Top MBA Programs with a Real Estate Focus?

Does anyone have any experience with real estate developers and/or real estate focused private equity firms and what MBA programs they recruit from? Since I have a strong desire to work in this field post-MBA, I want to make sure I'm applying to the right MBA programs. Thanks!

best MBA in real estate world

Our users shared good schools to attend if you are interested in pursuing real estate after business school.

  • Wharton
  • UNC
  • Columbia
  • MIT Sloan
  • Stern
  • UCLA Anderson
  • Berkeley Haas

Aside from these suggested schools, our users pointed out that real estate is very local and emphasized that what matters in recruitment is connections and experience in the area.

Our users also point out that an MBA is a smart investment if you want to do real estate finance. However, a MSRE or a specialized real estate degree is better if you're interested in the development side.

Check out the video below from Georgetown that explains the MSRE or Master of Science in Real Estate degree.

Check out a discussion about MSREs here on WSO.

You can also learn more about Real Estate in our Real Estate Forum here on WSO.

Interviewing for Real Estate Private Equity Jobs?

Want to land at an elite private equity fund try our comprehensive PE Interview Prep Course. Our course includes 2,447 questions across 203 private equity funds that have been crowdsourced from over 500,000 members. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Guide has everything you'll ever need to land the most coveted jobs on Wall Street.

Private Equity Interview Course

Financial Modeling Course

  • Get An Edge For Your Interviews & Finance Career
  • The Best (and Most Affordable) Financial Modeling Self-study Courses.
  • WSO Members receive a 15% discount

Comments (137)

Aug 6, 2009

Wharton

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

Aug 6, 2009

Pretty sure UNC has a good program. In real estate, it is all about connections.

Aug 6, 2009

Wharton and Columbia, especially in real estate finance (banking, private equity, etc.).

Beyond that, as you may or may not know, real estate is very local. If you're looking more on the development side, then it doesn't really matter -- it's about specific deals/properties, which has less to do with your MBA and more to do with access to capital, experience, and local contacts.

The general rule of thumb (but by no means some "rule") is do an MBA if you're interested in real estate finance, and an MSRE or a specialized real estate degree if you're interested in the development side (although the stuff you'll learn will overlap - it's just that each degree program will have a different focus).

Alex Chu

Aug 6, 2009

Do you think that an Executive MBA from Columbia is frowned upon by potential employers? The executive program fits more with my work/life schedule vs. a standard full time program. Thank!

    • 1
Aug 6, 2009

I was an SA at Russell Investments in their Alternative Assets Group (mostly Real Estate).

They recruit heavily from MIT Sloan, which has an excellent RE program.

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from MBA Vantage Point team. Learn more.

Aug 6, 2009

Why would employers "frown" upon someone getting an education?

Alex Chu

Aug 6, 2009

I'm not suggesting that they frown upon the education, just curious if potential investors have a preference for full-time candidates.

    • 1
Aug 6, 2009

good point Alex

Aug 6, 2009

the usual suspects- Wharton, Columbia and Stern

Aug 6, 2009

I think Cornell has a undergrad Real Estate minor, not so sure about MBA

Aug 6, 2009

here's a thread i found a long time ago on business week's forum talking about the MSRE and MSRED programs, there are also some comparisons to top MBA programs.

http://forums.businessweek.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?ts...
For MBA Wharton and Columbia are great. But for a masters the top schools are (MIT, Columbia, USC, NYU, Cornell - I liked NYU's MSRE until i realized the acceptance rate is something ridiculous like 70% and avg gmat is like 560) From each school you would get a better network within the local market. If you want to do RE development west coast, then a degree from USC would work well because many alums from that school work in the area, or if you want to do east coast, mit and columbia are good. Alex is right about mba for re finance, and MSRE(D) for development. It seems like any finance focused job you can get out of a MSRE(D) program you would also be able to get from a top MBA, if not more easily. But many of the MSRE(D) programs are only 1 year and they explore other aspects of RE like urban development, market trends and re laws.

Aug 9, 2009

Wharton, by far.

Aug 10, 2009

Somebody ban this guy. Ads for online degrees? WTF.

Aug 1, 2010

Wharton, Columbia, MIT & Haas.

Aug 2, 2010

I was under the impression that UCLA Anderson had a good real estate program. They frequently issue reports/studies that are cited.

Sep 9, 2010

Wharton. Haas has good placement in California (I've heard). Cornell School of Hotel Management - Real Estate program (particularly for Hotel/Casino).

Aug 18, 2012

.

The Auto Show

Aug 18, 2012

I have looked at this quite a bit as well, but as a rising senior I've looked at more MSRE type programs or PhD. I know Cal Berkeley and UGA also have good real estate programs as well as the schools you have mentioned. One program I've looked at doing is the dual MPS in Real Estate/ MBA from Cornell. Just a few options you could check out.

Aug 18, 2012

NYU Stern is big in Real Estate, as is Wharton, and I'm sure if you go to a Harvard or a Columbia you're not going to do too bad for yourself in recruiting. I've heard good things about Cornell but like hell I'm living in Ithaca.

Something else to consider is a Masters in Real Estate. MIT offers an amazing MSRED (for Development), Georgetown & NYU both offer MSRE's, Johns Hopkins offers a MSREI (for Infrastructure), etc.

Aug 18, 2012

Would the same programs be considered the best for getting into hotels?

Aug 18, 2012

I would say Wharton #1, NYU Stern #2. MIT's MSRE is good but doesn't directly recruit into REIB if that's what you're into.

Aug 18, 2012

Great responses thus far. The two real estate disciplines I value the most are 1) RE development financial modeling, and 2) the development process. So, needless to say, my focus is RE development as opposed to pure investment/management.

MIT, Columbia, Cornell, USC and NYU seem to have the top MRED/MSRED programs, but I worry about the level of selectivity at a few of these programs. Most are small programs and the average GMAT for several is in the low 600s. The top RE Development firms seem to recruit more regularly from the top MBA programs.

Aug 18, 2012

USC's real estate program is bar none if you want to work in California.

Aug 18, 2012
ecoates:

MIT, Columbia, Cornell, USC and NYU seem to have the top MRED/MSRED programs, but I worry about the level of selectivity at a few of these programs. Most are small programs and the average GMAT for several is in the low 600s. The top RE Development firms seem to recruit more regularly from the top MBA programs.

I will say, for what it's worth, that one of my best friends got an MSRE from Georgetown and was offered, I shit you not, 7 different jobs...and that was only in NYC. The Dean of the program, who is now at Johns Hopkins, personally called every potential job because he thought my friend was a good guy and a good student.

Anecdotal, I know, but it's worth remembering.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012
West Coast Analyst:

USC's real estate program is bar none if you want to work in California.

Ew, gross

Aug 18, 2012
ecoates:

Great responses thus far. The two real estate disciplines I value the most are 1) RE development financial modeling, and 2) the development process. So, needless to say, my focus is RE development as opposed to pure investment/management.

While generally I would recommend an MBA over an MSRE/MSRED...you might be the perfect candidate for an MSRED given your goals.

Aug 18, 2012

I will say, for what it's worth, that one of my best friends got an MSRE from Georgetown and was offered, I shit you not, 7 different jobs...and that was only in NYC. The Dean of the program, who is now at Johns Hopkins, personally called every potential job because he thought my friend was a good guy and a good student.

