Admission to Graduate School

Prospective students for the School of Graduate Studies submit a formal application to a degree program. Applicants are expected to display adequate preparation for graduate study by possessing or demonstrating interest, abilities, experiences, and goals that are compatible with the degree program of interest. Admission decisions are based on a holistic review of credentials in which multiple criteria are used to judge the appropriateness of an applicant to their field of study and predict probable success in the graduate program. 

For general admission questions, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at gradadmissions@fitnyc.edu.

Criteria for Admission

Listed below are minimum standards for admission to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Office of Graduate Admissions:
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. The expected standard for the cumulative undergraduate grade point average is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent. Applicants who have completed three years of undergraduate coursework or the equivalent are considered for admission when they indicate they have the remaining year of coursework in progress, and there is sufficient documentation of the proposed coursework for the remaining year.
  • In the case of international students, evidence of English language proficiency that meets or exceeds institutional minimums.

In addition to meeting the minimum standards for admission to a graduate program, all degree-seeking students must satisfy any additional requirements of the specific graduate program. 

Graduate programs reserve the right to set higher admission criteria and standards than listed for the School of Graduate Studies. 

Application Requirements by Program

Art Market Studies
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation 
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • TOEFL / IELTS scores (International Applicants)
  • Two college-level Art History courses - All students entering the program are expected to have taken two college-level courses in the history of art.
  • GRE scores (Recommended)
Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation
  • 3 Letters of recommendation - Two letters must come from professionals with whom you have worked, and the third from a college or university faculty member with whom you have studied.
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • TOEFL / IELTS Scores (International Applicants)
Exhibition and Experience Design
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • TOEFL / IELTS Scores (International Applicants)
  • Portfolio
    • The portfolio for the Exhibition and Experience Design Program should consist of 20 pages of design work within one single .pdf file. The portfolio should include:

      • Samples of drafting in AutoCad or Vectorworks

      • Proficiency in Creative Suite programs, including Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop

      • 3D digital rendering in 3D Studio Max, Sketchup, or other programs

      • Additional work in sketching, hand rendering, other software applications a plus

      • SlideRoom will only allow applicants to upload one PDF file. Applicants must arrange their work within those 20 pages, and the file can not exceed 20MB.

      • If an applicant has examples of other forms of artistic pursuits, such as photography, painting, sculpture or media, please include these with the portfolio. Creative expression, looseness, and playfulness are appreciated.

Fashion and Textile Studies
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • GRE scores (Recommended)
  • TOEFL / IELTS Scores (International Applicants)
  • College – Level Art History Courses - students entering the program are required to have taken four courses in the history of art. Up to two of those courses can be from related humanities areas, such as history, archaeology, or literature. 
  • College – Level Chemistry Course - students entering the program are required to have taken one term of college-level chemistry with a lab component (usually called General Chemistry I). This course can be taken at any accredited college or community college and can be taken pass/fail.
  • College – Level Foreign Language Courses - entering students must have some proficiency in the use of at least one language other than English. Preferred languages are French, Italian, Spanish, and German (in that order), but other languages are acceptable. The requirement may be met in one of the following ways:
    • Two years (usually four college terms) of a foreign language on their academic transcript
      • Students with prior experience in a language or studied a language in a nontraditional way may take a proficiency exam given by the department once each term to demonstrate mastery of their language at the appropriate level.
Fashion Design
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • TOEFL / IELTS Scores (International Applicants)
  • Thesis proposal and Portfolio – The MFA in Fashion Design thesis proposal and portfolio are the central components of the application for admission.
    • Thesis Proposal – applicants are required to submit a written thesis proposal in Slideroom as a part of their application. The thesis proposal presents the scope of work students plan to pursue in the MFA in Fashion Design program and the questions students want to attempt to answer through your research. We understand that concepts can be abstract, so students should view the proposal as a guide through the development of ideas. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the methodology that will guide their research, with an understanding that the thoughts and ideas will evolve as students go through the program. The proposal will aid the mentors and industry partners specially selected for the student’s project in crafting their personal journey, working closely with the student to define the context their project will best be understood.
    • Portfolio – Applicants should include their best and most recent work, and the submission should be presented as two separate PDF files.
      • The first file should be a 10-page visual representation of the thesis proposal written in the online application for admission. The committee should be able to establish a connection between the thesis proposal and the visual representation. Our committee looks for candidates who can present a record of thinking through both written and visual pieces.
      • The second file should be a 15-to-20-page selection of your work completed to date. We encourage you to look beyond conventional mediums. Your portfolio should tell a story of your creative process and how your work will confront commonplace thinking in fashion.
      • Each PDF should not exceed 10MB. 
      • If an applicant has examples of other forms of artistic pursuits, they are welcome to include these in the portfolio. This is optional and will not be considered if the program’s portfolio requirements are not met. Please make sure the link is set up for public access. If an applicant removes the original or restricts access to the link, it will no longer be viewable in SlideRoom.
Global Fashion Management
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • GRE /GMAT (Recommended)
  • TOEFL / IELTS Scores (International Applicants)
Illustration
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Official academic transcripts or course-by-course International Credential Evaluation
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae / Resume
  • 3 Short essays / 1 Optional essay
  • TOEFL / IELTS Scores (International Applicants)
  • Portfolio
    • The MFA in Illustration portfolio should consist of 15-to-20 pieces, including a document listing commissioned or unpublished works. Slides and original work are not accepted.

