Kent State University has launched the nation's first Master of Fashion degree program, the university announced Monday.
Launching in fall 2014, the degree program at the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising is designed for highly creative and motivated fashion industry professionals who wish to conduct intensive practitioner-based research.
The Master of Fashion is a 30-credit professional degree program designed to enable students with specialized interests to pursue advanced studies. These areas of study complement the traditional elements of the fashion curriculum, allowing students to customize a cross-disciplinary course of study with a high level of specialization.
"We think of this program as the future of the fashion industry in practice," said J.R. Campbell, fashion school director. "The unique Master of Fashion degree program is positioned to engage with the broad range of resources we support through the school, such as our TechStyleLAB, Fashion School Store and study away locations worldwide."
The program approaches advanced fashion practice from a number of different perspectives, including technology implementation, management, design, sustainability and product development.
"Rather than compartmentalizing aspects of fashion practice into 'art' and 'business,' the MFash program explores fashion as an aggregate phenomenon," said Catherine Leslie, graduate studies coordinator for fashion school. "The coursework is theoretically rich, but it's also commerce-based. We think of the industry as an extension of the classroom."
The MFash also addresses emerging entrepreneurial trends toward small- to medium-sized businesses that manufacture locally or within the United States. Through the integrated use of new technologies, the curriculum will support a greater diversity of employment opportunities connected to the broader fashion universe.
"We are excited to add graduate education alongside the Fashion School's already superb undergraduate programs," said John R. Crawford, dean of Kent State's College of the Arts.