NYU Masters Real Estate vs. Non-Ivy MBA

david927's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 57

I'm currently considering attending NYU's MS in Real Estate program part-time but have noticed certain job descriptions for positions within certain CRE investmente firms prefer or sometimes require either an MBA or CFA (outside of some REPE, i noticed a job for Allstate that mentioned this requirement). I have been working within CRE finance for 4 years with 3 years of experience in IB prior to that and am considering roles within certain structured capital shops (mezz, pref equity provider, etc)

It seems that a respected MS in RE would be applicable for someone who wants to stay within the industry but was curious if anyone has thoughts on this masters program versus average MBA programs in the NYC area such as UConn, Rutgers, Fordham, etc. Looking to go part time and not sure I'm ready to shell out $175k+ for a "rounded education" if i plan to stay within the CRE industry.

Also, anyone know if Columbia MSRED has a part-time component?

Thanks!

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Comments (70)

Feb 5, 2015

I would definitely not recommend an "average MBA in the area" if those you listed are those you're considering. They will cost more and not help your career the way you want them to.

NYC's master of real estate is a good program, and going part time would be good as far as you keeping your job, but I have to ask what you're hoping of gaining from the program. Your background already seems really solid and I'd be surprised if the MSRED would make a huge difference in the jobs you would be applying for.

I believe Columbia's program is only full time.

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Feb 5, 2015

In my view, there is an evolving glass ceiling in the industry that won't allow persons without an MS in real estate or MBA to move up to the next level, or at the very least they are very much preferred credentials in the business when it comes to obtaining an interview for certain positions. Although the silver lining is that it looks like more firms see the MS in real estate as substitute for the MBA; the substitute credential can easily be $100,000 less expensive, so that's definitely a nice trend.

To the OP, I don't see a purpose in a getting a mediocre-named MBA. They might help with government employment, non-profit employment, or in commercial banking, but it's counterproductive for your purposes. I'm not aware of the CFA charter being a particularly desired credential in the real estate world.

Feb 5, 2015
DCDepository:

In my view, there is an evolving glass ceiling in the industry that won't allow persons without an MS in real estate or MBA to move up to the next level, or at the very least they are very much preferred credentials in the business when it comes to obtaining an interview for certain positions. Although the silver lining is that it looks like more firms see the MS in real estate as substitute for the MBA; the substitute credential can easily be $100,000 less expensive, so that's definitely a nice trend.

Yeah I mistakenly didn't take into account that OP is in NYC. It's definitely a bigger deal in bigger markets.

I'm not anti MSRE/MSRED at all (applying for them myself at the moment) but I also don't have OP's background. 7 years of experience in IB and RE finance? He should be getting good jobs regardless.

Feb 5, 2015

It really depends on your UG. If you come from a pretty crappy UG then an MSRE would be helpful to rebrand. If you graduated from a top school, you're better off just networking. Certain RE firms (and headhunters) only consider applicants who graduated from top schools. There is an elitist mentality at many firms believe it or not.

With that being said, I would prefer NYU MSRE over a regional MBA though.

Best Response
Feb 5, 2015

Hey I'm currently in the full time MSRE program at NYU so PM me if you have any questions.

I enrolled in this program following the concept that you should try to get into a top ranked MBA program and if that doesn't work, then try a top ranked regional MBA or Master's. My decision to attend the NYU Master's program was grounded in the belief that a) it is heavily concentrated on finance b) it is very well recognized, especially in the NYC real estate market and c) if you work hard, network even harder, and have an idea of where you want to end up in the CRE industry, then the resources that NYU provides and the doors the brand name can open are limitless. I skipped the MBA route partially for the cost, partially for the 2 year time commitment, and almost 100% for the fact that MBA programs can be very generalist whereas the MSRE is 42 credits of in-depth CRE knowledge with a heavy focus on finance, capital markets, and private equity.

The program prepares you really well to get hired by a variety of players, depending on where you want to end up. I am confident that REPE, REIT's, REIB's, and a variety of other investors will entertain my resume and give me an interview...simply for the fact that the program is well known. Obviously it would be up to the strength and ambition of any candidate to get themselves hired, the program will not get you a guaranteed job on its own. The fact that the school hosts major industry conferences, hosts private events for its students to meet with top CRE professionals, and stays on your ass to network makes things easier if you're looking to transition to CRE from another field (my story: corporate finance ? CRE finance depending on where I end up).

I just started my second semester there and here are a few key takeaways: all of my professors are working professional adjuncts...this is critically important because you don't want to learn the academic side of finance only, you want to become marketable as soon as you graduate so having industry professional teach you how they think and make investment decisions really prepares you well. This semester alone, one professor is a MD at a top REPE shop, another a Director at a mortgage REIT, another a partner in a national development firm, and my legal professor is a managing partner of a large midtown based RE law firm. All of these guys are Ivy educated professionals with tons of work experience...I honestly don't know where they find the time to teach but hey, I'm really thankful.

