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Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Finance Course Descriptions

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The required and elective courses of the Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Finance are designed to ensure that every graduate will have a grasp of the most important elements of real estate financial analysis, financial modeling, market analysis, lease analysis, real estate valuation, debt and equity finance, credit analysis, underwriting and real estate capital markets, while the elective concentration will allow each student to pursue a specific subject area.

Required Courses

Students are required to complete all four courses in the core.

Real Estate Finance REAL 5002
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 Structures and Capital Markets REAL 5010
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 REAL 5012
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.

Real Estate Credit Analysis and Underwriting REAL 5108
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 3-credit elective course requirement offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in specialized topics of their choice.

Real Estate Financial Modeling REAL 6001
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.

Private Equity REAL 6003
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.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities REAL 6005
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.

Real Estate Investment Trusts REAL 6007
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.

Data Analytics and Technology REAL 6018
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.

Special Topics in Real Estate REAL 6022
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.