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.

The apparel, merchandising, and design department offers two programs in doctoral studies:

  • Doctor of philosophy
  • Distance doctor of philosophy

Download flyer for more information.

General requirements

Visit the Iowa State University (ISU) Graduate College site for application 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. Find your 500 and 600 level courses along with course descriptions in the online catalog.

Ph.D. requirements

Minimum number of credits required

72 credits

Research methods and statistics (a minimum of one course must be in statistics)

12 credits minimum

500-600 level AMD courses (must include AMD 570 teaching practicum)

20 credits or more

Additional courses outside the department (must include one course in education theory)

12 credits or more


15 credits minimum

Distance Ph.D. requirements

72 total credit hours:

  • 36 credits must be taken at ISU
  • 24 credits must be taken at ISU over six consecutive semesters to earn residency
  • Six credits must be taken in the first summer

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.


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.

Contact the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE) for apparel, merchandising, and design with any questions.

Ann Marie Fiore, Ph.D.
1062 LeBaron Hall