University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island

Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design


Communication Studies, University of Rhode Island, 60 Upper College Road, Suite 1

Transition Center

Kingston, RI 02881

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The department offers a Master of Science degree with thesis (30 credits) and non-thesis (33 credits) options.  Additional courses may be required in either option if they are missing from the academic background. Some financial aid is available in the form of teaching assistantships and tuition fellowships.


  • Textile Science – This specialization offers opportunities to study dyeing and finishing, color science, environmental issues, and quality control. Students use textile science laboratory facilities for coursework and research. Possibilities exist for cooperation with Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
  • Historic Costume and Textiles, Textile Conservation, and Cultural Analysis – In this specialization you will develop curatorial, conservation, and research skills under the guidance of nationally known experts. Internships in museums, historical societies, and textile conservation labs are integral to this specialization. The department’s Historic Textile And Costume Collection of some 20,000 items, one of the best university collections in the country, is an outstanding resource for students. URI’s Library also houses a Commercial Pattern Archive of more than 40,000 paper patterns.
  • Fashion Merchandising – This specialization offers advanced study in retailing and consumer behavior. Graduate coursework in Management and Marketing supports this option.


  • Completion of a minimum of 30 credits, including six credits of thesis research.


  • Completion of 33 credits, half of which must be TMD courses numbered 500 or above including at least one course that requires a substantial paper or practicum involving significant independent study. TMD 510 is required of all students. Other requirements vary depending on the specialization selected: textile science; historic textiles and costume, textile conservation, and cultural analysis; or fashion merchandising.
  • Passing a written comprehensive examination. This is scheduled towards the end of a student’s program. It is a day-long exam consisting of four questions submitted by the professors who taught the required courses and the specialization courses. Two questions are to be answered during the 9-12 a.m. time slot; the remaining questions are to be completed from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Completion of a major paper. Typically the student registers for TMD 540 under a specific professor to work on the paper. Although students often identify the research topic they wish to investigate in TMD 510 (Research Methods), they are not completing experiments, designing surveys, or working with primary sources. Instead, the paper is typically a very thorough review of the literature on a specific problem. The student submits three copies of the completed paper – one to the major professor, and one for each of two faculty readers – in advance of a meeting where the paper is presented. The readers and the major professor may suggest revisions. The student is asked to provide the TMD Department with a corrected copy.


New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large Suburb

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

Find Schools