NYSED: 38535   CIP: 50.0407

The 60-credit Fashion Design MFA program is a two-year, full-time program that invites students to embark on a highly mentored personal journey into their own ideas and philosophies around fashion and design. They are encouraged and supported to innovate in design, fit, cut, construction, silhouette, and materiality, all with intention and meaning. Students are required to reflect with critical distance on their own work as well as contribute as an active participant in the critique space in a collaborative studio environment to gain new perspectives on their own ideas, concepts, philosophies, and ideologies, and to give feedback and insight to others on theirs. 

Upon graduating from this program, students have gained a new level of design fluency and creative confidence, a mastery of their own specialized craft:OLOGY, and an understanding of their place as a maker and influencer in fashion history/futures. They enter personally defined industries as articulate, vocal, and formidable design specialists, not design generalists, and are expected to populate a mix of large-scale, high-end design houses, smaller ateliers, entrepreneurial ventures, experimental think tanks and consultancies, or continued study at the MPhil or PhD level. 

Curriculum below is for the entering class of fall 2022. 



Semester 1
MF 501Thesis Idea2
MF 502Thesis Play3
MF 503Fashion Creation I: X3 Self3
MF 504Design Communication I: Visual Explanations1.5
MF 505The Fashion Activist3
MF 507Pattern Recognition3
Semester 2
MF 522Fashion Creation II: Elective Connect3
MF 523Thesis Focus3
MF 524craft:OLOGY3
MF 525Design Communication II: Image Capture2
MF 603Business I: Brand Marketing and Finance3
Summer Session 1
MF 602International Making Seminar II: Fashion Farming3
Semester 3
FT 522History of Textiles through the Nineteenth Century3
or FT 524 Dress and Textiles in World Cultures
MF 601Fashion Creation III: Design Archaeology 3
MF 604Design Communication III: 2D Curation Portfolio2
MF 605Thesis Edit3
MF 628Business II: Supply Chain Production and Retail3
Semester 4
MF 606Professional Development Seminar3
MF 626Thesis Conclude4.5
MF 627Thesis: Exhibition Design & Portfolio3
MF 629Thesis: Captured/Present3
Total Credits60


All degree programs require that students maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 every semester while enrolled in the program. A student is placed on probation if his or her semester GPA is below 3.0. A student is not subject to academic dismissal at the end of his or her first semester in a degree program. A student will be dismissed from the college after two consecutive semesters with a GPA below 3.0. A final GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.


Eligibility to Attend Commencement Exercises
Candidates for the master’s degree at FIT must have advanced to candidacy before being permitted to attend graduation ceremonies.

Degree Requirements


For admittance to degree candidacy, students must have satisfied all outstanding prerequisites, completed a minimum of 60 approved course credits, achieved a final grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0, and had their qualifying paper proposal approved by their committee. Students must have advanced to degree candidacy before being permitted to attend graduation ceremonies.

International Seminars
Every student in the Master of Fine Arts Fashion Design degree program is required to complete an international seminar. It is recommended that students budget approximately $6,000 in addition to fees for the international seminar MF 602. These figures are approximate and may vary. Additional administration fees may also be required. 


MF 501 — Thesis Idea

2 credits; 1 lecture and 2 lab hours

An intensive orientation course for the Masters of Fashion Design program. Provides the opportunity to engage in workshops, roundtable discussions and mentoring sessions to explore the IDEA students proposed in their program applications. The primary focus is to facilitate the process whereby students explore personal inspirations and concepts differently.

MF 502 — Thesis Play

3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours

This space is a safe playground where students can metaphorically trip and fall allowing for accidental innovation to take place. Students use PLAY in design to provide evidence of personal research through “Doing.” Required to work independently and collaboratively, personal design, and creative and technical vocabulary is expanded. Course provides a strong foundation for work undertaken in THESIS-FOCUS.

MF 503 — Fashion Creation I: X3 Self

3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours

Students are introduced to four key phrases: inspiration, ideation, and testing, as the lenses through which to learn new ways of looking at the fashion design process.

MF 504 — Design Communication I: Visual Explanations

1.5 credits; 3 lab hours

Will explore various ways in which designers can document ideas quickly and efficiently as a tool to visually explain thought processes and/or design ideas and solutions to others. Through a series of in-class exercises students experiment with new ways of designing fashion.

MF 505 — The Fashion Activist

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Requires students to challenge the accepted and traditional methodologies within the fashion system. Asks students to question every step of the process: from inspiration to sample-making and production to sales and marketing.

MF 506 — International Making Seminar I - Fashion Institute of Technology Investigates FIT

3 credits; 6 lab hours

Students investigate a wide-range of body types in real- life situations and examine an individual’s needs. Students observe body in motion and discover how fit and function interact with design. The focus of the two-week making seminar is experiential learning, which includes onsite research, exploration and making in London and Paris.

MF 507 — Pattern Recognition

3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours

First-year students will explore advanced creative pattern making using both digital and traditional methods. An integral and technical part of the design process, pattern making can also be approached more creatively. Experimental approaches to cutting and pattern making can result in innovative designs. Students will be encouraged to formulate a unique approach to patternmaking, while considering practical methods related to pattern creation and workflow.

MF 522 — Fashion Creation II: Elective Connect

3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours

The work done in this course allows for further exploration in relation to the individual’s thesis. Has two core projects, both of which use the work done in the elective spaces as a starting point for design of two 12-look collections. One look from each collection will be fully realized in materials informed by the data collected in the elective spaces.
Prerequisite(s): MF 503.

