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Thread: Graduate real estate development programs

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally posted by AskingQuestions View post
    I am concerned with the last few responses. What sources are being quoted when stating that NYU has an average gmat of 560? I find it very hard to believe that a school with a reputation such as that of NYU would accept students with that poor of a score. Furthermore, when looking at the Columbia admissions compared to NYU (according to each website), the min required to apply to NYU is a 600 gmat and columbia lists a 550. Both schools list a GRE score of 1100 min to apply as well.

    The last poster mentioned that NYU was requiring transcript work from years ago and was giving that person a hard time. If the admissions process was so easy, then how is this person being hassled so much? While it is clear that USC is leagues ahead of the other programs (especially when reading the bios of the students), it seems that NYU MSRE is a much better degree than Columbia's MSRED. This being said, this is just my opinion; I have no factual basis for this statement and would be interested in all opinions. I also see that people are talking about the huge size of NYU. According to Petersons, NYU only has 400 students, which isn't a great deal. Especially considering the amount of time it takes to complete this program. I have also heard Columbia is more of an academic education as opposed to actual real life real estate experience work.
    The notion that NYU is a better real estate program than Columbia is ABSURD. Furthermore, please source your supposed GMAT scores as to my knowledge neither Columbia nor NYU publish their class profile data and the minimum score you quoted is 40 points below the "approximate" average that the NYU adcom shared with me. Please show me a link where the 600 GMAT minimum is listed and go ahead and show me the link to Columbia's "minimum" score data as well. I suspect you have your programs mixed up Mr. 1 post.

    The requirements for admission to the MsRED at NYU are as follows:


    The Admissions Committee reviews all elements of the application as part of the review process, so it is important that you take the time and consideration required to complete all the components of the application. We request that applicants submit original sealed transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, so that we may review academic trends during your studies. We require two letters of recommendation to understand the level of your skills and ability to succeed in pursuing a master’s degree. The recommendations may be two professional letters, one academic and one professional, or two academic recommendations. Please do not use personal or family friends for recommendations. We suggest that you contact your recommender early in the process and discuss the program to which you are applying and your long-term goals, so the recommender may provide a proper assessment. The personal statement is reviewed to determine your suitability for the program and is also used as a writing sample. A current résumé is also required so we may review your work history and related experience. Applicants with industry or related experience are given preference in the admissions review process.

    All applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree in the past two years must submit a standardized graduate test score: GRE or GMAT. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request a standardized test score from all applicants.


    Anyone wanna bet we never hear from this guy again ..?

  2. #27
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    Just an update:

    Today I was accepted to both USC and Columbia.

    Here is my current profile:

    Columbia - Admitted
    Cornell - Waitlisted with interview invite
    MIT - Not yet notified
    USC - Admitted

    - Phear
    Last edited by phear_me; 01 Apr 2008 at 1:29 AM.

  3. #28
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    Acceptances and NYU

    I've only applied to three schools so....

    So far, I have been accepted by Harvard and I found out about Columbia last night online - YES for me as well!

    Now, since we are all on the topic of NYU....I am THIS CLOSE to withdrawing my application and telling them to k*ss my behind on the whole thing. I also don't think that they are being really pedantic on the transcripts thing from high school because it's tough to get in. That's just how NYU operates. They are a supremely bureaucratic institution simply becuase they probably have to due to the sheer sizes of the various schools. I have experienced this first hand as an undergraduate for four years.

    In terms of comparing the two institutions, I think 400 students is a lot for a program. The incoming class for Columbia last year was 80 or so. Having said that, I think it's a bit strange how GREs are not required for both these institutions if you have graduated for more than 2-3 years....I get what they are saying that experience counts but that's just part of it, isn't it?? you shouldn't be accepted even you can't get a decent score on a standardized test. Harvard still requires it. I submitted mine to all three anyhow.

