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Scopes of higher education on textile and apparel

Whether we realize or not, textile engineering is important and it plays a vital role for mankind. In most of the countries in the world, it is not a highly demanded subject to study.  But in Bangladesh the subject is one of the most lucrative subjects. As one of the leading textiles and garments producing country, Bangladesh is also a land where you have ample opportunities to learn textiles from educational and manufacturing institutions. With a dedicated full-pledged University only for textiles, a large number of other public and private institutions are providing degrees on textiles and apparel. But as far as quality and curriculum of education is concerned, there is still a large scope to move forward. With sustainable trend of global business, Bangladesh textile and garments industry have no way but to look for value added products. Hence, a huge number of highly educated textile professionals’ requirement is on the card. As technical textile education is still unavailable in our country, as it was depicted in my last article, this one is dedicated to the students who are looking for higher education in textiles form abroad to serve the country better.


To begin with, it’s important to understand what is expected from a textile engineering degree or what it is actually all about. Most of the universities consider textile and apparel as different course and they provide separate education and degrees unlike what is practiced in Bangladesh. So when someone is planning for higher education abroad, he should plan in advance and have a thorough study of the available opportunities in offering. As it is not possible for all to finance his/her education abroad, there is no way but to look for scholarships. Requirements for scholarships also vary university to university. So a clear concept about the offerings is a must to explore the best possible opportunity.

How to Approach

The approach towards winning a scholarship is very important. At the outset, one has to decide on the following two factors.

*What to study?

*Where to study?

1A current Graduate Research Studentt from BUTex at the College of Textile, North Carolina State University (NCSU)

Textile & Apparel is a diversified subject and varieties of applied degrees are offered from different educational institutes globally.  Textile Engineering, Textile Management, Textile Science, Clothing Manufacturing, Clothing Management, Fashion Design, Fashion Business, Fashion Merchandising, Apparel Merchandising are the common degrees one would find. So, one has to decide his subject of choice at first.

To choose a university it is convenient to categorize the world in following three blocks.




This is because the academic structure, quality of education, scholarships offered and admission requirements varies in these three regions.


03North America is an amazing place for higher education and North American degrees carry great value in the job market. Hence, most of the meritorious students who are looking for post graduate studies are definitely eying for USA or Canada. USA basically, is known for huge research grants and most of the research and development that the world talks about takes place at university laboratories. USA education system has made it a perfect premise for the scholars across the world to use their resources to research and innovate.  However, the number of universities that are directly offering degrees mentioned earlier is still fewer compare to other basic engineering fields.  No difference in Canada as only two or three universities is offering courses on textile. Here is a list of the American Universities that are historically popular in recruiting Asian students for graduate studies in their respective textile departments.

1.     North Carolina State University (NCSU)

2.     Kansas State University (KSU)

3.     University of Philadelphia (PhilaU)

4.     University of Missouri, Columbia (UM)

5.     Iowa State University (ISU)

6.     University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)

7.     University of Texas at Austin (Utexas)

8.     The University of Rhode Island(URI)

9.     Florida State University (FSU)

10.  Auburn University(AU)

Apart from this list there more than 20 universities, colleges and institutions that offers courses mainly on apparel and fashion but are not likely to provide funding.

North Carolina State University (NCSU:

NCSU is one of the best 100 universities of the world and College of Textile is one of the richest textile colleges. NC State University College of Textiles has two academic departments named Textile Apparel Technology and Management (TATM) and Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science (TECS). These two departments offer four bachelor degrees in Fashion and Textile Management, Textile Technology, Polymer and Color Chemistry, and Textile Engineering, along with four Masters Degrees and two Doctoral Degrees. In addition, it offers a dual degree with the College of Design (BA and BS) in Art and Design and Textile Technology. A concentration in medical textiles is also offered in Textile Technology degree and it is the only known program of its type in the world.

With 300,000 square feet of research and teaching space NCSU is able to partner with industry in 61 labs located within the college. These facilities are capable of all manufacturing operations from producing nanofibers to making an end product. The college is also the home of The Nonwovens Institute, the Textile Protection and Comfort Center, and the Institute of Textile Technology. With all these research facilities in the field of technical textiles, NCSU can be regarded as the leading university in textile research.

