Fashion Management (MPS)

  • Launching in fall 2019, the master’s program in Fashion Management at Parsons School of Design prepares students to advance and transform their careers in the evolving fashion business landscape. Through the course of this one-year Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree, students learn to challenge existing paradigms in the fashion world in order to create breakthrough ideas in fashion businesses, start-ups, and fashion-related services. Students graduate with in-depth knowledge and advanced skills in global and local manufacturing, ethical production, value chains, marketing, and merchandising.

    This program is part of the School of Fashion at Parsons. Students in the program benefit from the academic leadership, resources, and industry networks that have placed Parsons at the forefront of fashion education.

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    Please note: This program is not currently available for international students requiring a visa to study in the US. We expect that the program will eventually be approved by the US government for those students, and that we will be able to issue the appropriate documents (Form I-20 - Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status). The exact timing for approval is not something that we can predict although we hope it will happen sometime in the near future. If you are interested in applying but require an I-20, we encourage you to join our mailing list to receive updates and continue to check this website for new information.

    Fashion Leadership for the 21st Century

    The MPS in Fashion Management immerses students in the fashion industry as an interconnected system. The 12-month course of study addresses the rapidly changing fashion industry from a range of perspectives, including technology, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, consumer psychology, strategic management, and new business models. Students engage in conversations around the balance of creativity and commerce, how businesses and start-ups can reinvent existing systems, solutions for social media and e-commerce, and the crucial need for sustainability and social responsibility at all levels of the industry.

    Designed for Makers and Managers

    The program is designed to attract a dynamic cohort of working professionals with previous fashion industry experience as well as individuals with undergraduate degrees and backgrounds in other disciplines relevant to retail and consumer goods industries. Students combine creativity and commerce to develop insights and strategies that influence consumers’ perceptions, shopping habits, and interactions with brands and designers. Guided by expert faculty and experienced industry practitioners, students identify business opportunities, new ways to streamline processes for profitability and efficiency, and methods for rapid innovation that unlock emerging opportunities in retail.

    Professional Relevance for Fashion Business

    The curriculum consists of a series of intensive course modules. Throughout the program students gain real-world experience with New York City fashion companies and ateliers through case studies, internships, and site visits, providing them with a portfolio of experiences that can be immediately applied to careers advancing innovation within the fashion industry.

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of careers in the fashion and brand management fields, including Fashion Styling, Fashion Production, Fashion Editorial, Fashion Merchandising, Brand Management, Fashion Marketing, Advertising, and Visual Merchandising.

  • Curriculum

    This 12-month program begins with a week-long on-site orientation workshop for all students. The program delivery involves a combination of five-week course modules, intensive weekends, and semester-long individual research.

    The program offers students an opportunity to engage in live case studies, enabling them to graduate with a unique portfolio of real-world experiences that can be immediately applied to their current place of employment, in seeking future employment, or to develop new business models in the fashion industry.

    Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner. For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions, visit the university course catalog

    Semester 1 (Fall)
    Orientation Workshop

    This orientation is meant to introduce students to current thinking in fashion management. Informed by current and historic principles and thinking in the fashion industry, the course helps students become familiar with the industry and begin to position themselves to explore strategic interventions within existing models to imagine future systemic change. Since much of the program relies on collaboration and a balance of on- and off-site work, the Orientation Workshop is designed to introduce students and faculty, build community within the cohort, and develop a common vocabulary for the work that will be produced. This intensive course prepares students to successfully participate in the program's core classes.

    Systems and Strategies

    This course introduces students to analysis of the current fashion system and explores strategic interventions within existing models to envision future systemic change. Fashion systems often dictate time through the seasonal structures of spring/summer and fall/winter and the mid-season structures of cruise and resort. This course involves in-depth analysis of these seasonal structures while also critically exploring conventional systems such as prêt-à-porter, couture, diffusion line, slow and fast fashion, fragrance, and accessory from a theoretical perspective.

    Global and Local Leadership

    This course explores and compares innovative management methodologies with traditional organizational structures and hierarchies through a global, cross-cultural lens. Leadership principles that govern a variety of roles within a company and are specific to industry are discussed. Strategizing company culture in view of human dynamics, collaborative models, and conflict resolution case studies provides a framework within which to differentiate a company and enable it to compete in the HR landscape.

    Technology and Innovation

    This course explores prevailing frameworks of innovation such as reverse, open, and disruptive innovation, as well as Doblin’s ten types of innovation, to identify and categorize contemporary practices. We examine the ways in which innovators describe their own innovations and processes to compare and assess them in terms of their validity and applicability within the business of fashion. We also look at various ways new technology is changing the landscape.