    I definitely agree with Phear Me that it's easier to get into NYU than Columbia. But they are two very different courses! Look at the courses:

    Columbia:

    Fall Term
    Real Estate Finance I
    Real Estate Finance I Advanced
    Real Estate Opportunities
    Asset Management
    Architectural Design for Non-Architects
    Asset Repositioning and Turn Around Strategies
    Development Market Analysis
    Real Estate Development in the Public Sector


    Spring Term
    Construction Technology and Management
    Real Estate Finance II
    Real Estate Finance II Advanced
    Real Estate Law
    Development Case Studies
    Trends in Real Estate
    International Real Estate
    Center for High Density Development Seminar
    Political Environment of Development


    NYU

    Principles of Real Estate Accounting and Taxation / Y64.1005 3
    Legal Principles and Practices / Y64.1050 3
    Real Estate Economics / Y64.1025 3
    Real Estate Valuation and Analysis / Y64.1040 3
    Core - Tier II(12 Credits)

    Market and Feasibility Analysis / Y64.1015 3
    Real Estate Finance / Y64.1035 3
    The Development Process / Y64.1060 3
    Negotiation and Dispute Resolution / Y64.1080 3
    Core - Tier III(6 Credits)

    Corporate Finance / Y64.1070 3
    Real Estate Capital Markets / Y64.1095

    Concentration: Development
    In addition to the 3 courses below, students in this concentration may also choose to take one elective course. (12 credits)

    Planning and Design Issues in Development / Y64.2400 3
    Land Use and Environmental Regulation / Y64.2410 3
    Capstone Course in Development / Y64.2499

    I mean c'mon...these are just two entirely different curriculums. So this is what I would say....If you are out to be a real estate developer or will work or a development company doing stuff like project management, concept development to implementation, working on behalf of developers with local governements on gaining public consensus, masterplanning, viability appraisals, then Columbia is the better program for you. But if you are going into real estate INVESTMENT, like working for the real estate department of a bank, or a REIT, investment fund or doing some very fancy number crunching for them, then NYU is seriously the stronger program. Just looking at some of the courses above, I took Corporate Finance, Real Estate Finance and Accounting at an undergraduate level, and it was very tough. The materials for study are simply just a lot more sophisticated. I am saying this simply having flicked through my sister's study packets at Columbia and thinking that the Finance courses were much much easier. I mean, all the Finance classes at NYU will be linked with Stern, or have Stern professors teaching that (pretty sure about that - maybe that is a question to ask at Open House), so you know you will walk away learning something.

    Definitely if you are going to the latter industry I am describing, I think NYU sounds more prestigious. I have heard from people that are the employers that they know that Columbia is the less tough program....harder to get in but easier to get out....

    Having said all of that, I think I have made my decision - it's up to Boston I go. I have a Finance background so going to NYU again doesn't make sense (plus, the SCPS just doesn't have that same cache as Stern)....I also currently work as a development planner and looking into getting into DEVELOPMENT so I know that I'm not going (nor am I interested) to work for a bank dealing with their investments....I think the GSD's program is the most well-rounded and interesting (for me at least)....all its classes are geared to prepare someone who can deal with planners, designers, attorneys, politicians, the general public, the number-crunchers....it's not single-faceted and that's what attracted me..., plus I can take classes at MIT, Kennedy and HBS. Plus, the Harvard network will be priceless even though it is up in Boston. Truth is, most of them come down to New York to work anyway....Looking forward to reading everyone's opinions as acceptances come in!!

    Harvard

    Urban analysis
    Market Analysis
    Urban economics
    Public Finance
    Legal Issues
    Political approvals, negotiation, and ethics
    Physical design and construction
    Site planning
    Design typologies (standards and rules of thumb for major product types)
    Construction management
    Design laboratory
    Finance and Deal Structuring
    Real Estate Finance
    Capital Markets
    Development processes and deal-structuring

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally posted by hl248 View post


    Columbia:

    Fall Term
    Real Estate Finance I
    Real Estate Finance I Advanced
    Real Estate Opportunities
    Asset Management
    Architectural Design for Non-Architects
    Asset Repositioning and Turn Around Strategies
    Development Market Analysis
    Real Estate Development in the Public Sector


    Spring Term
    Construction Technology and Management
    Real Estate Finance II
    Real Estate Finance II Advanced
    Real Estate Law
    Development Case Studies
    Trends in Real Estate
    International Real Estate
    Center for High Density Development Seminar
    Political Environment of Development
    PLUS 2 electives anywhere (within reason) at Columbia


    I would agree that if I had a degree in design that Harvard would easily be among my top choices - if not my top choice. But that simply isn't an option for me and the program doesn't point itself in the same direction as the others, from what I can tell. It seems to be more about making architects more business savvy but I have done nothing more than read their website so please don't take that impression too seriously.