Anecdotal, I know, but it's worth remembering.

[/quote]

That's a pretty amazing story and one I appreciate, even if anecdotal to an extent. It's that type of devotion to worthwhile students that makes or breaks a program. Thanks for sharing.

Aug 18, 2012

Are the MSRED programs for people with backgrounds in the specific focuses or are they for people new to the industry as well

Aug 18, 2012
shorttheworld:

Are the MSRED programs for people with backgrounds in the specific focuses or are they for people new to the industry as well

It depends. MIT's MSRED is targeted toward people with at least 3 years in the industry, preferably (or necessarily, I forget) in Real Estate

Columbia's MSRED is for either industry people or non-industry (You can tell because your admission essays change depending on which category you fall into)

Honestly, it really changes from school to school. I know some programs are designed for industry vets or at least mid-level professionals, while others, like Johns Hopkins, are designed for younger professionals too.

Aug 18, 2012
Darkstar19:

Would the same programs be considered the best for getting into hotels?

One thing I noticed from researching Cornell's MPS in RE was that you actually take a few classes from their School of Hotel Administration, so a program offering something similar would probably be best for getting into hotels.

Aug 18, 2012

Based on my research, the MRED/MSRED programs with the most stringent entry requirements are MIT (3 years related work experience) and USC (2 years related work experience). "Related work experience" could involve real estate banking, construction, master planning, architecture, brokerage, etc.

Columbia, Cornell and NYU are also highly thought of, but don't have specific real estate experience requirements. Columbia seems to be the largest real estate masters program out of these five with around 100 students in each class.

Aug 18, 2012

For MRED/MSRED and/or MBA with real estate concentration, I think the best schools are: MIT, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn, USC and NYU

Aug 18, 2012
illchicago:

For MRED/MSRED and/or MBA with real estate concentration, I think the best schools are: MIT, Columbia, Cornell, USC and NYU

Leaving Wharton out as a top MBA program with a real estate concentration is a mistake. It is arguably THE program.

Sep 9, 2010

Depends where in the industry. Wharton probably has the largest alumni pool of senior real estate pros at top firms. That said, I am in real estate and I'd rather go to Harvard. Columbia is also good. If you're in the south UT is good too and so is UNC, granted those are much easier to get into, the network is good down there.

Aug 18, 2012

Wharton.

Aug 18, 2012

Great. Will apply to Wharton for sure. Have any real estate guys and gals recently been accepted to H/S/W that can comment on whether post-graduation Real Estate ambitions helps (i.e. more class diversity, more linear career path) your chances or hurts (i.e. less prestige and money in RE related to other finance) your chances. I've been told to think about playing a consulting angle to help my odds since I'm a pretty average applicant by the numbers...Probably just over thinking this.

Aug 18, 2012

Any others? What about UCLA, Yale, Cornell, Duke, or Ross? What MBA programs would you target for a post-grad job in the Boston area?

Aug 18, 2012

Stern is good too.

Aug 18, 2012

Thanks Maddux, anyone know other schools?

Aug 18, 2012

I think it depends where you want to work. Local schools have the inside track to local companies. If you are in California, consider USC or ASU. If you are in the Midwest then Wisconsin - Madison and DePaul are your top picks.

Aug 18, 2012
MBA_RE_Grad:

Local schools have the inside track to local companies..

Aren't all traditional schools "local"?

Aug 18, 2012
MBA_RE_Grad:

I think it depends where you want to work. Local schools have the inside track to local companies. If you are in California, consider USC or ASU. If you are in the Midwest then Wisconsin - Madison and DePaul are your top picks.

Very funny. DePaul? ASU? You're gonna spend $100k to attend one of those third-tier places?

Aug 18, 2012

How are HBS and Stanford viewed in the real estate world? I'm assuming people would know the brand (which would probably help) but are there any stereotypes of these schools that could hurt in the RE world, where MBAs generally aren't valued as highly as in say PE or Consulting?

Sep 9, 2010
Darkstar19:

How are HBS and Stanford viewed in the real estate world? I'm assuming people would know the brand (which would probably help) but are there any stereotypes of these schools that could hurt in the RE world, where MBAs generally aren't valued as highly as in say PE or Consulting?

no, they're viewed positively. Take Hines as one example... a huge number of the guys are HBS.

Aug 18, 2012

agreed, prestige of top bschool wins out / will open most doors

Aug 18, 2012

How is the MBA program at Schulich for RE?

Aug 18, 2012

how warm is the reception to applicants with an RE background that want to continue down a different RE path? RealAssetsFTW brought up a good point. would it be easier to try and play the odds and pick consulting as a "career switcher" and BS the application? or go with the real ambition of doing RE?

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from MBA Vantage Point team. Learn more.

Aug 18, 2012

Wharton is number one

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

USC, UNC, Wisconsin, MIT, Clemson, Texas, NYU, ASU, FSU, UF, Cornell

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

Thanks MasterG and CRE123.

How does UCLA compare to USC?

Aug 18, 2012

West Coast people can give you a better opinion than me. I actually didn't even realize that UCLA had a program (which might tell you something). I know some people at Eastdil in LA that went to USC grad (masters in RE not MBA)-- so at least I think highly of that program.

Aug 18, 2012

SC connections >. Curious to know your reasoning for getting a MBA with an emphasis in Real Estate rather than MSRED

Aug 18, 2012

Do you really need an explanation? It's pretty self explanatory.

    • 5
Aug 18, 2012

Dick,

Thanks for the reply. From my basic understanding of the two Master's programs, a MBA with a strong RE concentration provides more value than just a MSRED. While MSRED obviously will cut deeper into RE, a MBA with a strong RE concentration cuts nearly as deep but also is more marketable and provides a deeper network.

However, I've been pretty brainwashed to think MBA>MSRED so I would love to hear why the MSRED would be better.

Aug 18, 2012

IMO it 100% depends on what your goals are. Value is relative, after all. I'm an incoming MRED student, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I don't think it's a clear cut decision.

If you want to work at a major multinational real estate firm and are mid-level in your career, the MBA makes a lot more sense, especially if you can get it from a very good (UNC, USC) to elite (Wharton) school. MBA is the established brand and while specialized business masters are becoming more and more popular, an MBA will continue to be the ideal for some time. Also, the generic "management" education will help if you work for a Tishman or Related or Blackstone and more of their graduates probably have MBAs as well. Alternatively, if you end up not wanting to work in Real Estate for whatever reason, the MBA is going to give you more career flexibility in the corporate world. Easier to get hired in banking or consulting or a F500 company with that MBA on your resume than trying to explain why you got a masters degree in real estate development and now dislike real estate.

If you plan on working for a smaller company, or are in a regional market, or don't have any prior experience, etc. I think a MRED makes more sense. Way less expensive, more in depth, less bullshit classes, and more flexibility. (1 year programs and 2 year programs). Easier to get into as well, if you're a borderline candidate. Also, not everyone who goes to these programs wants to work at a REIT, in REPE, or for a developer. People come out in investment sales, construction management, city and regional planning, and related fields and don't see it as a downgrade like people on this site might.

