Which Fall 2020 MSRE program should I pursue to build towards a REPE or REIB career?

WSO community,I am looking to build towards a REPE or REIB career with zero prior real estate experience. I have 1.5 years of solid work experience in non-real estate related industries.I am aware that MSRE graduates with zero to minimal real estate experience are not guaranteed nor likely to obtain an immediate REPE or REIB offer, hence why I stated I am "building" towards these careers.I have been applying to MSRE programs in NYC the past couple months to break into a NYC real estate career. I am aware that a significant percentage of the value I will be paying for is the institution's alumni base, industry network, and professors that can help me secure internships and my first real estate analyst role out of the gates. I have applied to:1) NYU (Established & often discussed on WSO)2) Baruch College3) Fordham University (MSRE program started in 2017)4) Pratt Institute (MS in Real Estate Practice - RE development focused program started in 2017)I missed the deadlines for Columbia's Fall 2020 MSRED and Cornell's Fall 2020 MSRE.Questions:1) From top to bottom with top being the highest priority, which programs would you prioritize starting with the goal of building towards a REPE or REIB career with zero work RE experience?2) What are the ideal internships one would need to secure in order to secure a REPE or REIB offer? My current priority of programs are below:1) NYU - $81.6K (42 credits, $2,577 / credit)2) Baruch College - $13.2K (34.5 credits, full-time semester 12+ credits is $5,545.00, $470 / part-time credits)3) Fordham University - $50K (36 credits / $1,385 credit)4) Pratt Institute - $66.5 (36 credits, $1,847 / credit)FYI: These programs are all ~1 year full-time time / energy investments. I appreciate all your insight. I will be taking a Ray Dalio approach to all your advice and opinions.Best,An individual aspiring towards a career in REPE or REIB.

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Comments (52)

Jun 30, 2020 - 9:06am

Can't really chime in on the specifics of New York City and what players there consider the creme de la creme but in general you want a school whose alumns and advisory boards / mentors / professors are similar to where you want to be in a few years, and whose curriculum teaches skills complementary to your own.

Jun 30, 2020 - 7:14pm

Thanks Cadmonkey117! Appreciate your two cents. That's the rationale I've been using to operate to gauge the priority of these programs.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jun 30, 2020 - 9:26am

I legitimately didn't even know Baruch, Fordham, or Pratt had programs. That doesn't mean they are bad or anything, but take it for what it's worth.

In addition to NYU, you should add Columbia and Cornell.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Jun 30, 2020 - 7:03pm

It's called the "Master of Science in Real Estate Practice", essentially a real estate development program started back in 2017. I can't find anything in terms of reputation. I cold messaged 2 former 2019 grads via LinkedIn & e-mailed them in regards to graduating classes' employment data.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
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  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jun 30, 2020 - 9:46am

NYU is not worth the $100k for a network, but at the end of the day it's your call.

One thing though - getting your master's (at any of those schools) is not an automatic in for REPE/REIB. Even if you go to a school like NYU with a large alumni base - the grads are not getting those types of jobs and if they are, most likely it's nepotism or a small, small sponsor or fund. The kids that do IB after school will be the ones taking slots at large REPE/REIB firms.

That said, IIRC, Baruch was around $30k. That's a great price for you to stamp the box of an MSRE and there are plenty of grads in the city. After 5 years of receiving your MSRE, where it was from will not matter one bit, it will be up to you to push your career forward at that point.

I will repeat, though, that there is no need to spend $100k on a MSRE that is NYU

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jun 30, 2020 - 10:04am

I'm gonna go ahead and emphasize this.

OP - you want a career in REPE/REIB - well congrats, most of us do. Did you graduate from Madison's business school? If not, then why not? Also you wanting to go on the most sought after route, with 0 experience, will most likely not happen without prior experience. Why don't you have RE experience? Your license means nothing, by the way.

