Johns Hopkins & Georgetown Masters in Real Estate

Hi guys,

I'm considering these two programs right now and was wondering if anybody who has experience with either can provide some insight.

1) Strength in finance - my target position after grad would be in acquisitions

2) strength of program outside the DC metro region - in terms of job placement, name recognition, etc

My research thus far tell me that JHU > Georgetown in terms of program history and network size. Other major differences, besides tuition/costs, are: Georgetown is intended for part time/night studies ONLY. JHU full time offers internship program whereas JHU part time does not

Any other information would be greatly appreciated!

Comments (23)

Best Response
Oct 28, 2013 - 10:24pm

I did the MPSRE program at Georgetown and would be happy to share my experience. I work in ACQ for a big PE shop in DC. I wanted to stay in the area because DC is a great city, but I also got an offer in RE Asset Management with Blackstone in NYC and a couple of my friends got offers for positions in LA. So I think the strength of the programs reach is pretty apparent. For my coursework I took Foundations of RE Finance, Private Equity, Structured Finance, Derivatives, Accounting, RE Law, Ethics (more like History of the Financial Services Industry), Real Estate Development, Capital Markets and Capstone. I would recommend Georgetown over JHU in a heartbeat. Georgetown attracts stronger faculty members who have better connections in the RE industry, it has a more active student network and a great track record at the NAIOP challenge events (GU RE has won this competition several times) and the Georgetown students placed third internationally at MIT's coveted The Case competition. Shoot me a message if you have any more specific questions.

Oct 29, 2013 - 4:40pm

atwood - outside of the connections it brought you would you advise doing? 2nd year acquisitions associate mulling over the idea of getting a masters in RE.

Oct 30, 2013 - 9:22pm

I'm enrolled in the Georgetown program for Spring 2014. Everyone I have talked to has spoken very highly of the program and network.

I chose the program because of the finance concentration and great elective options- REPE, structured finance, RE derivatives, etc. The Georgetown reputation is also a big plus. I'm coming from 3 years of RE experience doing private offering and REIT analysis for an RIA and working at a small brokerage shop focused on distressed assets. Hoping to get into a REPE role soon. Moving up to DC from Richmond in December for the program.

atwoodt- any "must take" courses or other recommendations?

Dec 19, 2014 - 1:43am

Thanks for the vote of confidence but you should know that I left Georgetown for Johns Hopkins, as have others. Some teach at both places. Come to Johns Hopkins. It's a world-class university, and I'd love to see you in my class.
---Kathleen Day

Feb 2, 2014 - 8:02am

I am currently weighing these two graduate level real estate programs, as well as George Mason University's MSRED, which will be moving to their modern Arlington, Virginia Campus this Fall (other side of the bridge from Washington DC). They all sound great when you're speaking with the Program Directors or Admissions, but I have been researching daily and scratching to get below the surface of sales pitches. Some of the basic facts to consider include:

Georgetown University is ranked #23 by US News & World Report. The name has great prestige, but that prestige comes only from the success earned by their other schools. Georgetown's MPSRE program is based in their School of Continuing Studies (not ranked), NOT their business school. The SCS is a continuing education program, the School has no AACSB accreditation, and the courses do not transfer into any accredited program; not even into any of the other schools at Georgetown. The fact that you can never apply the credits/degree to obtain acceptance into another academic program, the inability to ever obtain accreditation, combined with the fact that the program is not delivered through a business school disqualifies it for me. Even though it may well be a good program, it also may be perceived as less rigorous than business school offerings and ultimately yielding the prestige of community college degree (but at least I was able to transfer many of those credits over towards my BS). Tuition is currently $950 per credit, and the program requires only 30 credits = $28,500. No GMAT required. This program is only 5 years old, so forget about an alumni network with executive hiring advantage, that requires about 20 years to establish

John Hopkins University is ranked #12 by US News & World Report. This name has incredible prestige, but that prestige also comes from the success earned by their other schools. JHU's MSREI program is based in their School of Business, however the School of Business was founded only 7 years ago so it is not yet AACSB accredited. They are currently "in process" of obtaining accreditation but it is a very expensive undertaking to meet all of those requirements. Admissions states they will AACSB within the next "1 to 2 years", that once this occurs all "degrees earned prior to that time will be grandfathered in." When this occurs JHU MSREI graduates will have the ability to transfer credits into other accredited university graduate programs to further their education (PHD). As for what is available to them right now, the JHU School of Business will allow students who successfully complete the MSREI to transfer 18 of those credits into their MBA program (54 credits - 18 transfer = 36 remaining for an MBA); should they wish to seek a dual degree this is a very good thing. Tuition is currently around $1,170 per credit, but for a limited time they give a scholarship discount to everyone of $220 per credit, which equals a total of $950 per credit, and the program requires a total of 36 credits. This degree costs $34,200K. The GMAT is required, but may be waived in certain circumstances = the right professional credentials and experience (PMP certification + 10 years in related field). This program is 25 years old now, so it's alumni network is vast and include founders of development companies, CEO, presidents, directors, etc.

George Mason University is ranked by US News & World Report at #141. Although GMU is not in the same Top-100 Universities league, nor does it's name yield the same prestige of the other two, it is a good institution of higher learning and for over a decade they've consistently risen faster in the rankings over any other university. GMU's MSRED program is based in their School of Management (business school) which is AACSB accredited. GMU's School of Management is ranked within the top 15% of business schools. Graduates already have the ability to transfer credits into any accredited university graduate program and further their education. Tuition is currently $800 per credit for in-state (I live in VA), and the program requires 36 credits. For me this is the least expensive viable option, at $28,800K for the degree. No GMAT required. This program is only 5 years old, so forget about an alumni network hiring advantage, that requires many years to establish, but the School is actively networking with Northern Virginia developers.