As for my classmates, 40% are part-time, 60% are full-time. Out of those numbers, 50% are former lawyers, accountants, bankers, and finance guys trying to develop a niche in CRE finance (3-5 years of former work experience). The remaining 50% are people who want to go into RE development, former sales brokers trying to transition into more analytic roles, and students who are pursuing the masters after finishing undergrad. Also something to note is that the program has up to 20% international student mix - the reason for this is that some of these international students come from families who operate large RE portfolio's abroad, so the students are planning on joining family businesses back home. It is also common to hear that such graduate level CRE finance programs don't really exist outside of the US.

Sorry for the long post, but if you have any more questions PM me.

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Feb 25, 2015

Thanks for the great information. Can you comment at all on any distinction (i.e. reputation, perception by employers) between the MSRE and MSRED at NYU? Much of the discussions seem to emphasize the strength of the MSRE's finance focus. Does the MSRED enjoy the same recognition in the NYC market?

Feb 25, 2015
DDFYYZ:

Thanks for the great information. Can you comment at all on any distinction (i.e. reputation, perception by employers) between the MSRE and MSRED at NYU? Much of the discussions seem to emphasize the strength of the MSRE's finance focus. Does the MSRED enjoy the same recognition in the NYC market?

From what I have seen there is not a significant distinction. To be completley honest I doubt most employers will know the difference and just see NYU Masters in Real Estate. That being said it seems to me that if you truly want to focus in development columbia is a better bet.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Nov 9, 2015

Hi,
I am an international student and I am planning on applying for MsRed. How long does it take to finish? I heard it is 2 years. Are there any options to finish it in 1 year or 1.5 years ?

Mar 8, 2019

They are adding intensives and Saturday classes for the program for the first time. For the MSRE you can finish in one year, 1.5 for MSRED but that may change in coming years.

Dec 30, 2016

Hi

Need your help and guidance on whether NYU MSRE/MSRED is a full time program just like Columbia MSRED.

Is the coursework intensive enough to call the program a full time program.

If one is not employed, then will the program keep me busy for the entire duration of the program?

Rgds

Mar 3, 2019

Hi,
I am an architecture student who just graduated from Thailand last year. I am interested to apply to MSRE of NYU so much. I have read about its requirement in the NYU's website. But I have low gpa and have a few experience of work so I plan to send GMAT.
I would like to know that what criteria they actually focus on to accept a student?

Thank you very much,
Pond

Feb 25, 2015

I currenty work in Acquisitions for a mid size REIT and I to am at the point where I am considering Grad school options. Because I am in the NYC area I am considering Stern MBA part time and NYU MSRE/Apply for columbia MSRED and take one year to do it full time a couple years down the road. With regard to NYU MSRE I am certain I could apply and get into the program right now as it does not require taking thr GMAT which is obviously appealing with not having to dedicate 3 months of studying. My concern is the acceptance rate/class size and it makes me wonder how some of the larger PE firms really look at the program. It is especially concerning that they do not show placement data.

Feb 5, 2015
CREPATH:

My concern is the acceptance rate/class size and it makes me wonder how some of the larger PE firms really look at the program. It is especially concerning that they do not show placement data.

Unfortunately it's hard to really answer these concerns. A MSRE/MSRED/MRED (notice how there's not even a real standard there?) is a far newer degree than a MBA and far less "regulated" as well. In general, they are easier to get into because 1. they don't have to publish GMAT/GPA stats since they aren't ranked and 2. there is less demand. As a result, their placement is also typically all over the place, from really high level positions in excellent companies to brokerage or construction management or all sorts of odd jobs. It's just less standardized across the board.

You have to look at yourself honestly from a personal perspective, not as a group. Do you have good experience before the program starts (you definitely do)? Are you the type of person who is able to go out and network into a job instead of relying on OCI or superday type occasions? Do you actually need either the knowledge or the resume line?

Feb 6, 2015

^^ Agreed. Anyone know the acceptance rate, GMAT'S (ones submitted), UG quality, average salary entering/exiting program?

How does it compare to MIT's MSRE? Columbia's? I assume they are the same price just in different markets.

Thundercat, whats your academic background (ug/scores)?

Thanks

Feb 5, 2015
cre123:

^^ Agreed. Anyone know the acceptance rate, GMAT'S (ones submitted), UG quality, average salary entering/exiting program?

How does it compare to MIT's MSRE? Columbia's? I assume they are the same price just in different markets.