I'm going to repeat what Associate 1 said because it may be hard to hear, but it's true. You will not automatically get a REPE/REIB role just because you got your MSRE from NYU - guess how many people can say that? Thousands, I mean they have like an 80% acceptance rate. You will need to network your ass off because most of your classmates will be gunning for the same role you want. The banking kids usually do swoop in and take those cushy REPE/REIB/Dev jobs but that's not to say someone like you can't. It will be a mix of luck, motivation, and hustle. And be prepared to hustle.

OP, MSRE programs were made for people like you, so I wish you the best of luck in the process and hope you choose the right school. I just want you to temper your expectations for when you graduate. Just because you didn't land in REPE/REIB right after you graduated, doesn't mean you can't end up there 2 years after the fact.

Funniest
Jun 30, 2020 - 12:05pm
Intern in RE - Comm:
where is Madison's business school?

Madison

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 8
Jun 30, 2020 - 12:51pm

NYU MSRE graduate here. I have to respectfully disagree with the 2 comments above. Whether or not NYU MSRE is worth the $100k depends on what you make of it and your own financial situation (assuming it won't break your bank). It's true that NYU has a very high acceptance rate and many of the students come from real estate related, non-finance backgrounds such as leasing, property management, construction etc... and many of them mistaken NYU's MSRE to be interchangeable with Stern and think that the MSRE alone is their ticket to REIB/REPE. These students will eventually come to a very rude awakening. However, there are a handful of students who do break into REIB, CRE Lending at BB's, LMM/MM REPE, and top developers (myself included). The difference between the students who actually make it into REIB/REPE/Dev and the ones who dont are their internships during their time at NYU MSRE. The students who do not break into REPE/REIB stay at their original jobs in PM/leasing/construction, while pursuing the program. While the students who do break into REPE/REIB pursue relevant paid/unpaid internships during the year in boutique REIB/REPE/Dev shops (you'd be surprised how many of these smaller shops highly respect NYU's MSRE and take multiple interns a year). When I applied for NYU MSRE, my background was in a "middle office" role at a Wall Street bank with an undergrad finance major at a semi-target. My mentality for NYU was not to learn (I skipped many classes because they were a joke), but to get solid internships during the day and "attend" classes at night. My internships were at a LMM residential REPE shop and a boutique debt/equity advisor. I was able to leverage these two internships and the NYU name into job offers for an analyst position at a ~$8b AUM REPE shop and an associate position at one of the largest developers in the Northeast and make it to final rounds for other top REPE/Dev shops. I also know of several other NYU MSRE grads from my year that got jobs at other top NYC developers, BB's, and REPE shops.

If you are able to get accepted to all the programs you listed above and assuming finances is not an issue, I would highly advise you to pursue NYU's MSRE as it is very respected in NYC.

Jun 30, 2020 - 7:26pm

Thanks for your insight, Fred Fredburger! Really appreciate you coming in to chime in with your experience. Super cool of you. I'll do exactly that.

How realistic is it to work an internship while attending full time at NYU's MSRE? How tough was the course load for you on a scale of 1-10? In addition, how much of a factor does graduate GPA play? (I hear it doesn't matter nearly as much in terms of securing an offer vs. experience and networking).

Best,

OP

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jun 30, 2020 - 8:24pm

@ Analyst 1 in RE - Comm (Anonymous)

Appreciate your two cents! Understood and aligned with all your points. I obtained my Bachelor's of Science in Management from another school within UW-Madison along with a certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB acceptance hovers around 50%, I was unfortunately the other 50%). I don't have any RE experience because I discovered my passion for real estate a year out of college while in the work force. I used to be a startup guy with nothing but startup experience throughout college (this is why I was able to secure an offer as an early hire at a Y Combinator startup fresh out of college). This is why I'm using the MSRE to pivot while I can.

P.S. I didn't expect to immediately land a REPE/REIB job with a MSRE and zero experience hence why I stated "building towards a a REPE or REIB career" - I understand it's neither common nor guaranteed.

