A graduate degree in apparel and textiles enables students to pursue careers in higher education, business, and government. The program prepares students for careers in college teaching, research, extension, education administration, marketing, consumer service, product development/evaluation, and entrepreneurship. Emphasis is placed on the development of analytical skills and problem-solving skills and equips graduate students for continued intellectual and career growth. Graduates receive the degree of Master of Science in human environmental sciences, with a major in clothing and textiles.
Students in the graduate program may concentrate in the behavioral aspects of clothing; the international aspects of textiles and apparel; or historic costume and textiles. The faculty assists each graduate student in planning an individualized program suited to the student’s career goals. The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate courses. A graduate course in statistics must be completed successfully. Graduate students are encourages to participate in research and service activities of the faculty as a means of developing direction for the graduate program. Since graduate courses in the department have prerequisites, students should contact the Department of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design for information about minimum preparation for graduate study.
At present, we have faculty doing research in the following areas:
- Dr. Marcy Koontz has been exploring the scholarship of engagement in higher education for the several years. Her work focuses on the implementation and assessment of meaningful sustainable projects that engage students in the local community - from preservation of cultural heritage resources to helping develop and implement innovative programs that address community issues from a design perspective. Her previous research focused on emerging technologies with an emphasis on the application of advanced computer graphics software in the field of apparel and textiles, and developing and constructing advanced computer-based curricula for apparel and textiles instruction.
- Dr. Amanda J. Thompson's topics of research include textile science issues, historic and archaeological textile analysis, and cultural interpretation of textiles and the crafts that support textiles. She also is working with alternative fibers and 3D printing and its use in textiles.
- Dr. Michelle (Xiao) Tong's current research interests include soft-goods branding management, E-commerce, international marketing and international trade of textiles and apparel products.
- Dr. Virginia Wimberley's research deals with application of microscopy and other analytical methodology to the analysis of pre-historic, historic and contemporary dress and textiles for their contributions to the material culture. She has worked on Native American prehistoric collections from Ohio, Georgia and Alabama. Currently she is starting an investigation of the role of clothing in sex role stereotyping by preschool children.
The Department of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design maintains the Carolyn Stewart Historic Costume Collection and the Comer Historic Textiles Collection for use in teaching and research. The University’s research facilities include the Mary Harmon Bryant Hall which is the repository for the department’s historic costume and textile collections with the Mary Harmon Moman Doll Collection and the Wade Hall and Greg Swem Quilt Collection, as well as other University collections; Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, which belongs to the selective Association of Research Libraries; Central Analytical Facility; and the Seebeck Computer Center. Excellent computing capabilities exist within the College. Campus agencies that foster interdisciplinary research include the Small Business Development Center, the Capstone International Center, the Hess Institute, and the Institute for Social Science Research.