This is an archive of the 2018-2019 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

Program: M.S., Family and Consumer Sciences

Apparel Design and Merchandising

Program Description

The graduate program in Family and Consumer Sciences leads to a Master of Science degree with an option in either Apparel Design and Merchandising or Consumer Affairs and Family Studies. The program is designed to educate students to synthesize and apply pertinent information, theories, literature and arguments toward designing evidence-based solutions within their professional areas of interest in Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS).

The 33-unit graduate degree program includes 18 units of core curriculum about research, leadership and salient aspects of the overarching field of FCS. Students in either option complete 12 units of option-specific curriculum focusing on professional and research competencies in respective fields, through courses that span across theory, practice and application. A 3-unit culminating experience can be completed in the form of a comprehensive exam, research thesis or creative project.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program

For admission as a classified graduate student, the following requirements must be satisfied:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an officially accredited university or college in Family and Consumer Sciences, the option to which the student is applying, or a related field.
  2. Have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater for courses taken in the bachelor’s degree. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA who can demonstrate evidence of academic acumen may submit their application for consideration.
  3. For applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0, completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a score in the 50th percentile or higher on one or more sections.
  4. Formal approval by the department, based on the complete application and supporting documents.
  5. Submit the following documents with a formal application to the program through CSUN’s Office of Admission and Records:
    1. Resume
    2. Personal statement of interest
    3. Transcripts from undergraduate program
    4. Report of GRE scores

B. Requirements for the M.S. Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences

1. Core Courses (18 units)

FCS 429 Family and Consumer Public Policy (3)
FCS 681 Research Methods (3)
FCS 682 Research Applications (3)
FCS 685 Decision Making in Family and Consumer Sciences (3)
FCS 686 Current Issues in Family and Consumer Sciences (3)
HHD 513 Leadership/Professional Competencies for Health and Human Development Disciplines (3)

2. Apparel Design and Merchandising Option Courses (12 units)

FCS 535 Theories and Applications in Apparel Design and Merchandising (3)
FCS 555 Textiles and Apparel in the Global Economy (3)
FCS 575 Textile Technology for Apparel Design and Merchandising (3)

Elective (3 units)
Choose one of the following:

FCS 694C Supervised Field Study (3)*
FCS 696C Directed Graduate Research (3)**

*Students planning to take the comprehensive exam culminating experience are advised to take the FCS 694C elective, which provides opportunities for internships to enhance understanding of professional practice in the field.
**Students planning to take the thesis/project culminating experience are advised to take the FCS 696C elective in the semester prior to enrolling in FCS 698C (thesis/project).

3. Culminating Experience (3 units)

In consultation with the student’s major graduate advisor, a student may be approved to either complete a master’s thesis/project or take the comprehensive examination.

FCS 697C Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
FCS 698C Thesis/Project (3)

a. Thesis or Project
  1. The proposal must be approved by the student’s committee.
  2. The student will register for FCS 698C. (Apparel Design and Merchandising option students are advised to take the FCS 696C elective in the semester prior to enrolling in FCS 698C.)
  3. The student must successfully defend the thesis or project at an oral exam.
b. Comprehensive Examination
  1. The student will register for FCS 697C—Directed Comprehensive Studies (3 units).
  2. Passing coursework for the master’s degree does not guarantee passing the comprehensive examination.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 33


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Chair: Yi Cai
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 141
(818) 677-3051

Graduate Coordinator: Yoko Mimura
(818) 677-7859

Student Learning Outcomes

In an effort to support the well-being of individuals, families and communities through their professional areas of interest in FCS, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Code of Ethics in scholarship as FCS professionals.
  2. Demonstrate ongoing synthesis and application of relevant literature, current trends and emerging issues within their professional area of interest within FCS.
  3. Design a research study/creative project investigating topics within their professional area of interest, including diverse populations.
  4. Apply sound evidence-based practices and applications within their professional area of interest in FCS.