Graduate Programs in Real Estate, MRE

Hey guys,

I'm looking at graduate programs in real estate. I've done some research but would like some input.

I live in LA and have about 4-years of work experience in real estate (market-rate asset management and affordable housing acquisitions/tax-credit syndication). Graduated from a Big-10 school, go Hoosiers. I've about peaked at my current role in the sense that I'm not seeing much growth potential, and so I'm both networking and looking at the MRE route. Ideally, if I were to undertake a graduate program, I'd like to transition back into market-rate multifamily acquisitions or asset management. I wouldn't say I'm constrained to that asset class alone. It's just my experience is there, and I I'd like to stay there. Although I'm open to other areas.

From what I've been able to see online, a lot of these MRE programs are less than a year in length. I like that, and I already have some debt from my UG, and a one-year program specifically focused on real estate seems great and also wouldn't hurt as much financially.

Do you guys have any input on this? Given my location, USC and UCSD seem ideal. Any other options? I can re-locate for the program if need be, but would like to come back to LA after completing the program.

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Comments (11)

Most Helpful
Jun 27, 2019 - 4:26pm

I am in the region as well and have looked extensively at various programs.

If you must stay in SoCal for your school- USC or bust. Their MRED program is top notch and places really well comparatively. UCSD and Pepperdine have programs, but they don't seem to justify the cost that is nearly that of USC's MRED. If you're sensitive about price, consider the part time option as well. Work experience plus a USC MRED will serve you well.

Be realistic too. While the USC cult out here is real, it is not as transferable outside the region. USC MRED won't get you to BlackStone like a Wharton MBA might . But it will help open many doors and you'll learn a ton.

If you're willing to travel- Harvard MDes REBE, MIT MSRED, Columbia MSRED, UCB MSRED+D, and NYU MSRE/D are all fantastic programs. Again, depends what you want to get out of it. Other programs (like Georgetown) are a lot cheaper but the placement is more variable.

Feel free to PM me

Jun 27, 2019 - 4:44pm

I should also tack on- I am considering part time MBA programs myself. Life will suck (but given my personal life situation it shouldn't be too horrible). USC MBA+MRED is 3 years part time and UCLA is 2.5 or 3 years part time and has an RE emphasis.

Jun 27, 2019 - 10:53pm

Malta, thanks for the response.

Staying in SoCal would be ideal, but I'm open to going outside of Cali.

Right now, I've looked at USC and MIT, really cause they have 1-year programs and that's big factor for me. I'm still doing research on 1-year programs and curriculums, so far I've used Adventures in CRE and other threads here on WSO.

As far as what I'd like to get out of it, getting into acquisitions is the goal, preferably back here in LA once I graduate.

Any other 1-year programs you have in mind that may be suitable?

Jun 29, 2019 - 11:06am

The problem with one year MSREs is that you don't get the structure of a summer internship in between year 1 and year 2. While a one year program may seem cheaper on the surface, you lose out on that, which for a lot of people is the main point of going to grad school. Summer internships are there to help you pivot in a new direction (and secure a FT job offer). The MSRE usually can't do that on its own without relevant work experience. It sounds like you're already coming in with some CRE experience which is excellent, but I'd still try to throw an internship in there somewhere. Maybe try to grind for a summer internship pre-MSRE? I've seen people do it successfully before one year programs.

Also, I work in market-rate multifamily lending and have for the last 4 years (but I'm obviously on the debt side, not equity.) Currently in Orange County and likely moving to LA soon. Let me know if I can help at all.

Jun 29, 2019 - 2:26pm

Buggy, thanks.

I'm also looking at NYU's Schack, which with the 2-year or 3-semester program, I can do the internship like you mentioned.

I'll look through Select Leaders and see if I can find any pre-grad school internships.

Ideally, I'd like to migrate to REPE post MSRE in an Acquisitions role.

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