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Online MS in Real Estate Curriculum

The curriculum for our online master’s in real estate degree program delivers high-impact business skills and insights from industry titans and academic leaders who have deep connections in New York and across the nation. The courses help students evolve into versatile and effective real estate professionals as they develop their essential skills, learn to apply new insights and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset.

Hands-on learning is also a key component of the curriculum with every class including opportunities to develop a project and present it to an industry leader or instructor, including a unique and memorable practicum experience.

Core Courses

Bootcamp (3 credits)

This seven-week intensive course is offered as the first class in the program. The course reviews the foundations of finance, statistics and economics. There is an emphasis on securing computational competency with Excel and leading statistical software packages such as R.

Real Estate Finance and Investment (3 credits)

This is an introductory course in real estate finance. It provides the student with tools to think about the risks and rewards of real estate finance. This course builds on introductory financial principles and expands them to the study of real property. It explores techniques central to understanding residential and commercial real estate financing. It will focus on mortgages, financing assessment, investment analysis, risk evaluation, appraisal, DCF, and pro-forma analysis and capital structure.

Real Estate Law (3 credits)

This course will cover real estate functions within a complex set of legal and ethical considerations, from acquiring property and obtaining capital to construction and negotiating lease and sales agreements. Students will develop a working knowledge of federal, state and local rules, regulations and laws affecting real estate investment, development and ownership. Ethical considerations are examined across the spectrum of real estate roles and transactions.

Quantitative Methods (3 credits)

The objectives of this course are to provide (i) a brief survey of descriptive statistics, (ii) a brief introduction to probability, (iii) a brief survey of inferential statistics and (iv) an introduction to linear regression. Each of these topics is required for courses the students will be taking later in the program.

Real Estate Accounting and Taxation (3 credits)

This course reviews fundamental accounting and tax concepts, rules and regulations as applied to income-producing residential and commercial real estate. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Use the accrual and cash methods to record real estate entity economic events
  • Understand the financial statements of property owners and developers
  • Understand the impact of income taxes on the purchase and sale of real estate
  • Understand various methods to mitigate the tax burden upon the sale of real property

Advanced Real Estate Analytics (1.5 credits)

Translating structured and unstructured data into business insights is an invaluable skill in any industry, especially in real estate. Students will learn to collect, clean, store, integrate, explore, analyze, model and interpret disparate data sets across the real estate ecosystem. They will also have the chance to work with primary and secondary data to develop dynamic and adaptive models for specific scenarios and strengthen their skills in data visualization and reporting. Finally, students will work with leading professional analytical packages used in industry for forecasting and valuation.

Real Estate Executive Seminar Series (1.5 credits)

This seminar series of active industry experts provides students with an invaluable link to observing in real time developments in the real estate industry. Experts provide lectures in a seminar format and come from a variety of areas of the real estate industry which may include: financing, property construction, architecture/development and design, property acquisition, development, leasing, and legal. Short projects reflecting the topics discussed are grounded in current events and mission critical concepts for the students’ real estate education.

Real Estate Capital Markets (3 credits)

This course provides the student with more advanced exposure to the risks and rewards of real estate finance in the context of capital markets building on the introductory course. It expands fundamental techniques pertaining to residential and commercial real estate and contemplates more complex financing instruments. It will consider senior, subordinate and mezzanine notes; derivative tranched structures; risk evaluation techniques for relative value; risk assessment; portfolio construction; and optimization. It will consider the role, cost and benefits of real estate derivatives such as RMBS, CMBS and REITs to society and their role in the built environment.

Urban Economics (1.5 credits)

There are many opportunities and risks in redeveloping urban real estate projects. Such properties often have locational, transportation, sustainability and infrastructure advantages, but may also have market, environmental and community challenges to overcome. In this course, students will learn the basis of zoning and land use regulation, as well as economic development techniques that help improve opportunities for jobs and affordable housing in urban neighborhoods.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (3 credits)

This course will introduce the student to the efficacy of melding leadership skills, emotional intelligence and critical interpersonal communications skills. Specific skills are introduced to engage, establish and maintain a constructive alliance with colleagues, supervisors, direct reports and clients.

Real Estate Development and Entrepreneurship (1.5 credits)

The real estate development process is a time-consuming and complex process, involving multiple public and private stakeholders. This course will provide an integrated approach to developing real estate projects, including conceptualization, market analysis, site selection, feasibility analysis, planning, design, zoning, financing, construction, commissioning and evaluation. From concept and design to construction, and from back-of-the-envelope to detailed financial pro-forma, students will learn to manage and control costs. Additionally, they will master the steps to build a company; manage a development team including architects, engineers, energy consultants, attorneys, contractors and brokers; and interact with boards, communities and investors. Presentations and the work will be evaluated and critiqued by the industry experts and academics involved in structuring the practicum for the year.

