MS real estate at NYU

itaguy's picture
Rank: Chimp | 4

Dear all,

I am very new of this forum and I start to thank you very much in advance for your answers.

I am italian and I have been admitted at the MS in real estate at NYU. I saw some reviews which are very good. However I have some questions.
I got in Italy a bachelor degree (in italy is 3 years long) in management engineering (final mark is above 60-65 percentile), and took GMAT getting 600 (verbal 36%, quant 73%). I have been always keen on finance/economics but I have also a strong passion in real estate business because of my family design company.
I know that my scores( gmat and gpa) are not the top but neither bad so I did some applications to some master in finance and master in real estate (finance specialized).

All of this stuff to explain you my situation and why I will ask you the following questions.

0) at the moment real estate is my favourite finance field. However I am hesitant because this master is very specific... and sincerly, I do not know if in future, studying this subject more in depth, my interests will be always the same.
So.. since in the current situation I cannot aspire to an high level msc in finance and I am anyway keen on real estate I think that enroll to this nyu master which I think is a very high level master is the best solution. In addition to this, worldwide I have many contacts of RE developers thanks to my family company so in real estate field I would land on my feet.
1) so... do you think this master can fit to my plans? somebody who just did it or only have an impression can tell me how much strong is the finance component?
2) do you think that after finishing this master and perhaps working 2-3 years in real estate finance enviroment, obviously only if I were not satisfied of my job, I could switch in another finance field?
3) I saw another advantage of doing this master in NY even if not decisive for my master choice. My gmat score is low because of verbal component and I grant you that for a non-native english speaker is the most difficult one. My IELTS is 6.5 now and probably living in US for at least 2 years I would probably lear english very well and be more confident to get an higher score in verbal gmat section.

Finally I really thank you if you answer me... I am very open to receive any kind of advice and your opinion about my reasoning.
and sorry for some english grammar mistakes but I wrote very fast for my standards :D:D

Comments (21)

Jul 14, 2016

2) do you think that after finishing this master and perhaps working 2-3 years in real estate finance enviroment, obviously only if I were not satisfied of my job, I could switch in another finance field?

This one is tough. Family connections aside, most folks will pidgeonhole you as a "real estate guy." There's no doubt that real estate acquisitions/securities (and a good part of development) belong in the field of finance, but it's highly specialized and only relatively recently considered an institutional asset class. I'm not saying you can't make that transition, and it sounds like you have some compelling reasons for doing your real estate masters, but you be aware that you'll be facing a steep uphill battle in order to jump from real estate to another area of finance.

Jul 14, 2016

I would caution against getting a MSRE/MRED degree if you're not convinced Real Estate is your future. I have 1-2 classmates in my program that are unsure about real estate and it's incredibly odd to me since it is a real estate development program, but I suppose they have their reasons.

Anyhow, a MBA would be a far more generalist degree and leave your option open.

Best Response
Jul 15, 2016

I think it really depends on your goals for the next couple of years. If you want to move to the U.S., meet interesting people, and you or your family have the cash to send you to NYC, a very expensive city to live in, then maybe it is a good idea.

That said - you are only going to learn about real estate at NYU. Their MSRE program is known for being very finance heavy, but real estate finance is not the same as general investment finance. For that reason, it probably would not be particularly easy to switch from RE finance to some other finance job. If you think it's realistically possible you'll want to switch careers only a few years out from a very specialized degree - you're probably jumping the gun in getting that degree.

My suggestion to you would be to find a job or internship in real estate now and really decide whether you think that's what you want your career will be. The NYU program will be full of people who have work experience and have already made that decision.

    • 3
Jul 15, 2016

I really thank you for your advice @Lizard Brain @CRE @spencerassess

to @spencerassess
Yes, I think that I would like to live in US for 3-4 years, than come back in Italy but continuing to travel a lot. About economic cost I know that NY is a very expensive city but we just took in account this aspect.

"My suggestion to you would be to find a job or internship in real estate now and really decide whether you think that's what you want your career will be."

This winter I will do an internship in a RE firm in Miami. As you probably know better than me, the problem is that it is necessary to do every stuff in advance to enroll to a master, in particular if you are not a US resident like me.
Anyway, I considered that if I like to jump to another finance field in a few years I should get a msc in finance to switch.. for me it would not be a problem with this possible solution (even if I consider it unlikely because at the moment I am very convinced on real estate field). Do you know what's the GMAT level I have to get to do a good msc in finance... I mean, not ultratop level, but in top 10.

If you have other suggestion I would be glad to take other notes :D

Jul 15, 2016

You've just graduated from undergrad? If yes, I would advise you to hold off on thinking about a master's degree altogether for now. Check out this internship; see if you like it. If you do, see if you can turn that into a real job. Take your time there for a bit, learn as much as you can, progress your career a bit, and then see if you still feel like school is the right move for you.

I went for an Ivy League master's degree at age 25, and felt like that was a good time to do that. I had been promoted at my prior job, felt like I was years away from the next step, and my personal advancement had kind of plateaued. Any younger, and I don't think you can really make the most out of the degree. Some of the people in my class were straight out of undergrad, with zero experience, and not only did they not add much to the program themselves - but they weren't really able to take away too much having not had any practical experience.