MF 523 — Thesis Focus

3 credits; 6 lab hours

Relevant industry experts connect with individual students to provide technical support for development of realistic working prototypes. Emphasis on exploring problems and opportunities that present themselves throughout the technical phase. A FOCUS is placed on fabrication, materiality, innovation and invention, user experience, audience and market.
Prerequisite(s): MF 502.

MF 524 — craft:OLOGY

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Provides an examination of fashion/textile/production history. Students explore the relationship between hand and machine, and question the link between technology and fashion. Key innovations in textiles and fibers, clothing manufacturing, and surface embellishments from the past, present and future are analyzed.

MF 525 — Design Communication II: Image Capture

2 credits; 4 lab hours

The process stylists, photographers, filmmakers, and show producers use: to present, document, and archive clothing, transform it into “fashion." This course introduces the students to the many ways creative innovators have captured and created significant moments in fashion and in turn created fashion history. Students experiment in capturing their own fashion imagery through several weeks of in-class assignments.
Prerequisite(s): MF 504.


0 credits

MF 531A — Special Topic: Fashion in TRANS-FORM-LATION

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Like Fashion the English language has many dialects, accents and diverse slang. Communication can often be complex, even more so when communicating to those from other countries. This course focuses on and explores Translation and Mis-Translation as a design tool.

MF 531B — Special Topics in Fashion Design MFA: Pattern Recognition

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

In this course students will explore creative pattern making via object abstraction: cutting, slashing, adding, distorting, twisting, spreading, enlarging, and articulating using visual pattern recognition. This course uses reflective studies, (P·C·S-Mirror World) of culture and society, print and surface/decoration, design/materiality and pattern-cutting/sample-making and fashion, through which to externalize and understand one’s own SELF as a creative.

MF 592 — Independent Study for MFA in Fashion Design

1-3 credit

Prerequisite(s): Approval of instructor, chairperson, and dean for Graduate Studies.

MF 601 — Fashion Creation III: Design Archaeology

3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours

Using the lens of an archaeologist, students examine and analyze the artifacts of material culture and environmental data. Artifacts will be utilized as the starting point from which to design two contemporary collections of clothes. Will also examine intellectual property in fashion, appropriation, and plagiarism through design.
Prerequisite(s): MF 522.

MF 602 — International Making Seminar II: Fashion Farming

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Local fashion systems are compared to distant manufacturing systems. Students travel to diverse local and global communities to examine the complexities of “fast” (Factory Farming) vs. “slow” (Free Range Farming) global fashion production systems.
Prerequisite(s): MF 506.

MF 603 — Business I: Brand Marketing and Finance

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Students learn to develop a fashion brand marketing strategy using traditional methods and interactive technologies. The fundamentals of financial planning and reporting, with a focus on merchandise planning and buying introduce students to brand marketing communications and finances.

MF 604 — Design Communication III: 2D Curation Portfolio

2 credits; 4 lab hours

Assists students in finding their own person way of building a comprehensive portfolio of work. Each project will be re-evaluated and curated into a readable 2D space using a primary focus on simple yet thoughtful and methodical order and format.
Prerequisite(s): MF 525.

MF 605 — Thesis Edit

3 credits; 6 lab hours

An examination of the strongest ideas, best initial prototypes and the happy accidents identified in the previous three phases of the thesis process. Using them, students build the required complete 12-look collection and create prototypes for presentation in a final lineup in toile.
Prerequisite(s): MF 523.

MF 606 — Professional Development Seminar

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

A three-credit advanced professional development course to help graduate students chart their fashion design career paths, market themselves effectively, and transition successfully into the workforce. Class sessions and workshops are complemented by experiential learning or other special research projects, as selected by the student based on their individual professional goals, in consultation with the course faculty member.

MF 626 — Thesis Conclude

4.5 credits; 9 lab hours

Students fully realize the visual and written components of the thesis collection. The visual component includes 8 looks, or equivalent, summarizing the total thesis exploration trajectory. The written component succinctly communicates thesis concepts, theories, goals and reflections.
Prerequisite(s): MF 605
Corequisite(s): MF 627 and MF 629.

MF 627 — Thesis: Exhibition Design & Portfolio

3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours

Students conceptualize, produce and install an exhibition based on their thesis portfolio. Elements of the exhibition include: a business card, hang tag, back neck labels, and clothes hangers that complement the work done throughout the 2 years of study.
Prerequisite(s): MF 605
Corequisite(s): MF 626 and MF 629.

MF 628 — Business II: Supply Chain Production and Retail

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Students learn to recognize the complex processes at play in organizing, managing and supporting an apparel and/or accessories brand from sourcing and manufacturing to distribution and sales. Three key business areas: 1) supply chain, 2) production, and 3) distribution/retail, are analyzed.
Prerequisite(s): MF 603.

MF 629 — Thesis: Captured/Present

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Students capture the final outcomes of their thesis work and develop the tools necessary to deliver new and abstract concepts to their audience confidently. Assists students in finding their own creative confidence for presentation and defence of their thesis.
Prerequisite(s): MF 605
Corequisite(s): MF 626 and MF 627.

MF 692 — Independent Study for MFA in Fashion Design

1-3 credit

Prerequisite(s): Approval of instructor, chairperson, and dean for Graduate Studies.