Essential Program Information

What is the program objective?

The Global Fashion Management program is designed to advance middle-management professionals to executive-level positions within the apparel and related industries, based on a curriculum of applied and theoretical study. The program is also designed to develop entrepreneurial skills with the goal to launch companies. By expanding students’ knowledge across broad segments of the industry ­– and perhaps most importantly, unfamiliar subject matter – participants will gain a more integrated and global perspective. Through class and seminar lectures, research, guest speakers, and site visits, students will receive the most current information available, pertaining not only to the apparel industry, but also to global trends in finance, economics, management, marketing, technology, and other disciplines which impact fashion industries around the world.

Students enter the program from their respective career track with the goal of moving into an executive position within their own, or another company or starting their own business. New York students typically retain their professional positions throughout the program; some, however, change companies and positions during or after completing the program.

What do we mean by "industry-related experience?"

Industry-related applies to professions in retail, apparel production, marketing and merchandising, textiles, operations, supply chain management, and accessories industries. In addition, we consider experience in design, fashion journalism, luxury goods marketing, brand management, import/export, digital and technology, and industry-related economic development, among other relevant disciplines.

The ideal candidate will be serving in a junior to mid-managerial position. Three years of experience as a sales associate and internships (even if they are industry related) do not qualify as acceptable professional experience. We will also consider those with professional experience in areas such as public relations, business and law if clients or accounts include brands and/or retailers from the apparel and related industries (including accessories, jewelry, licensing, and beauty). 

Why do you require a minimum of three years of professional experience?

Applicants are assumed to be more knowledgeable in their field and more comfortable with business principles when they enter the program with a foundation of experience. Our objective is for classes to be composed of professionals who “speak the same language” based on a general knowledge of the apparel industry and specific knowledge of their specialty. Industry experience makes it possible to facilitate a more productive level of classroom discussion in New York and around the world, and yields a greater appreciation of cultural differences and integration of ideas.

Preference is given to candidates with greater than three years of experience; a portion of that experience may come from outside of the industry in managerial, financial, marketing, or design roles. The level of professional responsibility, frequency of promotions, and longevity of positions are all taken into account in reviewing applications.  

Is the GRE Required?

The GRE or GMAT exam is not required. All viable candidates will receive in-person or Skype interviews.

What is the M.P.S. degree?

The Master of Professional Studies at FIT is an industry-related degree, which emphasizes specialized knowledge and applied research. Classes are balanced with both theory and practice and taught by career academics as well as industry professionals. GFM’s mission is for students to meet the complex demands of the contemporary industry, which is most effectively offered through the M.P.S.

When are classes held?

Classes are scheduled in the evening (6:20-9:10), three evenings per week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday), to allow professionals to complete the degree while remaining active in their jobs and in the industry. The exception to this schedule is the 10-day or two-week seminar, which takes place every semester in New York, Paris, Hong Kong, and Mexico City. No classes take place during the summer. Many courses require team meetings, which often take place on weekends. 

When do classes begin?

Classes begin the last week of August. There is only one intake per year, which is the fall semester.

How large are the classes and who attends?

Each cohort is comprised of 15 to 20 students. Approximately 40% of students are international, reflecting the diversity of New York City. International students also offer valuable insights into the apparel industry in their respective countries. Among New Yorkers, students and alumni represent major brands and retailers including Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Brooks Brothers, Tiffany, Global Brands Group, Coach, West Elm, Zappos, and Ralph Lauren. Among European brands, students and alumni represent Ferragamo, Hermès LVMH, and Chanel. 

Students are also employed by textile mills, specialty and boutique retailers, trend and data analytics companies, accessories companies, sourcing companies, advertising agencies, and consulting firms. Positions include operations, supply chain, planning, product development, design, production, public relations, marketing, buying, and sales. Many design and produce their own collections as entrepreneurs, and participate in the program in order to strengthen their business capability.

Are the seminars mandatory?

The ten-day to two-week seminars are mandatory; students must participate in the New York, Paris, Hong Kong, and Mexico City seminars within the sequence of the program curriculum.

What is the cost of the seminars?

It is recommended to budget approximately $4,000 per trip for the Paris and Hong Kong seminars, and $3,000 for Mexico City; the cost of seminars in not included in tuition. An additional administrative fee of $500 for each seminar will be required. These figures are approximations and will vary according to individual spending habits.   

Is it possible to accelerate the program?

It is not possible to accelerate the program and no classes are offered online. Courses must be taken within the recommended sequence of the program curriculum.

Does the program assist in finding employment for students?

The program does not accept responsibility for finding positions for those who are seeking employment or interested in changing employers. The program does, however, provide a vast network of professional colleagues in New York and worldwide. Students are encourage to network with professors (full time and adjunct), and the numerous guest speakers they’ll meet in the classroom and at seminars.  

Students have the opportunity to make meaningful and lasting affiliations among this talented and connected group of professionals, leading to life-long friendships and employment opportunities. In addition, networking sessions are held on a regular basis featuring industry speakers.


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Pamela Ellsworth
Associate Chairperson

For general admissions questions, please contact the School of Graduate Studies.