Wharton was never in the equation for me, but when I was applying it was hard comparing Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Clemson, Texas A&M, etc. MSRE/MRED degrees with UNC's Real Estate emphasis. Ultimately for me it came down to cost and goals. I'm getting my education, albeit with a smaller network, for a laughable fraction of the cost of a MBA. Plus, I already worked my way into REPE, and know I want to be in real estate long-term, and know where I want to live, so the MBA adds no more value to my career path than the MBA would.

    • 2
Aug 18, 2012

Fantastic answer.

Since you're already in REPE, what do you believe to be the value of the MRED to your career. Is it the expanded knowledge that the program will provide that you're not getting in your role? Also, will you be attending part-time or full time?

Just trying to feel out your thought process.

CRE has so many different avenues that a person could excel in and I'm having a hard time figuring out which path to pursue. Note: I'm currently in a REPE summer internship.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012
  1. If you're the guy sitting behind me right now, I will punch you haha.
  2. It could be argued that I only got my current position (also a summer internship of sorts) because of my admissions letters. Not entirely sure if that's the case, but it's likely. I've been an office broker, an asset manager, a property manager, and even did a one-month stint as a project manager, so for me, I've been dancing around the principal/developer side of real estate for a while and had a hard time breaking in. Now, having worked here, I know that with some letters after my name I can be in a much higher position with a pretty clear career track. I'm more or less getting the degree for legitimacy, and in that case, I didn't need to pay a fortune for the MBA. I'll be going full-time but at my program, full-time is 3-3.5 days a week with paid internships the rest of the time, so it'll help with costs and keeping the resume active.
Aug 18, 2012
  1. Ha, I'm the guy behind you in the white or blue shirt.
  2. Glad to hear that you're making headway into getting in on the principal/developer side. If the major obstacle was having the pedigree/master's degree, is it safe to say that an MBA provides even more legitimacy? Or at the end of the day, was the cost/benefit of the increased legitimacy not worth the price and time difference?
  3. Lastly, what's your job function at the REPE firm? and do you think they'll offer you a full-time position or will the position at least provide you enough experience to get a larger REPE position upon completion of the MRED?
Aug 18, 2012
  1. Luckily I'm in the south. The way to worry me would have been saying "gingham"
  2. I think it depends again on what type of firm you target. I know the president of my company makes absolutely no distinction between the MRED and a MBA and has told people that I'll be going to both or just says "studying real estate in grad school" when he introduces me. He doesn't have a graduate degree and I doubt he cares beyond "_____ is obviously a good hire because some business school out there thinks he knows real estate." I think the major obstacle was the program because it took the risk in vetting me away from my boss. Otherwise, I was always going to be a career changer and the "can he actually do this?" question was hard to overcome. I'm under no delusions that I'm going to come out of grad school and get a job with Related or Blackstone REPE, which would be far more possible with a top MBA, but that isn't my goal either.
  3. I write contracts, create pro-forma, underwrite acquisitions, perform due diligence, model random things in excel, hah, make coffee, etc. I think if they have something open when I graduate, or even next summer, they'd bring be back. My problem is if I want to continue to do this type of work or if I want to work for and ultimately be a developer. Value-add multifamily is cool, don't get me wrong, but something about spec development just pulls me a bit. I'll probably try to intern with a developer and then make a decision based on that.
    • 1
Aug 18, 2012
CRE:

<

p>IMO it 100% depends on what your goals are. Value is relative, after all.

To this point, Georgetown MBA is $130,000. Georgetown MPSRE is $30,000. Gtown MBA > MPSRE, but one has to ask himself/herself if the additional $100,000 gets that person to where he or she wants to go. For many people, the MBA is superfluous if they know that firm(s) they are interested in accept the less expensive program as a substitute.

    • 2
Aug 18, 2012

Generally speaking top 15 MBA > MSRED. My personal opinion is there may be exceptions for the MIT program and potentially the Cornell program.

CRE out of curiosity which program did you decide on?

Aug 18, 2012

I'll PM you.

Aug 18, 2012

Was wondering this myself when looking at schools last year; came up with the following lists for both MBA (tailored to RE) and MREDs:

RE MBA Tiers:
1. H/S/Wharton (more RE at Wharton)
2. Berkeley/Columbia/MIT/NYU
3. UCLA/UT/UNC
4. USC/WISCO

MRED/MSRED:
Top Tier: USC, MIT, Columbia, NYU

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

Thanks CPD. Do you know where some of the MRED programs would fit into the RE MBA Tiers or is that tough to say?

Aug 18, 2012

With what I've seen from MRED programs, it's much more a regional thing than a "tier" type organization, even when it comes to the "top tier" schools CPD listed. Northeast, the south, midwest, west coast, etc. would all have their own "rankings"

Aug 18, 2012
cpdevelops:

Was wondering this myself when looking at schools last year; came up with the following lists for both MBA (tailored to RE) and MREDs:

RE MBA Tiers:
1. H/S/Wharton (more RE at Wharton)
2. Berkeley/Columbia/MIT/NYU
3. UCLA/UT/UNC
4. USC/WISCO

MRED/MSRED:
Top Tier: USC, MIT, Columbia, NYU

All the MSRED degrees maybe with the exception for MIT is trumped by an MBA at all of these schools. I would throw in Duke and Georgetown for MBA programs.

Aug 18, 2012

I disagree that a Georgetown MBA or a Wisconsin MBA trumps a Cornell MSRED. The others---of course. They are top ranked MBA programs.

Aug 18, 2012
cre123:

I disagree that a Georgetown MBA or a Wisconsin MBA trumps a Cornell MSRED. The others---of course. They are top ranked MBA programs.

I honestly don't know much about the Cornell program however it does seem like a good program with a strong Alumni (I won't consider it due to location and 2 Y full time). I would say its probably comparable to Columbia's program and in speaking to people who have graduated from that program I would take the Georgetown/Wisconsin MBA over both in a heartbeat.

Aug 18, 2012

I typo'd there. Its an MSRE program and really nothing like Columbia's MSRED which is very development focused (more-so than MIT's). If you could finagle an MBA/MSRE dual program at Cornell (or better yet MIT) then you're golden. Cornell and MIT's real estate programs are extremely competitive and only accept around 30, I believe.

We'll have to disagree on Wisco/Georgetown MBA's. I'd take a Cornell MSRE before either any day of the week--but that's me and I'll be in CRE until the bitter end. The Cornell program is harder to get into than both of those MBA's and Georgetown's MBA is hardly considered "Top Tier" despite its prestigious UG/Law name.

I personally think Wisco's 33 ranked MBA program is not worth the location change/travel to attend. If you're paying State tuition or from Chicago then sure. However, I'm not traveling to freezing Madison at age 28 to spend 2 years there getting my full time MBA--especially if I live in Boston or NYC (or worse Cali). Again---this is just my opinion but I like to think I'm well versed on the subject.

Aug 18, 2012
cre123:

I typo'd there. Its an MSRE program and really nothing like Columbia's MSRED which is very development focused (more-so than MIT's). If you could finagle an MBA/MSRE dual program at Cornell (or better yet MIT) then you're golden. Cornell and MIT's real estate programs are extremely competitive and only accept around 30, I believe.

