Top Schools for Real Estate and Real Estate Finance

Jan 08, 2020

Read about degree programs in real estate and real estate finance. Find out what three of the top schools have to offer in terms of awards, course topics and special program features, and use the list at the end of the resource to see where else you can study real estate in the U.S.

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  • 0:02 Top Schools for Real Estate
  • 0:35 U of Pennsylvania -…
  • 1:26 U of Wisconsin - Madison
  • 2:15 U of California - Berkeley
  • 3:00 Arizona State - Tempe
  • 3:42 Top Real Estate &…

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Top Schools for Real Estate

Formal education programs in real estate and real estate finance can typically be found at business schools or universities with real estate research centers or institutes. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in these topics are offered at top schools throughout the country.

The four schools discussed here provide exceptional education in this field and U.S. News and World Report ranked each school nationally in 2020. Students at these schools can learn how to use industry-specific computer software and gain the opportunity to interact with industry professionals.

1. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

School Highlight: The Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the University of Pennsylvania has a Career Mentor Program, which pairs students with industry leaders.

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is a private institution that U.S. News & World Report ranked sixth (tied) among the best national universities in 2020. In addition, their undergraduate business programs were ranked first in the nation in 2020, as designated by U.S. News & World Report. The Wharton School includes the university's real estate department, which offers undergraduate, Master of Business Administration (MBA) and doctoral programs in real estate. Core coursework helps students develop their business, communication and analytic skills. Networking with industry professionals takes place through lectures, conferences, outreach programs and entrepreneurship.

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

School Highlight: The University of Wisconsin offers international internships and study abroad opportunities.

The University of Wisconsin in Madison is a public university that is tied at 46th among best national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2020. Through the university's Wisconsin School of Business, students can pursue an undergraduate program in real estate that ranked 2nd in a 2020 survey published by U.S. News & World Report.

Both the undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business administration include a concentration in real estate and can lead to a bachelor's degree, an MBA or a Ph.D. In addition to taking courses in real estate valuation, real estate finance and land law, students learn how to work with ARGUS, a computer software program used in real estate transactions and appraisals.

3. University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: Research opportunities at the University of California in Berkeley are available through the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics.

The University of California in Berkeley, one of ten schools that make up the University of California system, tied as the 22nd best national university by U.S. News & World Report in 2020. Additionally, the university's undergraduate real estate program landed the number 3 spot on the U.S. News & World Report survey for 2020. Berkeley's Hass School of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in real estate, which can lead to a Bachelor of Science and Ph.D., as well as an MBA with a real estate concentration. Coursework includes topics in real estate finance and investment, security and development.

4. Arizona State University in Tempe

School Highlight: The school has a Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice. At Arizona State University, graduate students can earn a Master of Real Estate Development degree. This program is highly cross-disciplinary, including courses offered by the schools of business, law, construction and design.

For undergraduates, ASU offers a minor in real estate, which covers a wide range of topics within the field. Students who are particularly interested in real estate finance will benefit from courses in real estate investments, the economics of sustainability and feasibility reports.

In 2020, ASU tied at 117th among national universities by U.S. News and World Report and its graduate business program tied at 33rd.

Top Schools with Real Estate and Real Estate Finance Programs

Here are some more schools with strong educational offerings in this field:

School Name Distinction Location
Central Michigan University Offers a bachelor's degree program in real estate development and finance Mount Pleasant, MI
New York University NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate participates in several real estate associations New York, NY
Ohio State University Undergraduates and graduates can join the Fisher Real Estate Society Columbus, OH
University of Central Florida Sponsors the Real Estate Academic Leaders club for students Orlando, FL
University of Florida Alfred A. Ring Distinguished Speaker Series provides students with the chance to hear from industry leaders Gainesville, FL
University of Georgia Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties offers annual real estate challenge for students Athens, GA

For students who are interested in general or financed-focused studies of real estate, there are relevant programs at well-regarded schools around the country. Top schools offer multiple degree programs, as well as professional networking and internship opportunities.

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