Real Estate Development Degree vs Urban Planning Degree

The real estate industry continues to grow, and opportunities are arising daily. As the demand for industry professionals with graduate degrees increases, so do the types of real estate graduate programs offered. Some of the most popular programs include a real estate development degree and an urban planning degree.

With such diversity in career paths in the real estate industry, choosing the real estate degree program that will offer you the greatest growth in your skill set and have the biggest impact on your future career is often daunting. Many real estate professionals consider an urban planning degree or a real estate development degree. Although these two professions are related, degrees in each often have different curricula.

Urban Planning Degree

An urban planning degree focuses on the process of urban planning, including the use of land, the environment, public welfare, and design. Within this planning process, urban planners must consider environment protection, and additional aspects of urban design that incorporates the infrastructure of an urban area (air, water, transportation, etc).

Real Estate Development Degree

A real estate development degree concentrates on aspects related to development projects including finance, construction, sustainability, and policy issues. At Mason, a degree in real estate development provides a curriculum that focuses on the practical skills needed to understand, structure and lead successful real estate development projects.

The Mason Masters in Real Estate Development program is a cross-disciplinary masters degree in real estate development drawing on the expertise of faculty members within the School of Business, School of Policy, and Volgenau School of Engineering.  The program also has the unique advantage of having access to the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship. The center acts as a catalyst between the MS in Real Estate Development program and the real estate industry. It provides students with a forum for professional development and offers them unique opportunities to connect with the real estate development community.

In addition, career counselors are committed to both students and graduates, providing lifelong consulting services. Learn more about the MS in Real Estate Development program’s career services.

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Bob Wulff

I am director of George Mason University's Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship and MS in Real Estate Development. I have more than 35 years of Washington, D.C., area real estate industry experience. Most recently, I served as senior vice president at B. F. Saul Company where I was responsible for acquisition and development of projects for the firm's $6 billion real estate portfolio. I also served as executive vice president at Hazel Land Company and vice president at The Peterson Companies. I've spent time as an investment banker with Smith Barney Harris Upham Company in New York City in their corporate finance division and also served as deputy development director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the UDAG program.

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