    One thing's for sure ... winding up at Columbia or USC or MIT or Harvard or Cornell isn't a bad thing. At all!

    : )

  5. #30
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    NYU vs Columbia

    From COLUMBIA:http://www.arch.columbia.edu/admissions/howto.html

    GRADUATE
    "A score of 500 or above on both sections are suggested. GSAPP requires a minimum verbal score of 450. Submitted applications with a verbal score below 450 will not be reviewed. Information about the GRE can be obtained by contacting the Educational Testing Service by phone 1-800-473-2255 or web at WWW.GRE.ORG. Test scores should be sent to the institution code 2164. A department code is not needed."

    PERSONAL STATEMENT:
    In a statement of approximately 500 words, describe your background, your past work in your intended field of study, and your plans for graduate study and a professional career. If you are presently in a graduate program at another university, please explain why you wish to leave. If you have not yet come to a decision about your career, or if your plans are tentative, please do not hesitate to say so.

  6. #31
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    I GOT IN TO MIT TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    That Makes it:

    Columbia: Admit
    Cornell: Waitlist
    MIT: Admit
    USC: Admit
    Last edited by phear_me; 01 Apr 2008 at 6:03 PM.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally posted by AskingQuestions View post
    From COLUMBIA:http://www.arch.columbia.edu/admissions/howto.html

    GRADUATE
    "A score of 500 or above on both sections are suggested. GSAPP requires a minimum verbal score of 450. Submitted applications with a verbal score below 450 will not be reviewed. Information about the GRE can be obtained by contacting the Educational Testing Service by phone 1-800-473-2255 or web at WWW.GRE.ORG. Test scores should be sent to the institution code 2164. A department code is not needed."
    That is the minimum score to apply to the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. That has NOTHING to do with minimums set by the MSRED program or the average GMAT score. The minimum score could be 200 but that has nothing to do with what the average score of actual applicants.

    Columbia MSRED > NYU MSRED - PERIOD.

    That being said - I'm going to MIT.

    Yay.

  8. #33
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    MSRED

    Hey Phear Me and hl248,

    Hows it going. I chanced upon the message correspondence you guys posted. I have a couple of questions for you.

    A little about my background, i have a bachelors in architecture and have been working in a corporate architecture firm for about 1.5 years now, and 2 years is about all the professional experience i have... Yesterday i learnt that i got accepted to Columbia for MSRED! With that little experience and virtually no background with RED i am pretty surprise i got in. You guys seem to have a much much more impressive background than i do and i am not at all surprised you got into MIT and Harvard respectively.

    I am extremely excited but at the same time i have a work opportunity and am actually thinking of defering or re-applying next year. Of cos i am apprehensive because there is no guarantee i will be accepted again, considering the fact that the market is bad and i would theorize that alot of people would think its a great time to head back to school especially next year. Also, i heard from GSAPP about my admission only on the very last day 31st of March, while i heard from alot of other schools i successfully applied to weeks before. Did you guys both heard from columbia on the last day too?

    Other RED schools i applied to is USC and Harvard MDesS. Accepted by USC but placed on waiting list for Harvard. Which i will try to contend for... I have a background in design, it would be interesting to land in an environment where i can incorporate that with my new learnings... Columbia is no doubt a great great program but i suspect it may be a little more conceptual. Personally i tend to place practicalility/(and design) over theoretical... I also undertood from your postings that being from Columbia has the advantage of building up a strong network, which may not be so applicable for me too since i am an international student who will not be around in the states for long. All that said of cos Columbia has a brand name and a location i could only dream of, till now.

    Any thoughts? advise? Thanks guys

    Cn
    Last edited by Hugoend; 02 Apr 2008 at 4:40 AM.

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    MIT MSRED vs. Stern MBA

    Phear,

    I notice you have an MBA (or at least on your way) and are planning to go to MIT's MSRED this fall. I could use your insight...

    I recently got accepted into MIT's MSRED program and am now waiting to hear from Stern's full time MBA program.

    I have 7 years of work experience ranging from civil engineering, urban/transportation planning, and am currently an Owner's Representative managing projects in the design and construction phases. I am looking to learn the business/finance side of the RE industry to compliment my technical knowledge and will target a top international RE developer upon graduation (my ideal role would be in acquisitions or development) .