I'd be very surprised if you find concrete admissions stats anywhere, because it won't be something to brag about and the compensation range will be something ridiculous like $50,000 to $200,000 because of the variance between the individual candidates. MSRE degrees are actually holistic in their admissions and all of those I've spoken with say they care a lot more about if you're employable after graduation and if you can contribute a specific experience or viewpoint to class discussions. GPA and GRE/GMAT is to make sure you're not an idiot, not some sort of contest for bragging rights as with MBA programs.

MIT's program is different from Columbia and NYU's. Columbia and NYU's are comparable.

Feb 28, 2015

I think you also have to temper those 160k+ salaries you have seen in some studies with the fact that many MSRE types already have high earner professional pedigree like a CPA, CFA even MBA's. They use the MSRE to switch or bolster. Thus the salary data is conflated.

Mar 8, 2019

I get the sense that it is easier to get into the NYU MSRE program than the MBA program, but the school is taking steps to lower their acceptance rates. I do not think average salary data would be relevant, considering what I see my classmates doing. Some "get it", network extensively, and get good IB and PE jobs. Some professors even hire former students. Other students treat it like undergrad continued and think they will get a job by replying to postings. Your ability to get a job relies a lot on your networking and involvement in organizations like ULI. Your salary depends a lot on your prior experience, even though you have the degree. No matter which MSRE program you go to, many analyst positions can be low paying because real estate firms run lean. But after that, you can make big jumps in pay. The benefit of NYU over Columbia is a better network. It's a bigger program and most professors are adjunct. Columbia is great because you have a cohort that you start and graduate with, so you might form better friendships with classmates. But I would not worry about that, I run into former classmates all the time at conferences and you will form friendships either way.

Feb 6, 2015

Also, I know 1 or 2 people who have gotten their MBA from Wisconsin. Is it a prestigious school? Not really. But they were able to parlay their MBA with a concentration in CRE. They landed great jobs in the NYC metro. Wisconsin has unlimited resources. Like many schools, it is what you make of it.

Feb 5, 2015
cre123:

Also, I know 1 or 2 people who have gotten their MBA from Wisconsin. Is it a prestigious school? Not really. But they were able to parlay their MBA with a concentration in CRE. They landed great jobs in the NYC metro. Wisconsin has unlimited resources. Like many schools, it is what you make of it.

Wisconsin is actually considered a "top real estate school" for MBA, so that's not too surprising. UNC has a fantastic real estate program too.

Feb 6, 2015

^ All good info and I agree with most of it. Some might be interested to see MIT's compensation upgrades after going through the program. Like you said, I'm sure on a granular level, the salaries vary considerably.

https://mitcre.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/...

I'm a Senior Financial Analyst at a major brokerage in probably the 2nd biggest real estate metro market in the country. I've thought about a MSRE before and still might do it. Then again, I've thought about going to Wisconsin but I view that as "risky" for geographic reasons. Who knows what I'll decide. I'm 3 years removed from a top liberal arts college in the Northeast.

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Feb 5, 2015

Wisconsin School of Business is well known mainly because of one guy...James A. Graaskamp, a professor who established real estate as an academic discipline back in the 1950's at that school. He's pretty important figure to the history of US real estate but aside from that I'm sure the school has a good program to offer too.

@cre123 - my undergrad is a non-target but I did manage to intern for Merrill Lynch and spent 5 years in fixed income capital markets. I took the GMAT and scored a 720 but it wasn't a requirement for the MSRE program at NYU and I didn't submit the scores. My original goal was a target MBA which explains why I prepared so hard for the GMAT.

Colombia's program and NYU's program are comparable but Colombia's is more development focused but allows students to take business classes with the CBS MBA students whereas NYU restricts MSRE students from taking classes with Stern students.

Just a side note, the Stern MBA students and the MSRE students share a lot of career and networking events with one another and have almost the same access to recruiting events although the Stern program sees more companies due to its many different tracts.

Feb 9, 2015

@thundercat3307. Actually, I'm graduating this semester from NYU's MSRE program...and you can take classes at Stern (I was signed up for Damodaran's Valuation class until I had to drop it because of a conflict). I know a dozen kids who have and are taking classes at Stern MBA.

As to recruiting. We do not share recruiting with Stern MBA. There's a ringed fence around the MBA recruiting process which keeps us out...Although, they have access to all of the MSRE recruitment as its on the general Wasserman Career services website.

Feb 25, 2015
Statesmith:

@thundercat3307. Actually, I'm graduating this semester from NYU's MSRE program...and you can take classes at Stern (I was signed up for Damodaran's Valuation class until I had to drop it because of a conflict). I know a dozen kids who have and are taking classes at Stern MBA.

As to recruiting. We do not share recruiting with Stern MBA. There's a ringed fence around the MBA recruiting process which keeps us out...Although, they have access to all of the MSRE recruitment as its on the general Wasserman Career services website.

In your opinion how is the MSRE viewed from professionals you have spoken with. Do you have previous RE exp? Where are you seeing class mates placed?