We'll have to disagree on Wisco/Georgetown MBA's. I'd take a Cornell MSRE before either any day of the week--but that's me and I'll be in CRE until the bitter end. The Cornell program is harder to get into than both of those MBA's and Georgetown's MBA is hardly considered "Top Tier" despite its prestigious UG/Law name.

I personally think Wisco's 33 ranked MBA program is not worth the location change/travel to attend. If you're paying State tuition or from Chicago then sure. However, I'm not traveling to freezing Madison at age 28 to spend 2 years there getting my full time MBA--especially if I live in Boston or NYC (or worse Cali). Again---this is just my opinion but I like to think I'm well versed on the subject.

I agree with you on the location for the Wisconsin MBA. I live in NYC and the thought of moving to Madison for 2 years is not something I can come to terms with which is why I won't consider the program if/when I apply to grad school. I think you could argue the same thing for Cornell however considering the location in Ithaca which is roughly 4 hours away from NYC. Spending 2 years in Ithaca is what turned me off the program. I considered an MSRE degree for a couple years however knowing a bunch of people that did NYU and Columbia I have been turned off to the programs. This is obviously just my opinion but the only masters degree worth considering are MIT, Cornell, USC and Georgetown. (I threw in Georgetown because I just like the school/area and have met some solid alum). I would however take all of the MBA programs mentioned above first....except UT...nothing against the school...just wouldn't move there.

Aug 18, 2012

curiously - were you simply not impressed with the alum from NYU/Columbia or were their resulting career tracks different from your goals?

Aug 18, 2012

Being that I live in SoCal now and would be interested pursuing a part-time/evening MRED at USC now, would that help or hurt my chances to get into a Elite RE focused MBA Program (MIT/Wharton/HBS/etc) in about 2-3 years after the MRED?

For all I know, doing both could be extremely superfluous so feel free to crap on the idea.

Aug 18, 2012

I think the argument could be made that it's not particularly beneficial to your career (or wallet) to do both.

Aug 18, 2012

Having recently finished a T20 MBA I agree with you. I looked at doing an MSRE online because I can't afford to take 2 more years off and decided somewhat late on RE. Obviously, totally different animal than a full time program, and really the only reputable online program is Georgetown's, but then you're missing the entire point of the program which is immersion and networking. I decided I didn't need it because I really wouldn't be learning anything that would add any value to my current knowledge that I couldn't quickly figure out with Linneman's book or any number of other resources. It would be a waste to spend another year or two in a program that provides no network and costs me time I could be spending with my son, when I already have a masters.

Bottom line I think is that if you've got a shot at one of the elite programs where you can do a RE focus, do that over anything else if you can afford the 2 years off(and extra debt). If time is a factor, a one year MSRE/MRED/MSRED beats a one year executive MBA any day of the week assuming you want to be in RE forever.

TL:DR do the H/W/MIT MBA in RE if you can get in and don't waste your time with a MSRE. And if you can't do one of those, go the best school you get into in the location you like the most. I don't think anyone can truly say that MIT is better than USC is better than Columbia. So much of your experience is based on your peers, networking, and your engagement/interest with the program. Besides, RE isn't that hard. The material isn't going to be measurably different unless you want a program with a specific focus(Fin, dev, etc) which should make your choice easier.

Aug 18, 2012

For real estate specific...obviously brand name recognition of larger programs will probably get you where you want to go, but if you want a "real estate specific" program probably your best bet will be...

No, not a name brand school. University of Wisconsin has a real estate cohort and a specialized curriculum( and even a separate admissions panel). They also benefit from a strong undergraduate program, which currently holds the #1 ranking for real estate programs.

Aug 18, 2012

I was thinking about Wisconsin MBA for Real Estate, this is the first I have heard about it having a separate admissions panel. Do you have any specifics related to class profile or anything? It would be helpful to know what the class usually consists of and what the average student looks like.

Aug 18, 2012

Agree with both of the above posters. MBA lines 1 and 2 in that list I drew up can probably open doors throughout the country whereas all others are regional...also, who you know is huge in RE so selecting an RE school with a solid alumni base is crucial. Many of the schools have a 'real estate center' with an endowment dedicated to hosting case competitions, industry conferences, and other real estate related student amenities. This would be a good place to start your research.

Aug 18, 2012

For all the non-US monkeys here (hello?), there's an MBA with an RE specialisation at NUS in Singapore. It's hard to argue with Singapore's track record in RE on the whole, so it's pretty interesting to see it from their point of view. I opted for the straight MSRE at NUS so I could leave the door open to later getting an MBA somewhere slightly more well-regarded MBA-wise than NUS, like INSEAD or something. But then again, if you were still studying full-time then I could totally understand going for the MBA-with-a-major-in-RE thing.
For US schools (about which I know precisely jack), I suppose Wharton would probably impress the most out here in APAC, and, to echo the other commenters here, whilst a Wharton MRED would impress, a Wharton MBA would impress more so.

Aug 18, 2012

Do REPE firms typically require prior work experience if you're getting an MBA? Or can you use the MBA to rebrand from a different industry, and then recruit for REPE?

Aug 18, 2012

Very very very firm specific. Gotta get away from the groupthink if you're getting into real estate. It's not banking. There is no set way. There are no set standards.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

I made a separate thread earlier, but does anyone have any thoughts on the Boston University real estate certificate? As someone who recently finished undergrad in the Boston area, do you think taking few evening classes would make my profile more competitive for an actual admission based program in the following years?

Aug 18, 2012

If you're just taking a couple classes to put on your resume and show your interest, why not just do free classes online?

Aug 18, 2012

Because online classes are regarded a a complete joke and worthless.

Sorry but its the truth. I would much rather take 1 or 2 CRE classes ($$) in person at a local name university to plug into my resume if I'm trying to break in at age 22.

Aug 18, 2012
cre123:

Because online classes are regarded a a complete joke and worthless.

And certificate programs aren't?

Aug 18, 2012

They absolutely are. But there's something valiant about trudging to class at night after work and taking classes from an adjunct proffessor/industry veteran. It shows heart/passion if nothing else. It is what you make of it. Anyone can log into a computer and drift off to a webinar. I would put BU/NYU certificate classes on my resume if I was trying to break in--- I wouldn't put an online tutorial.

Aug 18, 2012

Taking a free online course from Wharton or MIT or wherever is no different than taking an in-person course at BU except you get an arguably better education with no expense whatsoever. You can keep being valiant, man. I'm not spending a cent unless I get a degree out of it. Taking a MOOC shows heart and passion just the same.

Aug 18, 2012

Also, all of this "does X MBA program beat Y MRED program" or "What tier is my real estate MBA program in?" talk is still completely nonsensical. Again, it completely depends on location, firm type, sector, etc.

Additionally, I know this is a banking website and has a strong, and relatively accurate, group think about how that industry works, but real estate just doesn't work that way outside of say, Blackstone REPE. You're more likely to get hired if you're a graduate of university the firm president graduated from than you are if you went to HBS. You'll still get passed over with your MIT MSRE if an investor's daughter needs a job right out of college. Everyone still cares about prestige - don't get me wrong - but unless you're in NYC or Boston, local prestige matters way more.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

I have met many people who are NYU graduates who are very successful and I am sure on a great career trajectory however it just seemed to me that there is a general consensus in the industry that anyone can get into the program so there wasn't a ton of value add in my opinion. I figured if I am taking the GMAT and paying tuition (significantly more for an MBA however NYU MSRE isn't cheap) I would like to learn as much as possible and get some additional branding as well. With regard to Columbia I have been to a couple work events recently and there were some Columbia MSRED students there who were positive about the program however pointed out that the market for the MBA students vs. the MSRED was significantly better from the MBA side which is understandable. Quite frankly I was just turned off to both programs more so NYU than Columbia but again that's just from my experience.