I appreciate you trying to temper my expectations, nonetheless.

Thanks for your blessing and kind wishes. Cheers!

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
  • 3
Jun 30, 2020 - 11:04am
Associate 1 in PE - Other:

NYU is not worth the $100k for a network, but at the end of the day it's your call.

One thing though - getting your master's (at any of those schools) is not an automatic in for REPE/REIB. Even if you go to a school like NYU with a large alumni base - the grads are not getting those types of jobs and if they are, most likely it's nepotism or a small, small sponsor or fund. The kids that do IB after school will be the ones taking slots at large REPE/REIB firms.

That said, IIRC, Baruch was around $30k. That's a great price for you to stamp the box of an MSRE and there are plenty of grads in the city. After 5 years of receiving your MSRE, where it was from will not matter one bit, it will be up to you to push your career forward at that point.

I will repeat, though, that there is no need to spend $100k on a MSRE that is NYU


i agrée ' Im an NYU Alumni and RE program is shit ! yes no one is working with the big firms ! I'd suggest Colombia if you wanna go deep else avoid NYU
Jun 30, 2020 - 7:11pm

Are you an alumni of NYU's MSRE program, though? Or are you just criticizing from the outside in? I've seen plenty of NYU MSRE graduates working at solid firms. Appreciate your comments nonetheless.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jul 19, 2020 - 10:23pm
Financegirl1991:

Associate 1 in PE - Other:

NYU is not worth the $100k for a network, but at the end of the day it's your call.

One thing though - getting your master's (at any of those schools) is not an automatic in for REPE/REIB. Even if you go to a school like NYU with a large alumni base - the grads are not getting those types of jobs and if they are, most likely it's nepotism or a small, small sponsor or fund. The kids that do IB after school will be the ones taking slots at large REPE/REIB firms.

That said, IIRC, Baruch was around $30k. That's a great price for you to stamp the box of an MSRE and there are plenty of grads in the city. After 5 years of receiving your MSRE, where it was from will not matter one bit, it will be up to you to push your career forward at that point.

I will repeat, though, that there is no need to spend $100k on a MSRE that is NYU


i agrée ' Im an NYU Alumni and RE program is shit ! yes no one is working with the big firms ! I'd suggest Colombia if you wanna go deep else avoid NYU

Be careful of this comment. Judging simply off of the numerous grammatical errors I would imagine she didn't network properly or put in the necessary work to make the degree work for her. I am a graduate of the NYU degree and I landed at a relatively reputable firm in an asset management role. While the role is not ideal for me I think most people would consider it to be a desirable firm (AUM exceeds $30 billion globally). It is true that a lot of people won't get even close to the level of role they are looking for out of the program, but that can be true for many other programs that people are in that aren't ivy or non-ivy targets.

I would view the degree as going to a top level non-target school with a better than average alumni base. If you are looking for a sure shot into the big leagues you will be sorely disappointed. The professors will try to help and often disappoint as far as connecting you successfully and the classes at certain points will be remedial and repetitive/at some points a waste of time. That being said if you have the proper mindset and realize you will be shutdown by 95% of the firms you want to work for and have the persistence to gun for that 5% then it can be great. Also as a note, I would say I do not know many graduates that end up in REIB at any level. New York City is a different animal and is not for the weak minded, don't expect the degree to do the work for you.

  • 6
Jun 30, 2020 - 7:04pm

Yes, I'm aware of that. A degree from either one of these schools is not a guaranteed for REPE/REIB. I appreciate your comments.

On the other hand, I've primarily heard amazing things about NYU's MSRE (it's actually ~81K). I've heard mixed, but the majority have been overwhelmingly positive.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jun 30, 2020 - 6:15pm

Despite everybody and their grandmother going to NYU, it still holds a good rep in the Tri State area. I have seen firms not even look at a resume unless they got their MSRE from NYU/Colombia.

IMO, an MSRE from an NYU will give you a leg up for the smaller private shops. The more institutional shops will care more about work experience and if talking BX/Starwood, an MBA.