    • Work should showcase best and recent work, demonstrating range and skill across various types of artistic media. Life drawings and drawings from observation are required, as we evaluate conceptual ability, technical skills, and narrative sophistication.

    • Quality of portfolio presentation is considered. Images should be submitted as LOW-RES files (72 dpi), using the format #_Lastname.jpeg, with each illustration numbered sequentially.

Definition of Requirements

Online Application
The School of Graduate Studies only accepts online applications. The Office of Graduate Admissions uses CollegeNET for the receipt and processing of graduate applications. Through the CollegeNET account, applicants can submit and review their complete application, and access post-submission updates through the applicant portal. A link to the portal can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Application Fee
All applicants must submit an application fee, payable by credit card or electronic check. Application fees are nonrefundable. If an applicant applies to a wrong program in error, it is the responsibility of the applicant to select and pay for a new application.

Academic Transcripts
Applicants must submit official transcripts from each college or university attended, listing all courses taken, grades and degrees earned, and dates of graduation to the Office of Graduate Admissions. If an application is submitted prior to the conferral of an applicant’s bachelor’s degree or equivalent, admitted students will be required to submit their official, final transcripts prior to their arrival at FIT.

Transcripts must be mailed directly from the college/university registrar OR sent electronically from services such as eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse. (Current/Former FIT students need not request academic transcripts from FIT; these will be supplied by internal procedures.) 

Our mailing/email address is:
Fashion Institute of Technology 
School of Graduate Studies
Office of Graduate Admissions, Room E316
227 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
gradadmissions@fitnyc.edu

Candidates with degrees earned outside the United States are required to obtain a course-by-course international credential evaluation. Additional information about foreign credential evaluation services can be found on our International Applicants and Students page.

Resume/CV
A resume or CV that includes the applicant’s employment and professional history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, noting part-time or full-time experience. Applicants are encouraged to include information about relevant skills, experience, and achievements.

Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders should be able to speak to your scholastic ability or professional performance. Recommenders will be required to complete and submit an online evaluation form through the online application system. Mailed and emailed recommendation letters will not be accepted.

Essays/Written Statements

Our essay questions are designed for applicants to show their personality while communicating clearly about their educational pursuits. We encourage applicants to discuss future professional objectives, including pertinent work and travel experience. Essays topics are revealed as you complete your online application.

Standardized Test Scores
GRE results are valid for five years prior to the semester of your application. Competitive applicants should score above the 50th percentile in all areas. These are not cut-off scores, as a holistic approach is taken when making admissions decisions. GRE scores must be submitted in paper or electronically from Educational Testing Service to institution code 2257.

Additional information about the GRE may be obtained by visiting www.gre.org

English Language Proficiency Scores

Applicants who speak English as a second language must submit evidence of English Language Proficiency to do graduate work, as measured by the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or the IELTS academic (International English Language Testing Service) exams. This includes individuals who did not graduate from an undergraduate institution where the primary language of instruction was English, or come from a country where English is not the official language.

Portfolio
A portfolio is a compilation of materials that demonstrate your skills, qualifications, education, training, and experiences. Submission of an online portfolio is required for all studio programs. Requirements vary by department. Specific portfolio requirements can be found on the Portfolio Requirements page on the School of Graduate Studies website.

The admission process

The admission process for the School of Graduate Studies is a collaborative effort between the Office of Graduate Admissions and the academic program. An admission file for all applicants who meet the application requirements by the posted deadline for their respective program is forwarded to the appropriate academic department by the Office of Graduate Admissions.  