Aug 18, 2012

Here's a list of all the MSRED/MRED programs, MBA concentrations and Certificates. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_real_estate...

Harvey Specter doesn't get cotton mouth.

    • 2
Aug 18, 2012

Until last month I did acquisitions and development for a small real estate fund ($4B AUM). I'm starting a MBA at a M7 school this fall that isn't known for real estate, but does have a small real estate department. Based on my conversations with people in my network (Related, Carlyle), no one cared that it wasn't a top real estate school they only cared that it was a top school. This advice would probably be very different for someone who doesn't have real estate experience and is targeting different opportunities, but in my case it was more important to go to an elite school vs a very good real estate program.

Aug 18, 2012

More background please. Experience years, alternative experience before development gig, type of UG, location, etc.

What do you good to get out of your MBA program? Exit opps? How will you leverage your CRE Dev experience

Aug 18, 2012

I'm hoping this thread hasn't died yet - given that MBAs and real estate in general is a pretty regional thing...

I want to hear this forum's opinion on at one point does a regionally strong MBA program (USC, UCLA) take priority over a more presitigious but out-of-region program (Cornell, Columbia, Kellogg) Can you monkeys critique my tiering of MBA programs below? I am ranking them with the mindset of staying in real estate in southern California.

Top: H/S/W
2nd: Haas, MIT
3rd: USC, UCLA, Northwestern, Columbia,
4th: Duke, Michigan, NYU, Cornell

Obviously, I'm leaving out some other schools but you get the point. Much appreciated.

Aug 18, 2012

Cornell/Columbia/Kellogg/UCLA MBA trumps USC all day. You can't go wrong with those 4 schools no matter what you want to do in SoCal.

Aug 18, 2012

Are you suggesting that they belong on the second tier with Haas and MIT, or that USC belongs lower?

Aug 18, 2012
cre123:

Cornell/Columbia/Kellogg/UCLA MBA trumps USC all day. You can't go wrong with those 4 schools no matter what you want to do in SoCal.

Even given the overwhelming USC connections and networking opportunities? All you ever hear about SoCal is that the USC network can get anyone a job. You think a Cornell guy would really be preferred?

Aug 18, 2012

You bring up a good point. I can't speak for those in SoCal and the name/location/local hype might outweigh the superiority of Cornell's program. If you're going to settle in SoCal for the foreseeable future, I suppose USC is just as good an option as Cornell if not better. That being said, if I was hiring someone in my market, the Cornell degree would carry more weight than the USC degree.

@VodkaRedBull I am saying that a USC MBA is below UCLA, Northwestern & Columbia. My opinion of course but I feel as though many others possess this opinion as well.

The above posts are completely right about higher education in CRE-- its not really necessary from an analytical/understanding perspective but it appears to be a "check box" for the senior positions these days with so much competition.

The progression of the CRE industry as a major/accepted asset class has made competition grow 10 fold--probably why many of us feel we need a "leg up" with an advanced degree if we're going to compete on level ground with other candidates in the future.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

Just an aside, I am always surprised by the amount of top dogs in the REPE industry only having their bachelors and no advanced degrees. I am willing to bet that RE in general has more people with no advanced degrees than most other finance related professions.

I guess this shows how important real world RE work experience and networking is to climbing the ladder.

Aug 18, 2012
REPE8:

Just an aside, I am always surprised by the amount of top dogs in the REPE industry only having their bachelors and no advanced degrees. I am willing to bet that RE in general has more people with no advanced degrees than most other finance related professions.

Completely agree and it's pretty fascinating in my opinion. I don't think a MRED or MBA makes sense for everyone getting into real estate in this day and age either. I could probably do without, but the problem is that you have to compete for only a few positions with not only the sons and daughters but also all of the other people in the industry your age as well. Getting to that "next level" beyond analyst/associate/middle management roles in 2015 either means getting an advanced degree or waiting until your hair turns grey.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

For what its worth, I just spent the better part of the year dealing with this exact question. I spent the 4.5 years following undergrad working in acquisitions and development for a top 10 RE investment manager. While nobody in RE with that background really needs a graduate degree, its a great opportunity to step back, get some perspective, network, explore other RE opportunities, broaden a skill set and, if you can get into a top school, get the kind of pedigree that will get you in the door anywhere.

Ultimately, I decided to apply to MRED programs and MBA programs as both applications require basically the same stuff. I applied to MRED programs at MIT and Columbia and MBA programs at HBS, Wharton, and Columbia. I was accepted everywhere but HBS and will be starting at CBS next month (Yes, Wharton is slightly more prestigious but the CBS community just fit better and I couldn't bring myself to spend 2 years in Philly).

A few of my takeaways:

Among MRED Programs, MIT is heads and shoulders above everyone else in terms of selectivity, curriculum, and faculty. While programs like Columbia, USC, and Wisconsin will make sense for many, their admissions standards are spectacularly low when compared even with second/third tier MBA programs. That said, even MIT, the top MRED program in the world and one which maintains a class of only 25-30 students, has an average gmat score of 680, something which I found hard to palate - especially so because of the very limited class/network size.

As to curriculum, while MRED programs are more pointed and relevant, most of the course material, it seems, consists of stuff that is typically learned on the job, at least on the institutional buy side. Yes, you'll have to take core classes in an MBA program, but only a fraction of the value of MBA programs is derived from what is covered in the classroom. If you are able to get into a top 10 MBA program, youre buying a large/strong network, an experience (2 year party), and a fairly prestigious qualification which will buy you access to pretty much any company you'd like to work for. Can you get a job with TPG's real estate group with an MRED from MIT? Absolutely. But the road to that role is less cushy and a hell of a lot less fun.

My advice, in short - If you have the profile that can get you into a top MBA program and the financial capacity to float 2 years, there is no question you should do that instead of an MRED. Of the top 10 b-schools, the Wharton, Columbia, and Haas offer the best direct programs, while Sloan offers excellent access to the MRED classes and professors.

If you're choosing between the rest of the top-25 vs a top MRED program, it starts to become a little tougher to justify the added costs but its absolutely an individual decision. I'd personally pick MIT over a school like UT-McCombs, but I'd be more motivated by the relative prestige of the name on the degree in that case, regardless of program (Note: UT and MITs MRED have similar GMAT #s) Also, I'm not a Texan. Just keep in mind that, though your classmates in an MRED program will all be from RE backgrounds, they will also likely have weaker profiles than MBA counterparts. Take that for what its worth.

    • 1
    • 1
Aug 18, 2012
horatio_the_hermit:

For what its worth, I just spent the better part of the year dealing with this exact question. I spent the 4.5 years following undergrad working in acquisitions and development for a top 10 RE investment manager. While nobody in RE with that background really needs a graduate degree, its a great opportunity to step back, get some perspective, network, explore other RE opportunities, broaden a skill set and, if you can get into a top school, get the kind of pedigree that will get you in the door anywhere.

