MSRED/MSRE Megathread 2020

It's about that time of the year ya'll, I figured i'd make the thread this year and gather those sweet, sweet, banana points.

Please see below stats and let me know if you have any general questions about the process and MSREDs in general. Good luck to ya'll, and i'll update as I receive any responses. I'd love some input from those who are applying and status of those who have heard back.

Stats/Background:

University/Major/GPA - State School(Think Illinois, Purdue, Etc, TAMU)/Civil Engineering/Sub 3.0 Trash
GMAT - 710 - 44Q/44V/8IR/6AWA
W/E - GC Project Management/Owners Rep, 3.5 years.
Hooks - Non-URM, Non-Legacies

School Status:

MIT - Applied
Harvard MDes - Applied
Columbia - Applied
Cornell - Applied, Interviewed
NYU - Applied

Cheers,
DFY

Comments (119)

Feb 19, 2020

Stopping in to say good luck. My MRED experience had its share of pros and cons, but it was an overall positive experience and helped my career tremendously.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

Cheers and thanks, as always.

Feb 19, 2020
  1. What do you hope to get out of the MS?
  2. Is there an on-campus final round of interviews?
    • 1
Feb 19, 2020
  1. Enough knowledge to transition to a Development role, currently an owner's rep. Shiny piece of paper to get me in the club/network and ability eventually start my own shop.
  2. Most don't have specific OCR/career fairs except Cornell. Others have career services/networking events to help guide the process. I think Cornell's the only one i've talked to so far that has "Career Fairs" but they're in NYC.
    • 1
Feb 19, 2020
  1. Nice. Did you decide to apply to these in particular based on how many alumni are where you want to be?
  2. Sorry, should have been more clear--I meant after applying to the schools, what is the next step? Do they accept / decline / wait-list based on the application, or is there a live interview round?
Feb 19, 2020

Is it possible to use an MSRE/MSRED similar to an MBA, and switch into RE? I'm currently in F500 FP&A and want to get out, I'm just not sure how realistic the change would be.

Array

    • 1
Feb 20, 2020

It is possible to get into some of these programs with no traditional RE background. A lot of prior discussions do talk about other individual using an MSRE/MRED to break in from other non-related areas of work, but there are also comments that say the first gig after grad school can be hard to land because employers would still put you in the same pool as newly-minted grads who have recently finished their undergrad.

Other discussions on this topic do tend to praise the MBA more than the MSRE mostly because MBA programs are longer established, more known/available and have lots of options career-wise. MBA admissions are more competitive though.

What kind of FP&A do you do, and how long have you been there? You may be able to make the hop a little sooner without actually having to pick up a fancy masters degree.

    • 2
Feb 20, 2020
jayflip21:

It is possible to get into some of these programs with no traditional RE background. A lot of prior discussions do talk about other individual using an MSRE/MRED to break in from other non-related areas of work, but there are also comments that say the first gig after grad school can be hard to land because employers would still put you in the same pool as newly-minted grads who have recently finished their undergrad.

Everything about this is spot on. The key is to find a way to get a real estate internship - either before you attend school or while you're there. An architect, contractor, engineer, etc. with a summer associate internship and a MRED/MSRE is a strong candidate.

    • 1
Feb 20, 2020

I'm in a hybrid FP&A / sales support role. So I do the standard forecasting, budgeting, etc. but I also work with the sales team to respond to customer RFP's. I'll pretty much work with sales/pricing to build a bottoms up forecast 3-5 years to present in the approval process.

I've been here about two years now, have two promotions and recently got senior analyst.

Array

Mar 14, 2020

I made the jump from FP&A into RE last year without any grad program (currently looking into one though), it's definitely doable.

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Feb 20, 2020

When you visited Harvard, did you get any admissions data (what they look for grades and experience wise / acceptance rate)?

I have called them and they hold that info pretty tightly. I want to throw in an application next year, but I don't want to spend the time to put together a portfolio and etc. if it's hyper competitive and I have no chance.

Feb 20, 2020

They're pretty tight lipped about the admissions data, even when meeting on site. I have terrible grades so I have no idea what they're looking for, but their experience was architecture to PE and everywhere in between. The group definitely felt younger than the MIT group, i'd say around 3 years of exp average vs the 5+ that I felt from MIT.