The fact that an applicant meets minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a specific program. The Office of Graduate Admissions monitors whether the minimum admissions requirements established by the Fashion Institute of Technology are met, however, the in-depth review of an applicant’s credentials takes place within the program. Individual programs are responsible for reviewing applicants and recommending admission for the top applicants in each cycle through a self-conscious and objective measure to recommend admission or denial for candidates.

When recommending admission for a candidate, factors contributing to an offer may include, but are not limited to, the following institutional guidelines:

  1. A minimum grade-point average of B or better (3.0), or demonstration of aptitude for both quantitative and qualitative coursework 
  2. Applicable leadership or managerial experience
  3. School of Graduate Studies English language proficiency minimums of:
    • TOEFL: A minimum TOEFL IBT (internet-based test) score of 85
    • IELTS (academic): A minimum band score of 6.5
  4. Standardized test minimums of:
    • GRE
      • Verbal Reasoning: 150 or > the 50th percentile
      • Quantitative Reasoning: 150 or > the 50th percentile 
      • Analytical Writing: 4.0 or > the 50th percentile 

Evaluation of Applicants

The Office of Graduate Admissions supports the candidate evaluation process by facilitating a holistic approach to reviewing application materials. Departments are responsible for determining the relative importance of each application component in the decision-making process – based on an understanding of what each component can provide. Factors considered when evaluating an applicant for a degree program may include, but are not limited to, the quality of the applicant's undergraduate or graduate preparation as determined by the undergraduate or graduate institution attended; undergraduate or graduate grade point average and performance in specific courses; scores on standardized admission tests; employment history; an evaluation of the applicant's portfolio of work; the motivation and attitude of the applicant as determined by written statements, letters of reference, writing ability, and a personal interview (if necessary). Programs are required to rank all applicants as it is essential to explaining and defending the program’s recommendation.

Programs are expected to be fair and inclusive of all qualities a candidate for admission may possess and review all components of a complete application to determine whether their documentation includes, individually, or in combination, competence in the following areas:

  • Academic Qualifications
    • Grade Point Average
    • Test Scores
    • Analytical Writing
  • Relevant Experience
    • Knowledge of the Industry
    • Insight into the Industry
    • Commitment to the Industry
  • Personal Qualifications
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Cognitive Style
    • Relationship of Values to Program
  • Demonstrated Leadership/Leadership Potential
    • Adaptability, Flexibility
    • Discipline, Professionalism
    • Teamwork
  • Overall Impression and Recommendation
    • Effort, Motivation, Engagement
    • Fit at FIT
    • Preparedness for Graduate Study

Offer of Admission

Applicants will be notified that a decision has been made on their application via their email. In order to view their official decision letter, applicants must log in to their online portal. The offer of admission specifies the type of admission offered and is good only for the semester and program for which the applicant applies. A graduate applicant may be offered conditional admission if sufficient evidence is presented to suggest that the applicant has the ability to pursue graduate work. The admission offer must be officially accepted or declined by the stated deposit deadline in the admission letter. All offers must be accepted by submitting an intention to enroll form and a deposit, which is applied to the first term of tuition.

A denial of admission is not subject to appeal. 

FIT and the School of Graduate Studies reserves the right to rescind offers of admission if applicants fail to satisfy all requirements or it is determined that admission was obtained through the use of incomplete, falsified, altered, or embellished information. The College also reserves the right to withdraw the offer of admission to any student based on cancellation or revocation of any credential required for admission.

DEFERRALS

The Office of Graduate Admissions, in coordination with the academic department, will consider requests from admitted students to defer enrollment up to a maximum of 12 months from the original enrollment date. Deferrals will only be granted to admitted students who have submitted the required deposit for the original admit term. If a deposit was not received, the student will be required to reapply for a future term. If a student does not enroll in the term to which they were granted admittance to, they will be required to reapply for a future term.

REAPPLICATION

Former FIT students who have not completed their degree requirements within the timeline to completion for their respective program must reapply for admission. Courses taken 10 or more years ago are subject to reevaluation and must be approved by the appropriate department chair and/or academic dean in order for students to receive credit toward their degree. If admitted, the student must satisfy all financial obligations to FIT before returning to the college, including all maintenance of matriculation fees. 

Applicants who wish to reapply to a program must submit a new online application and supporting documents and pay the application fee. Official transcripts from previous applications remain on file for up to 12 months and may not need to be resubmitted. The student will be admitted under the degree requirements in effect at the time of reapplication.