Apparel and textiles majors study the fibers that produce cloth and other materials. While most of the work in apparel and textiles is related to clothing, there are also textile designs in business and other manufacturing industries. Students who major in apparel and textiles have the opportunity to work in a variety of business settings. Several colleges in the United States offer master's degree programs in apparel and textiles.
Eastern United States
Students at the Fashion Institute of New York in New York City can earn master's degrees in fashion and textile studies with an emphasis in history, theory and museum practice. Master's candidates learn the care and preservation of historic fabrics and how to put historic clothing collections together. The University of Rhode Island also offers a master's program in historic costume and textiles in which students work in the university's Historic Costumes and Textiles Collection. Students learn preservation, research skills and collection conservation and curatorial skills.
In the Midwest
Kansas State University offers a master's program in apparel and textiles. The program focuses on design, product development and marketing of apparel and textiles. Students may specialize in project design, product development or textile and apparel marketing. The University of Missouri has several labs with the latest computer technology, such as a digital textile printer, a body scanner, an apparel technology lab and a BioPac Psychophysiology lab to measure students' reactions to clothing choices; textile students can conduct behavioral research.
Southern Master's Programs
The University of Texas at Austin has a master's degree program in textile and apparel technology. UT's is a technology-driven program -- the university says many employers are seeking textile graduates who have experience with computer-aided design, body scanning and virtual clothing. The University of Georgia in Athens offers a master's program in textiles, merchandising and interiors. Students may receive assistantships, which means they attend tuition-free in exchange for teaching classes or conducting research within the department. Georgia allows textiles students to specialize in textile science, historic/cultural aspects of dress and textiles, merchandising/international trade, and interior environments.
West Coast Apparel Colleges
Colorado State University in Fort Collins has a master of science program in design and merchandising with specialization in apparel and textile design, apparel production, historic costume and textiles, and textile performance. Students can work in the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising on campus. Oregon State University in Corvallis offers a master's program in design and human environment with a specialization in textiles. Graduate students at Oregon State may apply for an assistantship, which usually includes tuition remission. Other fellowships and scholarships are available.
- University of Texas: School of Human Ecology: Textiles and Apparel Graduate Program
- University of Georgia: Textiles, Merchandising, and Interiors
- University of Rhode Island: MS Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design
- Colorado State University: M.S. in Design and Merchandising
- Oregon State University: OSU Foundation Fellowships
- Oregon State University: Design and Human Environment
Lori Garrett-Hatfield has a B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She has a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. She has been working in the Education field since 1994, and has taught every grade level in the K-12 system, specializing in English education, and English as a Second Language education.