    I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch, but if I do get into Stern, which program do you think would benefit me most on achieving my goal? And what made you decide on going for a MSRED program after a top MBA program?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally posted by phear_me View post
    That is the minimum score to apply to the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. That has NOTHING to do with minimums set by the MSRED program or the average GMAT score. The minimum score could be 200 but that has nothing to do with what the average score of actual applicants.

    Columbia MSRED > NYU MSRED - PERIOD.

    That being said - I'm going to MIT.

    Yay.

    Hey Phear Me, CONGRATULATIONS on MIT! That's great. Looks like we'll both be in the Boston area! Should definitely hook up at some point, but promise you will NOT discuss how bad the NYU MSRE program is.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally posted by Hugoend View post
    Hey Phear Me and hl248,


    A little about my background, i have a bachelors in architecture and have been working in a corporate architecture firm for about 1.5 years now, and 2 years is about all the professional experience i have... Yesterday i learnt that i got accepted to Columbia for MSRED! With that little experience and virtually no background with RED i am pretty surprise i got in. You guys seem to have a much much more impressive background than i do and i am not at all surprised you got into MIT and Harvard respectively.

    I am extremely excited but at the same time i have a work opportunity and am actually thinking of defering or re-applying next year. Of cos i am apprehensive because there is no guarantee i will be accepted again, considering the fact that the market is bad and i would theorize that alot of people would think its a great time to head back to school especially next year. Also, i heard from GSAPP about my admission only on the very last day 31st of March, while i heard from alot of other schools i successfully applied to weeks before. Did you guys both heard from columbia on the last day too?

    Other RED schools i applied to is USC and Harvard MDesS. Accepted by USC but placed on waiting list for Harvard. Which i will try to contend for... I have a background in design, it would be interesting to land in an environment where i can incorporate that with my new learnings... Columbia is no doubt a great great program but i suspect it may be a little more conceptual. Personally i tend to place practicalility/(and design) over theoretical... I also undertood from your postings that being from Columbia has the advantage of building up a strong network, which may not be so applicable for me too since i am an international student who will not be around in the states for long. All that said of cos Columbia has a brand name and a location i could only dream of, till now.

    Any thoughts? advise? Thanks guys

    Cn
    1. USC's program is a little more practical than Columbia's and is a fantastic program - consider it.

    2. Columbia will definitely be the stronger name overseas.

    3. If you get into Harvard anything - GO!

    4. I would suggest that you take the education over a work opportunity. The degree lasts a lifetime.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally posted by nachomama View post
    Phear,

    I notice you have an MBA (or at least on your way) and are planning to go to MIT's MSRED this fall. I could use your insight...

    I recently got accepted into MIT's MSRED program and am now waiting to hear from Stern's full time MBA program.

    I have 7 years of work experience ranging from civil engineering, urban/transportation planning, and am currently an Owner's Representative managing projects in the design and construction phases. I am looking to learn the business/finance side of the RE industry to compliment my technical knowledge and will target a top international RE developer upon graduation (my ideal role would be in acquisitions or development) .

    I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch, but if I do get into Stern, which program do you think would benefit me most on achieving my goal? And what made you decide on going for a MSRED program after a top MBA program?
    First of all, congratulations on being one of the other 38 people to be accepted to this years MIT program. I've spoken with another person and was extremely impressed by him. I am eager to meet all of you.

    Second, Stern would be the place to go if you wanted to do finance. Also, the MBA is a much more versatile degree so it gives you a lot of options down the road. That being said, take a look at the placement that the MIT program offers its graduates: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/recentemployers.html

    Pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

    As for me personally, I was a philosophy/theology undergrad and needed the MBA to expose me to a general business curriculum. If I concentrated in RE electives only then I would have defeated the whole purpose. Plus, adding a name like MIT to your resume does a whole lot for the "wow" factor. Additionally, I am not naturally gifted at quant and I felt that focused study at MIT would help me to turn a liability in to a strength.

    The USC MBA is phenomenal - but pairing that with MIT really allows me to stand out. Given my goals, I want to ensure that I never miss an opportunity because I don't have the proper pedigree.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally posted by Hugoend View post
    Hey Phear Me and hl248,

    Hows it going. I chanced upon the message correspondence you guys posted. I have a couple of questions for you.

