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Costume Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #28 (BCR) New York City, NY, United States
The field of costume studies is one of the most exciting areas of current visual arts research. Since 1979, the MA program in Costume Studies at New York University has focused on the history of costume and textiles in its broadest aesthetic and cultural context. It was the first curriculum in the United States to educate specialists in this field.


Our MA program in Costume Studies at New York University focuses on fashion as a significant and vital cultural product. With a core of courses on the history of fashion and textiles, the curriculum emphasizes research and analysis of the fascinating phenomenon of dress. Not limited to the study of garments, Costume Studies extends the term “fashion” to all aspects of appearance as students are encouraged to consider recent developments in the light of what they learn about the past.

Your experience and individual research will be enhanced by access to NYU’s specialist faculty, world-class research facilities and the rich offerings of New York’s museums, galleries, auction houses, and other institutions.


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
  • Collection managers and exhibition consultants
  • Auction house specialists
  • Private dealers and appraisers
  • Archivists and historical researchers
  • Educators, writers, journalists, critics 

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Literature & Methodology of Costume Studies 
  • History of Costume: Prehistory to 1800 
  • History of Textiles: The Material of Fashion 
  • History of Fashion Photography 
  • History of Costume: The 19th Century
  • History of Textiles: The Modern Era
  • Dress in World Cultures
  • Costume Conservation and Display
  • History of Costume: Contemporary Dress
  • Contemporary Design Culture

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 24 months
    • Duration description

      Students have up to six years to complete the program.

  • Credits
    36 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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General Requirements

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English
  • Personal Interview - A personal interview is required for qualifying students living in or close to New York City. For qualifying students living outside the metropolitan area, a telephone interview is required. The program office will notify you if you are a qualifying student and an interview is required.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    21540 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 10770 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    21540 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 10770 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for New York City

  • 1819 - 3970 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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