Obviously this is just my $0.02 - you need to decide what YOU want to do. If you really have an itch to be in school, and have the resources to do so, then do it! Definitely won't be a waste of time - it just might not be the best use of the time, given your end goals.

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Jul 16, 2016

If you don't know if you only want real estate, don't do a real estate specific program. It's going to be extremely difficult to get out of real estate at least when looking for a job after finishing the program.

Jun 3, 2017

I am going to second what others have said there in that if you know that you want real estate as a long term career then the NYU Master's in Real Estate Finance and Investment is a truly an excellent choice and one of the best programs in the United States given its very deep technical finance curriculum, experienced and connected local student body, and overall well-knit and responsive network (ie, having an email list with 40-50 of your local former classmates/alums to reach out to for referrals, investment partners, deal workshopping/sanity checks, job/career opps etc is exponentially valuable over the course of a career). Linkedin provides you with a solid resource to see the four corners of the RE industry that its alum consistently inhabit, with a disproportionate amount becoming successful entrepreneurs [1]

That all said, if you have any substantial doubts about being in RE long-term then I would absolutely not do it.

$80k+/- for such a pigeon-holed degree is not worth it when a solid MBA or even a general MSc. in Finance (with a network behind it - this is crucial imho) will open up much broader doors for you (outside of RE) and hedge against any doubts or later dissatisfaction with your career choice. Most of the RE MSc guys have worked in RE for some time (typically in varied disciplines and 'decided' that this is the asset class for them) and go into the MSc with 100% commitment to that career. For this focused subset of experienced folks, the RE MSc typically pays off very well.

Doesn't Bocconi have an excellent Finance master's; and I recall its network is decent in the US especially in NYC (Google Bocconi and Manhattan and you can see that there is an alum club; that and a few developer heavyweights [2] in the metro area are Boc alums)?

[1]Random 5 second google search (common story and fact pattern for the guys coming out of this program):

*Top 3 guys at Alchemy Development are NYU grads/profs:
*Founder of Benchmark is somewhat recent NYU RE Investment Grad:
*NYU Finance MSRE teams up with Columbia MSRED and doing ground up and value add projects across NYC:
List goes on and on in NYC and the pattern is very similar with NYU RE folks - fellow students start firm; and or partner up with profs etc.


Jul 27, 2016

If you can do an MBA with a Financial concentration then by all means do that. You can still compete for any real estate position and have a world of other options open to you. Heck the CFA (which is brutal though and takes much time with most benefits only accruing after you passed L3) would give you the finance cred for any re position at 1/7th the cost of any re masters.

Real Estate is not that complicated and once you learn the fundamentals of finance and asset valuation you will be able to hit the road running in any re investment position. The only pro case for an MSRE over MBA would be on cost given its range of USD65,000 to 85,000 and MBA's in the States cost of 160,000 for a top shelf brand. Speaking to the NYU MSRE in finance I would consider it one of the known powerhouse real estate finance master degrees but like Pudding very rightly stated you are going to be stuck in real estate possibly interminably post-grad (considering your competition for any broader finance jobs will have an MBA or straight fin degree plus experience) and maybe in debt amortizing that 65-85kUSD loan therefore forcing you to double down on real estate just to pay it off even if you are not so ga-ga for it after all is said and done.

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Jun 3, 2017


Sep 5, 2016

Thank you very much guys for all your answers.

What MBA would you advise me? I mean, I have less than 1 year of work experience and 3 years bachelor in management engineering. I saw there are many good MBA but request lots of years of experience.. do you think they will accept me anyway?

About the cost of an MBA I think that I can afford it anyway, the problem is to choose the right one.

@Ut_Ameris Yeah Bocconi has a good master finance but for this year my GMAT wasn't enough to attend that master.
The problem is that the next enrollment in Bocconi is for september 2017, a little far from now and MS real estate has the intake in Jenuary.

Jun 3, 2017

I just applied to NYU. How long did it take for you to hear back from admissions?

Nov 24, 2018

hi, i have also applied for upcoming summer'19.
Is there any curriculum difference with original Fall or Spring term?

Nov 24, 2018

Just my $.02 but the main (cannot be overstated enough) reason to get a degree from NYU would be for the "networking effect" given who will be your classmates and your professors. Many assignments are team based which further supports connecting with your classmates (many of whom are from real estate families or currently working in NYC real estate in some capacity or another). That value will be exponentially more relevant to future success and opportunity than the substance of the courses.

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Nov 24, 2018

That was my logic as well. However, the whole program is not offered online. Only some of the beginning courses. Figured I would get the first year out of the way by doing the classes online and then focus on networking the second year.

Nov 24, 2018


I'm also looking at masters degrees for RE development. I would love to go to a top 10 school but due to financial reasons I plan on working and studying part-time in my current city because, even though the schools here aren't creme de la creme in terms of academics, I know their networks are good, if I can make a name for myself. And by what I gather from asking people for advice on this forum and IRL, network is everything in RE. So I'd only consider an online degree if I already had all the connections I needed or came from a family of developers / investors because I hear online degrees offer 0 networking.

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Nov 24, 2018

Yeah makes sense, I have the benefit of being in NY so there are RE people everywhere.

Nov 24, 2018