Feb 7, 2015

UConn crushes it in real estate FYI

But the NYU msre is probably better. I've considered Georgetown's personally for a value add to learn more about RE

Feb 5, 2015

@statesmith thanks for clarifying that. I will look into that opportunity.

Feb 13, 2015

I will weigh in and second thundercat3307's points: that NYU's RE program offers a lot of opportunity for its graduates given that you taking classes taught by working professors who are all deeply rooted at very solid NYC firms be it RE PE/Development/Banks and if you bust your ass in their classes and network with them - can turn that class into a possible internship>job opportunity. Also, having the majority of your classmates who are already working in the NYC industry (and not planning on leaving NYC post-grad) can keep you in mind at their groups/firm for an internship or job opening as the semesters continue makes sense as a great built in resource.

Feb 18, 2015

I'm about to start the NYU MSRE program in May and know someone who just finished it. What thundercat has stated about the program is absolutely correct and is exactly what I have heard from my friend. The networking opportunities of being in New York cannot be underestimated. The professors have very impressive real-world experience, the industry conferences hosted by NYU give students access to some hugely successful names in the field and the program's reputation, especially on the finance and investment side, is very strong.

Columbia offers a one-year full-time Master in Real Estate Development (MSRED) program and is better suited for people more interested in the development side of the industry whereas NYU's MSRE program is definitely better for people looking to get into the finance and investment side and who may need the additional flexibility of a part-time program.

Real estate in general is a meritocracy. I went to undergrad with a kid who's father came from very humble means and ended up becoming one of the most successful and prolific real estate developers in New York City (think Rudin, Silverstein, Witkoff, Gary Barnett etc.)

Feb 6, 2015

Helpful posts by everyone. Posters who are enrolled-- what is the worst part of your MSRE Program in your experiences (list whether you're in Columbia, NYU, MIT)? Have you ever finished any classes and said to yourself "well I didn't really learn much in that one"? I've said that to myself in UG before (a very good academic school) and been pissed off afterwards. That's one thing that I really worry about in these MSRE programs.

Feb 5, 2015
cre123:

Helpful posts by everyone. Posters who are enrolled-- what is the worst part of your MSRE Program in your experiences (list whether you're in Columbia, NYU, MIT)? Have you ever finished any classes and said to yourself "well I didn't really learn much in that one"? I've said that to myself in UG before (a very good academic school) and been pissed off afterwards. That's one thing that I really worry about in these MSRE programs.

Not a MSRE student yet, but I will be this fall and it's honestly one of the major reasons I chose it over a MBA. Most curriculums I've seen have looked incredible.

Feb 18, 2015

Same here. I was seriously considering an MBA until I realized that there would be more than a few courses that I wouldn't really learn anything new while paying thousands of dollars for the course. I was an undergrad business major at a top 50 school and I already took the basic micro and macro economics, managerial accounting, marketing and intro and intermediate statistics courses and received As in all of them.

With an MSRE I will be learning about the different areas that I'm interested in and I won't have to take courses that I've already taken in undergrad.

Feb 6, 2015

I agree with all of this, but let it be known--- you sound like an infomercial to ITT Tech.

Feb 13, 2015

These programs are expensive and getting more expensive with each passing year. I believe the NYU and Columbia programs average at least $4,500 to $5,000 per class.

The benefit of the NYU program aside from it being deeply rooted in the Manhattan real estate industry and being focused on practical skills (modeling etc) is that you can slow the program down (taking fewer classes) and jump into internship (and give yourself more time to network with such a nyc vested student body) so that when you finally graduate and get your master's you can have the winning combination of multiple internships (company like/want known quantities - having multiple pre-grad internships gives them comfort and shows them that you have real world skills, relationships and knowledge be it on how an acquisition is done from soup to nuts, fin modeling driven by assumptions that are not total academic bs but real and fresh, or how deals are sourced or what it means to be part of a team: each of these can be verified and augmented with a linkedin recommendation or hard copy rec from the team leader or employer) and a grad degree (which says that you are fully committed to real estate since who in the world pays over 5k per class for such a segmented background if they are not committed to it).

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Feb 13, 2015

CRE, My advice to you is to do a lot of recon on the classes before you take them. If you want to get the insider's track on a class be assertive in reaching out to the Alumni (more recent the better) or active student associations who are savvy with the classes or the reputations of the professors. For NYU, I am sure you can reach out the REISA members and see what they think of xyz class/prof. Also, the more you go into such a programme with an idea of your end game be it RE PE/Dev etc the more you can build your program to give you exposure to prof's that are where you want to be for networking purposes. All the hard skills in the world won't matter if you are not maximizing a professional network since this is where the opportunities/jobs are found.

Feb 20, 2015

Are we completely ruling out the NYU MSRED in this thread?