    A little about my background, i have a bachelors in architecture and have been working in a corporate architecture firm for about 1.5 years now, and 2 years is about all the professional experience i have... Yesterday i learnt that i got accepted to Columbia for MSRED! With that little experience and virtually no background with RED i am pretty surprise i got in. You guys seem to have a much much more impressive background than i do and i am not at all surprised you got into MIT and Harvard respectively.

    I am extremely excited but at the same time i have a work opportunity and am actually thinking of defering or re-applying next year. Of cos i am apprehensive because there is no guarantee i will be accepted again, considering the fact that the market is bad and i would theorize that alot of people would think its a great time to head back to school especially next year. Also, i heard from GSAPP about my admission only on the very last day 31st of March, while i heard from alot of other schools i successfully applied to weeks before. Did you guys both heard from columbia on the last day too?

    Other RED schools i applied to is USC and Harvard MDesS. Accepted by USC but placed on waiting list for Harvard. Which i will try to contend for... I have a background in design, it would be interesting to land in an environment where i can incorporate that with my new learnings... Columbia is no doubt a great great program but i suspect it may be a little more conceptual. Personally i tend to place practicalility/(and design) over theoretical... I also undertood from your postings that being from Columbia has the advantage of building up a strong network, which may not be so applicable for me too since i am an international student who will not be around in the states for long. All that said of cos Columbia has a brand name and a location i could only dream of, till now.

    Any thoughts? advise? Thanks guys

    Cn
    Hi Hugoend,

    Yes, I heard from Columbia as well on March 31st...in fact I think we all did. I think that if you are an architect, it may be pretty amazing to attend the GSD over Columbia or USC. As you may know, GSD is consistently ranked number one in architecture / design and while people keep saying that USC is No. 1, I think Harvard is more selective...probably because more people apply there?? Because of its Ivy League name? So if you can get admitted, I definitely go up to Boston. I also strongly believe that the Harvard alumni network is priceless. I also think that for grad school, who your peers are is SO important, and it's important that you can learn from them, and vice versa. Harvard pretty much ensures that people who get in will be able to bring something to the table. Columbia as well, has a strong network as well, but I am just not sure about their selectivity criteria. Four and a half years ago, I had applied to the Planning program with NO experience in planning whatsoever (but with 5 years of finance experience), and I was accepted. To say the least, I was also a bit shocked. Anyway I declined their offer and went to the Bartlett in the UK.... My sister was also accepted three years before that to the MSRED program with NO experience in real estate (and 3 years of insurance experience). ....To this day, I've wondered about Columbia's selection process (That same year, I was rejected from Berkeley and MIT). Just doesn't seem that competitive for some reason to me....

    Another thought is you may want to consider going to real estate grad school with just a bit more experience underneath the belt. I think it's very different from going into a planning program fresh, because real estate is so experience-oriented, and with that intuition and instinct-driven. Also there is SO many aspects to it, you at least have to have familiarity with the most basic principles and mechanisms of the entire development cycle. I was able to move from a masterplanning firm to a property consulting firm doing development finance so I kind of lucked out there. My sister going into Columbia told me years later that she didn't feel like she learned as much as she could because everything was completely foreign to her. But having said that, she's also worked her way up and now a senior executive now at a top development firm....

    Hope this helps.

  14. #39
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    Hugoend

    Here are some helpful comparisons for you:

    MBA/MSRED Comparison: http://web.mit.edu/cre/apply/mba-msred.html

    From MIT:

    What advice would you give someone who is trying to decide between an MBA and the MSRED program?

    The determining factor is whether you have a general interest in business. If you are interested in getting general information about marketing, accounting, quantitative methods or any of the other general business courses you would be required to take your first year, an MBA may be for you. However, if you are committed to a career in real estate and would like an intense, one-year, broad-based yet real estate focused experience, the MSRED might be more appropriate. The advantages of the MSRED program are:

    1. more RE courses;
    2. shorter duration (1 year vs. 2 years);
    3. tremendous network between alums/member companies.


    Here are alumni profiles for the MIT program:
    http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/alumnicareers.html

    - phear

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    USC versus MIT

    Hey guys. Glad to find this forum.

    Sounds like I'm going to be seeing some of you soon. I found out about USC last week and got my letter from MIT today. I was rejected by Harvard.

    I'm currently living/working in California and trying to make sense of the best way forward. They are both excellent programs and it will feel extremely weird rejecting either of them.

