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Fashion (MA)

Woman wearing a white sweater, holding her right arm

Program Overview

Format: Full-time

Degree Earned: Master of Arts

The master of arts in Fashion program is the only graduate degree of its kind in Canada. Fashion Studies examines the broader social, cultural and economic implications of the production, marketing and consumption of fashion. Working closely with faculty and experts in an academically rigorous environment, students will have the opportunity to develop advanced research skills by completing a written or creative Major Research Project (MRP). Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field, we welcome applicants from a variety of undergraduate programs in fine arts, humanities, social sciences, design and business.

PDF fileDownload the program brochure

Student examining a fashion hat design

At a Glance

  • Completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00/4.33 (B or equivalent) in the last two years of study
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be academic
  • Resumé/CV
  • Statement of interest
  • Writing sample
  • Portfolio (optional)

For detailed fees information visit Fees by Program.

Students are equipped with a critically informed approach to fashion studies, including familiarity with key theorists and critical debates relating to the fashion system. Appealing to a wide variety of students, this program does not require prior fashion industry knowledge. Students will gain advanced research skills by completing an original written or creative major research project. 

Apply to work as a Research Assistant or Grad Teaching Assistant. Program funding is awarded to top candidates.

The optional internship course provides students with professional experience in fashion or cultural industries, locally or internationally.

From gowns by Dior and Balmain, to early beaded moccasins and embroidered silk kimonos, the FRC contains over 3,000 garments, accessories and ephemera dating back to 1820 that are available to support on-site objectbased research. 

Admissions Contact

Graduate Studies Admissions Office
11th Floor, 1 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
Telephone: 416-979-5150
Fax: 416-979-5153

Program Contacts

Dr. Alison Matthews-David
Graduate Program Director
PhD, Art History, Stanford University
Research areas: examines the dress, gender, material culture, medicine, occupational health, technology, and the democratization of elite fashions during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 4696

Mauro Chiera
Program Administrator
Telephone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7608
Fax: 416-979-5153

"This program has launched me into the world of fashion, becoming a platform for learning fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking, alongside a support network of diverse peers, academics, and fashion leaders that continuously challenge the status quo."

Emilie Chan, MA student

Student Profile

Inspired by her research in Ghana and Nigeria, Annika Waddell (fashion MA alumna) started her own company and launched a natural skincare brand in 2018.

student working at a desk

How to Apply

Once you’ve made an informed choice about which program(s) you are going to apply to, preparing your application requires careful research and planning.


At Ryerson, we understand that pursuing graduate studies is a significant financial investment. Funding comes from a combination of employment contracts (as a teaching assistant), scholarships, awards and stipends. There are a number of additional funding sources – internal and external – available to graduate students that can increase these funding levels.

Finding a Supervisor

Students should apply to the program first. Applications that meet the minimum requirements of the program will be forwarded to faculty members in the program for review. Successful applicants will be invited to visit the program and meet with faculty members that are interested in supervising them as a graduate student in their research group. A matching system is used to find the best students/supervisor match (using input from both applicants and faculty members). After a suitable match is determined, an official offer of admission will be sent with the supervisor named in the offer.