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Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice

Historical perspective plus practical applications

The Master of Arts program in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice combines the rigorous study of fashion and textile history with hands-on training in the analysis, conservation, storage, and exhibition of textile and costume materials, and in collections management and exhibition planning and design.

The hallmark of this interdisciplinary program is its blend of theory and practice. You'll study the historical and cultural significance of fashion interpretation, and be trained to approach costume and textile history from various traditional and innovative perspectives. You'll also learn practical skills, from how to identify fibers and treat various kinds of objects, to the proper way to roll a textile and dress a mannequin.

You'll gain experience in planning and organizing an exhibition by working with fellow students to create and install an actual exhibition in The Museum at FIT. Students handle every aspect, from selection, research, and presentation of the objects to print materials, publicity, and opening reception. Internship opportunities offer additional experience and professional contacts.


  • Through faculty and alumni, students have networking opportunities in museums throughout the United States and around the world.
  • The Museum at FIT, one of the most comprehensive repositories of costumes and textiles in the country, and the Gladys Marcus Library, with its extensive special collections, are extraordinary on-campus resources.
  • New York City's array of acclaimed arts institutions provides a wealth of opportunities for study and inspiration. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, along with dozens of galleries in FIT's Chelsea neighborhood, and famed auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's are just a few of the city's treasures.
  • The New York Public Library and the Frick Art Library are among many resources for in-depth research.
  • Graduates find positions as curators, collections managers, historic house directors, fashion and textile historians, costume and textile conservators, and vintage clothing and textile dealers, among many others.