Best Master’s in Real Estate Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

What kind of Master’s in Real Estate degree should you get?

Though each graduate program will provide a foundation in all things real estate, from investment strategy to mortgage banking, each program varies in emphasis and perspective. For example, while some emphasize a global approach to real estate, others work closely with you on business principles and skills.

What it comes down to are your career aspirations and program fit. So in your search, carefully examine curricula, concentration options, and program requirements. For instance, if you are looking for hands-on experience, choose a program that provides networking or internship opportunities.

You may also want to consider an online degree. They are an affordable and flexible way to advance your career. Be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Master’s in Real Estate.

How much money do people make with a Master’s in Real Estate degree?

Real estate is both a stable and lucrative career industry.

Depending on how you use your degree, you can make anywhere between $50,000 and $80,000 a year. For example, while real estate and community association managers make approximately $57,000 annually, real estate brokers make upwards of $79,000 annually.

Real estate is clearly a lucrative field regardless of specific job title. But it is also stable across the board.

The demand for those with an advanced degree is rising. Take for instance the role of real estate appraisers. It’s projected that there will be 14 percent growth rate just in the next few years alone.

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What can you do with Master’s in Real Estate degree?

Picture a real estate agent. Are you imagining someone who walks a buyer through their future home? While this is definitely the case, there are also an array of career options for one holding a M.S. in Real Estate degree.

When you graduate you will be ready to enter the world of property markets as well as housing and data analysis. You can work directly with clients or within sprawling corporations. You can even launch your own business in brokering, marketing, consulting, and more. Graduates of these programs have gone on to work for private and public real estate companies at all levels—home, commercial, mixed income housing. Others work on the back end in banks as financial and corporate advisers.

This is all to say, the 30 programs below will set you on a career path that is full of opportunity and diversity.

What are the requirements for a Master’s in Real Estate degree?

Though some of these programs are full two-year degrees, others are expedited and can be finished in less time. And while some are offered through globally renowned polytechnic universities, others are housed within the best business schools in the nation.

Although programs and schools vary in their requirements and emphases, all will give you one of the most rewarding academic experiences of your life. You will spend at least one semester, if not a full year, studying real estate principles, such as economics, property appraisals, and investment.

Then toward the end of your degree you will specialize, either through electives or through a formal concentration track. Additionally, some programs may require hands-on experience through either research projects or internships. And still more may even encourage you to study abroad.

What are the best Master’s in Real Estate degrees?

These are, hands down, the 30 best Master’s in Real Estate degrees in the country.

To find the most elite, most competitive programs we first scoured the nation for graduate programs that specialized in real estate. We factored in reputation, but also retention. The latter is an important reflection on student happiness. Finally, we considered tuition rates and average graduate salaries to determine the return on investment.

Our methodology draws from our own data experts and the excellent resources at US News & World Report and Payscale.com. A lucrative, exciting career in real estate is just around the bend!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $21576

    Overview

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hits the top of our list for the best Master’s in Real Estate. Though MIT is best known for its school of engineering, which accounts for over 60 percent of its student body, it also houses four other schools in science, humanities, management, and architecture. MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Program Features

    MIT’s Master of Science in Real Estate has it all—classes taught by professionals in the field, a balance of theory and application, internship opportunities, and more. The program can be completed in as little as 11 months, though most students take 16 months. Some stand-out coursework for this program includes:

    • Real Estate Capital Markets
    • Mixed-Income Housing Development
    • Innovative Project Delivery in the Public & Private Sectors
    • Mortgage Securitization and Other Assets

    Notables

    If you’re worried about making this work financially, check out the numerous Fellow Programs and Fellowships that MIT has to offer. The Fellow Programs tend to cover 30-50 percent of tuition while the Fellowships cover around 5-20 percent. Every little bit counts!

  2. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $22944

    Overview

    The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League research institution that was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. It is considered one of the oldest universities in the United States. If you’re looking for a real estate degree, this is a fantastic school for you. U.S. News and World Report ranks the Wharton School of Business at the #1 spot in the nation!

    Program Features

    This real estate degree is offered as a major within the larger MBA program. As noted above, Wharton MBA graduates have a reputation that precedes them—97 percent of graduates last year found full-time employment immediately after graduating. You’ll take two required core classes and then choose three real estate electives out of a range of options like:

    • Urban Fiscal Policy
    • Housing Markets
    • International Real Estate Comparisons
    • Real Estate Law

    Notables

    The Samuel Zell & Robert Lurie Real Estate Center is a fantastic facility that you’ll have right at your doorstep. Founded in 1983, it was designed to give real estate students access to lectures, conferences, and special guests to campus.

  3. University of California-Berkeley
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    Tuition

    $17160

    Overview

    There’s almost too much to be said about the University of California Berkeley. Other than being the #4 public university in the world (according to U.S. News & World Report), it is a leader in research across disciplines. UC Berkeley is also the flagship university of the University of California system.

    Program Features

    The Haas School of Business is Berkeley’s renowned business program. You’ll earn a 51-credit-hour MBA with a focus in Real Estate. In addition to rigorous coursework, you’ll spend time at the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics. The real estate coursework covers a number of different areas:

    • Development
    • Investment Strategy
    • Finance and Securitization
    • Financial Analysis

    Notables

    UC Berkeley’s program has a notable global focus to its real estate program. You’ll have opportunities to travel abroad and apply your learnings. Students have gone to the London Business School, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and more.

  4. University of California-Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $14236

    Overview

    Located in the Westwood district, the University of California, Los Angeles (known as UCLA) is a strong public research institution known for its degrees in fine arts, psychology, and medicine. Just this year, U.S. News & World Report listed UCLA as the #1 public university in the country (tied with UC Berkeley).

