Am I CRAZY or does THIS make sense? MASTERS IN REAL ESTATE!??


I am a first-gen hispanic male at the end of my Junior Year at a top Cal State studying finance, real estate, and law with plans of graduating in spring 2023. I have a 3.45 major gpa with previous work experience as a shift manager, as well as internship experience at a boutique commercial real estate brokerage.I have very few connections. I want to end up in a top REPE firm and start as an anlyst but to do that I need to obtain a masters degree in real estate at a good school to get my foot in the door (because of my low gpa, I plan on working non stop to get a 750+ GMAT). Work a few years and later down the line, an MBA at a top school. Thats my master plan so far. Please feel free to poke holes in my theoretical plan and make it stronger if viewed as weak; constructive ciriticisim is greatly valued)

I would like to apply to the MSRE/MSRED programs offered at NYU, GEORGETOWN, CORNELL, COLUMBIA, AND WASHINGTON upon graduation. 

What are my chances of getting in to these programs?

If low, how can I improve my chances?

If I have no shot, what other great alterantives should I apply to instead?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

unasked weevil.

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Comments (16)

Most Helpful
May 5, 2022 - 12:22am
Beers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

-your GPA is not that low and you have time to improve it

-MSRED/MSRE is not a high-probability path to a top REPE shop

-If you plan to get an MBA you are wasting your money on a MSRE 

Do what the poster above suggested and try to get an analyst gig at one of the aforementioned firms. The roles are plentiful, the companies are large recognizable names, and you will get lots of reps and deal exposure. You can try to lateral to the principal side from there after a few years or go get an MBA and recruit for REPE jobs. This is a MUCH higher probability path to REPE than immediately getting a masters after UG with zero real work experience. Also not sure why you would leave REPE to get an MBA down the line if you are already in that industry... not really a prerequisite for advancement and probably a waste of time/money if you want to stay in REPE.  

May 5, 2022 - 2:02am
weaksaus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As other's have said you're fine as is and should be able to go straight into REPE or a related role such as brokerage without the masters

I would spend the rest of your time in UG trying to get your GPA up and continuing to network. If you are networking consistently while in school people will notice it and it will greatly help when it comes to landing the full time role post ug

And don't beat yourself up on the GPA. I had lower and ended up just fine

May 6, 2022 - 6:33pm
unasked weevil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for the advice I will definitely be taking my last 2 semesters very seriously. I have been networking with one person a week but I am going to start ramping up this number!

May 5, 2022 - 10:41am
money.monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You're from CA. Why is USC not on the list? That is THE school to be at for west coast RE.


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May 5, 2022 - 9:30pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I came in here for the same thing!!! Lolz at "top" cal state - c'mon, son!

  • 1
May 6, 2022 - 6:36pm
unasked weevil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It was on the list but the school required a minimum of 2 year work experience while the other school I mentioned did not. But reading through these comments has made me realize I should be focusing my efforts on networking, getting my grades up, and getting some real experience as an analyst at a well recognized brokerage. Thanks for the taking some time to help me out!

May 5, 2022 - 8:41pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So.... my thoughts (which I think largely agree with most commenters..)...

- Use the MSRE as a "fall back"... go for a job, you should get one (brokerage, banking/lending, appraisal are the go to places for entry level CRE, not sure if your profile set you up for I-banking, but could give it a shot...)

- Since you interned in a "boutique" cre brokerage, did you like it? If you worked for a "big name" as an analyst would you like it? You seem like someone who may do well in the big time brokerage world (you have the eagerness..), I'd run this path down for sure. 

- I'd say best "path" to "top REPE firm" (lord knows what you mean by that.... tells me little tbh, but most here prob assume you mean Blackstone), is getting into a well ranked MBA program after 3-5 years of legit CRE work then doing grad internship at such a firm and hopefully getting a FT offer after the summer. If you are more generous about what you consider "top REPE" then you may or may not need this, but as much as I hate to admit this... the opportunities out there to those who go to a "top Cal State" program are not the same as a M7 or even M25 MBA program, just reality of the institutional world. 

- Given that you have real estate/finance/law UG background, an MSRE may not be as valuable anyway (assuming you know most of the material, which I wouldn't take for granted), but you may find that best path (all depends on that GMAT...) if the M7 MBA world doesn't grant an acceptance letter. Still, I'd strongly advise at least 2 years of legit work experience in some professional/industry context, otherwise your post grad job will be same a out of UG (which honestly, is not a bad thing if didn't get job first out, but I think you can). 

- In the immediate... use your student status to join NAIOP, ULI, ICSC, and other similar groups at rock bottom prices.. go to the meetings, network, get involved. You COULD land a legit buy-side role direct from UG, people with your profile do this quite often via networking through these groups, LinkedIn, and just being an aggressive cold-emailer. So, might as well try, you have time! 

May 6, 2022 - 6:42pm
unasked weevil, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for taking some time to share your thoughts! I think you offered really great advice when it came to gaining some work experience before applying to any graduate programs. I already started netoworking with some students on campus who attend NAOIP/ULI events.I did not even know this existed until I read your comment.

May 10, 2022 - 8:08am
latinbanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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