Apparel, Merchandising, and Design – Master’s

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Graduate studies in apparel, merchandising, and design extend your knowledge, research, and creative scholarship beyond the basics to take a close look at industry-wide issues, such as outsourcing, sustainability, and customer buying behavior. This program also gives you many opportunities to present and publish research and creative work alongside world-renown faculty members.

The apparel, merchandising, and design program offers two master’s program options available on-campus or via distance (hybrid) learning:

  • Master’s of Science
  • Non-thesis Master’s of Science – for graduate students interested in careers in museums, cooperative extension, or business and industry positions.

Download flyer for more information.

Admission Requirements

Graduate College Requirements:

  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.

Program Specific Requirements:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Copy of transcripts

For details visit the Graduate College website.


For the master’s of science degree, a minimum of 30 credits is required.

The credits are divided into three groups:

Group 1: includes an introductory course to graduate study in apparel, merchandising, and design  plus courses in research methods and statistics. Included in this group are the 6-7 credits for the required research projects, which the student reports in thesis form.

Group 2: includes the major course work in apparel, merchandising, and design.

Group 3: includes a minimum of 2 courses taken in related disciplines outside apparel, merchandising, and design.

Choice of courses depends on the student’s background, goals, and research topic. The program is planned by the student and the Program of Study (POS) Committee.

M.S. Non-Thesis Requirements

Iowa State University (ISU) offers a distance (hybrid) format to complete the master’s in apparel, merchandising, and design. In the hybrid distance format, award-winning ISU faculty prepare you to succeed as a professional in industry, museums, or academia.

This hybrid distance format features one or two short on-campus summer coursework sessions (on-campus requirement waivered for summer 2021 due to Covid-19). Other credits can be done at a distance, most through synchronous course delivery with on-campus courses. Refer to the AESHM Student Handbook for curriculum requirements.

Contact Information

Ann Marie Fiore
1062 LeBaron Hall

Iowa State Online

Graduate College Information

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