    Individual Research

    For this course, students meet with a faculty mentor during Orientation to plan an individual research project. The proposal and the development and completion of this work happen online. Presentation sessions are part of the module learning and its assessment. In these sessions, students present a potential project to peers and faculty, examining possible outcomes and problems of methodology and practice, referring to earlier or current examples of that mode of research, and engaging in dialogue with stakeholders, fashion business peers, and faculty.

    Semester 2 (Spring)

    This fashion system course is designed to provide students with all of the core foundational elements necessary to start, run, and grow their own business in fashion products and services. Students begin by developing the concept for their company, analyzing the segment of the fashion industry they wish to enter, and identifying the consumer or business-to-business need, want, and/or “white space.”

    Manufacturing and Production

    This studio course, conducted in collaboration with external partners and industry professionals, explores diverse product life-cycle systems while building a strategic understanding of the value chain. Students acquire a functional vocabulary of global merchandising jargon related to product/resource development, import/export frameworks, and sourcing matrices.

    Retailing and Service Design

    This course, which involves a project-based external partnership, offers an overview of the principles, procedures, and applications involved in successful retailing. The class examines the functions and structures of retailing and learns how they serve society. Students explore promotion, global retailing, location, and image development as well as new technologies used in successful retail organizations.

    Semester 3 (Summer)
    Communication and Social Media

    This studio course, which is supported by external partners, explores the relationships between marketing, brand perception, communication, and brand value as a connected system in the fashion industry. Teams of students are paired with an external industry partner to address contemporary issues related to communicating the core values and codes of a brand.

    Digital Studio and Branding

    This studio course, which is supported by external partners, explores the relationship between fashion branding, design, and the role of product necessary to develop the commercial aesthetics, function, and value of branded textiles and services in fashion. Teams of students are paired with an external industry partner to address contemporary issues related to branding and learn how to create a brand architecture to generate long-term growth for a fashion brand.

    Research 2: Capstone Project

    For the research capstone, students develop the intellectual and organizational skills necessary to carry out and complete a major project as an individual body of research, whether it is a case study, business plan, or practical project with documentation. The course is grounded in bibliographic and IT skills. Different research methods are discussed and critiqued before focused attention is given to one of these methods in sub-groups arranged by discipline and/or methodology.

    *Total number of required credits; elective credit may result in 30+ credits. 30*


    Program Contact


    Admission Requirements


    Application Deadline

    The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.

    Financial Aid Deadline

    Merit Scholarships:
    All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. Scholarship awards are included in applicants’ admission decision letters. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships.

    Federal Student Aid:
    If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid. Submit your FAFSA by our February 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline.

    Application Instructions

    All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.

    Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.

    See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.

    Some of your required materials may be submitted through SlideRoom:

    1. In addition to submitting the online application, Parsons requires that you submit a portfolio using SlideRoom.
    2. Finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application, as we need to receive all required materials before we can place your application under review.
    3. Once you have submitted the required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this for your records and enter it on the online application when requested.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
    2. Application Fee: The application fee is $50. The fee is paid through the online application and is non-refundable. There is also a $10 SlideRoom fee.
    3. Transcripts:
    4. Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
      • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
        Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
      • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
      • Do not mail materials that have been uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.
      • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
    5. The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.
    6. Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the United States) to The New School. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career.
    7. Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for their second semester of study until all official transcripts (including degree-awarding transcripts) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.
    8. By Mail: Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School. See “Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials” for our mailing address in the Additional Instructions and Information section below.
    9. Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors, in order of preference, are
      • Parchment Exchange
      • SCRIP-SAFE International
      • National Student Clearinghouse
    10. We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.
    1. International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation or be evaluated by World Education Services (WES), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admission Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed. The Admission Office reserves the right to request a transcript evaluation if necessary.
    1. If using WES, visit for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “The New School” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.
    1. If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    2. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
    3. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. (500–750-word limit)
    4. Recommendation Letters: You are required to submit two letters of recommendation from faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally. Recommenders can submit recommendations online; instructions are included with the online application. If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the personal information, save the form, and forward it to the recommender for completion and submission. Applicants can also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.

    5. Portfolio (Optional): The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Applicants may submit a portfolio that is limited to ten examples of design or management work. The items must be directly related to your motivation for studies in the program and must be integrated with the topics of your program essay. The visuals should contain enough of an explanation to allow the reviewers to identify your understanding of the design principles, methods, processes, and projects that you chose to represent.
    6. Test Scores: TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IBT) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 63. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.
    7. The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years attendance). Upon review of your application the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score to further evaluate your candidacy.
    8. Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the codes listed above. We accept scores from the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test. For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.
    9. Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 in order to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.

    Additional Information and Instructions

    1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
    2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
    3. Application Status: Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.
    4. Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.
    5. The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.

    Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:

    Parsons School of Design
    Office of Admission (PS 300)
    79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
    New York, NY 10003