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Fashion Journalism Master's Programs

A master's degree in fashion journalism can open many opportunities to creatives who aspire to work in fashion. This article discusses what students can learn from this degree program and what career paths are available after earning the degree.

How to Earn a Master's Degree in Fashion Journalism

Master's degree programs in fashion journalism aim to train students in the many elements of the fashion industry and how to communicate these elements to the contemporary world. The common requirements for admission are a bachelor's degree (not necessarily in journalism or fashion), a personal statement, and resume; meanwhile, some programs require applicants to present a portfolio and/or recommendation letters. With 36 to 42 credits of coursework and a capstone course, these programs typically take one to two years to finish. Some programs are centered on art journalism or fashion studies and give students the option to take fashion journalism as a track. Below we detail some of the common courses you might expect to take.

Studying and Reporting Fashion

Since journalism is centered on research, developing a critical eye for fashion and its relationship with society, identity, gender, class, and other variables is a key goal. Courses like these help students hone their research and reporting skills, deriving important information from various sources and collating it to produce well-written pieces. Students typically have a chance to review many essays and articles by renowned scholars in the field and write a research paper as a contribution to the discourse on fashion.

History and Culture of Fashion and the Arts

Courses on fashion history and culture explore the growing relationship between fashion, globalization, and technology. The role of garments, from functional to decorative, and the issues that have surrounded fashion through the centuries are identified and studied using a selection of readings, paintings, photographs, and museum or gallery displays. By examining how the socioeconomic factors of a community dictate consumer behavior, students learn to critique the practices and processes involved in fashion.

Multiplatform Journalism

The current journalism landscape is occupied by many types of media, ranging from traditional writing to vlogging. Multiplatform journalism trains students to maximize the use of social media and online campaigns while maintaining the role of print media. Students also have the opportunity to learn about beat reporting and interactive news writing. Common requirements for this course include creating content for publications and long-form social media features.

Fashion Journalism Master's Degree Career Paths

Writers and Authors

Writers perform extensive research and produce content on many topics to be published in various media outlets. There are many types of writers, but those who are involved in fashion and the arts include bloggers, content writers, and copywriters. A master's degree in fashion journalism isn't typically required, but it can be beneficial for writers who want to gain hands-on experience in developing online and print media for fashion publications.

Fashion Editor

Editors take the lead in deciding what content should be published and how the publication should be presented. They review writeups for errors in grammar, spelling, and other aspects of writing, as well as validate sources and information. Copy editors, managing editors, and executive editors are among the types of editors that are encountered in the fashion industry. A bachelor's degree is the typically entry-level degree for this profession, but a master's in fashion journalism might provide writers with a knowledge of the fashion industry needed to enter editorial positions in fashion magazines.

Art Director

Art directors may work in various industries, but in fashion they could be in charge of the aesthetic choices for films, magazines, and clothing collections. Particularly, in fashion journalism, art directors determine the overall feel and visual style of publications and oversee layouts and revisions. Individuals can use a master's degree in fashion journalism to supplement their previous production experience and demonstrate their creative abilities.

Fashion Photographer

Fashion publications rely heavily on photographers to produce their visual content. Photographers coordinate with editors and art directors in brainstorming ideas for photoshoots and campaigns. They may specialize in news or portrait photography. Master's degree programs in fashion journalism can help students develop their technical abilities and further develop their professional portfolio.

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers create clothing through a process of sketching designs, selecting materials, and developing prototypes. Designing both couture and ready-to-wear items, they are the most involved in the current landscape of fashion. In this career, master's degree holders can utilize an advanced understanding of fashion history and publishing to predict and start trends.

Job TitleMedian Salary (2019)Job Growth (2019-2029)
Writers and Authors$63,200-2%
Editors$61,370-7%
Art Directors$94,220-2%
Photographers$36,280-4%
Fashion Designer$73,790-4%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's degree programs in fashion journalism are designed to train students to become well-rounded journalists in the fashion industry through courses on history, research, and media. With this degree, graduates can build careers in content writing, magazine editing, photography, art direction, and even fashion design.