Costume Studies (MA)

Department Website

Program Description

In recent years, costume, dress and textile studies has expanded into one of the most exciting areas of current interdisciplinary research, spanning material and visual culture, historical methods and cultural theory. The MA program in Costume Studies reflects these developments and offers courses that emphasize the study of dress and textiles across historical and geographical contexts. The 36-credit curriculum includes core courses as well as electives in history and analysis, exhibition and museum topics, art theory and criticism, and the decorative arts. 

Multiple faculty in the program are associated with museums and galleries in New York. Students are exposed to collections of costumes, accessories, and related objects at leading institutions, including the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the New York Historical Society. The internship component of the program enables students to gain firsthand work experience and make valuable professional contacts.

Dual Degree Option
A dual-degree option between the MA program in Costume Studies and 
LIU's Palmer School of Library and Information Science bridges professional librarianship and research in dress and textiles. The 61-credit dual-degree MA/MSLIS program offers the same core courses and elective options at NYU with the additional combination of courses that address library and information science.

Career Opportunities

There are many options available for those who graduate with an MA in this rapidly expanding field, such as curators, collection managers, and exhibition consultants, museum administrators, auction house specialists, private dealers and appraisers, archivists and historical researchers, educators, writers, journalists, critics. Graduates of the dual-degree MA/MSLIS program also have the option to enter careers in university and museum libraries.

Accreditation (NASAD)

NYU is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
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Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.