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Master of Science in Real Estate Course Descriptions


The core requirements of the Master of Science in Real Estate are designed to ensure that every graduate has a grasp of the most important elements of real estate finance, investment, development and management while the elective concentration allows each student to pursue a specific subject area.

Core Courses

The 21-credit core curriculum is designed to give students an in-depth mastery of the academic disciplines and applied functional areas necessary to every real estate professional’s success. The core leaves students with essential analysis, critical thinking and decision-making skills while creating a common student experience that fosters community. Students are required to complete all 8 courses in the core.

Real Estate Finance REAL5002
This course covers the principles of commercial real estate finance including valuation methodologies, income and expense analysis, derivation of capitalization rates, concepts of commercial leasing, forms of debt and equity, valuation of land and key principles of construction loan finance.

Real Estate Accounting and Taxation REAL5004
This course covers accounting concepts, rules, regulations, and reporting requirements for income-producing properties; tax tools for financial statements and real estate investments; accounting principles and income tax analysis for decision-making; and accounting and tax implications of real estate ownership structures and real estate transactions.

Real Estate Legal Concepts and Contracts REAL5006
This course provides an overview of the typical, major legal agreements that are involved with every commercial real estate transaction. The course is broken into four segments: legal overview, purchase/sale agreements, leases, and financing agreements.

Real Estate Economics and Market Analysis REAL5008
This course discusses economic base analysis, macroeconomic factors influencing metropolitan areas and links connecting economic fundamentals to property market performance. Delineation of market and submarket areas will be stressed, along with the differences arising from specific property types including office, retail, industrial, housing, and hotels. The dynamics of cities will be studied, especially as they relate to property market performance.

Real Estate Structures and Capital Markets REAL5010
The course covers the structure and operation of public and private, debt and equity real estate capital markets and the means by which this capital is channeled into commercial real estate to finance local transactions. Key topics include capital sources, participants, risk and return, tranches, capital asset pricing model (CAPM), CMBS, REOCs and REITs.

Real Estate Valuation and Investment Analysis REAL5012
Students in this course evaluate a range of investment opportunities in commercial real estate from the perspective of the investor (equity) and the lender (debt). Students analyze investment assumptions and model cash flows using Excel. Valuation techniques utilized include income capitalization and discounted cash flow analysis. Students examine pricing, returns, investment horizon, hold vs. sell strategies, financial leverage, sizing debt based on lender parameters and the impacts of leverage on returns.

Negotiation in Real Estate REAL5014
This course provides an introduction to negotiation along with a strong foundation in a number of key concepts, including the three major roles of the conflict specialist, theories of communication and conflict, approaches to negotiation and their limitations, private versus court-centered approaches to resolving conflict and psychological biases and barriers in addressing conflict. Students explore new roles for conflict specialists with an eye towards preparing themselves to engage in various negotiation scenarios that arise in the real estate industry.

Ethical Issues in Real Estate REAL5016
Students in this course study how ethics are considered from various points of view: historically, relationally and transactionally. In a series of different situations commonly occurring in the real estate industry, students consider the ethical issues present and then evaluate the adequacy of the real world responses to those issues.

Flex Core Courses

The 6-credit flex core curriculum provides students the opportunity to focus on areas in real estate that are consistent with their career pursuits. Under guidance of their advisor, students are required to select two “core” courses from the list of four courses.

Real Estate Risk and Portfolio Management REAL5102
This course discusses the theory and principles of investments and portfolio management. Students acquire a working knowledge of the risks associated with individual real estate investments, such as asset-specific underwriting, credit evaluation, and tenant credit risk and then explore advanced topics including portfolio selection, calculation of efficient sets, and portfolio performance evaluation for the holding entity.

The Real Estate Development Process REAL5104
This course provides a practical analysis of the phases of the real estate development process including conceptualization, site acquisition, planning and design, construction, financing, leasing and marketing. Leadership, management and control of the development team are featured issues.

Real Estate Asset Management REAL5106
Students learn how to develop an investment strategy and an actionable asset management plan based on that strategy for increasing the value of real estate assets under management on behalf of ownership. Students examine acquisitions, leasing, operations, budgets, capital expenditures, repositioning, refinancing, dispositions and distressed and foreclosure workouts using financial modeling, underwriting, risk analysis, and performance benchmarking concepts and tools. The decision-making process will be examined from the property, asset and portfolio management perspectives.

Real Estate Credit Analysis and Underwriting REAL5108
Students learn how to underwrite and structure commercial real estate (CRE) loans for the acquisition, development and construction of income-producing properties. A combination of market, risk and financial analysis tools will be used to assess commercial investment properties and borrower credit worthiness, and to make prudent, defensible lending decisions.

Elective Courses

The Real Estate Institute offers a comprehensive array of elective course options from finance and modeling to construction and development. The 6-credit elective course requirement offers students the opportunity to explore their niche and immerse themselves in specialized topics of their choice, or to complete the remaining flex core courses. With approval from the director, students may take a course from the graduate certificate in construction management program area. 

Real Estate Financial Modeling REAL6001
Students gain a comprehensive understanding of real estate financial modeling principles and practices to prepare models for income and expense presentation and analysis, direct capitalization and discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis. Students develop the vocabulary and preliminary critical thinking skills needed to develop real estate financial models. The course will emphasize effective presentation of data and productivity.