The portfolio portion guidelines weren't nearly as aggressive as the GSD architecture program though, it was more of a work sample submission. I submitted a couple with a pretty title sheet, not sure if that's sufficient though. From the open house, it was definitely less populous than the MIT. I think MIT is the highest standard with a roughly 700 GMAT, but no requirements noted for GPA. They didn't seem to care as much about grades as much as work experience and they emphasized the holistic nature of selection in both cases.

    • 2
Feb 25, 2020

.

Feb 20, 2020

Stats:

University/Major/GPA - Australian University / Construction Management / 3.0

GRE - 313

W/E - 11 years of project management; GC + Developer + Owners Rep in SF/Bay Area and Australia for a number of name brand companies on the owners side

School Status:

USC - Accepted + $

Columbia - Accepted + $$$

Berkeley - Accepted + $$ + offered a pretty lucrative TA position (potentially $30k for 2 semesters) which is enticing

    • 1
Feb 20, 2020

Your experience makes you lethal. What do you hope to get from a MSRED that you don't already have? An American degree for branding purposes?

Feb 20, 2020

Exactly. I also want to learn the finance side of development. My experience is heavy on design and construction, so attempting to fill the gap whilst improving my network.

Tbh I'm also split on which track I'd like to take post graduation. REPE interests me. On one hand I think I'd do well as a development manager, but the comp doesn't seem that impressive.

Going back to school will also give me a chance to figure out exactly what I want to do next

Feb 21, 2020

if one was admitted to MIT, Columbia, and Cornell - where would you choose? And how are Berkeley and UCLA's programs now?

Feb 21, 2020

By consensus on this forum, it seems like MIT is the premier program in the country. Anecdotally, I was extremely impressed by their open house process, staff, and students. Everyone had an extremely impressive resume and the student body was very tight knit. You also have opportunities to take classes at Sloan, HBS, and Harvard which I found really neat.

I think Columbia would be best if someone was deadset on NYC, but their class size is huge which may be a pro/con depending on your opinions of it.

Cornell's got the legendary hospitality program, and it's 2 years which is a pro/con depending on opportunity cost. Seems easier to pivot with 2 years, and it's not as much of a mad rush. You're still losing 2 years of work to two years of paying for school though.

No idea about the California schools at this point. I've seen a lot of job listings noting MSRE/MBAs as plus's, and i'm sure having UCLA or Berkeley on the resume doesn't hurt, especially on the west coast.

    • 2
Feb 21, 2020

I would add USC on there as well. Formidable alumni base and prestige on west coast.

Feb 21, 2020

They don't get to take classes at Harvard

Feb 21, 2020

I'm sure MIT is a great program and that your outcomes post graduation would be fantastic. That said, if it was down to me to choose between the three, I'd take Columbia. Plenty of pedigree / name brand reputation but most importantly, its in NYC. I think that is an advantage in the internship / job rat race and also...I'd personally rather live in NYC than any other place in the US, though I suppose that's more of a person to person kind of thing.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Feb 21, 2020

Did you use an essay to explain your GPA? Or how did you address your sub 3.0 situation? I'm in the same boat with a pretty trash undergrad gpa... Haven't taken gmat yet as I'm gonna apply next year but curious as to how you approached it

Feb 21, 2020

Not OP, but I also had a sub 3.0 GPA and I've always found the best way to deal with it is to own it.

You briefly explain why, what you learned from it, why you are a more mature person now, and why your failures won't be replicated in the future. You need to practice this answer like a politician would so that it sounds logical and makes sense and flows, but don't lie, don't make excuses, and don't try to deflect.

"I fucked up because I was immature and unfocused. Through my time at X company, I've learned responsibility and have had success with X, Y, and Z. I've also taken leadership positions in _____ organization and volunteered in my spare time with ______. I want to attend your program to accomplish A, B, and C and I now know how to succeed in school by focusing on ________."

Then go do it. I made the honorary society for my grades in graduate school.

    • 3
Feb 21, 2020

I had a paragraph on my school. I generally owned it, noted that I was working 30 hours a week, first gen college student, and that I improved my grades after freshman/sophomore year while taking the tough, junior year engineering courses.