    I'm in the development business currently working on 1.2M sq ft of retail and 900 res-over-retail for a private developer. I eventually want to be entrepreneurial and start my own firm. I think within 3-4 years I'll be ready to pursue my own deals.

    What criteria do you guys think would be helpful in evaluating my options?

    I'm a little nervous about MIT's quantitative reputation so that signals to me I need work on the quant side. USC is a much easier move than Cambridge and seems extremely well balanced for a budding developer.

    Here's how I've been thinking about the 2 programs:

    USC seems like a professional school that teaches specific/discrete/practical skills quickly and well. Infomercial: "If you follow our amazing 11 month plan, you'll go from peon to power broker in no time. You'll even get a tan!"

    MIT seems a bit more academic/theoretical. Seems more financial/quantitative than holistic. But it's freaking MIT. Who turns down MIT? Infomercial: "We're MIT. We're the best and we're not as nerdy as you think."

    Any advice? I guess choosing between two excellent programs is a good problem to have but that doesn't make it any easier.

    Cheers and good luck to everyone else reading on their applications.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally posted by hl248 View post
    Hi Hugoend,

    Yes, I heard from Columbia as well on March 31st...in fact I think we all did. I think that if you are an architect, it may be pretty amazing to attend the GSD over Columbia or USC. As you may know, GSD is consistently ranked number one in architecture / design and while people keep saying that USC is No. 1, I think Harvard is more selective...probably because more people apply there?? Because of its Ivy League name? So if you can get admitted, I definitely go up to Boston. I also strongly believe that the Harvard alumni network is priceless. I also think that for grad school, who your peers are is SO important, and it's important that you can learn from them, and vice versa. Harvard pretty much ensures that people who get in will be able to bring something to the table. Columbia as well, has a strong network as well, but I am just not sure about their selectivity criteria. Four and a half years ago, I had applied to the Planning program with NO experience in planning whatsoever (but with 5 years of finance experience), and I was accepted. To say the least, I was also a bit shocked. Anyway I declined their offer and went to the Bartlett in the UK.... My sister was also accepted three years before that to the MSRED program with NO experience in real estate (and 3 years of insurance experience). ....To this day, I've wondered about Columbia's selection process (That same year, I was rejected from Berkeley and MIT). Just doesn't seem that competitive for some reason to me....

    Another thought is you may want to consider going to real estate grad school with just a bit more experience underneath the belt. I think it's very different from going into a planning program fresh, because real estate is so experience-oriented, and with that intuition and instinct-driven. Also there is SO many aspects to it, you at least have to have familiarity with the most basic principles and mechanisms of the entire development cycle. I was able to move from a masterplanning firm to a property consulting firm doing development finance so I kind of lucked out there. My sister going into Columbia told me years later that she didn't feel like she learned as much as she could because everything was completely foreign to her. But having said that, she's also worked her way up and now a senior executive now at a top development firm....

    Hope this helps.
    Excellent advises. I have a few friends from USC who swears that i will become a more succesful developer if i decide to go with the trojans... however i find it impossible to turn down an ivy league offer which will complete my whole "east and west coast experience". {hl248} i completely agree with you regarding experience, i really gave it a very serious consideration with the work opportunity i was talking about but finally decided that my "education should come first", partly driven by the fear that i may miss the opportunity if i dont get in when the competition gets tighter next year. However, what did you mean when you said your sister "felt like she didnt learn as much as she could because everything was completely foreign to her"? Was it because of the structure of the curriculum? I am actually apprehensive about being able to cope since i do not have any background in RE itself so I am taking classes now to better prepare myself to embark this new study such as real estate principals and finance... Would you have other recommendations?

    Once again, thanks.

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    Quote Originally posted by restudent2008 View post
    Hey guys. Glad to find this forum.

    Sounds like I'm going to be seeing some of you soon. I found out about USC last week and got my letter from MIT today. I was rejected by Harvard.

    I'm currently living/working in California and trying to make sense of the best way forward. They are both excellent programs and it will feel extremely weird rejecting either of them.

    I'm in the development business currently working on 1.2M sq ft of retail and 900 res-over-retail for a private developer. I eventually want to be entrepreneurial and start my own firm. I think within 3-4 years I'll be ready to pursue my own deals.

    What criteria do you guys think would be helpful in evaluating my options?