I keep seeing comments comparing the NYU MSRE to the Columbia MSRED, and how NYU is finance focused opposed to Columbia being development focused... But aren't there two completely different degrees at NYU to differentiate that focus?

Or is the NYU MSRED just garbage and that's why no one is talking about it?

Feb 6, 2015

Good point. Would like to hear about it. I'm more about RE Finance so I have indeed ruled out NYU MSRED and Columbia. I have watched classes that have been taught at Columbia, however, and they were fantastic. Not as developmentally focused as I had anticipated.

Feb 5, 2015
Swarles Barkley:

Are we completely ruling out the NYU MSRED in this thread?

I keep seeing comments comparing the NYU MSRE to the Columbia MSRED, and how NYU is finance focused opposed to Columbia being development focused... But aren't there two completely different degrees at NYU to differentiate that focus?

Or is the NYU MSRED just garbage and that's why no one is talking about it?

Oh it is definitely not garbage. Apologies if I came off that way. It is a fantastic program.

Feb 20, 2015

Nah my point is just that NYU has both an MSRE and an MSRED (2 different RE degrees, + an MS in Construction Mgmt).

Nothing you said in particular indicated either is garbage, I have just seen no mention of the MSRED. I was hoping someone would provide some insight on the NYU MSRED, but people have only mentioned the MSRE... The lack of discussion on that made me wonder if it is just not a sought after choice or if maybe people just don't know they have it?

I checked the curriculum for each out and they seem to offer a pretty solid concentration one way or the other, which is why I was confused about comments saying NYU is finance focused, etc...

Feb 25, 2015

I am still curious about how the MSRE is percieved these days vs. and MBA. I understand that MSRE will be more focused on the necessary real estate skills but aside from learning as the essentials you cannot deny that a big part of getting your masters or MBA is to be able to represent that you have a graduate degree with some potential branding. So for those students who recieved their MSRE how did prospective employers percieve the degree? I am on the fence and dont plan to apply for at least a year but part of me is leaning toward the part time MBA from NYU even with the fact that I plan to work in real estate for the rest of my career.

Feb 5, 2015
CREPATH:

I am still curious about how the MSRE is percieved these days vs. and MBA.

It changes from person to person and firm to firm. Everyone knows what a MBA is, everyone knows what schools are good, and everyone knows the type of person who attends and graduates from a MBA program. Large institutions are going to look at a MBA more and due to the experience required prior to attaining an MBA, the graduates will typically come in at a higher level.

An MSRE is far more variable. MSRE programs typically take all sorts of candidates, from a variety of difference background and with anywhere from zero years of experience to many. Because of this, it's a lot harder to pinpoint how an employer views a candidate with a MSRE.

Using Clemson as an example, they take people from construction management, brokerage, architecture, banking etc. backgrounds as well as a few directly out of undergrad. Even though everyone gains the same degree, a quick LinkedIn search shows that some come out as analysts, some associates, some VPs, etc. It really depends on how you sell yourself and your experience.

Educating an employer on an MSRE is also a big part of it. Some companies might have steadfast MBA requirements. Others, once told of all the classes you take and all that you're capable of, might look at an MSRE as a huge plus.

As with everything in real estate, it's all how you sell it and how you back it up. This site is very investment banking focused, with talks of superdays and OCI and a very specifically designed Analyst -> MBA -> Associate or IB -> MBA -> PE path. Real estate isn't like that. It all comes down to what you make of it (with the one exception being that if your dad is a major developer too, you won't have a hard time)

Feb 13, 2015

You are also seeing more and more job postings these days on the re investment side saying MBA or Master in Real Estate preferred.

Also, you can track on linkedin (we are lucky to have an objective resource to track career trajectories) people who were in major investment shops before grad school and then got a Master in RE Finance/Investment (in many cases sponsored by their companies) and then got a position advancement not soon after graduation from their respective program (as if they punched their ticket and now could move forward to the upper ranks). Correlation isn't causation - but you see this playing out consistently when you sift through the data on Linkedin.

Linkedin is a good place to see just how entrepreneurial the grads of these programs actually are. If there are more self-starters coming out of a program (or they self start sooner) than another (good sign) then there is a greater chance you will meet such a personality/culture during your time in this program (w/down the line partnership opps if you both bring complementing skill sets to the table) and a chance to get a foot in the door at the ground level with tomorrow's next big company since alums hire alums and network with alums at a school's annual functions, industry events and regional happy hours, etc.

Credentials like the MSRE, MBA, CFA, etc create a shorthand for trust in one's competence. The more trust, the more likelihood that a person/fund/company is going to hire/invest/partner with you. Obviously Credentials plus Experience wins the day, all day.