I also had good relationships with my junior year professors which i'm hoping may help. They understood my situation and actually saw me working during my shifts, and wrote me recommendations as well.

Also hoping my 710 gets rid of some of the fears.

Feb 21, 2020

General consensus from the schools I applied to was that WE trumps all. I addressed it in my personal statement (also worked 30+ hrs/week during school, first in family to attend college + student/athlete). If you have the narrative in place it seems to be excusable

Most Helpful
Feb 21, 2020

Just here to wish everyone luck with the process and encourage those who may be on the bubble to consider getting the MSRE. I spent years trying to network my way from a corporate real estate job (as in, being in charge of leasing and buildouts for a large tenant) to capital markets unsuccessfully. I started the program at NYU Schack and just on the strength of being accepted got hired by a private equity firm to be in acquisitions. After 6 months, I got to move to a prolific shop that is probably the best in its category. None of this would've been possible without getting my MS.

    • 5
Feb 21, 2020

What made you decide to get an MSRE vs a part time mba?

Feb 21, 2020

1) Was pretty certain I wanted to stay in real estate
2) Frankly, I wouldn't have been competitive at top MBA programs. I figured it was better to have an MS in RE from NYU than an MBA from some no-name bullshit school. I did my UG at a state school and graduated with a ~3.36 gpa.
3) Didn't want to deal with the BS of the GMAT if my gpa was going to hold me back from elite MBA programs anyway.

Feb 25, 2020

Finally able to get around to posting my stats

Undergrad: Econ from Top public university (think Berkeley, UVA, UTA...) but a lackluster GPA

Work Experience: 4 years in capital markets/brokerage

Georgetown: Applied
NYU: Applied
USC: Applied
Columbia: Applied; Accepted 2/27

    • 1
Feb 25, 2020

Did you apply fall or summer for Georgetown? I was thinking about applying as well, but the deadline isn't until April for fall.

Also did you take the GMAT/GRE?

Feb 25, 2020

Fall for Georgetown. Like the program based on its flexibility in attendance, cost, and all around name.

Took GRE a while back. It was about 300 from what I remember.

All around I'm not feeling like the strongest applicant, but I'm not worried that I won't get in somewhere.

Going back to school wasn't a part of the career plans, but I am giving it a shot and seeing where it goes. Hoping that it bring me the network or the opportunities I've been hunting for.

Do you have a first choice school from those that you applied @Dumpster Fire Yuppie ?

Congrats on Cornell btw!

    • 1
Mar 3, 2020
jayflip21:

Finally able to get around to posting my stats

Undergrad: Econ from Top public university (think Berkeley, UVA, UTA...) but a lackluster GPA

Work Experience: 4 years in capital markets/brokerage

Georgetown: Applied
NYU: Applied
USC: Applied
Columbia: Applied; Accepted 2/27

Got into USC today, 3/3/2020!

Mar 3, 2020

Congrats! USC is my first choice. Yet to hear anything. Did you get any aid?

Mar 18, 2020

Amidst everything that is going on with the Covid-19, Columbia is moving the start of the MRED program from June 2020 to September 2020. It came in an email earlier today, stating that this was a one-time exception.

Feb 25, 2020

Updates:

NYU - No response as of 3/5.
Cornell - In with aid. 2/24
Columbia - in, aid TBD 2/27
Harvard - Rejected 3/2
MIT - Rejected 3/17.

Cheers y'all, good luck to all going forward.

Mar 3, 2020
Dumpster Fire Yuppie:

Updates:

Cornell - In with aid. 2/24
Columbia - in, aid TBD. 2/27
Harvard - Rejected. 3/2 turns out the school that wants two professor recommendations doesn't want my trash GPA

Solid results man! Any program will let you achieve your goals!

Feb 25, 2020

Congrats. Fantastic school.

Definitely visit though first, preferably soon before the weather breaks. Ithaca isn't for everyone.

    • 1
Feb 26, 2020

Any other WSO users throwing in apps for this year???

Feb 27, 2020

International applicant

Columbia: Applied
NYU: Accepted 2/26

Feb 27, 2020

Anyone else receive a response from NYU? I haven't seen anything. Was that for the MSRE or MSRED?

