Jul 13, 2024  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Apparel Management, M.S.: 30 units

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Offered by: Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture, Apparel Merchandising and Management Department

Peter Kilduff, Graduate Coordinator

The curriculum matrix for the degree program may be found here. The curriculum matrix is the alignment of courses (curriculum) with the desired goals and student learning outcomes of the program. It shows what is taught and how these outcomes are achieved through the completion of the degree program.

The Master of Science in International Apparel Management provides a program of advanced study in the management and technological challenges, practices, and solutions for the international apparel creation and distribution sectors. It is offered to meet the needs of society for highly qualified managers and educators. The curriculum is structured so students can complete a course of study tailored to their professional interests, focusing on different aspects of the apparel business, including apparel production, product development, merchandising and marketing. Students will have the option of performing thesis research or an industry-sponsored applied research project.

The program contains three main elements. The core curriculum provides perspectives on international consumer behavior, global competitive dynamics, emerging technologies, and management insights from leading executives or thinkers in the field. A choice of electives (six units) enables students to tailor a learning program to their specific career pathways or professional interest. A major research project is the culminating experience, and focuses on development of advanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The program is primarily targeted at junior and mid-level managers within the apparel production and fashion retail sectors in California. It will also appeal to out of state students, including international students. The creation of cohorts of students that embrace a wide diversity of ethnic, gender and national origins is an objective. The program will provide executives with advanced preparation in the unique technical and management skills required to obtain and succeed in senior leadership positions in the international apparel production and distribution sector.

The program employs Cal Poly Pomona’s learn by doing approach that links conceptual understanding with real world situations. This will put emphasis on extending learning beyond the classroom, through activities such as simulations, case studies, industry speakers, site visits, and live projects with collaborating companies. A blended instructional approach will be utilized with synchronous and asynchronous online lessons, face-to-face lectures, seminars, team-working assignments with peer evaluation, live case studies with client evaluation, and service learning.

The program will provide students with an advanced technical education in the discipline which is comprehensive yet tailored to their individual needs, which links conceptual perspectives to professional practice, and builds essential leadership, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, in a format that is accessible for its target audience. A blended approach to instruction will allow access for those working full-time, while face-to-face meeting requirements will facilitate stronger student-instructor and student-student relationships for learning and team-working.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the Master of Science program in International Apparel Management requires the applicant to have a baccalaureate degree in apparel or textile management, business, or a related discipline.

An overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better is required. Applicants whose GPA falls between 2.5 and 3.0 will be considered for admission if evidence of compensating qualifications, such as extensive industry experience, is demonstrated.

A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score (minimum score of 450) is required from those applicants whose overall GPA in undergraduate work falls below 3.0, or if the bachelor’s degree has been awarded from a non-accredited university or college (this includes foreign institutions), or if the applicant has not attended an accredited institution within the past seven years.

Application procedures include a two-part process. Prospective applicants must submit to the University Admissions Office a completed application form, official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended, and TOEFL scores for non-native English speakers. A TOEFL score of 237 Computer Based, 580 Paper Based, 92 Internet Based, or better is required for admission of international students to the program. Applicants must also submit a statement of purpose that identifies their discipline focus and two letters of recommendation from individuals able to assess the applicant’s potential for success in master’s level academic performance.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree in other disciplines, and those who do not fully satisfy other department or university graduate admission requirements may be considered for possible conditional admission. These conditions may include additional coursework, minimum scholarship, compensating strengths, or other requirements. Candidates with conditional status are provided a written statement of entrance conditions, including the time within which the conditions are to be met. Students in conditional standing must satisfactorily complete 12 units with a GPA of 3.0 or higher before becoming eligible for unconditional graduate standing. If the conditions are not satisfied, the candidate will be denied further enrollment in the program.

Graduate Conditionally Classified

A person may be admitted to a graduate degree or credential program in this category if, in the opinion of appropriate campus authority, he/she can remedy deficiencies by additional coursework but otherwise satisfies all other university requirements for admission. All prerequisites must be specified by the admitting department at the time of student admission. Academic departments are responsible for tracking conditionally admitted students and must report their academic progress to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the Graduate Studies Office via a memo on a term basis. Students admitted conditionally will not be allowed to concurrently register for graduate courses that are required for the completion of their projected graduate or professional program. A conditionally admitted student’s ability to obtain financial aid is severely limited until all deficiencies have been resolved, and unconditional status is granted by the university. Conditional admission does not guarantee unconditional admission to a program.


The curriculum of the Master of Science in International Apparel Management (IAM) requires a minimum of 30 semester units, all of which shall be in graduate 5000 and 6000-level courses. Students will select either the thesis option or non-thesis option.

Elective courses must be chosen from an approved list of IAM courses. No more than nine units may be transferred from another graduate institution or petitioned by an undergraduate student. A grade-point average of B (3.0) or better must be maintained in all graduate-level course work.

To advance to candidacy for the IAM degree, the student must: a) have an approved program of study on file with the university; b) achieve unconditional standing;  c) complete at least 12 units of IAM graduate coursework at Cal Poly Pomona with a GPA of 3.0 or better; and d) pass the graduation writing test.

The candidate must be enrolled in the university during the semester of graduation. In addition, each candidate is responsible for satisfying all university requirements specified elsewhere in the university catalog.

Thesis Track:

The thesis track provides a framework for students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Students are required to complete 21 units of required courses, six units of elective courses, and three units of master’s thesis. Before the end of the second semester following admission the student and their major advisor will develop an academic program and research project in a selected area of international apparel management. The advisor and the student will establish a Thesis committee to include not less than two other faculty members and in full compliance with University rules on thesis committees. The thesis proposal (3 units) is developed in consultation with the student’s thesis advisor and other committee members. An acceptable master’s thesis (3 units) must be completed and submitted in accordance with university regulations. An oral thesis defense must be successfully completed. Prior to the oral defense, the student is required to present his/her thesis in the Graduate Seminar, as scheduled by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Non-Thesis Track:

The non-thesis option (applied research project / professional paper) consists of 21 units of required courses, six units of elective courses, and three units of an applied research project / professional paper.  Before the end of the second semester following admission, the student and their committee chair will select an emphasis area in apparel production or fashion retailing, based on the student’s interest and preparation. The candidate’s project committee, including their advisor and two other graduate faculty members, must approve the applied research project / professional paper. The project/paper must be an exploratory, qualitative, or quantitative analysis of a management problem specific to the apparel production and distribution sector. The student is required to present his/her research project / paper in the Graduate Seminar prior to their oral defense, as scheduled by the Director of Graduate Studies.

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