I am leaning towards JHU. The course work descriptions from all three of these programs read VERY good, and they may be very much equal, to include their resources. If you don't think it's important to have this type of program based in a business school, or if AACSB accreditation is not important to you, then this analysis will not be a significant decision factor, but for me these things are relevant criteria.

Other similar graduate programs in the DC area to consider are offered at University of Maryland (MSRED), American University (MRE), and George Washington University has an MBA with a Concentration in Real Estate (but that one is like $1,450 per credit x 55 credits = $80K).

Dec 19, 2014 - 3:16pm

@"Strategy" If you're only looking in DC area, the Georgetown program is a no-brainer. The AACSB certification - or lack thereof - is a little concerning but two counterpoints come to mind when factoring that a decision between JHU and Georgetown:

1. I don't see the demand for credits to transfer. Correct me if I'm wrong but if you end up getting another degree it would most likely be either JD or MBA in which case you would be required to complete the full program. You mentioned PHD in your post - How many PHDs working in RE do you know? And if that is your end goal, go to MIT, a much more theoretical based program.

2. If the JHU program is 25 years old and still a couple years away from obtaining the AACSB certification, what took so long? I'm sure the Georgetown program (only five years since inception) has plans for certification in the works if that's what all the competitive programs are doing. In which case, I imagine the same "degrees earned prior would be grandfathered in" would apply here as well.

To me the Georgetown name carries more weight if you're looking work in RE finance. Side note: Georgetown won the global MIT Case Competition last year; ahead of Harvard and Columbia. Not bad company.

Dec 19, 2014 - 3:33pm

How difficult is it to be accepted at Georgetown? What's a somewhat typical applicant profile as far as undergrad school/gpa and previous work experience?

Dec 19, 2014 - 4:34pm

This is kind of a preliminary review, but it reads more like a stream-of-consciousness...ha...

I'm a current Georgetown student and I have about 7 years worth of CRE experience. As far as the accreditation, I don't think I've ever even come across it--no one really knows anything about that. Employers definitely don't care. I don't think anyone knows or cares about the accreditation, but everyone knows about the existence of the programs (JHU and Georgetown). To me it seems like a non-issue.

From my interactions with people, I would say the Johns Hopkins program probably has more quality (read: experienced) students, but the Georgetown name is just a better name, even if it's unearned prestige. Just guessing, but I'd say the typical JHU student has 2 or 3 more years of relevant work experience than the typical Georgetown student--from an educational standpoint that makes a difference in the quality of the classroom. As an example, my current boss and former boss both are JHU grads in the last 5 years (both are in their late 30s). I find this sort of ironic given that Georgetown is targeted toward working professionals (part-time only). Just my personal opinion, but I think doing a full-time stint at JHU is foolish if you are already in a good job--completely unnecessary to leave your job for a real estate master's degree.

I will say that I get really, REALLY sick of the relentlessly left-wing email blasts to all Georgetown students by university administrators. I think the faculty of the real estate program is noticeably to the right of the administration. I even heard that a former RE ethics teacher was replaced because of her unrelenting liberal politicking during her class, which amazed me that Georgetown would take such a step.

I've never seen JHU's D.C. campus, but Georgetown's SCS campus is siiiiick. It's either brand new or very new (I think the Fall semester was its inaugural launch), and it's very nice. Girls are exceptionally hot in the SCS programs, but there are basically no females (like 1 or 2 per class of 15) in the real estate program.


  • 2
Jan 26, 2015 - 12:02pm

Both Johns Hopkins and Georgetown are fantastic and I have applications in for either this year (check out… if you're applying this year). As if they weren't close enough in prestige and name recognition, the former dean of Georgetown's program is now (for the last two years) the dean of Johns Hopkins' program. Regrettably, I don't know much about George Mason's, but I would be weary of attending a school in the exact same market as two heavy hitters.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
Jan 26, 2015 - 10:11pm

A lot of grad school value is in your connections you make. The Georgetown program seems like it might not be great for building relationships since it is part time. I went to Columbia MSRED and we had a very cohesive class because it is full time. It has had huge value since graduating. Just my $0.02.

Jan 29, 2015 - 6:43am

Napa Valley RE Guy:

A lot of grad school value is in your connections you make. The Georgetown program seems like it might not be great for building relationships since it is part time. I went to Columbia MSRED and we had a very cohesive class because it is full time. It has had huge value since graduating. Just my $0.02.

It's "part time" but many students attend full time to get it completed earlier. I have a friend who went from Georgetown's program to Related Properties, purely off of the stregth of his degree saying Georgetown and other Georgetown people liking that.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
Jan 29, 2015 - 10:04pm

The ROI at Georgetown is hard to beat. The entire program costs about $30,000. At least in the D.C. area it's become almost a prerequisite to have a real estate master's degree (probably because there are 3 or 4 easily accessible RE programs). I've little doubt that I'll repay the investment in about 12 months post-graduation.

There are many, many economically worthless master's degrees, and Georgetown, ironically, sponsors many of them. This program, however, actually truly has phenomenal economics for the students. For what it's worth, I think JHU costs about double Gtown (although I think it has something like 14 rather than 10 classes).


  • 1
Jan 18, 2016 - 8:53pm

I'd love to hear about the admissions process and acceptance rate for Georgetown's online MPSRE program. I know they offer a GMAT waiver, but don't know how hard they look at undergrad GPA vs. working experience.

Any advice would be great!

Jan 19, 2016 - 6:54am

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Commercial Real Estate Developer

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