Online Master's in Real Estate
A World-Class Global Real Estate Curriculum
The online Master's in Real Estate focuses on the advanced academic and professional skills needed to meet the challenges of the evolving real estate and related financial, construction, and sustainability markets. Georgetown trains industry leaders through an immersive learning experience that emphasizes real-world trends, applications, and ethics.
The program's curriculum consists of 33 credit hours completed over two years, providing a strong academic foundation and insight into the most complex issues facing the real estate industry. Students take seven required courses and select four elective courses to complete the degree.
Georgetown's Real Estate Curriculum at a Glance
- Required Courses
- Elective Courses
Total Credits - 33
* Students may elect to test out of MPRE 510 and choose a fifth elective as a replacement.
This course provides an introduction to multiple ethical choices that any real estate leader will encounter throughout their career. We use readings, case studies, and extensive class discussion to help students build an ethical framework for setting priorities and making good decisions, under pressure, from among imperfect alternatives. We address confidentiality, marketing and disclosure, integrity of data, value of a reputation, fiduciary responsibility for “other people’s money” and management of potential conflicts of interest among investors, lenders, project managers, brokers and contractors. The course explores how to balance corporate responsibility in areas of economic development and environmental sustainability with the practical need to create shared value for a project’s owners and its surrounding communities. We examine ethics in design and construction, and explore complexities that arise from working in multi-cultural and international real estate environments. Finally, we look at how to ethically manage workouts and foreclosures based on personal experience during times of crisis such as the US financial crisis of 2008 and the Russian financial crisis of 1998. A minimum grade of "B" (3.00) or better is required in this core course for graduation.
This course concentrates on the fundamental details of income-producing commercial real estate in basic detail, focusing on the tools and processes required to make property evaluations and transaction decisions. It is intended to provide foundation-level students with the real estate skills necessary to effectively keep pace and learn in elective courses; and to be effective real estate practitioners as program graduates. Topics which will be addressed in this course will include:
- Cash flow and P&L
- Deal analysis in Excel and with the HP 12c
- Site selection, location strategy and land value
- Financing alternatives and leverage
- Entitlements and the development process
- Negotiation, transaction management, and decision-making
- Disposition, consolidation, repositioning, and financial restructuring
- Brokerage and leasing
- Plus, the following concepts and techniques which support these topics:
- Absorption Inventory, Vacancy Occupancy, Availability Shadow Space
- Return Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows DCS, DCF
- IRR, PV / NPV, FV, NOI, OP-Ex, Cap-Ex
- Cap Rate, Discount Rate, Lending Rate, D/E Ratio Coverage, LTV
- Debt Service Loan Const., Yield Multiple ROA, ROI
- Margin USF/RSF/GA Coverage, R FAR Residual, Exit Strategy
- Expense Stop Base Year Gross Lease, Net Lease, IG Lease, Ground Lease
- Rent Roll Stabilization, Draw Retainage, Take-out Commissioning
- Site Selection Due Diligence, Percentage Rent, Breakpoint Radius, Limits Use Restriction
The course will focus on exploring these concepts and techniques, with field examples and a negotiation exercise to illustrate abstractions; so they can be put into practice. Course topics are sequenced according to an owner/investor viewpoint property (Portfolio Management) lifecycle to generate a real estate development and investment fabric. The class focuses on the capabilities necessary to be fundamentally effective in an income producing, commercial real estate business. Discussion will focus on office properties, however, residential, industrial and retail properties, and differences in their deal process will be referenced as well.
The Foundations of Real Estate Law course introduces students to substantive legal issues associated with commercial real estate acquisition, development, finance, leasing and related corporate governance matters. The course explores a practical understanding of legal principles from the perspective of real estate developers, construction companies, lenders, owners and investors while focusing on the following objectives:
- Principles, Mechanisms and Conventions: The course provides an overview of legal principles associated with real estate activities (the “What”), mechanisms by which the various legal principles may be implemented (the “How”) and conventions concerning the practical application of legal principles (the “Why”).
- Issue Spotting: Students develop an understanding of common legal themes that confront real estate professionals sufficient to enable them to identify and analyze critical issues before engaging the necessary legal or other real estate professionals necessary to tailor the final arrangements necessary to address the legal issues at hand.
- Correlating Legal Risks: The course promotes a constructive approach to correlating legal risks within the prototypical legal enterprise – connecting possible and probable risks among a variety of real estate activities such as buying, selling, developing, financing and leasing associated with a variety of real estate products such as office buildings, shopping centers, residential buildings, hotels, industrial buildings and mixed-use projects.