Graduate admission at NCSU thus is highly competitive and requires a minimum of 3.0 out of 4.0 CGPA in the B.Sc. and a high GRE score. At least 65th percentile in the GRE score is recommended to be eligible to apply. A minimum total TOEFL score of 80 is required with a minimum score of 18 in each sub group on the internet-based test.

So if you think one has the guts and can meet the requirements NCSU can provide the best available research facility and a prestigious degree in textiles.

Kansas State University (KSU):

Another great university that you can look for is the Kansas State. KSU is a heritage university in America with a great history. KS provides M.S. and Ph.D. in Apparel and Textiles from its department of Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design.

The M.S. programs in Apparel and Textiles focus on design, product development, and marketing of apparel and textile products. Individualized programs of study, capitalizing on the interests and disciplinary backgrounds of students and faculty, are developed to build the theoretical, technical, and methodological skills necessary to solve human ecological problems involving apparel and textiles. The M.S. degree in Apparel and Textiles prepares students for professional careers within industry, for college instructor positions, and as preparatory work for a Ph.D. degree.

The Ph. D. is awarded from the College of Human Ecology on Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design. The degree is designed to enable students to combine knowledge of apparel and textiles with an understanding of its application to a broader human perspective.

Admission requirement to KSU is also very strict and you must have a high academic profile to convince a professor.

University of Philadelphia (PhilaU):

Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce is another academic excellence in textile education under University of Philadelphia. The M.S. in Textile Engineering program is intended to develop graduate students’ knowledge in the advanced fields of textile science and engineering. The program offers a wide range of textile engineering courses that prepare students to make significant contributions in advanced manufacturing technology and textile materials technology.

The goal of the Textile Engineering and Science Doctor of Philosophy program of PhilaU is to educate textile engineers who combine theory, practice, scholarly research and application of knowledge in their chosen professions. It is expected that graduates of the doctoral program will pursue careers in basic and applied research in industry, government or university settings. Graduates will contribute original research and scholarly publications in the fiber and textile fields.

02The Kanbar campus of Philadelphia University

The doctoral program in Textile Engineering and Science emphasizes not only depth in fundamental textile engineering and science/mechanical engineering disciplines, but also an interdisciplinary approach to understanding technologies in which textile engineers and scientists can and should take a leading role.

Another distinct program from this college is the MS in Textile Design. The MS in Textile Design at Philadelphia University offers an integrated, collaborative and proven curriculum that blends aesthetic, creative skills with emerging technologies.  In studios and classrooms, students turn innovative ideas into original products.

State-of-the-art facilities, including The Center for Excellence of Digital Printing, electronic jacquard and dobby looms, computerized knitting machines, and extensive computer-aided design laboratories enable students to put professional skills into practice. The Design studio courses make up the majority of the coursework in the M.S. program and design research is stressed from the beginning.

Graduate student select either knit, print or weave as their area of concentration and the courses are taught by active members of the textile design field: artists, design directors, authors and researchers. Visiting artists and guest lecturers expand the educational experience, bringing real-world applications to the classroom experience.

Admission to this prestigious university requires academic transcripts, two recommendation letters, official GRE score, personal statement and a great resume.

University of Missouri, Columbia (UM):

University of Missouri offers a unique degree under the College of Human Environment Science. Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) offers exciting array of opportunities to learn about the soft-goods industry–a term that includes the textile, apparel, and retailing industries. Students in TAM will learn about the enormous contribution these fashion-related industries make to the national and global economies. UM provides the chance to study this versatile subject with award-winning professors.

The MS Program is an individualized plan of study. Each program varies based on student interest, background and ability. Through coursework, internships, study tours, student organizations, and interaction with industry experts, students learn about careers in the field. When students graduate from TAM, they have the skills and knowledge they need for a variety of careers in the soft-goods industry, skills that are valued and transferable to other industries as well.

The PhD Program  is one of only a few programs that offer a PhD in textile and apparel management. The TAM graduate program ranks among the top programs in USA. Doing graduate work in TAM at the University of Missouri offers students a strong faculty base, superior research expertise, comprehensive library access, computer labs, interdisciplinary and intercollegiate research opportunities.

Admission in to UM also requires a high GRE score and English proficiency certificate (TOEFL). TAM is an excellent degree to target for the textile management & apparel merchandising students.

