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Textile History or Quilt Studies, MA

professor and student studying textiles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln International Quilt Center

Our world-class quilt museum is your classroom.

This degree is designed for professionals who specialize in textile research, analysis, and preservation of textiles and related materials. 

Students may customize their course of study  and address the complexities of expression found in textile arts, quilt-making traditions, design and culture.

Program Description

This blended program offers opportunities for graduate study, research, and creative work in the areas of costume and textile history, and quilt studies.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design allows students to concentrate their coursework in textile history with a quilt studies emphasis.

This graduate program is offered through a combination of distance technology and on-campus instruction. Students are required to come to the Lincoln campus for one semester (January-May) and for the internship presentation and final oral examination at the conclusion of their program.

This non-thesis degree option is a 36-credit hour program. Up to nine graduate credit hours may be transferred from another fully accredited institution in the field of textiles, clothing and design or in a supporting field such as history, art history or museum studies, subject to the approval of the supervisory committee.

Courses may be completed on a non-degree basis for personal or professional enrichment or as part of the 30- or 36-hour degree programs.

Department resources include a historic textile and costume collection with over 4,000 pieces maintained in a state-of-the-art climate controlled environment. Internship opportunities in  museum and gallery settings, as well as domestic and international study programs are available.

Tailor your program of study

Students at the master's level may concentrate their coursework in costume or textile history, or quilt studies. Individual programs may include coursework in business, history, anthropology, art, art history, as well as textiles, clothing and design.

In consultation with a faculty adviser, each student plans an individualized course of study linking background interest with research or creative interests of departmental faculty and educational resources.

A degree to consider

The program is designed for persons interested in analyzing the complex ways gender, class, ethnicity, aesthetics, politics, religion and technology find expression in the textile arts, quilt-making traditions, design and culture.


Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Method of Delivery: Blended Program - what's this? Some components of the program are synchronous, meaning students and instructor interact in real time. These meetings may be online or face-to-face/on campus.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$325.50$25.00$11.00$4.00$365.50
3 credit hour$976.50$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,096.50


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$609.00$25.00$11.00$4.00$649.00
3 credit hour$1,827.00$75.00$33.00$12.00$1,947.00

Note: In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $20.00 registration fee each semester they enroll in courses.

Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

History of Textiles

TMFD 808

Textiles in the context of artistic, social, political and economic developments in the cultures of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Emphasis on the evolution of textile design and stylistic differences between cultures.

Care and Conservation of Textiles Collections

TMFD 809

Recommended practices for accessioning, handling, storage, exhibition, and preventative conservation of textiles and dress in museum collections. Philosophical and ethical issues confronting curators and collection managers.

History of Quilts

TMFD 818

Influence of social, political, artistic and technological developments on quiltmaking traditions worldwide.

Independent Study - Textile Science

TMFD 896

The work will be supervised and evaluated by departmental faculty members. Individual projects in research, literature review, or creative production, may or may not be an extension of course work.

Advanced Problems: Design Issues &...

1 - 6

Advanced Problems: Design Issues & Perspectives

(1-6 cr each per sem, max 12)
Prereq: Permission of chair
Reading, discussions, and reports dealing with the economic, sociological, historical, technical, and aesthetic phases of textiles and clothing.

Advanced Problems: The Studio Quilt Movement


An exploration of the rise of the so-called "art quilt" movement from 1960 to the end of the 1990s. The work of key makers will be considered and situated within the larger textile and craft movements of the late twentieth century.


TMFD 997

Supervised independent professional experience under direction of a practicing professional within the textile and apparel industry, government agencies, museums and/or businesses.

Historic Methods in Education Research

Connections in the general study of history to the study of the history of education. Concepts employed in educational historical research and the methods used by historical researchers. The methodology of historical research.
Elective Courses

Seminar in Textile History

TMFD 978
1 - 3

(1-3 cr per sem, max 9)


TMFD 890

Workshops on a variety of topics by department faculty and visiting artists, scholars and scientists. Opportunity to analyze and evaluate techniques, develop skills, or study topics of special interest.

Shubha Bennur, Ph.D, Assistant Professor

Young Ha, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Michael James, M.F.A., Professor

Barbara Trout, Professor

Diane Vigna, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Wendy Weiss, M.F.A., Professor

Yiqi Yang, Ph.D., Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must have:

  • Undergraduate degree in history, art history, American studies, or women's studies from an accredited institution


Application Checklist

  1. Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  2. Apply and be admitted to the program:
  3. Entrance exam(s): GRE
  4. Minimum TOEFL: Paper-550   Internet-79
  5. Letter of application describing career interests
  6. Resume
  7. Statement of educational goals
  8. Three recommendation letters

Application Deadlines

Fall semester: February 1 (priority consideration).

Applications to the hybrid program are reviewed once a year. Completed applications including transcripts and letters of recommendation must be received by February 1 to be considered for admission for fall semester.


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