Ultimately, I decided to apply to MRED programs and MBA programs as both applications require basically the same stuff. I applied to MRED programs at MIT and Columbia and MBA programs at HBS, Wharton, and Columbia. I was accepted everywhere but HBS and will be starting at CBS next month (Yes, Wharton is slightly more prestigious but the CBS community just fit better and I couldn't bring myself to spend 2 years in Philly).

A few of my takeaways:

Among MRED Programs, MIT is heads and shoulders above everyone else in terms of selectivity, curriculum, and faculty. While programs like Columbia, USC, and Wisconsin will make sense for many, their admissions standards are spectacularly low when compared even with second/third tier MBA programs. That said, even MIT, the top MRED program in the world and one which maintains a class of only 25-30 students, has an average gmat score of 680, something which I found hard to palate - especially so because of the very limited class/network size.

As to curriculum, while MRED programs are more pointed and relevant, most of the course material, it seems, consists of stuff that is typically learned on the job, at least on the institutional buy side. Yes, you'll have to take core classes in an MBA program, but only a fraction of the value of MBA programs is derived from what is covered in the classroom. If you are able to get into a top 10 MBA program, youre buying a large/strong network, an experience (2 year party), and a fairly prestigious qualification which will buy you access to pretty much any company you'd like to work for. Can you get a job with TPG's real estate group with an MRED from MIT? Absolutely. But the road to that role is less cushy and a hell of a lot less fun.

My advice, in short - If you have the profile that can get you into a top MBA program and the financial capacity to float 2 years, there is no question you should do that instead of an MRED. Of the top 10 b-schools, the Wharton, Columbia, and Haas offer the best direct programs, while Sloan offers excellent access to the MRED classes and professors.

If you're choosing between the rest of the top-25 vs a top MRED program, it starts to become a little tougher to justify the added costs but its absolutely an individual decision. I'd personally pick MIT over a school like UT-McCombs, but I'd be more motivated by the relative prestige of the name on the degree in that case, regardless of program (Note: UT and MITs MRED have similar GMAT #s) Also, I'm not a Texan. Just keep in mind that, though your classmates in an MRED program will all be from RE backgrounds, they will also likely have weaker profiles than MBA counterparts. Take that for what its worth.

Great post. Out of curiosity what was your gpa/GMAT and do you think some schools weigh work experience heavily enough to make up for an average undergrad gpa. Also, how old are you? I am considering my MBA in 2-4 years and would also consider the MIT MSRED however it would depend on the MBA program I got into.

Aug 18, 2012

Yeah great insight, @horatio_the_hermit

I am both biased toward MRED programs and a huge proponent of them, but I agree that there's a certain point (GPA/GMAT point, to be precise) that in 2015, an MBA will make more sense 99% of the time. Even as a big Master of Real Estate shrill, I couldn't image turning down Columbia or Wharton MBA for any MRED programs. Period.

That said, I think the inverse of what Horatio described, or perhaps who Horatio [i]is[/i] leans toward MRED programs. For my case at least, my GPA was atrocious, so even with a good test score I wasn't getting in anywhere of note for a MBA. Might not have even gotten into MIT, had I applied. I was left with the choice of state school MBA programs, probably at cost, which a reach being UNC or something, or literally any MRED program out there (sans maybe MIT). The lesser selectivity that Horatio didn't care for worked in my favor big time, and I got into every school I applied to.

For someone with a poor GPA, or poor test scores, a higher-class MRED at a at $60-80k versus a middle class MBA at $200k isn't a contest. Likewise, my poor GPA at a no-name college ruled me out of working for Blackstone years ago, whereas Horatio has a fighting chance. I'm both cool and at peace with my career trajectory and prospects. For "someone like me," the MRED is a no brainer.

Aug 18, 2012

@CRE, this is spot on. I would be at MIT now and completely stoked about it if not for the MBA acceptances. I still maintain that grads from the top MRED programs should have their pick of shops and, in all likelihood, will be no worse off than the vast majority of top RE MBA grads.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

What interests me, and you kind of alluded to it with your comparison of MIT MRED to UT MBA, is where that "breaking point" lies. I'm sure it'll be slightly different for everyone, but at what ranking point (or price point) does the MRED finally outweigh the MBA?

Aug 18, 2012

Totally different for everyone and probably regionally tied in many cases (Foster MBA over a top MRED for a hardcore Seattle guy makes sense). For me, I'd guess its probably right below NYU Stern. That extra year of tuition and opportunity cost, not to mention one year progression of the market cycle, is no joke.

Aug 18, 2012

Yeah, I mean, to compare a FT MBA to a PT real estate program: with the FT MBA you're talking about 2 years of lost salary, a $100,000+ delta in direct costs, and 2 years of lost work experience. I'd suggest that a person be damned sure that he/she needs to obtain the prestigious FT MBA to get where he needs to go in this business before embarking on the questionable journey.

Aug 18, 2012

Could you expand on why, given your background, you decided to go back to school? You touched on it and even acknowledged that you didn't necessarily have to. What was the deciding factor for you?

Aug 18, 2012

Sure
- potential for higher ceiling career wise if I choose to work for big corporations (SVP position: does this person have a graduate degree; check)

  • lower opportunity costs of part time. But not just any part time program, Haas is the #1 ranked PT program in the country. I worked within reasonable commuting range from campus. The FT program is highly regarded.
  • near term desire to pivot from a more financial analyst role into development, which increasingly is becoming filled by people with grad degrees like this tread suggests.
  • long time admiration for Berkeley, Haas and the people who got educated there. Long before I even considered a grad degree I attended Haas real estate networking functions and business conferences just for general interest.

haas defining principles:
Confidence without attitude
Student always
Challenge the status quo
Beyond yourself

I feel like the students in general embody these traits, and I love it. In real estate you often see people giving back and mentoring others. Some very successful people giving back and I wonder why. I think it is because real estate is an apprenticeship. You benefit from someone else's generosity and you pay it forward. Real estate is local, so hubris and lack of caring about people, of various levels in the socio economic, is going to get you in trouble. Real estate is risky and you should stay humble.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2012

I'm 26 with an U/G GPA of 3.7 and a 750 GMAT (high verbal more than made up for average quant). After re reading what I wrote, it came off a little more harsh than I had intended with respect to MRED programs. Basically, I had intended on going the MRED route because, for me, one year at MIT in only RE classes made way more sense than a second tier MBA program. After taking the GMAT, though, everything changed once I had a competitive profile for the MBA programs I had previously considered a reach. MIT, and other top MRED programs are nothing to shake a stick at, but like CRE said, it rarely makes sense to turn down a top MBA program if that is a choice.

To the GPA, it doesnt seem like the better MRED programs weight it super heavily. In MIT's case, work experience seems to be much more important than either GMAT or GPA. In fact, unlike Columbia/USC/Cornell, they have a work experience minimum of 3 years.

Aug 18, 2012
horatio_the_hermit:

After re reading what I wrote, it came off a little more harsh than I had intended with respect to MRED programs.