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Feb 21, 2015

Like DCDepository, I'm seeing the same glass ceiling develop in the industry. I'm at a large life insurance company (Pru/TIAA/Metlife) and it seems that the ceiling is the Senior Associate/AVP level. 5 years ago you could make VP/Director with the appropriate level of experience; now it is experience + masters.

I know I've been seeing more and more RE job postings with "masters degree preferred" in them lately. Also, recruiters and HR personnel appear to be using "do you have an advanced degree?"as some sort of first cut on a stack of resumes, even for entry level jobs. I've been involved in 7 new hires in the last 3 years and every single time every initial candidate has had an advanced degree and a couple have had two.

Across the platform, new hires in the last year and a half include an analyst with two master degrees (different schools), an associate with a JD and MBA (different schools), and a PhD Managing Director.

I'm actually trying to decide between NYU MSRE and [email protected] myself, only because I want to stay competitive and moving up. I feel like my experience is pretty good (3 years of valuation, 2 years portfolio surveillance, 3.5 years fixed income Asset Management), I never want to lose out of a promotion/opportunity because I can't check the master's degree box.

Feb 13, 2015

@mrcheese321 I hear you. The bump up from the Senior Associate/AVP level is where I have been seeing the MSRE coming into play (via Linkedin and anecdotals via friends and acquaintances).

Feb 22, 2015

If you are interested in getting into the investment and finance side of RE then the NYU Master's in Finance and Investment is hard to beat given you will be touching some area of real estate investment, finance and economics in each and every class from entry to thesis (with excel modeling being the method of instruction) and the networking connections which provided the age of the program, its events, alumni and its location make it a great value over a non m/5 MBA.

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Feb 21, 2015

I think if you want to go REPE the masters of some sort is going to be more and more important as time goes on. Given your work history, I think you are around the same age as me (I'm 29). I had this dicsussion with several colleagues around bonus/review time and they felt that if I was 5 years further older, then the masters wouldn't matter because you could possibly still get a boss to work it out for you because you predated the change in education preferences. But the reality is that now, too many people our age (or younger) will have them, so to compete you will need one too.

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Feb 5, 2015

Just speaking to the Washington, D.C. market, but I've seen basically 90% of job postings for real estate jobs that ask for a master's place the MBA and real estate master's on equal plain. Obviously, to jobs outside of the narrow real estate industry that wouldn't be the case. But I think the market is key--unlike, say, NYC or Boston, D.C. doesn't have many blue chip PE firms (it has them, but they are a tiny, tiny fraction of the industry here). I still think a top flight MBA puts you in the best situation for the most prestigious firms.

Feb 5, 2015
DCDepository:

Just speaking to the Washington, D.C. market, but I've seen basically 90% of job postings for real estate jobs that ask for a master's place the MBA and real estate master's on equal plain.

That's fantastic. Really promising stuff.

Feb 13, 2015

A top 3-5 MBA is going to be the most portable nationally and give the holder the most bang for the buck since they are not pigeon-holed in RE and have global reach.

But if a person knows they want RE long term then a MSRE with its pragmatic approach and network makes a lot of sense and is a solid value proposition. Especially if things continue as mentioned above and it becomes the first cut requirement for candidates applying to any reputable REPE/RE Investment position in RE epicenters like NY,CA, MA, DC.

Feb 13, 2015

If you look at the MBA* curriculum vs MSRE's you will see that the MSRE cuts to the quick of it and pounds the practical day-to-day core sets with each credit from day one (and little 'fat') in Finance, Investment, Economics, Legal, Negotiations** into its students using team based approach whereas the MBA is much broader. I think this could be why the MSRE is gaining more traction over the last 5-7 years as an equal business degree for RE Investment positions.

That all said, I think that education is extremely expensive in the US and if you are paying for these programs (with the more costly ones at $1,800-$2,000 per credit) via loans (ball parking it: ~$500 per month for next 20-25 years of your life) a strict ROI analysis, like you are doing, is the correct way to approach it.

A one year MSc program for the least amount of money that still substantially opens doors in the blue chip RE investment world probably has the highest cash/temporal ROI.

--
*http://www.hbs.edu/mba/academic-experience/curricu...

**
Real Estate Finance
Advanced Cases in Real Estate Finance & Investment
Real Estate Economics & Market Analysis
Legal Principles & Practices
The Development Process
Hotel Development
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Feb 28, 2015

Summary of this thread?

For all higher-end RE Positions or VP level advancement: H.S.Wh./C.C. --> NYU MSRE for Finance/Investment or Columnia/MIT MSRED for RE Development --> Regular MBA

Or: bank hard the tuition and 12 months extra of time, and just do a 1 year program at JHU or GT and network your living tail off during those 12 months and land something shortly after post grad before the loans become due.

The key really seems to be in strong resume'd internships with 2-3 being the sweet spot in getting a full time quality gig.

