I got accepted to Columbia MSRED, USC MRED, and UC Berkeley MRED+D, where should I go?

Hi All,

I just accepted to USC, Columbia, and Berkeley Masters of Real Estate programs but I don't know where I should go. I live in San Francisco Bay Area (want to come back) was a designer who transitioned into RE development but since realized that I need more finance and a bigger picture understanding of RE to fill in my knowledge gaps to eventually start my own firm. Things I am thinking about 1) USC has a great reputation in RE and in CA, 2) Columbia is an IVY, finance and development focused program, but on the east coast far from my desired area of work and connections, and 3) Berkeley great brand, in the area I want to work, however it will be the first year of the program so I won't have any program alumni to reach out to and worried that the degree won't open the doors same doors as USC or Cornell . Thoughts?


At Berkeley, you should be able to join the real estate club to meet MBA students and network with SF companies constantly. A lot of real estate job placement is outside of formal campus recruiting anyways. Some of your (best) classes will likely be taught by professionals working in the Bay Area and with that you can build a relationship. PM me if you choose that program.

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Was also just accepted to Berkeley. At this point, I'm waiting on MBA programs to weigh my options. Berkeley does appeal to me though, even though it is new.... Will be curious to find out about funding.

What do we think the career outcomes could be out of Berkeley?


One thing I would bring to light, is the benefit of a summer internship via the MBA if you are making a major pivot. Very tough to do in a 1 year and out program, though you both might already have strong RE backgrounds. Just my $0.02.

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I went to a top MBA program but don’t agree with the RE forum’s take on MBAs.

Going to a top MBA with no RE presence like Yale, Fuqua, Tuck, or Darden (no hate, just programs without much real estate presence off the top of my head) will do nothing for your RE career. RE firms won’t suddenly make you an associate instead of an analyst just because of the MBA vs the MSRED. They would likely just not consider the MBAs at all. Your friends likely went to shady RE shops that would try to title (and pay) deflate anyone and everyone.

There are a handful of MBAs that people should absolutely take over MSRED programs - Wharton, Columbia, Northwestern, Cornell, and Stern are all extremely strong programs for RE. If you get into H/S, obviously go. Any of the others? I would say a strong MSRED goes way farther.

Coming from someone who went to a top MBA and saw fellow students struggle to land RE positions. 


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