Top MBA with Strong Real Estate Programs in the U.S.

CRE Debt's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 96

What schools would you recommend to progress your career in commercial real estate? Is it better to do a one year real estate program then an MBA later than a three year program (MBA + Master in Real Estate)? What are the pros and cons of different programs out there?

My career goal is in the capital space on the transaction side. Global economy and Macroeconomics are both subjects I have tremendous interest in and plan to tie that knowledge to commercial real estate.

I am currently researching the following MBA prospects: U Pen, NYU, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, UCLA, MIT, Cornell, and USC.

Will really like to hear your thoughts. Much appreciated.

Comments (10)

Apr 10, 2016

You touched on most of the the MBA programs. I would add Northwestern, UT-Austin and UNC to your list as well.

Given your interest in in the capital space in the global economy I would suggest any of the New York schools (Columbia, Cornell, NYU). U Penn, Berkeley and MIT will get you there to, but it really comes down to where you want to be after graduation. All of the programs you mentioned are top notch for real estate.

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Apr 28, 2016

Hi CRE Sparky,

Is it fair to say most MBA graduates tend to stay at the where the school is located? I have considered doing MBA on the east coast and move back to the west coast upon graduation, but I was told that the network will no longer be as valuable if I move. Do you agree?

On the other hand, do you consider USC and UCLA has decent MBA programs and strong alumni network since Los Angeles is such a strong and upcoming real estate market?

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Apr 28, 2016

Take my advice with a grain of salt because I'm not speaking from experience, but rather from what I have seen and advice I have received.

For most of the programs you have listed, you shouldn't have trouble finding a job anywhere in the country. Plenty of folks go to grad school on one coast and end up working on the opposite coast after graduation. For the most part a program's network will generally be in the surrounding area and region. Again, I don't speak from personal experience, but I can't imagine you would have a problem getting a job in Cali if you attended Wharton, Columbia, MIT or Cornell. Is it the path of least resistance? No.

From all of my research and speaking with others, yes both USC and UCLA have good MBA programs with a real estate concentration. I certainly wouldn't leave Berkeley out either and this program obviously carries more weight outside of the state of California. If you plan to stay in California for school I would recommend USC if you know you want to work in Southern Cali and Berkeley if you want to work in San Fran.

Ultimately though, I would recommend talking to each of the programs and visiting them. You may fit better with one program over another and you'll be able to better assess how the program will help you get to where you want to be. Let the chips fall where they could end up working in a region you least expected and end up loving it.

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Apr 29, 2016

Not Sparky, but I want to add that the primary reason many people stay in the area they receive their MBA is because of the networking opportunities you'll have while in school. Your degree will equip you for the job, but the networking is what will get you the job you want. You have a few years to connect with the best of the best in the industry, and by the time your MBA is up, you should have made enough valuable connections to start off your career without ever having to search for a job opening on Monster.

Apr 11, 2016

How well is the cornell program regarded? For. Example would Related or Tishman recruit from the program? Is doing there Dual Degree MBA + MPS in Real Estate overkill?

May 7, 2018


Apr 29, 2016

Wharton's MBA program offers a Real Estate major, which I believe is top ranked in the country. So many alums from Wharton work in real estate. I've seen lots of students have incredible success in terms of recruiting with that major.

Apr 29, 2016

I don't know the ins and outs of every MBA program but as far as I am aware they are all 2 years. However there are 1 year masters programs, these are different than traditional MBA programs.

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Apr 29, 2016