Cornell has the only Fiber Science & Apparel Design department in the Ivy League, and therefore attracts top faculty and students. Approximately 25 students from various locations throughout the United States and abroad are currently enrolled as graduate students in the field of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. Many graduates of the program enter industrial careers in research and development, design and product development; others find employment in higher education and government.

Please email the Graduate Field Assistant for the pre-application before applying.


The fall admission deadline is January 15 to be guaranteed consideration for available financial aid. Graduate study applications are submitted directly to the Graduate School of Cornell University, which has jurisdiction over all graduate work and advanced academic degrees. Note that we will not review your application until it is fully complete, including test scores. Please do not include copies of certificates, passports or other documents.


Admissions are based on evidence of potential capability for advanced study. Applicants to the MA, MS and PhD must take the General Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Applicants to the MPS do not need to submit GRE scores.

International applicants

International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam.  TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid only if dated within two years of your program's application deadline. Minimum TOEFL scores are as follows: 600 for the paper-based exam or the following scores from tests taken after September 1, 2005: Writing 20, Listening 15, Reading 20, Speaking 22. If ALL of these scores are not met, applications will not be reviewed. The graduate school requires an overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS. Please email the graduate school for information about how to send your scores.


Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credentials services or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services violates university policy, and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission or involuntary withdrawal from the university.

Apparel design applicants

Applicants who wish to specialize in apparel design for an MPS, MA or PhD may be asked to submit a portfolio. Applicants for the PhD must already hold a master's degree.  For those whose research will be in applied design areas, a portfolio is required. Other research areas may not require a portfolio. Portfolios may be either traditional hard copy or electronic and should contain whatever you feel is necessary to show your work. Uploaded portfolios need to be fewer than 10 MB. Portfolios may also be emailed to the graduate field assistant.

Fiber science applicants

Applicants who wish to specialize in fiber science, for the MS, MPS or PhD degree, must have completed courses in calculus, physics and organic chemistry. Applicants for the PhD must already hold an MS in textile chemistry, textile science, polymer science, engineering, chemistry, physics, applied mathematics or a similar discipline. Applicants may be required to make up any deficiencies before admission or as part of the requirements for the degree.

Financial Support

Financial support, in the form of teaching assistantships, graduate research assistantships or fellowships is offered with acceptance to PhD students only. Full assistantships include tuition, fees and individual health insurance. Assistantships are offered for four academic years, mid-August through mid-May.  Continued funding is contingent upon acceptable academic performance constituting good standing in your graduate field and satisfactory fulfillment of any teaching or research responsibilities as defined by your assistantship supervisor.

The department does not provide financial support for master's students.