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Master of Science

Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design



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 Fashion 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.


See Course Descriptions | See Catalog Information


  • Completion of a minimum of 30 credits, including six credits of thesis research.
  • Thesis and the passing of an oral examination in defense of the thesis. Four copies of the thesis prepared in accordance with the Graduate School requirements must be submitted to the Graduate School.


  • 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 fashion, textile conservation, and cultural analysis; or fashion merchandising.
  • Completion of a major paper. Typically the student registers for TMD 540 under a TMD 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 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 and to archive the paper on Digital Commons.

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a bachelor’s degree with adequate preparation for the proposed area of study are required. For the GRE tests a 900 combined verbal and quantitative score is the minimum requirement.  The undergraduate degree may be in textiles and clothing, or in a related field. Students with a degree from a related area may need to make up deficiencies without graduate credit. International applicants must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test results may substitute for the TOEFL. The minimum score is 6.5.

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships, scholarships, awards and fellowships are available on a competitive basis through the Graduate School. The University has encouraged matriculation of qualified minority applicants through diversity assistantships. Occasionally contract work in textile testing or textile conservation pays qualified students on an hourly basis.


To apply to the program, submit an online application with the URI Graduate School.


For more information, please contact Dr. Linda Welters, Graduate Program Director, at 401.874.4525 or lwelters@uri.edu

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