Real estate development master's degree programs typically cannot be completed entirely online, but students can find hybrid programs that have both on-campus and online aspects. Students might attend seminars on campus or visit an actual real estate development project. A few residencies may also be required throughout the length of the program.
Such programs teach leadership skills based on a foundation of construction, property design, market analysis, finance and law. Other important issues include cash flow analysis, negotiations, public policy and environmental sustainability.
Master's degree programs in real estate development are typically designed for the working real estate professionals. Applicants usually need to have a bachelor's degree and 2-5 years of full-time work experience in a related field. Such programs might also specify basic prerequisite courses in accounting, statistics or finance.
Real estate development master's degree programs typically require 40 credit hours and take about 18-24 months to complete. Lectures, readings and group discussions usually take place online.
For the online portion of the program, students need access to a computer and Internet connection. Basic word-processing software or media players may be required to view, complete and submit assignments and other coursework. Students usually log in to the school's course management software through a Web browser. In this way, students can communicate with instructors and peers, access assignments and upload completed work.
Students explore courses in real estate accounting, land use planning, building design and real estate law.
Introduction to Real Estate Development
This overview course focuses on the real estate development industry, including topics in markets, building design and construction, acquisitions, finance and property law. Other subjects include negotiating skills, due diligence and site selection.
Market and Property Analysis
This course familiarizes students with various real estate markets, such as urban, office and suburban. Students learn to estimate future supply and demand in these markets, as well as evaluate sites and properties for potential development.
Fundamentals of Building Design and Construction
Students learn about sustainable design and determining the feasibility of a project. By examining the engineering and architectural aspects of construction management, students learn what comprises quality construction.
In general, students with a master's degree in real estate development are prepared for careers in real estate, construction or financing. Other related career choices exist in property appraisal and property management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job growth for real estate brokers and sales agents to grow 3% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Real estate brokers, who differ from sales agents in that they own their own real estate businesses, had a median salary of $56,860 in May 2015, also noted by the BLS. However, job opportunities and salary levels can vary by industry and geographic location.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Students interested in additional education in real estate development can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Real Estate. Although not commonly available online, a doctoral real estate program usually allows students to concentrate on subjects such as urban development, real estate development and real estate finance.
Real estate development master's degree programs are generally hybrid, requiring students to attend seminars and residencies. Courses cover construction, property analysis and relevant regulations.