Feb 25, 2015

For all higher-end RE Positions or VP level advancement: H.S.Wh./C.C. --> NYU MSRE for Finance/Investment or Columnia/MIT MSRED for RE Development --> Regular MBA

Sorry for what may be an obvious answer, but C.C. is...?

Feb 25, 2015

I'm happy to hear the degrees are gaining positive notoriety. It certainly is a question of ROI in my case...most efficient bang for my buck. I've been scouring LinkedIn to try to see what degree are landing people where, with a focus on some of the bigger development shops. You certainly see a lot of top 3 MBA's on the rosters but the MSRE/D's are making appearances, too. Immediate emphasis on the functional RE skills is also a big appeal of the MSc's.

Feb 28, 2015

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton (best RE MBA IMO)/Columbia, Chicago -> NYU MSRE Fin Etc Etc Etc

This is a rough sketch, but gives our conversation some graphical structure.

The above may not even accurately portray the true hierarchical structure of C (Director/Principal/Owner) level types in Real Estate as displayed by Linkedin.

My guess is that a in-depth Linkedin search would put MSRE/D from the known schools more on an equal footing with the MBA (=>) since MSRE/D's are an entrepreneurial bunch by nature and they only typically entered the RE game to be a principal/owner and not a lifelong cog in a corporate machine so they are more likely to co-found a re company or jump over to the principal side once their skills matured and whatnot.

Sorry if my post is not clear since am literally walking and typing this.

Feb 28, 2015

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton (best RE MBA IMO)/Columbia, Chicago -> NYU MSRE Fin Etc Etc Etc

This is a rough sketch, but gives our conversation some graphical structure.

The above may not even accurately portray the true hierarchical structure of C (Director/Principal/Owner) level types in Real Estate as displayed by Linkedin.

My guess is that a in-depth Linkedin search would put MSRE/D from the known schools more on an equal footing with the MBA (=>) since MSRE/D's are an entrepreneurial bunch by nature and they only typically entered the RE game to be a principal/owner and not a lifelong cog in a corporate machine so they are more likely to co-found a re company or jump over to the principal side once their skills matured and whatnot.

Sorry if my post is not clear since am literally walking and typing this.

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Feb 25, 2015

It was very clear and much appreciated. I should have realized C.C. was Columbia and Chicago. Placing the MSRE/D's in that position relative to the various MBAs is encouraging.

Feb 5, 2015

Yeah, I think the salary data is almost worthless. At least in my experience in my program, there is a radically huge mix of professional backgrounds (ranging from the highly, highly experienced to the no experience at all). I think the best way to look at the data is to see what people with similar backgrounds end up doing or where they end up getting hired after finishing the program.

Nov 10, 2015

No part time for Columbia.

Jan 5, 2017

+1 on much of what is being said in the thread.

There is a huge (and exponential over long term) advantage to attending a school that has a long entrepreneurial history and an objective/empirical and proven track record of students starting or co-founding companies with fellow students (nb/ you are much more likely to get into a principal position earlier on in your career and or get hired by a firm started by said alumni. Working on team projects with fellow classmates who are also investment entrepreneurs can be like interviewing for a position or role with every class or every semester. Add professors who are also successful entrepreneurs or current CEO/COO/CFO's and you have a formula for a program that would be worth the tuition, which is saying a lot given recent ludicrous price hikes. This is to say - unless a program is giving you career opportunities and not just career skills then it is best to pass on doing an MSRE. Period. There will be better ways to spend that 80k or more.

You can learn +/- 75% of the stuff from books sold on Amazon and BarnesandNobles like The Real Estate Game, Poorvu case studies, Bruggeman, Staiger's RE modeling treatise, All the Kahr stuff on iTunes and his various super practical books, Youtube's plethora of excel workshops, the various RE modeling program available on REFM to BIWS to Udemy to a Wall Street savvy and RE experienced tutor you could hire (you would be surprised at who is available from xyx elite banks as a weekend modeling tutor) for $35 an hour and learn a ton of practical excel modeling in those 160 hours for the cost of one SINGLE Master's class, etc; let alone the 2,240+ hours which you could commission at the cost of an NYU (one of the top re finance - investment and entrepreneurship programs imho or equally active MS degree). Another caveat - which piggybacks on the above - if you go to a re program - only attend one where you want to build your career (given the real estate business and community is very local).

Real estate is arguably THE MOST entrepreneurial asset classes of them all. The real long term opportunity comes from being on the investor/principal side. We should all live by the Poorvu espoused mantra "principal side or bust" and govern our choices accordingly.

Real Estate is not one of those industries where it pays to be a salaried employee long-term (vs the historic professions - medicine, high-finance, (big)law, etc); especially if you live in the real estate capital of the world which is arguably nyc.

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Jan 1, 2017

Very interesting read.