Real Estate Development Feasibility Study REAL6002
This course examines the components of a real estate development feasibility study report. Students refine leadership, team and presentation skills to deliver a comprehensive and persuasive report on a currently available real estate project.

Private Equity REAL6003
Students develop an understanding of the taxonomy of different real estate private equity strategies including core, core plus, value-add, and opportunistic. Students learn how real estate funds are set up and managed, how to align the general partners’ fees and incentives with the limited partners’ interests and exit strategies such as initial public offerings (IPOs), recapitalization, and secondary sales. The course examines the role of private equity real estate investments within a portfolio comprising various asset classes, with a focus on performance measurement, diversification gains, and risk measurement.

Adaptive Reuse and Sustainability REAL6004
Utilizing sustainable principles and building practices, this comprehensive course challenges students to think critically about reusing existing building stock and maintaining historic structures. It encourages adaptive reuse by owners and developers entering the design review process. The goal is to help developers think critically about the opportunities presented by adaptive reuse.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities REAL6005
Students learn the history, structure, and key building blocks (commercial real estate loans) of CMBS, as well as the transaction, ratings, and offering process. The participants, legal documents, and federal regulations that govern CMBS are also examined. Topics covered include the perspectives of originators, structurers, loan sellers, attorneys, ratings agencies, investors, servicers and special servicers. The course will focus primarily on conduit deals, but will also introduce single asset and single borrower transactions and a securitized financing tool used primarily by Commercial Mortgage REITs: CLOs.

Development Project Leadership, Management and Communications REAL6006
Gain essential leadership, management and reporting skills and strategies to effectively control the design and construction process, ensuring that every decision is made in the owner’s best interest. Become acquainted with different types of reporting, and learn best practices and tools needed to improve performance, standards and timely project delivery.

Real Estate Investment Trusts REAL6007
Students gain an understanding of the history, operations, and mechanics of REITs, and how REITs are an important link between the real estate capital markets and the property markets. Topics covered include real estate space and asset markets, measurement and determinants of real estate prices, market trends, valuation methods, and returns and benchmarks.

Affordable Housing REAL6008
In this course, students acquire an understanding of the history and current state of affordable housing in the US in general and NYC in particular. Students learn from a combination of formal lectures and interviews with past and current industry participants and leaders. The focus of the course is to examine the multiple factors that must be addressed in the planning and executioning of affordable housing projects.

Development Project Finance REAL6010
In this course, students acquire best practiecs for submitting a loan request to a lender for interim construction loan project financing, long-term permanent "take-out" financing and mini-perm financing. Students will become familiar with the presentation of project pro forma, construction loan types, the requirements of a development team, the lender’s credit criteria, the loan proposal, hard and soft cost budgets, valuation, project feasibility and documentation. 

Global Real Estate Investment REAL6012
This course provides a comparative and critical approach to undertaking international real estate transactions, investments and development projects by providing a framework for analyzing real estate investments across borders within specific markets.

Land Use Law REAL6014
Real estate development is profoundly impacted by land use law and environmental regulations. A successful developer must navigate through land use controls, federal, state and city environmental regulations, landmark and historic preservation restrictions and community concerns, in addition to building and fire codes and other safety regulations.

Real Estate Entrepreneurship Business Planning REAL6016
This course integrates the concepts, tools and practices of entrepreneurship. Students learn to be superior opportunity assessors and shapers, to understand the integration of people and process in entrepreneurship, to write, articulate and present a new venture execution plan, to understand the alternatives and trade-offs in financing, starting and operating a venture, and to gain a better understanding of their personal entrepreneurial capabilities.

Data Analytics and Technology REAL6018
This course examines the digital transformation of real estate; the ever-changing technology ecosystem within the real estate industry (CRE tech or Proptech) and the various methods to perform essential market research using these platforms. Students gain an understanding of key areas of the real estate technology space, prominent business models, major contributors, growth initiatives and emerging markets.

Internship REAL6020

Special Topics in Real Estate REAL6022
These courses, which will be offered periodically, are designed to enhance the student’s educational experience by supplementing the standard array of courses with topics that are very highly specialized. Areas of study will include real estate finance, investment and development. In most cases, they will be of interest to those students who desire a more intense exposure to a particular field of study. Courses offered on a rotational basis include RE Financial Modeling Case Studies, RE Financial Modeling with ARGUS, Commercial Leasing, Planning and Design, Hotel RE Development and Finance, and the The C-Suite Perspective: A View From the Top.

Capstone Course

Students choose either the Applied Project or the Research Project.

The 3-credit capstone is the culmination of all the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program. Students must be able to assimilate all that they have learned in the core, flex core and elective courses and apply it within the context of a real-world setting. Subject to advisor pre-approval students will either undertake an Applied Project or write a thesis under the direction of a faculty supervisor, that upon completion demonstrates professional level mastery of the subject matter involved.

Applied Project REAL6100
The Applied Project capstone course provides for a comprehensive application of core, flex core and elective course principles, concepts, and professional practice to real world real estate investment projects.

Research Project (Thesis) REAL6200
Students work with a qualified supervisor to conduct research, collect data, analyze, test their hypotheses and write up their findings. The finished thesis must demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct comprehensive research and articulate original ideas and thought processes that make a practical contribution to the existing body of knowledge in the field of real estate.