MSRE Practicum Fusion (3 credits)

This course provides essential crossover between the Real Estate Executive Seminar Series, the core and elective MSRE courses, and the practicum capstone project. Students will consolidate their learning across a broad array of executive-level training sessions focused on producing a professional-level project. The students will fuse these elements with weekly progress reports, written and well-researched analyses, and corresponding analytical models to incrementally demonstrate their learning pointed towards their capstone practicum project. Students will work in groups no smaller than two and no larger than five established at the beginning of the mini-semester. A project will be determined by the professor and Real Estate Executive Counsel. Real Estate Executive Seminars will be focused on providing expert insights into the practical aspects of the practicum project selected ranging from development, financing, design and legal. The professor will then review the Real Estate Executive Counsel’s recorded contributions and provide his or her own take directing the student groups toward their take on the practicum. The final deliverables for this course will be:

  1. A full draft of the group practicum project and analytical model(s)
  2. A draft of the oral presentation slides
  3. A 30-minute live oral presentation and Q&A with the professor

MSRE Practicum (3 credits)

In this final seven-week mini semester, no other courses are taken. Here, students will synthesize entrepreneurial, economic, financial, managerial, legal, analytical and decision-making processes involved in real estate investment, development and deal structuring. They will build off their initial draft of the practicum in the Fusion course and will be provided with additional incremental supplements from the Real Estate Executive Counsel. Interaction with the professor will take the form of weekly group progress reports and ad-hoc short meetings with the professor and the group on a semi-weekly basis. The final deliverables for this course will be equivalent to a master’s thesis in a professional program and will include:

  1. A final group practicum project and analytical model(s)
  2. A final set of presentation slides
  3. A 30-minute live oral presentation and Q&A made to the professor, designees of the Real Estate Counsel, other professionals, government regulators and academics from and outside the university determined by the professor. This presentation will be a formal critique (aka ‘crit’)

While the focus may change from year to year, the structure will be the same. A project focus will be determined by the academic and industry leadership involved in the program. Students will work in groups and will produce professional-quality projects that shall include robust financial analyses, insightful evaluations, and both written work and presentations. Presentations and the work will be evaluated and critiqued by the industry experts and academics involved in structuring the practicum for the year.

Electives (Choose 2)

Founder’s Dilemmas (1.5 credits)

Within high-potential ventures, the biggest source of failure is “people problems”: the tensions among the founders, or between the founders and the non-founders who join them. In this course, we will examine critical dilemmas that span the lifecycle of a venture, regarding the choice of cofounders and hires, splitting the roles and equity within the team, whether and how to involve investors, why and how founders are replaced, and exit dilemmas.

Sustainable Development (1.5 credits)

Developing truly sustainable real estate projects requires incorporating energy efficiency, site selection and planning, and the use of natural assets throughout design, construction and operations. In this course, students will learn to identify the costs, benefits and options of environmentally responsible and high-performance systems as well as to manage risk and plan for resilience.

Real Estate Analysis and Valuation (1.5 credits)

Private equity and real estate hedge funds raise billions of dollars and are increasingly important sources of capital for the industry. In this course, students will learn fund strategies, formation and life cycles of investment vehicles. Discussions will also include how funds analyze, acquire and dispose of assets, including risk management, scenario analysis and waterfall structures; the structure, role and use of derivatives; and building the various tranches in the capital stack for a major real estate investment. Students will be introduced to tools such as mezzanine debt and preferred equity, and will also learn the increasing role of publicly traded real estate, including REITs and securitizations. Investments will be analyzed using financial modeling and other analytic tools to determine value for a wide variety of properties ranging in size and type, either within one region or throughout the nation and the world.

Data Visualization (1.5 credits)

In our increasingly data-reliant and data-saturated society, the ability to understand how to leverage data to generate insights has become extremely important. Data visualization and storytelling are crucial skills within the fields of business and data analytics, as well as within more traditional fields such as accounting, finance and marketing. With the advent of visualization tools that do not require coding, data visualization and storytelling are attainable skill sets for those with varying levels of analytical and technical skills. This hands-on course will teach students how to develop meaningful data visualizations that reveal visual insights accessible for relevant audiences.

Essential Skills

Add leading-edge functional skills and competencies to your professional toolkit. Analyze data from industry-standard sources to drive informed decisions.


Learn to look without and within to promote your success. Develop canny strategic insights, fine-tune your emotional intelligence and hone your self-awareness.


Develop the vision to identify opportunities and turn ambitious ideas into reality. Demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges and keep your eye on the big picture.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Priority Application Deadline
October 25, 2021
Spring 2022
Application Deadline
January 10, 2022
Spring 2022
Next Start
January 18, 2022
Spring 2022
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