Graduate Certificate (Quilt Studies)

Graduate Certificate (Quilt Studies)Certificate

Quilt Studies is an academic field that explores quilts and quiltmaking traditions within the context of history, art, culture, and technology.  Quilts provide a fascinating point of entry into the history of humankind.  They tell us about the artistic and social values of a time or place.  The history of quilts provides a continuum through which we can observe the development of art and technology. In this sense, quilt studies is the study of human society across time and culture.

The Certificate Program in Quilt Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is a graduate program offered by the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design.  It allows graduate and post-baccalaureate students to gain scholarly credentials in Quilt Studies.  The Quilt Studies Certificate strengthens credentials of curators, collection managers, appraisers, collectors and educators.  The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is an international leader in the field of quilt studies with its renowned International Quilt Museum (IQM) and its comprehensive collection of quilts spanning five centuries and representing quiltmaking traditions around the world.

The Quilt Studies faculty, all members of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design, are recognized leaders in the field. They teach, conduct research and engage in creative activity, and they participate in a variety of quilt-related research and educational initiatives around the world.


The Graduate Certificate in Quilt Studies is open to graduate students currently enrolled in graduate degree programs at UNL, and is also available as a stand alone (non-degree) post-baccalaureate certification.

Students with an undergraduate degree in history, art history, American studies, or women's studies are best prepared for this Graduate Certificate program. To be considered for admission to this masters program, a student must have successfully completed at least one undergraduate course in foundation design/design elements (basic color, two-dimensional design, basic drawing and/or three-dimensional design). In addition, applicants must have completed one year (two semesters) of one of the following course sequences: art history or U.S. history or History of Western Civilization. If a prospective student has not completed both a foundation design course and two semesters of art history or history, then the prospective applicant is encouraged to complete the coursework at a college or university near him/her before applying to this program. Applicants who do not have this necessary background will not be favorably considered. Students take a total of twelve credit hours in the area. Three of the courses are required:

  • TMFD 818 Quilts, History, Culture
  • TMFD 814 Studio Craft Movement from Mid-century to DYI
  • TMFD 815 Aesthetics and the Quilt

The remaining three credit hours may be drawn from courses approved by the Certificate Program's Adviser. Examples of courses that have been offered in the past and that may be easily applied toward the certification include:

  • TMFD 997 Internship (1-3 credits) Gain hands-on experience in collections or exhibitions under the supervision of a practicing museum professional.
  • TMFD 978 Seminar in Textile History (1-3 credits) -- Various topics offered as one week summer seminars on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.  Previous seminars have included Colonial Revival Quilts, Quilts of the Depression Era, A Century of Quilts in Women’s Lives, 18th and 19th Century Dyeing and Printing Techniques, Quilts of India and Pakistan, Repair and Stabilization of Quilts.
  • TMFD 890 Workshop/Seminar:  Craft, Culture & Fashion (3 credits)
  • IDES 845 History of Interiors and Designed Objects (online)

Formal application to the Certificate Program is required and can be completed online. Applications are accepted throughout the year (i.e. rolling admission). To complete the application, please go to, and click on Application for Graduate Admission (in yellow). Under the "Admission Classification" section of item No. 4 (“Admission Objective”), click the radio button for "Non-Degree, Graduate Certificate Objective" and then choose "Graduate Certificate in Quilt Studies” from the drop down list. Once your application has been received, you will be notified of your acceptance to the program.