This introductory course provides students with the technical skills and business concepts of real estate finance. Mastering the basic and advanced concepts of real estate finance is essential to understanding other courses in the online Master's in Real Estate curriculum, and to success in the real estate industry. Topics covered will include: time value of money, discounted cash flow analysis and investment returns. Through a case study format using an actual real estate investment as a guide, students prepare a property-level pro forma to report both a unleveraged and leveraged returns analysis. In addition, the concepts of debt and equity (via a joint venture) are included in the case study. The intended learning outcomes include a working financial model that students can use for future courses in the program. The primary text is Real Estate Finance & Investments: William B. Brueggeman and Jeffrey D. Fisher 15th edition; additional readings will supplement the book. Students -perform individual and group case study assignments to reinforce the intended learning outcomes.
This course focuses on how real estate practitioners analyze information to make informed market decisions. The class covers a broad range of real estate disciplines from single-family and multifamily residential, retail, office, hospitality, and industrial, and introduces the perspectives of developers/builders, investors, lenders, landlords, tenants, planners, public officials, and end users/consumers. The class will offer a mix of theory, analytic tools, and practical experiences/real-life examples. The goal is a highly interactive class environment in which the students play an essential role in the education process. Active participation in class discussions is expected of every student and comprises a key component of participant performance. The class is built around a final case study project that consists of a case study report and presentation. This final project and presentation builds upon the work completed throughout the semester. Working in a team environment is a critical aspect of future success in the real estate industry. Project teams will be expected to work with their project team outside of class time.
Foundations of Real Estate Accounting provides a graduate level introduction to real estate accounting, taxation concepts and equity incentives utilizing various tax credit and incentive programs. Topics include GAAP financial statements for real estate companies, financial analysis, fair value and impairment analysis, consolidation, joint venture accounting, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Energy Tax Credits, internal controls for real estate companies, and understanding operating and partnership agreements. Taxation topics include partnership tax concepts and tax-free exchanges. This course is designed to give you maximum exposure to the leaders in the real estate accounting industry. As a result, some sessions of this course will be taught by various real estate professionals. The objective of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the current financial accounting and taxation issues likely to be encountered in the real estate sector. At the end of this course, you will be able to analyze GAAP prepared accounting statements and identify potential financial and tax issues. Regular attendance is vital. Be sure to keep pace with the assigned work and class discussions. This course covers many different areas of accounting for real estate transactions. If you are not familiar with the subject area or do not understand the assigned material, please ask for clarification or assistance. Do not wait until the end of the course to obtain help. At the end of the course, students should:
- Understand the principles and rules of real estate accounting
- Be familiar with the accounting standards and pronouncements related to real estate accounting
- Understand the principles for the capitalization of preacquisition costs
- Be familiar with the costs incurred to sell or rent a real estate project and the accounting rules associated with those costs
- Be familiar with the valuation process of real estate and how to account for acquisitions of real estate
- Understand the principles of non-monetary exchanges of real estate; particularly the basic principles of section 1031: like-kind exchanges
- Understand the process underlying a sale of real estate and the different accounting methods associated with profit recognition
- Be familiar with other applicable methods for recording a sale of real estate
- Understand the principles of a lease and be able to identify the key characteristics of and differences between a capital lease and an operating lease
- Understand the accounting methods used by both the lessee and lessor
- Understand the differences between the four methods of accounting for interests in real estate ventures: consolidation, equity method of accounting, pro rata consolidation, and the cost method
- Understand what a variable and non-variable interest entity are and how to account for them
The required Capstone Course marks the culmination of a student’s career in the Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate program, and the student’s transition from journeyman to advanced real estate professional. The Capstone Course offers the student the opportunity to explore a major real estate topic in significant depth and make a substantial contribution to knowledge in a selected sector of the real estate profession. Based upon previous courses and professional experience, the student formulates a Capstone Project topic. Under the tutelage of a senior real estate professional from Metropolitan Washington or beyond, the student researches the chosen topic, participates in any appropriate activities related to the topic, and produces a substantial work which constitutes a significant contribution to real estate knowledge. Because the online Master's in Real Estate encompasses institutional, financial, legal, marketing, accounting, environmental, planning, design, engineering, and other disciplines, it is impossible to specify a single genre of Capstone Project, and the Capstone Project is thus defined chiefly by quality. With the fullest support of the entire MPS in Real Estate program, the student has maximum freedom to pursue a real estate topic that embodies the very essence of the student’s professionalism, and should be one of the best pieces of work the student ever does. In addition to other requirements, students must earn a grade of "B" or higher in the Capstone course to qualify for graduation.