    Program Features

    The MBA program at UCLA offers a specialization in Real Estate and Global Management. Your classes will cover everything from finance to investments to strategic planning and analysis. You’ll also take on Applied Management Research projects. Some of your electives will look like this:

    • Real Estate Law and Taxation
    • Urban Real Estate Finance and Investment
    • Affordable Housing Development
    • Fixed Income Markets

    Notables

    The program at UCLA gets you involved in a variety of engaging extracurriculars. For example, the Anderson Real Estate Association Club is a great way to network. They also host “Dinners for Eight” with area industry leaders in real estate. Even more, you’ll find resources and research opportunities at the Ziman Center for Real Estate.

  5. Cornell University
    Location

    Ithaca, NY

    Tuition

    $30014

    Overview

    Located in Ithaca, New York, and a respected Ivy League school, Cornell University is a landmark institution for academic excellence. The Johnson School of Management was recently named the #10 business school in the nation by Forbes.

    Program Features

    Cornell University offers a joint MBA/MPA (Masters in Professional Studies) in Real Estate. This means you’ll master all areas of the field—both the development and business sides of real estate. Most students complete it in three full years (6 semesters and 2 summer internships). You’ll take courses like:

    • Real Estate Development Process
    • Real Estate Finance and Investments
    • International Cases and Contracts
    • Statistical Analysis of Real Estate Data

    Notables

    The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise is a unique facility at Cornell University. It focuses on clean technology, innovative financial options, and sustainable markets. These goals are increasingly viable and profitable in our changing society. You’ll be able to access research and resources opportunities here.

  6. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanston, IL

    Tuition

    $29326

    Overview

    Located just north of Chicago—in Evanston, Illinois—Northwestern University is a bright spot on the cityscape. The Kellogg School of Management has been ranked as one of the top business schools in the world. Its full-time MBA program can be completed in either one or two years.

    Program Features

    The Kellogg MBA program offers a focus track in Real Estate. Your courses will be divided into two groups: Foundation and Depth. Your foundational classes will focus on finance and investments. Then, you’ll branch into engaging electives such as:

    • International Real Estate
    • Public Economics for Business Leaders: State and Local Policy
    • Legal Issues in Real Estate
    • Urban Economic Development and Real Estate Market Analysis

    Notables

    You’ll have numerous opportunities to dig deeper into your learning through global experiences and experiential learning on-campus. The International Growth Lab matches you up with international students in Barcelona and Hong Kong. Private Equity and Venture Labs are 3-month internship opportunities that pair you up with venture capital firms.

  7. New York University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $35147

    Overview

    Located in the hub of the “Big Apple,” New York University (NYU) is a force. Between its numerous locations—throughout New York and across the globe—NYU enrolls around 50,500 students annually. Its business program is ranked 12th in the nation.

    Program Features

    The M.S. in Real Estate is a 42-credit-hour program offered through the Schack Institute of Real Estate at NYU. You’ll decide between one of two concentrations: Finance and Investment or Real Estate Asset Management. Before specializing, you can look forward to some shared classes in areas like:

    • Corporate Finance
    • Real Estate Valuation & Feasibility Analysis
    • Real Estate Capital Markets
    • Legal Principles & Practices

    Notables

    NYU has one of the more spendier programs on our list. But fear not! It also offers generous scholarships specific to the M.S. in Real Estate program. You can choose from some of the following: New York Women Executives in Real Estate Scholarship, Cushman and Wakefield Scholarship, and more.

  8. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $15945

    Overview

    The University of Virginia (UVA) has a rich history that is deeply embedded with our nation’s history. Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, it is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Darden School of Business is ranked 2nd among other public universities.

    Program Features

    You’ll focus your studies at the University of Virginia by getting an MBA with specialized courses in Real Estate. During the first three quarters, you’ll cover the core curriculum. This covers everything from global economics to operations management. The bulk of your classes will be in management, but the specialized real estate coursework includes:

    • Real Estate Finance and Development
    • Development Dynamics
    • Financial Management and Policies

    Notables

    The bread and butter of your real estate connections at UVA will come in the form of student clubs and events. The Darden Real Estate Club was established to help students cultivate relationships with professionals in the industry. You’ll find internship opportunities, ARGUS training, LEED certification tips, and more.

  9. Rice University
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $22061

    Overview

    Located near Houston’s Museum District, Rice University is a respected private research institution. With an undergraduate acceptance rate of about 16 percent, it is considered Texas’ most selective university. The Jones Graduate School of Business was recently ranked in the top 25 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

    Program Features

    Rice University offers a full-time MBA that features a Real Estate concentration. This program covers topics like the application of the discounted cash flow model or real estate management decisions. You’ll also have the chance to add another concentration to your degree. You can choose from some of the following:

    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Operations Management

    Notables

    Rice University has an incredible international program established specifically for MBA students. You can choose from international seminars in Mexico City, Global Intersession trips to China or Colombia, student exchange programs in Costa Rica, India, and much more.

  10. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $13340

    Overview

    A standout feature of Atlanta, Georgia Institute of Technology (more commonly known as Georgia Tech) is a public research institution with a history that reaches back to 1885. True to its original academic focus, Georgia Tech’s MBA has a reputation for incorporating technical elements to its curriculum.

    Program Features

    At Georgia Tech, you’ll complete an MBA through the Scheller College of Business. Within the 54-credit-hour MBA, you can specialize in Real Estate. You’ll take nine credit hours in real estate specific coursework. Some of your options include:

    • Financial Aspects of Commercial Real Estate
    • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
    • Real Estate Development
    • Real Estate Practicum

    Notables

    Georgia Tech’s MBA features a summer internship that falls between your first and second year in the program. This is a paid internship, and the average monthly salary for students is around $7,120. Students have been placed in businesses like SEI Investments, Cox Enterprises, and more.

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