Jun 30, 2020 - 7:09pm

Thanks for your insight, NYYCRE. Yes, that's why I'm praying for NYU. Hoping for the best!

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Most Helpful
Jun 30, 2020 - 6:25pm

Honestly, where you get an MSRE is only part of the puzzle, it's how you work, network, and how you strategically approach the game. Really same deal for MBAs.

That said, the difference in price in MSRE's really is the price of the network, the information won't make major differences or even be that different (pretty much 100% of the people teaching for Fordham teach for NYU and/or Columbia as an example). In NYC, NYU and Columbia are the most recognized, frankly they are well recognized internationally, that is the value. If you need that is the question.

As many have said, getting an MSRE/D from any of these schools will not guarantee you an REIB/REPE/MF/Developer type role. Whether you can really blame the school or not for getting such a job is hard to say. I'm a so-called 'non-target' guy who works in a shop filled with people who went to so-called targets and semi-targets; guess what?? nobody cares and had little to do with me getting my current job. That said, my path from start of career to where I am now was different, and who knows, maybe I would have been better with a fancier degree (just was not a option I saw financially viable), but I can't hit replay.

I've met some people with MBAs and MSREs from the Harvard, Wharton, Yale, etc. who frankly suck and have shitty careers. You CAN fail to get placed from those programs too. So it really all comes down to you, if the premium is worth it depends on how you plan on using it!

Jun 30, 2020 - 7:08pm

All very great and reassuring to hear! Huge believer in it's "how you work & network", too. I've lived by this my entire life. I'm an incredibly competitive worker and even more effective networker. Thank you, redever.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jun 30, 2020 - 9:35pm

To be clear, there is value in being in a 'big name' alumni network, it does open doors. And SOME employers will very much care, especially first job out.

But, my point holds, it is far from the only path in, and those other paths are likely to require more effort and even some luck (persistence solves for luck in my opinion). I think one could argue part of the value of the 'brand' is that is saves some time, but it's not free nor guaranteed.

Jul 1, 2020 - 10:41am

What's up, fellow Badger? Thank you! I'll send you a PM & connect!

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jul 1, 2020 - 11:16am

Wow, Baruch at $12k?! Can any alums comment on the program and if it's worth it?

Jul 1, 2020 - 2:12pm

The program is 34.5 credits (or 31.5, depending on whether you require the 3 credit preliminary statistics course).

Here's the public tuition breakdown: https://zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/academic-programs/graduate/grad-admissi…

My personal breakdown:

A full-time semester of 12+ credits is $5,545.

A single part-time credit is $470.

34.5 credits / 15 credits = 2 full-time 15 credit semesters with 4.5 part-time credits left over.

2 full time semesters ($5,545) = $11,090

4.5 part-time credits ($470) = $2,115

$11,090 + $2,115 =** $13,205 if you take two 15 credit full-time semesters & a third 4.5 credit part-time semester.**

So, approximately $13,205 vs. the $12K I stated if you go at this full speed.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
  • 1
Jul 1, 2020 - 2:31pm

I know a good amount of people with the NYU MSRE (very common as ppl stated). It is decently respected, but forgive me if I'm incorrect here... many of these guys come in with some decent experience and this is just checking the box for a higher degree.

Know plenty of guys on CRE/cmbs teams or non-bank lender (I'm on debt), some brokers, and some owners/repe groups also (even some mf). Frankly I don't think they got this degree to learn more, etc.... but just a BS "pedigree" boost (guys I worked with got it at night and still work at my firm/my prior firm).

If that's worth the money, idk. I'd add many also took these classes on the side/stayed at their current job afterwards or made minor lateral type swings. Will it help you get into the biz, id have to guess so, but I have to feel that much of the class is made up of individuals currently in the biz (maybe looking for career growth or transition, but within the industry).