Feb 27, 2020

NYU MSRED - turned around the application around d the same time Columbia's was due since the essay prompts were basically the same.
No funding at either school though

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Feb 27, 2020

I was just accepted at Columbia, so check your emails! Coming back later tonight to post stats (sorry).

    • 1
Feb 27, 2020

Congrats! Got it too.

    • 1
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Feb 28, 2020

Congrats to you as well! Stats as promised (long day and night yesterday, sorry):

College/Major: Lower Ivy/Econ
GPA: ~3.8
GMAT: low 700s
Work Experience: IB (RE group) ~ 1.5 years
Hooks: absolutely nothing

Only threw in apps to Harvard MDes and Columbia (not enough experience for MIT and Cornell is just a little too long).

    • 1
Feb 27, 2020

In here too. Got some nice scholarship funding which I wasn't expecting

    • 1
Feb 28, 2020

Columbia: applied and accepted
Harvard: applied (V1 - and accepted)
MIT: applied

edit: V1 - accepted at Harvard

    • 1
Feb 28, 2020

Stats?

Feb 28, 2020
Dumpster Fire Yuppie:

Stats?

27
5/6 years acquisitions at developer
320 GRE
3.1 GPA
Top 40 liberal arts school

Mar 2, 2020

Congrats on Harvard!

    • 1
Mar 3, 2020
Dumpster Fire Yuppie:

Congrats on Harvard!

thanks man - hard work is paying off!

Feb 28, 2020

Congrats on the already accepted offers!

I was in a similar situation a few years ago (accepted to Columbia and NYU) and was not sure where to go. Ultimately, I decided for NYU and haven't looked back since. The program might not be as prestige as Columbia, but if you stay active and involved in student life and networking events it can be a true game changer. I moved from Cali to NYU (originally from Europe) and knew absolutely no one in NYC, which basically forced me to network and meet with industry folks in order to advance. I had zero re experience, but was able to secure good internships through professors, students and guest speakers, which ultimately helped me secure my FT REPE offer on visa sponsorship (uphill battle).

Personally, I did a MSRE and found the degree to help me get interviews (and some offers) at pretty much any facet of the industry and for both smaller investment/development shops to massive CRE groups at investment banks. All schools you listed are great and will provide you with good fundamentals. The real "challenge" is to find the program/student body that suits what you're after. As a friendly tip, if you intent to work/be based in NYC, I'd highly recommend NYU as you will come across Schack alumni pretty much anywhere you fare.

Best of luck in choosing!

    • 2
Mar 3, 2020

Sounds like you really killed it. I mean to make a move across the country rebuild a network especially in a short time to lock down an internship and a full-time gig is pretty impressive. When first locking down those gigs did the NY job market feel like it offered a lot more than Cali did?

Mar 4, 2020

I was 6 months into a job in one of the FANG companies in Silicon Valley when I decided to jump ship so can't really say much personally about the real estate job market in Cali as I was in a complete different industry. However, I have peers from NYU that ended up taking jobs in SF & LA and they seem to be loving it. If you end up in a decent shop you probably would look at a lot of the same deals regardless so then it comes more down to where you want to settle down for the time being. Hope that helps!

    • 1
Mar 5, 2020

This NYU MSRE post rings very true to me given my research and experience especially in the area of real estate finance and investment positions (and to a lesser degree development positions) and specifically to NYC opportunities and placement.

If you have the chance to go to MIT or Harvard for RE- then the only answer (barring an extraordinary circumstance) is to run don't walk to attend. It will pay national even global lifelong dividends in every way possible. The same imperative would apply to an elite mba especially Wharton.

Aside from this and especially if you are in NYC, attending NYU's MSRE program with emphasis on the finance and investment route is the next best decision. If you have the ability to consistently reach out and earnestly build relationships (and work to maintain them) within this alumni network there is literally nothing outside of your professional reach. I would say this, and the programs near complete even fervent emphasis on giving graduates very practical skills upon graduation such as being able to model every investment type or novel scenario presented, on the fly, and defend vigorously the substance (assumptions, conclusions, etc) not just the modeling style and format.

