Human Ecology M.P.S. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Fiber Science and Apparel Design

Program Description

The common focus of the field is the study of fibrous materials and their use as apparel, as engineering structures (such as composite materials), in biomedical applications, and in home furnishings. The Field of Fiber Science and Apparel Design is applied and multidisciplinary, with faculty members drawn from the Colleges of Human Ecology and Engineering.

Students are expected to develop strength in their base discipline as well as gain appropriate breadth to support the area of specialization. Active research programs exist in high-performance fibers and fiber-reinforced composites; Green composites; detergency and surface chemistry; perfume treated fabrics; textile materials in biomedical and geotechnical applications; polymers for electronics; liquid-crystal polymers; textile-dye chemistry; crystal morphology of fibers; electrospin of fibers; cellulose; apparel and fashion design, design ethnography; sizing and fit of apparel; functional apparel; cultural and historic studies of clothing and textiles; mass customization and technology; and technology management in the apparel industry.

Outstanding facilities for research and study are available in the College of Human Ecology and the College of Engineering. Textile and polymer science laboratories are equipped with modern instrumentation for chemical, physical, and mechanical analysis and with a controlled temperature and humidity room. Apparel design studios are equipped with industrial sewing equipment. Video image-capture and photography equipment is available in a visual analysis lab. The functional apparel lab houses a variety of human-factors testing equipment, including a full-body scanner.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-3151

208 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • apparel design
  • fiber science


2022-2023: $40,888

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, December 15

Requirements Summary:

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam or IELTS Academic Exam for non-native English applicants
  • two recommendations and recommendation forms
  • portfolio for Apparel Design applicants

Admission is based on evidence of potential for advanced study. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL test scores. Those foreign students who recently received undergraduate and/or advanced degrees in creditable U.S. academic institutions are waived the TOEFL requirement, provided they demonstrate proficiency in English communication. Pre-applications are required for M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. programs; forms are available from the address above. Applicants to the Ph.D. program in fiber science should have an M.S. degree in textile chemistry, textile science, polymer science, engineering, chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, or a similar discipline. Applicants who do not have an appropriate M.S. degree should apply to the M.S./Ph.D. program. Applicants who want to pursue studies in apparel design may be required to submit a portfolio to the Director of Graduate Studies, if their research interests involve a design component.

Learning Outcomes