No worries man. I didn't take it as an insult or anything.

horatio_the_hermit:

<

p>To the GPA, it doesnt seem like the better MRED programs weight it super heavily. In MIT's case, work experience seems to be much more important than either GMAT or GPA.

Yeah, without having to report stats for rankings, they actually have a "holistic" application process. Who would have thought haha

Aug 18, 2012

Actually the USC MRED requires at least two years real estate work experience. Students average about 5-6 years experience.

Aug 18, 2012

For me its more about branding. I am on the career path I desire and don't anticipate any issues moving up the ladder assuming I perform however my end game (Like many on here I am sure) is to eventually raise a fund with a partner ect. and having a MIT MSRED or a M7 MBA in my opinion will definitely help with the capital raise. This of course is all opinion based however my personal opinion is M7 MBA>MIT MSRED>Top 15 MBA> MSRE/MSRED (Separate rankings for various programs).

Aug 18, 2012
CREPATH:

For me its more about branding. I am on the career path I desire and don't anticipate any issues moving up the ladder assuming I perform however my end game (Like many on here I am sure) is to eventually raise a fund with a partner ect. and having a MIT MSRED or a M7 MBA in my opinion will definitely help with the capital raise. This of course is all opinion based however my personal opinion is M7 MBA>MIT MSRED>Top 15 MBA> MSRE/MSRED (Separate rankings for various programs).

Man, you're really talking about differences on the margins. Granted, I'm not involved in raising $1 billion portfolios, but I'm involved in raising $10-20 million per deal for various projects in a high-end market. Literally no one I've seen cares about that stuff (where someone went to college). It has been 100% reputation, relationships, competence, and project viability. I've NEVER encountered a situation where we're like, "Hey, that guy went to HBS and that guy doesn't have a graduate degree. Maybe we shouldn't do business with the guy without the graduate degree even though his track record is phenomenal and he's a local area expert."

But I grant you that it might be different on Wall Street where you're trying to raise 9 and 10 figures. I've just never seen a situation where someone was like, "Eh, you went to Virginia Tech? Not sure we're going to invest with your group."

Aug 18, 2012

You're right, if somebody has a great reputation, their pedigree will not matter one iota. At the same time, I think that having a certain pedigree can have compounding effects over a person's career. For example, person A goes to M7 school, gets job at BX, works on the disposition of GE Capital's RE Portfolio, associate class moves to several major REPE shops across the country. At this point, person A has capital sources across the country. If he doesn't, he has classmates who are VPs at GE or MDs at Goldman who are an arms length away due to his network. If he has none of those, at least he can say, "Hey CEO from HBS, I went to HBS, can we get coffee" and he'll have a better chance of getting that meeting than a person who doesn't.

I don't think graduating from a M7 or target school "makes" somebody better at their profession or more qualified on an intrinsic level. However, I think that there is something to be said for a person who has incredible access to business leaders (across regions and industries).

Of course, this can all be cultivated without graduating from a prestigious school. In fact, I would say that there are far more successful people who have done it without a 'target' school. With that said, I think the reason for that comes from +95% of people graduate from non-targets so naturally a large number will succeed. However, it seems that a disproportionate amount of people from 'target' schools rise to positions of importance in any respective industry. Whether this is due to network, innate ability, etc is too speculative to draw a true conclusion

At the end of the day, a MBA's (specifically M7) true worth is the access to OCR, classmates and alumni.

Aug 18, 2012

I thought we were talking about raising real estate capital. I was responding to a comment where the poster was saying that he wants to go to an M7 MBA program to help raise real estate capital. My comment was that in my experience raising real estate capital has had nothing at all to do with one's educational background. If we're talking about climbing the corporate ladder then that's a different story.

Aug 18, 2012

Yeah, we were. I randomly went on a tangent unrelated to the initial side discussion. Not disagreeing with what you said whatsoever. Was just trying to explain things from CREPath's viewpoint.

Like you said, "It has been 100% reputation, relationships, competence, and project viability." when it comes down to raising capital. But that person is typically 10-15+ years in the business with significant deal experience.

It sounds like CREPath doesn't have that experience yet so he's trying to gain every advantage possible to position himself to have the reputation, relationships, competence, etc that you spoke about.

Side note: I know a successful developer who graduated from a Top-10 MBA program. Whenever he is on an equity raise, his first calls are often to former classmates who either provide the capital directly or can immediately connect him with a PE fund, HNW individual etc. So there's something to be said for that.

Aug 18, 2012
Virginia Tech 4ever:

CREPATH: For me its more about branding. I am on the career path I desire and don't anticipate any issues moving up the ladder assuming I perform however my end game (Like many on here I am sure) is to eventually raise a fund with a partner ect. and having a MIT MSRED or a M7 MBA in my opinion will definitely help with the capital raise. This of course is all opinion based however my personal opinion is M7 MBA>MIT MSRED>Top 15 MBA> MSRE/MSRED (Separate rankings for various programs).

Man, you're really talking about differences on the margins. Granted, I'm not involved in raising $1 billion portfolios, but I'm involved in raising $10-20 million per deal for various projects in a high-end market. Literally no one I've seen cares about that stuff (where someone went to college). It has been 100% reputation, relationships, competence, and project viability. I've NEVER encountered a situation where we're like, "Hey, that guy went to HBS and that guy doesn't have a graduate degree. Maybe we shouldn't do business with the guy without the graduate degree even though his track record is phenomenal and he's a local area expert."

But I grant you that it might be different on Wall Street where you're trying to raise 9 and 10 figures. I've just never seen a situation where someone was like, "Eh, you went to Virginia Tech? Not sure we're going to invest with your group."

I agree with you that it ultimately comes down to reputation and experience. Obviously an MBA can add additional branding especially when raising money from retail type investors. I am not under the impression that this is a make or break scenario but aside from the network and the educational aspect I feel the branding would be beneficial from a capital raising standpoint.

Like working for Blackstone...a M7 MBA can add some legitimacy to your background and quite frankly whether this is right or wrong...I would be more likely to give someone with a Harvard MBA my life savings to invest vs. someone with a non target undergrad degree.

Aug 18, 2012

I mean, you're entitled to your opinion. I just hope you aren't going to make educational decisions based on false beliefs (I REALLY don't think you're going to see a ton of benefit from an MBA/M7 MBA for the purpose of raising real estate capital). Although, I guess there is minimal damage to getting an MBA.

Aug 18, 2012
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I mean, you're entitled to your opinion. I just hope you aren't going to make educational decisions based on false beliefs (I REALLY don't think you're going to see a ton of benefit from an MBA/M7 MBA for the purpose of raising real estate capital). Although, I guess there is minimal damage to getting an MBA.

That is not my sole reason for eventually getting my MBA. Obviously the educational and networking opportunity is huge as well. I work in acquisitions in the industry now and love what I do however my plan is in 2-4 yrs to get my MBA for the reasons outlined above.

Aug 18, 2012

Very good thread. I just wanted to chime in. I am UT McCombs undergrad (Finance) and Wisconsin MBA (Real Estate). I currently work for a repe debt fund. The fund is based in NYC. If anyone has specific questions, shoot me an email to [email protected]. I'd be happy to answer anyone's questions.

    • 2
Aug 18, 2012

Also, I think a good way to look at the MRED/MSRE vs top MBA question is...

