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Master of Science degree in Real State Development in Columbia University

Columbia University
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
New York, New York
United States
Governance, Management & Economics

The Master of Science in Real Estate Development program is a three-semester degree that combines the fundamental skills of professional real estate with a holistic approach to urban development as a creative act. The program is cross-disciplinary, drawing on its proximity to other modes of practice at the school, and is grounded in the three core tenets of global urban real estate development: the financial, the physical, and the legal. It attracts future business leaders looking for an alternative to an MBA and committed architects hoping to run their own design/build firm. The program’s strength lies in its ability to weave current knowledge and best practices from the industry together with rigorous theoretical learning, incisive critical analysis, and immersive real-world case studies.


For more information on the program, please email Jessica Stockton King or call (212) 854-3524


The Real Estate Development program is structured to provide a comprehensive understanding of finance and investment, project management, predevelopment analysis, zoning and planning, acquisition underwriting, and the value of design in real estate practices. In recent years, the program has greatly expanded its emphasis on financial investment and strengthened its relevancy in terms of real estate markets, introducing a new real estate technology sequence to the curriculum and increasing the availability of technology resources for research. The curriculum builds its foundational knowledge incrementally over the three terms: the first semester is dedicated to developing solid, core competencies and the majority of classes are required; the second, grants more space to focus on the development of specific industry interests; and the third consists mostly of deep-dive electives offered across GSAPP, Columbia Business School, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, and Columbia Law School. The program culminates in a final Capstone project.


The program’s Capstone class begins with initial group work as students learn about five different active real estate case-study sites, and ends with individual Capstone projects. Students must create their own personalized Capstone “deal-book” (with all the relevant financial information, design proposals, and market analysis data), as well as deliver a presentation and defend their project to an audience of peers, alumni, and faculty.


The Master of Science in Real Estate Development curriculum is bolstered by its proximity to the city and to the real-world opportunities that it offers: Professionals from the real-estate industry in New York City visit campus daily as adjunct professors, alumni mentors, and lunchbox lecture speakers. The program cohort also visits the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, DC every fall. Approximately a third of individuals in the program complete a part-time spring internship to gain additional work experience in NYC.




Intensive Summer Semester


The introduction to the program begins with immersion in real estate finance, construction technology, market analytics, and other foundational subjects. Electives are limited to allow students with diverse background experiences to build essential financial, graphic, and analytical competencies.


Expansive Fall Semester


While core skills continue to be developed—particularly in finance, history of development, and real estate law—students are given significant elective opportunities to broaden their theoretical and applied skill sets by concentrating on the unique finance or design course tracks available only at Columbia.


Integrated Spring Semester


With a central focus on capstone projects, complex financial and economic modeling, and public policy, students bring together a cross-disciplinary portfolio of independent and supervised research and coursework, graduating with a holistic professional foundation.


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Admission Requirements



Application Deadline: JANUARY 15, 2020


1.- All applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university by the time they start the M.S. RED program.


2.- M.S. RED applicants may hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of fields. While graduate and professional academic preparation in development-related disciplines, such as architecture, finance, law, urban design, historic preservation, civil engineering, or urban planning is highly desirable, it is not essential for admission to the program.




1.- Online Application


Create and complete an online application.


A fee of $75 (payable by Visa or MasterCard) is due at the time of application submission.


2.- Letters of Recommendation


Three letters of recommendation are required for all degree program applicants. GSAPP does not have a special form for letters of recommendation. Recommenders may scan and upload recommendation letters to the online application. Letters received directly from applicants will not be accepted.


One letter of recommendation is required for New York/Paris program applicants and Visiting Scholars. Non-degree program applicants (including Introduction to Architecture and Special Students) may include recommendations but they are not required.


3.- Personal Statement


A personal statement is required for admission to each program (with the exception of Introduction to Architecture). In approximately 500 words, describe your background, your past work in your intended field of study and your plans for graduate study and a professional career.


4.- Transcripts


An academic transcript/record from each university attended and credit earned is required for all applicants. All transcripts must be received by the application deadline. Applicants should upload a digital copy or scan of their transcript/s to the online application. We allow digital copies of transcripts for review purposes only.


Please note that the applicant may upload unofficial transcripts at the start of the application process. Once an applicant has been admitted and has indicated acceptance of our offer of admission, certified and secure online official transcripts must be submitted directly to Columbia from the applicant’s prior institution(s)’ Registrar Office. Please note that incoming students for the fall 2019 semester will be contacted with specific instructions on electronic submission from prior institution(s) for receipt of these documents. Only if a prior academic institution is unable to submit certified and secure online official transcripts, an official transcript in a sealed envelope must be sent directly from that institution’s Registrar Office to Columbia. Columbia will use its verification vendor to verify the applicant’s degree and transcript with the prior academic institutions and/or the relevant country’s Ministry of Education.


Applicants will be asked to consent to participate in this verification process by submitting an authorization and release form.


5.- Resumé/CV


Resumes or CVs are required for all degree applicants and CVs are required for Visiting Scholar applicants.






Applicants to the M. ARCH, M.S. HP, M.S. UP, M.S. CCCP, and M.S. RED* programs must take the GRE.


Applicants should contact ETS to have official test scores sent to the GSAPP Admissions Office via Institution Code 2164. GRE scores are valid for five years after the test date. At this time there is no minimum required GRE score for admission.




Applicants to the M.S. RED program may submit GMAT scores in lieu of GRE scores. At this time there is no minimum required GMAT score for admission.


Applicants should contact GMAC to have official test scores sent to the GSAPP Admissions Office via Institution Code: QF8-73-53. GMAT scores are valid for five years after the test date.




All applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores (with the exception of Introduction to Architecture applicants). At this time there is no minimum TOEFL score required for admission.


International students who have successfully completed two years of study in an English-speaking institution may waive the TOEFL exam requirement provided they can submit relevant transcripts.


Applicants should contact ETS to have official test scores sent to the GSAPP Admissions Office via Institution Code 2164, Dept. Code 12. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date.


We do not accept the TOEFL ITP. We do not accept the IELTS in lieu of the TOEFL.


8.- Dual Degree Option


The following programs are approved for dual degree within GSAPP: – M. ARCH & M.S. CCCP – M. ARCH & M.S. UP – M. ARCH & M.S. HP – M. ARCH & M.S. RED – M.S. UP & M.S. HP – M.S. UP & M.S. RED – M.S. HP & M.S. RED


The following programs are approved for dual degree with other schools at Columbia: – M.S. UP & Master of Business Administration (with the Business School) – M.S. UP & Juris Doctor (with the School of Law) – M.S. UP & Master of Science in Social Work (with the School of Social Work – M.S. UP & Master of Science in Public Health (with the Mailman School of Public Health) – M.S. UP & Master of International Affairs (with the School of International and Public Affairs)


Program requirements, including suggested course sequences can be found here.


9.- Application Status


Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review application policies and procedures before submitting an online application. The GSAPP only accepts applications online.


Applicants may check the status of their application after submission by logging into their account with their email address and password and reviewing the status page.

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General information
18 months full time
Kate Ascher / Patrice Derrington
Not confirmed
Email /
+1 212 854 3414
1172 Amsterdam Ave, New York
Campus Location
The information of this Master's Degree was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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