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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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?

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Aug 18, 2012

Wharton is number one

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Aug 18, 2012

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

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Aug 18, 2012

Thanks MasterG and CRE123.

How does UCLA compare to USC?

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.

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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

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

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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
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

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

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

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.

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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.

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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

Bump Bump

Aug 18, 2012

*Deleted*

Aug 18, 2012

of course it's doable. it's not like PE where you have to have prior PE experience. i know multiple people who have used grad school as a transition into RE.

Aug 18, 2012

You'll be fine - just network and hustle. You can break into RE from tax

Aug 18, 2012

Follow up question - would going to a B-school for their RE MBA emphasis (Wharton, Haas, USC, etc.) be significantly more beneficial for breaking into RE vs. doing a generic MBA and just joining RE student groups?

Aug 18, 2012

I think it depends on what your goals are. If you are looking for an IB role, then I think a top b school gives you alumni network and credibility with a lot of banks. If you are wanting IS or a smaller fund/REPE, I'm not sure it matters as much.

I feel like you can get in as an analyst with most small RE shops through network. And landing a job is as much about showing skill set as passion for the asset class.