Courses of Study 2019-2020 
    Oct 26, 2020  
Courses of Study 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Fiber Science

In the College of Human Ecology .

Course Offerings  

The Fiber Science major is unique in the Ivy League.  Students study the physical, chemical, and engineering properties of fibrous materials for applications including textiles for fashion, functional, smart or protective clothing, biomedical, engineering composites, nanofibers, and high performance.

The scientific study of fibrous materials, builds on foundations in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Students learn how various fibers are made and how their chemical, mechanical, biological and physical properties can be controlled. Students also learn how the principles of fiber science influence the design and fabrication of traditional and innovative products, from clothing to skate boards and life-saving medical implants. Because fiber science has applications in so many areas of contemporary technology, majors can tailor their studies to meet personal, academic and professional goals.

Within this major, students get individual attention and develop one-on-one relationships with faculty.  Each student has the opportunity to individualize their plan of study, with 50% of their course credits chosen from broad categories or as free electives. The curriculum provides great flexibility for students to pursue pre-med, materials science, biomedical materials, ergonomics or product development in specialty or apparel or soft goods. With its rigorous requirement of physical science courses it can be excellent preparation for a range of graduate and professional studies including medical school.

Beyond formal course work, all Fiber Science students have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research under mentoring of a faculty member and in special projects with student teams. Field placements, joining a faculty member’s research team, or conducting independent research can add a significant experiential component to the course of study, providing valuable practical knowledge while testing students’ academic or career interests.  Many students choose to study abroad or participate in an international exchange program for one semester during their Junior year. 


Y. Gowayed, chair (HEB T57A, (607) 255-3151); A. Netravali, director of graduate studies; F. Kozen, director of undergraduate studies; F. Baytar, C.C. Chu, M. Conroy, M. Frey, Y. Gowayed, D. Green, J. Hinestroza, T. Lewis, V.D. Lewis, H. Park, K. Phoenix, L. Shepherd, T. Uyar.

Academic Advising

All Fiber Science majors are matched with a faculty advisor by the director of undergraduate studies, Frances Kozen. Students are strongly urged to discuss their goals, course selection and sequence, electives, and career plans with their faculty advisor. Students are free to change advisors; changes must be recorded with the director of undergraduate studies. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of his or her courses and to make sure that the program meets graduation requirements for his or her major and college.

Student Work

All work done as part of the academic program will be held by the department until it has been released by the instructor. Certain exceptional work may be used by the department to exhibit for academic purposes. The department is not responsible for the loss or theft of student work.

Course Fees

No grade will be given in a course unless the course fee has been paid and equipment returned by the last week of classes. 

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates of the Fiber Science program have begun careers with fiber and textile firms, outdoor and athleticwear firms, protective apparel firms, testing laboratories, and with government agencies.  Students have continued to graduate studies in science, engineering, technology and society programs or to medical, business or law school.