In terms of the above posting - plenty of students pass on Columbia/Cornell for NYU given NYU is one of the oldest programs in the country (which doesn't face major shake-ups on the top administrative level every few years or gross changes to the structure of the program, giving unknown quantity feel to the degree) and gives many pre-grad internship opportunities which can be essential in having a well rounded resume or employment lined up when your student loans start becoming due. This and maybe the fact that NYU's seasoned alumni can give you all the connections that you need without having to leave the msre program and reach out to the broader university alumni. I have heard more than a few times that Columbia BS/BA and MBA grads don't look at Columbia MSRED as kindred academic spirits and are not chomping at the bit to help them to be polite about it.

    • 1
Mar 3, 2020

Has anyone heard back from MIT yet? I read on threats from previous years that they send snail mail? Is that true?

My situation (international):
1. Columbia - accepted
2. Harvard - rejected
3. MIT - waiting

Mar 3, 2020
anja.h.a.do:

Has anyone heard back from MIT yet? I read on threats from previous years that they send snail mail? Is that true?

My situation (international):
1. Columbia - accepted
2. Harvard - rejected
3. MIT - waiting

Nothing yet from my end, I hope not snail mail lol

Mar 3, 2020
anja.h.a.do:

Has anyone heard back from MIT yet? I read on threats from previous years that they send snail mail? Is that true?

My situation (international):
1. Columbia - accepted
2. Harvard - rejected
3. MIT - waiting

Any idea when the decisions are released?

Edit: looks like last year's results were given by the 6th

Mar 3, 2020

.

Mar 6, 2020

Anyone hear from MIT yet?

Mar 8, 2020
DTX:

Anyone hear from MIT yet?

Nothing yet, I have seen decisioms as late as March 16th some years

Mar 11, 2020

Emailed MIT admissions office few days ago and they said they will send out the descisions in mid or late March. I already accepted by Cornell and NYU but rejected by Harvard.

    • 2
Mar 12, 2020
Lei:

Emailed MIT admissions office few days ago and they said they will send out the descisions in mid or late March. I already accepted by Cornell and NYU but rejected by Harvard.

Thanks for the heads up

Mar 17, 2020

MIT's out, check your inboxes

Mar 17, 2020

Applied to MIT only and just heard that I got in. Thrilled, happy to discuss.

Mar 17, 2020

Congrats! I got rejected by MIT so I'm heading to Cornell.

Mar 17, 2020

Stats?

Mar 17, 2020

Here you go.

University/Major/GPA - State School/ Accounting and Finance /Sub 3.0
GMAT - mid 600s
W/E - Real Estate Private Equity associate, 5 years.
International Background.

School Status:
MIT - rejected
Harvard MDes - rejected
Columbia - waitlist
Cornell - Accepted
NYU - Accepted
USC - Accepted

Apr 4, 2020

do you mind sharing your stats?

Mar 17, 2020

Just heard from MIT. Got in and headed to Boston this fall.

Apr 4, 2020

do you mind sharing your stats/what you're looking to get out of the program?

Mar 18, 2020

Seems serendipitous now that I applied to grad school given the potential risk of unemployment and downturn that may sweep the industry. Just got word from Columbia that they're pushing the start date back to the fall. USC is considering online classes for the summer. With that, how are others looking to play this? I have little interest in joining a one year program and such a small window of opportunity to network only to end up doing the program online

Mar 19, 2020

Yeah, i definitely feel lucky now that there is that opportunity to go back to school with everything that is going on in the market. The compressed one year program doesn't bother me too much, but switching to online is something i don't want to do either defeats the purpose of why many on here get MREDs or MSREs.

Mar 23, 2020

Is there any point in taking a FT MBA/MSRED if your goal is to work in Asia? I'm just weighing the cost and the network gained (which most likely would be US-focused) and it just seems immensely expensive.

Mar 23, 2020

Depends where. I worked in Singapore for a while. Commonwealth schools have a lot of clout in SG, Malaysia, HK. If you're looking at China, there's a legitimate love for Californian schools such as Berkeley as it's a dream for many to send their kids there.

Mar 26, 2020

Got accepted to both Cornell Baker Real estate program and the Columbia MSRED. Can make up my mind on which program to attend. Any thoughts?

Mar 27, 2020

Do you want to be in NY and do a Summer-Spring then out? Or would you rather have a two year comprehensive outside of NY. I think those are the biggest questions.

    • 1
Mar 27, 2020
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Apr 6, 2020