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Thread: Masters of Real Estate Development programs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Masters of Real Estate Development programs

    Anyone have any experience with Masters in Real Estate Development programs? I am thinking I'd like more background on it as part of a potential shift in career to the dark side, but don't want to spend 2 years getting an MBA when I don't need all of that.

    I have heard good things about the MIT program but I have also heard that these programs aren't as good as just getting a job in development somewhere.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cmd uw's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich
    Anyone have any experience with Masters in Real Estate Development programs? I am thinking I'd like more background on it as part of a potential shift in career to the dark side, but don't want to spend 2 years getting an MBA when I don't need all of that.

    I have heard good things about the MIT program but I have also heard that these programs aren't as good as just getting a job in development somewhere.
    /\ If real estate development is a career you wish to pursue, I personally believe that getting a Masters in Real Estate Development or something of such would be very beneficial.

    I am unsure what school is best for this type of program, but, I do know that Columbia's has a great rep.
    "First we shape our buildings, and then our buildings start shaping us." - Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    From what I understand, you don't need an MBA but it's doesn't hurt. Otherwise, it'll most likely take you longer to build enough cred for large loans. If you studied a planning-related field as an undergrad and decide to proceed with the MBA, I don't recommend studying real estate. I think you should study finance b/c otherwise there'll be a lot of overlap. You definitely want to get your $$$'s worth out of your MBA.

    ---------------------------

    Top 12 US University Departments of Real Estate Ranked (w/ links!)

    REAL ESTATE (Ranked in 2001)

    1. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
    2. University of California--Berkeley (Haas)
    3. New York University
    3. Ohio State University--Columbus (Fisher)
    5. Univ. of Wisconsin--Madison
    6. University of Georgia (Terry)
    7. U. of Illinios--Urbana-Champaign
    8. Georgia State University (Robinson)
    8. Indiana University--Bloomington (Kelley)
    8. University of Connecticut
    11. Univ. of Southern California (Marshall)
    12. Penn. State U.--University Park (Smeal)
    12. University of Texas--Austin (McCobs)

    Source: US News & World Report

    ---------------------------

    Real Estate Career Matrix c/o UM
    http://www.umich.edu/~reecon/restate/index.htm

  4. #4
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I actually started a Master's program in Real Estate at Johns Hopkins here in Baltimore. It's too early to tell right now. I think it's pretty pricey though. If a state school had a real estate program in the area, I would have gone there. I already have a Master's in Planning, but I'm trying to switch careers, which is one of the reasons I decided to go back to school.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  5. #5
    omaha, did you consider a MS or MBA in finance?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I earned a MS in Real Estate from NYU in 2001. I went part time - it took me 3 years. I recommend the program. No matter what program you choose, I recommend a finance concentration even if your goal is development and a development concentration is available. The reason is finance and investment analysis stuff is learned better in a classroom setting while development things like negotiating with zoning boards and haggling with contractors can only be learned on the job.

    NYU professors are experienced real estate veterans. Most have law or business degrees. For example, Donald Trump's general counsel George Ross (from the Apprentice) taught a lease negotiation class. My investment analysis teacher was a developer and my finance professors were investment bankers. Unlike typically imaginary planning coursework, the NYU coursework was very applied - lots of finance, economics, and defending coursework in front of critical professors and industry professionals. If it wouldn't work in the real world, the professors would let you know it.

    Lots of NYU graduates get development jobs following graduation. I got hired as manager of international development and acquisitions for a real estate investment trust. The NYU program is respected in New York City, even though the quality of students is mixed. I think MIT attracts more experienced students and has a greater focus on theory.

    There is an active NYU real estate alumni community and students regularly get together after class for dinner or drinks. Sometimes professors join. Just last night, for instance, an alumni reception took place at a restaurant located on a Grand Central Station balcony.

  7. #7
    Finance, finance, finance.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BIH80
    omaha, did you consider a MS or MBA in finance?
    Actually I did. But I wanted something that was more related to my planning background than a MBA in Finance. I'll have a concentration in the analysis form my real estate degree. Like you said, the analysis part of real estate is better taught in the classroom than the real world. Also, I thought that analysis would be able to withstand market shifts than development would be.as far as a job is concerned.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  9. #9
    Just checking, I've spoken to too many developers prospects who don't realize real estate has traditionally been a subfield of finance, for better or worse, b/c of it's focus on internal rate of return. I don't know why I asked you about a MS or MBA b/c I've realized that certifications in real estate sales and appraisal would complement that master's in planning of yours very well and very cheaply. But, definitely, bull or bare market, there will always be jobs in analysis and evaluation. Actually, b/c of this I considered an appraiser certification as a stepping stone into real estate but I'm going to settle for a salesperson license as a quick qualification to complement my undergrad planning ed.

  10. #10
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    Real Estate Development Programs

    In addition to considering planning programs, I have also been looking into real estate programs- especially Master's in real estate development. The best 1 year programs that specifically focus on real estate development I have come across are:

    1) MIT
    2) USC
    3) Columbia

    These programs seem strong both in terms of curriculum and in placement. A lot of people seem to go on and work for developers, which is key. It seems that many, if not all, of the people in these programs, have some sort of previous real estate experience (planning experience seems to be accepted). For a career changer coming from a completely different field however, I get the impression it may be difficult to be admitted

    There are also general Master's degrees in real estate. In these programs you can select real estate development as a concentration. Excellent programs include:

    1) NYU
    2) Cornell
    3) Johns Hopkins - they have one program for professionals who have years of experience and a new program for people out of college or new to the field.

    The programs at NYU and Cornell are two years though while the program at Johns Hopkins is 1 year.

    There are also various MBA programs- all of which are two years. Some seem to be stronger in real estate development than others. Wharton and Kellogg are good choices but extremely difficult to get into. I looked into Wisconsin which supposedly has a good real estate program but it doesn't seem that many people get jobs in development, at least not right away.

    Lastly, there are what I call the "other programs." University of Denver has a Masters in Real Estate and Construction Management. It's only 1 year and some people go into development- a lot of people go on to work for homebuilders. Texas A&M has two different programs- one focuses more on Finance, the other on Development. There are also certificates in Real Estate Development that are 1 year at University of Washington, Portland State, and University of Michigan. These progams seem to be designed to supplement planning and other degrees. Most do not mention anything about placement.

    Hope that helps.

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