Apparel, Merchandising, and Design


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    Join our award-winning faculty and multi-talented graduate students in a graduate education experience that will ignite your spark and help prepare you for academic and industry positions. Our faculty who have expertise in the areas of consumer behavior; creative, technical, and functional design; merchandising, management, and entrepreneurship; and history, social psychology, and cultural studies are dedicated to your success. We offer both on-campus and hybrid (distance) Master’s and Ph.D. programs.
Degrees Offered:
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Online Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Online Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Area(s) of Emphasis:
  • Consumer behavior
  • Creative, technical, and functional design
  • Merchandising, management, and entrepreneurship
  • History, social psychology, and cultural studies
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Faculty members in the program expect all students to demonstrate mastery of required coursework by maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better. All students will demonstrate the ability to work in teams, design a research or creative project, and communicate in writing and orally. In addition, all students are expected to be aware of societal, professional, and ethical issues related to the discipline.
  • Upon successful completion of the graduate program, AESHM graduates will be competent in the following four areas:
  • Critical Thinking: 1.Assimilate, integrate, and evaluate research/creative activity in the discipline of interest and related disciplines. 2.Implement appropriate methods for research/creative activity. 3.Apply relevant theory in scholarship. 4.Demonstrate a multi-disciplinary perspective appropriate to the field. 5.[PhD] Develop a program of research/creative activity that contributes uniquely to the field of study.
  • Self-Reflection/Self-Assessment: 1.Develop a program of scholarship, industry experience, and teaching as appropriate to the requirements of the individual’s professional situation. 2.[PhD] Formulate a professional philosophy in teaching, scholarship, and/or service.
  • Social Responsibility/Ethics: 1.Explain, analyze, and/or describe how moral and ethical issues apply to individual situations in the relevant field of study. 2.Demonstrate an understanding of ethical scholarship and professional practices.
  • Communication: 1.Interpret and communicate scholarship to diverse audiences (e.g., scholarly, families, consumers, agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations) in written, oral, visual, and electronic (WOVE) formats.
  • Faculty members strongly encourage doctoral students to present at discipline-related meetings such as the Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism, or the International Textiles and Apparel Association Annual Meeting at least once before graduation. Doctoral students also are encouraged to publish at least one paper prior to graduation.
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the doctorate: 5.0 years (Methods)
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 1.8 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Dr. Ann Marie Fiore
Phone: 515-294-9303
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Graduate Program
    2302 Osborn Drive
    31 MacKay Hall
    Ames, IA 50011

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements:
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Copy of transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)
  • Electronic link to portfolio (design and product development-focused applicants)
  • 16 in section 1 of TOEFL Internet (iBT)
  • Program Requires GRE: No
  • Program Requires GMAT: No
  • Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No
International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 550
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 53
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    On-campus student applications for fall semester admission are due March 1 but by February 1 for the best chance at scholarships and assistantships; hybrid student applications for summer cohort admission are due March 15. On-campus and hybrid student applications for spring semester admission are due October 15.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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