Real Estate Graduate Degree Programs in California

May 15, 2019

Within the state of California, there are varied opportunities for students to pursue graduate studies in real estate. Prospective students should consider their career goals when deciding upon a degree program.

California offers a diverse real estate market, with positions at all levels for real estate professionals. Read on to learn more about degree options students can pursue in order to enter the field of real estate, as well as five universities in California that may offer these programs of study.

Graduate Degree Options in Real Estate

Master of Science in Real Estate

Those who are seeking a practice-oriented graduate degree might consider the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE). Those who complete the MSRE may be qualified to seek industry-recognized credentials. The program typically takes one year of study to complete. Courses may include real estate accounting, property management, and negotiations. Application requirements often include a personal statement, resume, recommendations, and transcripts.

Master of Business Administration

Students who wish to pursue financing and business opportunities within the real estate market might want to pursue an MBA with a focus on real estate. An MBA typically requires two years of full-time study to complete. Students will begin with a series of core business courses, and then choose electives focused upon real estate financing or investment. Applicants for MBA programs must usually provide transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, essays, a resume, and recommendations. Interviews may be required. Work experience is typically preferred.

Master of Real Estate Development

Those who aspire to positions in real estate development, balancing the needs of diverse constituent groups while developing sustainable communities, may wish to consider earning a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED). Students may learn about site planning, real estate finance, the political approval process, and managing projects in one year of study. Candidates for MRED programs typically submit transcripts, a personal statement, and recommendations. Standardized test scores including GMAT, GRE or LSAT scores are sometimes requested. Work experience is preferred.

Graduate Certificate

For students pursuing graduate degrees in areas related to real estate, some universities offer an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program to allow them to gain more insight into this field. These programs typically require four or more courses in real estate. Applications are open to graduate students in all fields, and will require a statement of purpose and resume.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students who wish to pursue careers in teaching or research regarding real estate may consider earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Students will be required to pursue coursework both in core topics such as finance and economics, and in seminars to encourage an understanding of research in real estate. Expectations may include a preliminary exam, oral qualifying exam and dissertation. To apply, students will need to provide transcripts, a statement of purpose, and GRE or GMAT scores; and identify a faculty mentor.

California Universities Offering Real Estate Degrees

University of Southern California

At USC, there are a number of options in real estate. Students can earn a graduate certificate in real estate as well as the MRED. Courses within the master's program focus on case studies and engagement with working real estate developers, in addition to lectures. The Lusk Center for Real Estate provides students with networking opportunities with those working in real estate development.

USC students can also pursue an MBA focused on real estate. The program emphasizes real estate development and finance. Students can also seek a dual degree with an MBA/MRED.

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego offers the MSRE. The program focuses on hands-on learning, with visits to local development sites and projects involving working closely with area real estate professionals to develop business plans. Students can experience a global program in Hong Kong. The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate connects students with real estate professionals.

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine provides a course of study leading to the MSRE. The E2B, or Education to Business program, offers those who are enrolled the opportunity to complete a hands-on project in teams with top local businesses in Malibu and Los Angeles. The Real Estate Institute offers networking opportunities with real estate executives. Internships and global study may be a component of the MSRE curriculum at Pepperdine.

University of California Berkeley

Berkeley has several programs for graduate students. There is a Master of Real Estate Development and Design (MRED+D), an Interdisciplinary Graduate Real Estate Certificate, and an MBA program with a focus in Real Estate. Berkeley also offers a Ph.D. in Real Estate. This program is offered through the doctoral program in finance. A weekly seminar series allows for frequent exposure regarding issues of urban economics and local public finance.

Woodbury University

Woodbury has a Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development. It is designed for architects who desire to be involved in the process of deciding what is to be built. Courses may include design studio and construction ethics. The final semester is focused on a thesis project, and many students have the opportunity to go on and build their thesis. The university also has what is known as the 'making complex' with digital and wood labs. In addition to common real estate development application requirements, students should submit a portfolio.

In California, students can choose from a variety of real estate focused graduate degrees depending on their varied career goals. Through courses, internships, and networking opportunities with professionals, these graduate degrees may propel students into challenging real estate careers.

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