    I'm a little nervous about MIT's quantitative reputation so that signals to me I need work on the quant side. USC is a much easier move than Cambridge and seems extremely well balanced for a budding developer.

    Here's how I've been thinking about the 2 programs:

    USC seems like a professional school that teaches specific/discrete/practical skills quickly and well. Infomercial: "If you follow our amazing 11 month plan, you'll go from peon to power broker in no time. You'll even get a tan!"

    MIT seems a bit more academic/theoretical. Seems more financial/quantitative than holistic. But it's freaking MIT. Who turns down MIT? Infomercial: "We're MIT. We're the best and we're not as nerdy as you think."

    Any advice? I guess choosing between two excellent programs is a good problem to have but that doesn't make it any easier.

    Cheers and good luck to everyone else reading on their applications.
    RE Student - nice to meet someone that got into the same programs that I did (Columbia, USC, MIT). To sum up every single informed person I talked to, "You're an idiot if you turn down MIT." MIT is very similar to the USC program except that it carries a stronger brand name and has quantifiable superior placement. That being said, the USC program is no joke and you will do fine at the Lusk Center. The choice is easier for me because as a USC MBA I already have access to the phenomenal Trojan network. If you're going to do business on the West Coast, access to the Trojan network should be a major consideration.

    For me, the commercials would be more like:

    USC: "The USC Trojan Network - Don't enter the west coast without it"

    MIT: "We're MIT - don't #%@ with us"

    - Phear
    Last edited by phear_me; 03 Apr 2008 at 4:16 AM.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally posted by Hugoend View post
    Excellent advises. I have a few friends from USC who swears that i will become a more succesful developer if i decide to go with the trojans... however i find it impossible to turn down an ivy league offer which will complete my whole "east and west coast experience". {hl248} i completely agree with you regarding experience, i really gave it a very serious consideration with the work opportunity i was talking about but finally decided that my "education should come first", partly driven by the fear that i may miss the opportunity if i dont get in when the competition gets tighter next year. However, what did you mean when you said your sister "felt like she didnt learn as much as she could because everything was completely foreign to her"? Was it because of the structure of the curriculum? I am actually apprehensive about being able to cope since i do not have any background in RE itself so I am taking classes now to better prepare myself to embark this new study such as real estate principals and finance... Would you have other recommendations?

    Once again, thanks.
    Regarding Columbia's workload: I spoke to and eventually got a recommendation from a former Columbia MSRED graduate and he echoed the sentiments that I had better not go to Columbia expecting to learn a whole lot. Rather, the focus is on entrepreneurial endeavors and building a network. Since I don't have the fiscal ability to start a development company immediately out of college I believe that MIT is the best fit for me as it, without question, has the best placement. As a result, I think MIT, USC or Cornell would better for a candidate that's not quite ready to form their own development company by allowing them to gain experience and/or income via placement. However, if you're ready to do development NOW then Columbia is the best place to go.

    One more anecdote: I know a guy at Cushman Wakefield who said that he's lectured at Columbia and interviewed potential applicants from there and compared them to the MIT and Cornell programs: His rank was:

    1. MIT
    2. Cornell
    3. USC

    He did not consider Columbia a premier program. Now, he's wrong - it is - but this backs up the idea that Columbia doesn't kick out cogs in a wheel but rather people who go directly into development ... or ... people who languish for 6 months and wind up very disappointed that they found no placement.

    Keep in mind, I'm not harboring grudges here. I got in to all 3 of the programs being talked about here (less waitlist/interview at Cornell) and I am, in the absence of information, trying to provide the best info out there. Again, they are all fine programs.

    - phear
    Last edited by phear_me; 03 Apr 2008 at 4:37 AM.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally posted by Hugoend View post
    Excellent advises. I have a few friends from USC who swears that i will become a more succesful developer if i decide to go with the trojans... however i find it impossible to turn down an ivy league offer which will complete my whole "east and west coast experience". {hl248} i completely agree with you regarding experience, i really gave it a very serious consideration with the work opportunity i was talking about but finally decided that my "education should come first", partly driven by the fear that i may miss the opportunity if i dont get in when the competition gets tighter next year. However, what did you mean when you said your sister "felt like she didnt learn as much as she could because everything was completely foreign to her"? Was it because of the structure of the curriculum? I am actually apprehensive about being able to cope since i do not have any background in RE itself so I am taking classes now to better prepare myself to embark this new study such as real estate principals and finance... Would you have other recommendations?

