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts with proof of their degree conferral prior to enrollment. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

        Submitting Transcripts By Mail: Applicants should make arrangements to have their college/university send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for Supplemental Materials. All transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope with the institutional seal and signature of the registrar. All documents not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

        Submitting Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors:
        • National Student Clearinghouse
        • Parchment Exchange
        • SCRIP-SAFE International
        We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

        International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

        International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits: Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), Education Credential Evaluators (ECE), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript.

        Follow all document requirements as outlined on the evaluation service providers’ websites. Evaluations completed by WES or ECE will be sent directly to us electronically by the vendor.

        All other NACES provider evaluation should be mailed directly by the vendor to the address for Supplemental Materials. A copy of the transcript which was evaluated should accompany the evaluation in the same sealed envelope or the official transcript should be sent directly to The New School by the issuing college/university.
      4. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
      5. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. (500–750-word limit)
      6. Recommendation Letters: Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders may submit recommendations online. Instructions are included in the online application. If preferred, the recommendation forms may be sent by mail in signed, sealed envelopes. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the Applicant Information section, and save the form. Forward the saved form to the recommenders to complete the remaining sections and submit. Applicants may also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
      7. Portfolio (Optional): The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Applicants may submit a portfolio that is limited to ten examples of design or management work. The items must be directly related to your motivation for studies in the program and must be integrated with the topics of your program essay. The visuals should contain enough of an explanation to allow the reviewers to identify your understanding of the design principles, methods, processes, and projects that you chose to represent.
      8. Test Scores:
        TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and DET: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or DET scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, for PTE is 63, and for DET is 115. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

        The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or DET scores for applicants who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years attendance). After reviewing your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score to evaluate your candidacy.

        We accept test scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test.

        Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DET requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.

      Additional Information and Instructions

      1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
      2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
      3. Application Status: Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.
      4. Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.
      5. The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.

      Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:

      Parsons School of Design
      Office of Admission (PS 300)
      79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
      New York, NY 10003

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