If you're looking to move into RE from another industry (consulting) is there more value in a program like the MSRE at NYU versus a top MBA? And how are your odds applying to this type of program without experience in RE?

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Jan 1, 2017

I made thread about the NYU program, but this one is really good.

I talked to a couple guys who got it and each said the same about it. It is great on your resume and biggest value is the networking at events and such. However, the common thing I have heard is the quality of student in classes. There are tons of international (not necessarily bad but many barely speak English), people who have no experience and many who come from rich RE families and are just there to get some credentials.

I have heard mainly things about the Finance route.. would love to hear anyone's thoughts on the Development route there.

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Feb 21, 2017

As I am only in my second semester in an MSRED at NYU I can comment only on what i've seen and the people i've met so far. As of now the program has been an amazing experience. All of the teachers have incredible backgrounds in their field and can share real life experience in what they are doing. I would say about 1/3 is international with a large portion of the rest of the students being part time and working in the real estate field whether its for a developer, finance, construction, etc. Teacher selection is important and if anyone reading decides to do the program I would make sure to get opinions on their professors as in every college, some teachers are definitely better than others.

There are consistent guest speakers from the absolute top of the real estate field who come in and give speeches, frequent networking events, and lots of excel modeling/argus prep for the real world. Again like a lot of people have mentioned you can either get a lot of out of this program or you could simply go to class with your head down, study, and get out. You also have the ability to Audit (for free) a number of very specific real estate classes that last from 3 or 4 sessions to the entire semester.

Everyone I have met who has finished the program have gotten great jobs and are certainly excelling in the real world. I was looking into the columbia program as well but to be honest I don't think 1 year is enough time to truly grasp the depth of material that real estate development has to offer, get the full benefit of the networking opportunities, and to begin to leave with any sort of mastery in real estate, just my 2 cents.

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Jan 17, 2019

Hi - I will be starting my masters at the NYU Shack Instititue this semester and I was hoping you could offer some advice which teachers to look out for? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

Thanks,

Feb 28, 2015

If you must go to an MSRE program (which i ++strongly++ recommend you work very hard to avoid on its face given the time commitment, the now sky high cost of each class and the real power of simple and determined individual networking on your own via all these online mediums and events/clubs in major metro areas especially NYC to get a good position if you put the time in, go full guerrilla, push hard to stack internship opps and get creative about your search), NYU's is the sine qua non for real estate entrepreneurs. I think the reason so many guys who left that program went out and actually bought nyc real estate on their own account within 5 years post-grad is because:

a) The program is filled with NYC/Manhattan real estate lifers. Their grandparents were in re, their parents, and they are currently working in some facet of the business . These people are deep in NYC network and they are never leaving the City or the real estate game. It is common to have more than a handful of young scions of the City top real estate families in each and every incoming class. If you dig into associated Real Deal or Observer stories, you can draw lines and links between some of the start-ups coming out of the NYU program with there being a finance/technical savvy nyu re grad partnering up with the son of a 3 generational nyc re family to start their own thing (balance sheet plus tech skills = nyc re start up. this algorithm is not uncommon there, and happens regularly).

b) Within your class, the total graduating class and the alumni base you have access to literally every skill-set and resource to build a business on a grassroots level without having to go looking for it or pay retail for pieces of the technical puzzle. Classes are comprised of people with other professional degrees/backgrounds who now want to strike out on their own in some way.

c) The program is very practical and finance/excel technical. Each of the classes revolve around doing a real life based case study in a small team format (where students form bonds and suss out each other's core skill-sets, highest best use within the team), building models, presenting them to faux investment committees. Rinse and repeat to the next class. The result is after two years you gain a swiss army set of tools in finance, investment and excel to dig into quantitatively whatever real estate opp or problem comes your way.

Columbia's program is small, "new-ish" and so many of the students are from other countries (with an incredible and over-weighted, relative to general US student demographics, amount of students coming from Asia. Columbia must have some sort of powerful recruitment vehicle at work in countries like China and Korea) and don't have a statistically significant connection to nyc, nothing on the extreme scale and long tail that NYU's RE program has, especially 2-5 years post grad where there is a lot of flight to home countries be it for job opportunities thanks to the credential or family demands. Joshua Kahr, who did his time/master's at NYU (and speaks emphatically about the program) essentially built out their Finance curriculum from the ground up, if that tells you anything of its derivative nature.

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Mar 7, 2018

Great thread. Any NYU MSRE's have any input on cross-registering for Stern or Law classes? I like how focused yet flexible this degree is and giving it strong consideration even with the mixed reviews.

Also, has anyone used the PT degree to move around internally? Seems like an ideal way to go from BO -> FO Real Estate without quitting your job, while getting your company to foot the bill. (Ref: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/quit-or-kee...)

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