    Once again, thanks.
    Hi Hugoend,

    When my sister said she didn't learn as much as she could have, it was because she didn't know ANYTHING about real estate. She was coming straight from the insurance company and she had an BSc in International Relations. She said that the people who benefited the most were the people that had some background because they were able to get more out of it. I think if you don't have a good foundation, your eyes could glaze over a lot of times. Also, you won't be able to think about things in a more interesting way, particulalry with how deal structuring and concept development works.

    I think taking a class is brillant. Reading some books is great. I think that if you are looking to be a well-rounded real estate developer, not just a number cruncher or an designer, this book is really great. It's the only book out there that I know of that looks at development and planning in parallel. Planning is a fundamental thing in development. It's a UK version though but maybe there's a US version. It's really the same thing as the US in the real estate development part except that the planning stream is on UK legislation.

    Urban Planning and Real Estate Development (Natural & Built Environment) (Hardcover)
    by John Ratcliffe (Author), Michael Stubbs (Author), Mark Shepherd (Editor)

    I'm sure you'll be brillantly in Columbia. Like another poster said below, alot of it is about networking so I really wouldn't worry TOO much about the academics....

  20. #45
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    IM me

    HL248 - check your inbox

  21. #46
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    Posted this on businessweek and wanted to share here:

    I have done a compensation survey. Please note MIT does not have 2007 data available whereas Cornell and USC do. In order to get apples to apples I spoke with the MIT career services center and got the relevant unpublished data based on numbers recited to me based on memory. I will provide the 2006 data as well.



    Compensation Comparison: 2007


    Cornell 2007 avg salary: $92,600
    Cornell 2007 avg annual bonus: $22,000

    USC 2007 avg salary: $93,000
    USC 2007 avg annual bonus: $23,000

    MIT 2007 estimated avg salary: $100,000 +
    MIT 2007 estimated avg annual bonus: $30,000+

    ---

    MIT 2006 avg salary: $96,949
    MIT 2006 avg annual bonus: approx $28,000



    Cornell 2007:
    http://realestate.cornell.edu/index....ent_statistics

    MIT 2006:
    http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/pdf/2006SalaryBroch.pdf

    USC 2007:
    http://usclusk.urbaninsight.com/file...eport_2007.pdf

  22. #47
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    Updated Comp Numbers

    UPDATED REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT COMPENSATION NUMBERS:


    Notes:

    * USC breaks salary down by sector so the average is a close estimate.

    * MIT and USC do not give specific averages for bonus numbers. The figures are broken down by sector for USC and into bonus groups by MIT. Bonus numbers are an approximation.

    * Please follow the respective links to the source documents for the clearest conclusions

    * NYU and Columbia do not realease public compensation reports



    Real Estate Compensation Comparison: 2007 (alphabetical)


    Cornell 2007 avg salary: $92,600
    Cornell 2007 avg annual bonus: $22,000

    MIT 2007 avg salary: $106,100
    MIT 2007 estimated avg annual bonus: $32,000

    USC 2007 estimated avg salary: $93,000
    USC 2007 estimated avg annual bonus: $23,000




    Sources

    Cornell 2007:
    http://realestate.cornell.edu/index....ent_statistics

    MIT 2007:
    http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/pdf/2007SalaryBroch.pdf

    USC 2007:
    http://usclusk.urbaninsight.com/file...eport_2007.pdf

  23. #48
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    Thank you both. I am glad i found this website.

  24. #49

    Real Estate

    Seems like there are many people in here that are very educated about masters program in Real Estate. Would be extremely grateful to email with those knowledgeable about specific programs. Cannot seem to find concrete answers and would very much like to find some/any closure. Thank you very much in advance

    Moderator note:
    Welcome to Cyburbia newacct231236. Please understand that we try to foster conversation online here in the forums. If everyone were to email you, then we wouldn't really need to exist, would we? I hope you find what you are looking for. Carry on. ~Gedunker

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally posted by newacct231236 View post
    Seems like there are many people in here that are very educated about masters program in Real Estate. Would be extremely grateful to email with those knowledgeable about specific programs. Cannot seem to find concrete answers and would very much like to find some/any closure. Thank you very much in advance
    Ask away ...

    -phear

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