MRED & MBA both (should) have a positive NPV on a person's career earnings. IMO, MBA will have a larger overall NPV but MRED will have a far better ROI and put a person in less debt.

Aug 18, 2012

Eh...you're seeing more and more "MBA or Masters of Real Estate" education requirements where there would have previously been "MBA Required" listed, so I'd argue with that a bit. Also, some of that is due to self selection. A MBA graduate typically has 3-5 years of experience, at least, before they go into the program. A lot of MRED students are straight out of undergrad or have only a year or two of work under their belt.

Best Response
Aug 18, 2012

I would like to plug my MBA school Berkeley Haas. Being someone who thought I didn't need a MBA/MSRED, one day I looked around my office of a major regional REIT and saw the writing on the wall: everyone I reported to had a MBA or MSRED (mostly MBA).

The case for going part time: I had my father to take care of. I was married, and I finally had steady and interesting employment (I had wild ride during 2009-2010).

Haas' part time with interaction with full time MBAs benefited me with knowledge and connections beyond real estate yet will help me within RE. Let me give some highlights:

  • presentation skills: I took Mergers & Acquisitions from Peter Goodson. He is also a QB guru and former parter of an investment bank. His class really drove home how to put together an institutional quality pitch book. Previously, my ppt slides were like 7 lines and crap. The other thing was I learned a ton about adding value to operating companies. One day, you might need this knowledge.
  • outside my realm of experience: I always had a dream to return to Hawaii and build a new stadium of the Univ of Hawaii. I joined the Haas sports business club. I took trips with FT MBA's to Portland to visit Nike, Adidas, Univ of Oregon athletic department; trips to Raiders and Niners HQ; and Pac-12 conference. Let's just saw my wildest real estate dreams are a little closer to being fulfilled through this experience. I took Venture Capital/Private Equity, Social Impact Investing, Corporate Turnarounds, and a bunch of other great courses that really rounded out what I was exposed to. At the end of the day, I don't want to be a typical real estate developer.
  • The Network: Berkeley Real Estate Club, classes, Fisher Center, Berkeley's real estate conference. I had more development and investment experience than most of my classmates, so I ended up helping more than receiving help. However, a career is a long time and we will have opportunities to work with each other. haas has a great class called the Art of the Deal, thaught at Boalt ( Berkeley Law). You get a class about entitlements, CEQA, initiatives/referendum basically legal and entitlement risks with law students, planners, architects and MBA students. It really great. There are other classes that are more introductory for me but you always learn something new because of the amazing guest speakers.
  • International: the foreign students are going to kill it in their countries or one day be head honcho of their US investment division. Ignore them at your own loss. Berkeley gets a bunch from China and Japan (ie Venke, Asia Dev Bank, Sumitomo). Capital flows are becoming more and more global; and real estate prof are hence becoming more culturally diverse.
  • part time vs full time. For me, my personal situation it made the most sense to go Part time. I was not a career switcher. With that said, it is still very difficult to break into RE development which I was in before entering bschool.

I can provide more info about Haas if you like. Truly great school for RE and much much more. Makes me proud to see some of you regarding Berkeley highly. I wanted to add some substance.

    • 4
    • 1
Aug 18, 2012
odog808:

I would like to plug my MBA school Berkeley Haas. Being someone who thought I didn't need a MBA/MSRED, one day I looked around my office of a major regional REIT and saw the writing on the wall: everyone I reported to had a MBA or MSRED (mostly MBA).

The case for going part time: I had my father to take care of. I was married, and I finally had steady and interesting employment (I had wild ride during 2009-2010).

Haas' part time with interaction with full time MBAs benefited me with knowledge and connections beyond real estate yet will help me within RE. Let me give some highlights:

- presentation skills: I took Mergers & Acquisitions from Peter Goodson. He is also a QB guru and former parter of an investment bank. His class really drove home how to put together an institutional quality pitch book. Previously, my ppt slides were like 7 lines and crap. The other thing was I learned a ton about adding value to operating companies. One day, you might need this knowledge.

- outside my realm of experience: I always had a dream to return to Hawaii and build a new stadium of the Univ of Hawaii. I joined the Haas sports business club. I took trips with FT MBA's to Portland to visit Nike, Adidas, Univ of Oregon athletic department; trips to Raiders and Niners HQ; and Pac-12 conference. Let's just saw my wildest real estate dreams are a little closer to being fulfilled through this experience. I took Venture Capital/Private Equity, Social Impact Investing, Corporate Turnarounds, and a bunch of other great courses that really rounded out what I was exposed to. At the end of the day, I don't want to be a typical real estate developer.

- The Network: Berkeley Real Estate Club, classes, Fisher Center, Berkeley's real estate conference. I had more development and investment experience than most of my classmates, so I ended up helping more than receiving help. However, a career is a long time and we will have opportunities to work with each other. haas has a great class called the Art of the Deal, thaught at Boalt ( Berkeley Law). You get a class about entitlements, CEQA, initiatives/referendum basically legal and entitlement risks with law students, planners, architects and MBA students. It really great. There are other classes that are more introductory for me but you always learn something new because of the amazing guest speakers.

- International: the foreign students are going to kill it in their countries or one day be head honcho of their US investment division. Ignore them at your own loss. Berkeley gets a bunch from China and Japan (ie Venke, Asia Dev Bank, Sumitomo). Capital flows are becoming more and more global; and real estate prof are hence becoming more culturally diverse.

- part time vs full time. For me, my personal situation it made the most sense to go Part time. I was not a career switcher. With that said, it is still very difficult to break into RE development which I was in before entering bschool.

I can provide more info about Haas if you like. Truly great school for RE and much much more. Makes me proud to see some of you regarding Berkeley highly. I wanted to add some substance.

Thanks for the insight. +1

Aug 18, 2012
odog808:

I always had a dream to return to Hawaii and build a new stadium of the Univ of Hawaii.

+1 SB...please do!

Aug 18, 2012

Hi Shiggins, have you looked into Cornell's MBA./MPS in real estate? They have an accelerated program that might work well. I have a link, but for some reason it is triggering the spam filter.

or, given your experience, you might want to just go for the MBA and take a few real estate courses on the side.
Since you already went to school in NY, you know Cornell's reputation.

A terrible freshman year GPA can be fine, because the trend is your friend. That shows increasing maturity, and the A's in quant classes will show that you certainly can do the analytical work of an MBA. Did you do ok on the quant section of the GMAT?

There's no reason not to apply to MIT or Wharton if those programs appeal. You don't have to come from finance or consulting. You would be a breath of fresh air and practicality.

Best regards,
Betsy

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-... Ask away!

Aug 18, 2012

Shiggins send me a PM, I have a very similar profile (and probably went to your school) and can offer you some advice on your specific situation.

That being said, paying 150k for a degree to start a design build firm isn't a great strategy. You would be better off investing the 150k into your business due to the heavy capital requirements. However, if your short term goal is to do something RE finance related prior to starting your own company, you are most certainly better off with the MBA over the MSRE. That would allow you to do an internship in the field and help make the career transition. The MSRE will help if you want to work for a RE developer.

Aug 18, 2012
Aug 18, 2012
Aug 18, 2012
Aug 18, 2012
Aug 18, 2012
Aug 18, 2012