A guy with 2-5 years of banking or cmbs or brokerage experience can swing to a smaller REPE shop/owner or similar without a degree (done many times), this is just an added plus (check the box)... and one that also is cheaper than MBA. Was the degree worth it? Could these ppl have made these transitions without the degree, idk maybe? Just my $0.02.

I'd have to guess an extremely low number of guys come in with 0 experience and are looking to hit REIB/PE. You would need to take the MBA route there. I see 1-3 yr analyst/associates get hired by these groups but they're coming from analyst roles in lending, brokerage, owner, etc. (without a masters).

Lastly, I think the decision is NYU or nothing. Id think the others are quite useless. Not sure how much they hold up/alumni etc. Most NY folk choose between NYU (finance oriented) and Columbia (dev), and potentially Cornell (but this is on-site vs. potentially part-time in NYC).

Jul 2, 2020 - 2:18pm

Having attended NYU's MSRE, I'd have to argue that most students in the program do not have a real estate finance background. Majority of students in my classes were from leasing, property management, or other backgrounds that aren't really relevant to real estate finance. It makes sense that most of the alumni you come across already had previous experience. Your employer likely hired them for that experience. The alumni you see may have attended NYU MSRE thinking that it was equivalent to an MBA, but realized too late that it is not (I know some students like this). But for those trying to switch into real estate finance roles from unrelated backgrounds, NYU's MSRE definitely helps them make that switch, especially if they take advantage of internships. I'm not saying they will get into MF REPE or BB's necessarily (although possible), but at least they can switch into roles that they are presumably interested in. For these types of students, the tuition might be worth it

Jul 2, 2020 - 2:49pm

Fair enough. Still say most students have some level of RE experience (be it leasing, pm, broker, etc.).

Also just to be clear, I don't think any of my employers (current and past, both bank/non-bank RE finance teams) and likely direct competitors really hire kids because of the MRSE. Yes, we hired some from NYU MSRE, but again they had couple years of banking or DCM or RE finance work (and the MSRE topped it off, and honestly the ones who got hired networked it). It is not close to an MBA and does not often track to a summer associate role to FT, etc.. And as I said (which may be just my experience), but given I work in more finance role, most of the ppl I know that got it were already in IB/DCM/finance/RE finance or some finance role and stayed in the same role or maybe transitioned a bit (DCM to CMBS or REPE debt, nothing crazy)... just a resume booster that was cheaper than an MBA and allowed guys in the industry to bolster their background a bit, while mostly still working. Obviously this is not the case for everyone.

But I dont really think the MSRE is a realistic way to get into REIB/REPE with 0 experience in RE (unless you're aiming for analyst 1 roles? afterwards?)... again this is not an MBA. For sure if can happen, but def uphill battle imo. You would have to hustle/network land an internship at these place and get the FT offer. Obviously MBA is more $, but that would be preferred route.

Jul 1, 2020 - 3:59pm

Interesting thread!! I got accepted into the NYU Ms RE programme and I am a CFA Charter holder as well. I am an international student. The reason I chose NYU is because of the asset management specialization of the programme and also the ability to bag a couple of pre-grad internships.

Also as I am an international, I am not solely focused on NY and the US. With those internships, i can leverage the CFA combined with the MS RE and land a full time gig in London or Canada. I guess like most say, its what you do with the programme. I am however worried about the absence of employment stats for these programmes.

Jul 2, 2020 - 5:15pm

Thanks for your input. I'm definitely going with NYU if I offered admission.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jul 2, 2020 - 5:16pm

Hey, man! First of all, a huge congratulations!

When did you apply to NYU's MSRE and how long did it take for you to receive your decision? I'd imagine you're starting this Fall 2020? I'm asking because I applied to the program about a month ago and have still been waiting for my decision. I'm trying to temper my expectations as to when I can expect a decision.

Best regards, DoingItInNYC
Jul 15, 2020 - 8:34pm

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Best regards, DoingItInNYC
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Best regards, DoingItInNYC
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