Elective Courses (Select 4)
This course helps students master the art and science of managing projects for development and construction. Taking the project from inception to an on time, under-budget closeout, the tools and techniques for successfully leading an eclectic group of consultants and subcontractors, managing budgets, conflicts and schedules are studied in detail. Going far beyond the secrets of successful scheduling, this course adapts the best practices of managing large projects from the infrastructure, IT, and heavy industrial manufacturing industries, and applies them to real estate development and construction projects.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will know the industry best practices for creation and management of the project team, document management and recordkeeping, scheduling, cost control and value engineering, procurement research and negotiations, subcontract management and administration. Students will also be able to apply effective techniques for managing a construction or development project within the framework of construction law, AIA contracts and subcontracts, and ethical business practices.
This course provides you with an overview of the housing segment, predominantly multifamily rental, within the real estate industry. Both market rate developments/properties and low income/affordable developments/properties are discussed. Topics covered include: market and demand analysis and its impact on product characteristics such as unit mix, size and amenities, construction, and development sequencing. The type of product influences design, construction, financing/capital stack, ownership structure. Also discussed will be low income/affordable housing, regulations governing operations of low income housing, alternative financing and sources, and property operations. Students perform individual and group case study assignments, and guest speakers complement traditional lectures.
The management of institutional real estate funds has become increasingly sophisticated since the first fund was launched in the 1970s. This course tracks the evolution of institutional read estate funds including open-end, closed end, separate accounts and other structures with core, value added and opportunistic strategies in the context of industry performance metrics and benchmarks. The course covers all phases of the portfolio planning process, including: portfolio construction; investor relations; asset management; portfolio analysis and re-positioning; dispositions; and sourcing and executing suitable transactions. Lessons learned for managing portfolio volatility through market cycles are highlighted including the management of funds in a global investing environment. The course includes lectures, case studies and exercises, as well as guest presentations.
- Understand the framework of the institutional real estate fund industry, including the investor universe and competitive landscape.
- Learn about all phases of the portfolio planning process from portfolio construction to execution of portfolio strategies.
- Analyze real estate portfolios to determine priorities and action plans.
- Identify the potential impact of the market cycle and steps that can be taken to reduce portfolio volatility.
- Explore the effect of increasing globalization of the capital markets on real estate funds and its impact on the structuring and staffing of portfolios.
The Structured Finance Course examines how large commercial real estate financings are put together. The course explores the evolution of the real estate finance transaction. Who the players were and who they are now. How have structures changed with the influence of Wall Street as a major player having entered the market in the early 90’s and the issues they faced during the credit crisis of late 2007? We examine the options available and the problems currently facing both Borrowers and Lenders. The course gives a practical overview of how we finance the entire capital structure from senior loans to mezzanine tranches to equity. Guest lecturers, who are major forces in the business, will tell you their stories and impart their wisdom in this challenging time for structured finance. Upon completion of this course, students should have a full grasp of how deals are financed. As a result, the student should be an asset to their employer in this field. The course includes a significant amount of team projects designed to teach the student the anatomy of “the deal.”
In today’s real estate environment owners, tenants, and jurisdictions are all asking how sustainability can be incorporated into new and existing buildings. Sustainable Development and Construction is a graduate level course which allows students to understand the link between design, construction and ultimately building operations. The course presents how the design impacts the construction and operation of the building as they relate to sustainable practices. The course covers the impact of design decisions upon construction and operations, including cost benefit analysis. We examine sustainable construction practice and how it impacts owners, tenants and leases. What state and local legislation is driving sustainable building construction and operations? Ethical considerations of sustainability practice in construction and operations are also covered.
This course introduces students to international real estate investment. Students learn how to work with foreign investors in the United States, as well as gain a clear understanding of the motivations and cultural differences encountered by US investors investing overseas. The world of real estate investing is undergoing profound changes. Today 50% of all real estate transactions are cross-border. We examine both the causes for these changes and their impact on the global economy. The course is taught by real estate practitioners with extensive experience in global real estate fund management in major developed markets for institutional investors. Students also explore how to evaluate emerging markets for opportunistic investors.
- Recognize important differences between property markets in different countries.
- Analyze the drivers of global capital flows and their impact on real estate.
- Determine how global research can convert data into actionable information for decision making.
- Analyze property market systems to suggest improvements for transparency, risk pricing and portfolio diversification.
- Apply tested methodologies to perform an analysis for a developed or an emerging international market.
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All programs offered by Georgetown University are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.