Iowa State University (ISU):

Another University that offers quality graduate study in apparel merchandising is the Iowa State University (ISU). Graduate studies in apparel, merchandising, and design extends knowledge and research beyond the basics to take a close look at industry-wide issues, such as outsourcing, sustainability, and customer buying behavior. Students in this program are afforded many opportunities to present and publish their research alongside world-renown faculty members. The Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program of ISU proudly claims to have the single largest group of textbook authors anywhere in the field of fashion – so not only are you learning out of a relevant, applicable textbook, but your professor is likely the one who wrote it.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL):

If textiles and fashion are your passion, let the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design of University of Nebraska-Lincoln be your springboard to an exciting career. The Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design offers MA, MS and Ph.D. programs in Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design with focuses available in Textiles and Apparel Design, Textile Science, Textile History and Quilt Studies & Merchandising.

Students should have a minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.00 and minimum scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as follows: Verbal 150 Quantitative 141 and 4.0 Analytical Writing (200 prior to 2002). For textile science students, the minimum scores are 143 for Verbal 155 Quantitative and 4.0 Analytical Writing.

The University of Texas at Austin offers a M.S. in Textile and Apparel Technology that focuses on material synthesis and characterization, textile evaluation, computer-aided design, and textile conservation. The program is designed to prepare individuals for service, research, teaching in academia, government, and industry. The graduate program in Textile and Apparel Technology offers a Master of Science with thesis.

The graduate program includes study in the following:

  • Performance Simulation and Evaluation of Textiles
  • Body Scanning and Virtual Clothing
  • Mass Customization of Apparel
  • Protective Textiles and Apparel
  • Biomedical Textiles
  • Functional Fibers and Polymers

The University of Rhode Island is another university you can look for which offers MS in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. The specialty of this degree is the teaching process of textile, costume design, historic costume, textile classes, research by students, faculty and visiting scholars and exhibition in the Textile Gallery.

Florida State University offers through its Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development (RMPD) nearly 800 majors—one of the largest programs of this kind in the United States—participates in an industry-savvy curriculum producing graduates who can contribute immediately to the retail and retail-related companies who hire them. Retailing is Florida’s second largest employment industry. In fact, Florida retailers provide 1 out of every 5 jobs in US. The Retail, Merchandising and Product Development curriculum prepares its graduates through a strong focus on industry technology and the complex processes involved in the merchandising function, including business strategy, design, product development, planning, allocating, buying, distribution, personnel management, floor merchandising, and sales. RMPD ties to over 200 companies, government agencies, and trade organizations offer RMPD majors outstanding internship and placement opportunities.

A RMPD degree from FSU can be the doorway to start your career in the American retail industry.

Another diversified degree is offered from Auburn University; Master of Science in Consumer and Design Sciences Apparel and Interiors (MS-CADS) The M.S. in Consumer and Design Sciences is a multidisciplinary degree with a strong focus on integration of information for application in a dynamic, rapidly changing global environment. The program builds upon root disciplines such as economics, art, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, mathematics, and engineering. These bases of knowledge are applied to problems in the design, production and marketing of textile and apparel products for carefully identified consumer markets; international production and trade in textiles and apparel; and interior design.

Apart from the listed universities there are other opportunities as well. Many institutes and colleges of fashion, apparel and design provides excellent education but they are not likely to provide funding.  If you are able to fund your education yourself, these institutes are worth of trying. The admission requirements of universities in the USA are more or less the same. Admission in the introduced universities is really very competitive and one has to try really hard to be successful.

Canada is not popular for higher studies in textile and apparel like USA. University of Alberta and University of Manitoba can be considered as potential choice.

The Department of Textile Sciences of University of Manitoba offers a graduate program leading to the M.Sc. degree. Programs of study and research may pertain to: product development and evaluation of textile materials; consumer behavior towards textile products; marketing of textile products; supply chain channel for the Canadian textile complex; medical/bio-defense textiles; and nanofibrous materials.

The Department is equipped with several laboratories including computer-aided design, a textile testing laboratory, and a healthcare/medical textile laboratory which offer opportunities for research projects and work experience.

University of Alberta also offers a prestigious M.Sc. in Textiles and Clothing degree from its department of Human Ecology.

Admission requirements are a bit different from US universities as B.Sc. CGPA carries a great value here. At least 3.75 (out of 4.0) in the last two years of bachelor degree is considered for financial support.

The remaining part of the article describing the EU and Australia/Asia part is to be continued in the next issue of BTT.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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