Masters Degree in Real Estate Development – 5 Factors to Consider

There are many fields in which you can work in the real estate development industry –from property management and construction to real estate law and finance and so much more. But breaking into real estate development or advancing your real estate development career to a leadership position can be challenging without a masters degree in real estate development.

Here are five top factors to consider when researching real estate development masters programs.

  1. Is the curriculum relevant to my needs and aspirations?

Before you invest time or money into a real estate graduate program, you need to determine whether the degree will fit your needs. Will it build the skills you are looking to hone? Does the university have resources to help you? Does it offer a variety of classes that will expose you to all facets of real estate development? Can you explore areas of interest more in depth?

The George Mason Masters in Real Estate Development program prepares students for key positions in real estate development. The cross-disciplinary program draws expertise of faculty from the School of Business, School of Public Policy, and Volgenau School of Engineering to offer students the developer’s perspective on relevant issues in civil engineering, finance, public policy, sustainability and construction management. The curriculum provides the practical skills needed to understand, plan and lead successful real estate development projects.

  1. Who will I learn from and with?

It is important to consider who will be your instructors. Are the instructors a mix of full-time academics and vetted professionals who can offer a blend of theoretical and practical experience? Are the instructors tied into the regional real estate development industry bringing into the classroom not only their experiences working on major projects in the region but also bringing in industry leaders as guest speakers?

Not only do students learn from their instructors, but so much learning is achieved through classmates. The real estate development masters program you choose should be filled with classmates that are colleagues in the real estate development industry with similar passions that can offer new perspectives.

The George Mason MS in Real Estate Development gives students the chance to learn from experts in the field—leaders from the Washington, D.C., real estate industry serve as instructors and mentors and real estate industry professionals and  dedicated colleagues are also your classmates.

  1. Will I have opportunities to effectively enhance my professional network?

The value of a masters degree in real estate development lies not only in what you learn in the program but the network of real estate industry professionals you build while in the program. The ability to meet and work with real estate development industry leaders can open paths to new career opportunities.

George Mason’s Masters in Real Estate Development program has the unique advantage of working closely with Mason’s Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship to provide great business connections for students. The center strives to advance real estate research and education in real estate development and finance by developing relevant content for both business and academic communities through partnerships with leading local real estate developers, professional and organizations. The center offers students a forum for professional development and unique opportunities to connect with the real estate development community.

  1. Location, location, location

If you are working in the real estate industry then you know how important location is to the success fo a venture. The same is true of masters in real estate development programs. The region you choose to study in is vital because it provides a significant opportunity to observe a variety of projects and hands-on real life assignments.

In the George Mason masters degree in real estate development, classes are offered in the evenings at the Arlington campus, with some electives available on the Fairfax campus. The vibrant Washington, D.C., metro area provides the ideal “laboratory” to offer students a dynamic place for studying real estate development.

  1. How is the program structured?

When finalizing your decision on which MS in real estate development program to consider, it is important to check into the structure of the program, specifically how many credits are required, when and where are classes offered, is it a full-time or part-time program, etc.

George Mason’s Masters in Real Estate Development program is a 36-credit real estate program that can be completed in less than 2 years for full-time students, and about 3 years for part-time students. Students can take classes at their own pace which means no career interruption for working professionals and a quicker path to earning your degree for those who choose to go full-time. Classes are offered in the evening on Mason’s Arlington campus located near the Virginia Square Metro station and just minutes from downtown D.C.

Download the complete e-book titled “5 Things to look for in a Real Estate Development Master’s Program” for a more in depth look at this topic.

Check out a previous blog titled Why Should I get a Masters in Real Estate? to learn more.


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Janet Palmisano

Janet Palmisano is a member of the Recruiting and Admissions team at the George Mason University School of Business.

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