Master of Arts in Costume Studies

Learning Objectives & Curriculum

Student Learning Objectives

1. Students will learn to conduct research and produce original scholarship on the history and theory of dress and textile by identifying and using appropriate research sources and methods.

2. Students will analyze the relationships between dress and textiles and various fields of studies, such as politics, economics, social history, technology as well as the visual, applied and performing arts.

3. Students will apply research and analytical skills in professional settings, such as exhibition praxis and internship placement.The program requires 42 points for completion, on a full- or part-time basis. Students in the program must complete a substantial, well-researched master’s thesis. Research focuses on a particular interest or issue in the field of costume studies. Students work with their program adviser to develop a research topic and complete the final phase of the thesis during their last semester.

MA Costume Studies Curriculum

First Year
Fall - 12 points
ARCS-GE 2012 Literature & Methodology of Costume Studies (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2061 History of Costume I: Prehistory to 1800 (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2077 History of Textiles I: The Material of Fashion (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2911 History of Fashion Photography (3 points)

Spring – 12 points
ARCS-GE 2062 History of Costume II: The 19th Century (3 points)
3 electives chosen from among:
ARCS-GE 2078 History of Textiles II: The Modern Era (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2913 Dress in World Cultures (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2069 Costume Conservation and Display (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2064 History of Costume IV: Contemporary Dress (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2912 Contemporary Design Culture (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2302 Internship
Or other electives from across NYU 

Second Year
Fall – 11 points
ARCS-GE 2063 History of Costume III: The 20th Century (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2022 Research in Costume Studies (Thesis part 1) (2 points)
2 electives chosen from among:
ARCS-GE 2910 Graduate Projects: Exhibition Praxis (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2102 Design and Culture: The 20th Century
ARCS-GE 2302 Internship
Or other electives from across NYU

Spring – 7 points
ARCS-GE 2301 Final Project (Thesis part 2) (1 point)
2 electives chosen from among:
ARCS-GE 2078 History of Textiles II: The Modern Era (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2913 Dress in World Cultures (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2069 Costume Conservation and Display (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2064 History of Costume IV: Contemporary Dress (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2912 Contemporary Design Culture (3 points)
ARCS-GE 2302 Internship
Or other electives from across NYU

Detailed course descriptions for the MA in Costume Studies Program. 

This program of study is intended as a guide for progression through the two-year Costume Studies M.A. Course sequence and is subject to change.

Dual Degree Curriculum: MA Costume Studies/MS Library and Information Science

Students transfer nine NYU credits to Palmer LIU and eight Palmer credits to NYU to complete the required credits for the two degrees.

Required Courses

ARCS Courses:

  • ARCS-GE 2012 Literature & Methodology of Costume Studies (3 credits)
  • ARCS-GE 2061 Costume History I: 1500-1804 (3 credits)
  • ARCS-GE 2062 Costume History II: The 19th Century (3 credits)
  • ARCS-GE 2063 Costume History III: The 20th Century (3 credits)
  • ARCS-GE 2061 Costume History IV: Contemporary Dress (3 credits)
  • ARCS-GE 2302 Internship in Costume Studies (3 credits)

Palmer Courses:

  • LIS 510 Introduction to Library & Information Science (3 credits)
  • LIS 511 Information Sources & Services (3 credits)
  • LIS 512 Introduction to Knowledge Organization (3 credits)
  • LIS 514 Introduction to Research in LIS (3 credits)
  • LIS 785 Mentoring (4 credits)

Elective Courses

ARCS Electives:

  • 12 credits of ARCS courses (4 courses)

Palmer Electives:

  • 12 credits of Palmer elective courses (4 courses)

ARCS Culminating Experience

  • ARCS-GE 2022 Research in Costume Studies (2 credits)
  • ARCS-GE 2301 Final Project in Costume Studies (1 credit) 

The dual degree program provides unique opportunities for orientation, mentorship, and professional training. The program structure includes:

  • Boot Camp
    Four half days of introduction to research library functions and discussions with librarians or information professionals in various special libraries, i.e. museums, archives, media, etc.
  • Internships
    A minimum of two (maximum of four) internships of 35 hours per semester in relevant institutions.
  • Assessment meetings
    One group meeting each semester to collectively discuss student’s current internship experiences and one individual meeting each semester with the Dual Degree Program Coordinator.
  • Professional Development
    A module to prepare students in the areas of job search, cover letter and resume writing, and interviewing.


Program Total: 61 points