Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate studies in apparel, merchandising, and design extend 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.


Visit the ISU Graduate College site for application requirements.

Curriculum requirements

The program outlined below has the common requirements for all doctoral students.  Each specific program will depend on the student’s previous preparation, goals, and needs.

Minimum number of credits required 72 credits
Research methods and statistics (a minimum of two courses must be in statistics) 12 credits minimum
500-600 level TC courses (must include TC 570 teaching practicum) 20 credits or more
Additional courses outside the department (must include 1 course in education theory) 12 credits or more
Dissertation 15 credits minimum

The Iowa State University course catalog lists course descriptions of graduate courses offered.


Program of study: Each student plans an individualized program of study in consultation with the student’s adviser and Program of Study (POS) Committee, which includes faculty members from Apparel, Merchandising, and Design and other ISU departments. The student submits this program to the ISU Vice Provost for Research and Advanced Studies for approval, usually by the beginning of the second year of the student’s residence at Iowa State University. Supporting courses: The POS committee may require a student whose undergraduate degree was not in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design to take supporting courses in preparation for graduate study. The Iowa State University course catalog lists course descriptions of graduate courses offered. Dissertation: The student selects a dissertation area by the time the program of study is submitted, so suitable courses can be chosen to strengthen the research.  The research methods course should be taken as soon as possible to permit the student to explore possibilities for the dissertation research with the adviser and other committee members. Preliminary examinations: Written and oral preliminary examinations are required in the major and co-major or minor, if any.

Scholarships and financial aid

Scholarships and graduate teaching/research assistantships are available for on-campus students.


Contact the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE) for apparel, merchandising, and design with any questions. Ann Marie Fiore, Ph.D. 1062 LeBaron Hall 515-294-9303