Answers to your frequently asked questions about the Master's degree program in real estate
- MSRED Year At A Glance Calendar
- What is the length of the MSRED program?
- What is the average age of a student in the MSRED program?
- What does the admissions committee look for in an applicant?
- Do I still have to take the GMAT if I already have an advanced degree and substantial work experience?
- Do you have a minimum GMAT score requirement?
- I'm an international student, but I went to college in the US, can I get a TOEFL / IELTS waiver?
- Is it possible to place out of a core course?
- Can I take courses outside of MIT?
- How many applications does the program receive each year and how many students do you accept into the MSRED program?
- What advice would you give someone who is trying to decide between an MBA and the MSRED program?
- What are some of the positions your graduates accept upon completion of the MSRED program?
- Is it possible to get a PhD in Real Estate Development?
- What is the procedure for enrolling in a dual degree program?
- Is it possible to pursue the MSRED online or on a part-time basis?
- When is the application deadline?
- Do the professional development courses count towards an MSRED?
- Does the MSRED program offer deferrals?
- I have been out of school for a long time and am not able to obtain an academic recommendation. Will the admissions committee accept a professional recommendation instead?
- Does the program offer any financial assistance or fellowships?
- How will I know when my application is complete?
The program is structured to be completed in 11 months of intensive study. Students are required to take a minimum of four courses during fall and spring terms, plus electives, and complete the thesis during the summer term. There is a two-week Orientation period before classes begin in the fall.
Although each class is quite diverse among male, female, geographic distribution, minority, and work and academic backgrounds, the average age is usually 29-30 years.
The admissions committee is especially interested in candidates who are well rounded in terms of their real estate experience, academic ability, personality and character, and professional promise. It is important to note that the committee will evaluate all admission requirements equally.
Do I still have to take the GMAT if I already have an advanced degree and substantial work experience?
The GMAT is required of ALL applicants, regardless of their previous educational or professional experience. No exceptions, please.
While it is important to do well on the GMAT, we do not have a minimum score. The GMAT exam is required for admission to the MSRED program and combined with prior academic performance serves as a guide to the admissions committee in determining an applicant's academic potential in coursework at MIT. People who take the GMAT multiple times will be interested to know that we use only the most recent score. Although we don't recommend taking a "prep" course for the GMAT, some applicants have found them useful. We do not accept the GRE or the LSAT. Applicants must take the GMAT no later than December in order to receive an official score by January 5.
Either IELTS or TOEFL is required of all non-native English speakers. Test scores must be from within the past two years.
In certain cases where someone has extensive educational training in a specific area such as real estate law, architecture and design, construction and management they may be able to place out of a class. Students who place out may take courses in any department of MIT.
MIT has a cross-registration agreement with Harvard University. Many students have taken classes at the Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Design or the Business School.
How many applications does the program receive each year and how many students do you accept into the MSRED program?
We receive between 130-150 applications each year. Typically we accept approximately 30 students. We also have a small number of dual degree students who apply to the program from other departments at MIT.
The determining factor is whether you have a general interest in business. If you are interested in getting general information about marketing, accounting, quantitative methods or any of the other general business courses you would be required to take your first year, an MBA may be for you. However, if you are committed to a career in real estate and would like an intense, one-year, broad-based yet real estate focused experience, the MSRED might be more appropriate. The advantages of the MSRED program are:
- more RE courses;
- shorter duration (1 year vs. 2 years);
- tremendous network between alums/member companies.
See our choice chart, "MSRED or MBA?".
The real estate industry is diverse and so are the positions assumed by Center graduates. Graduates go into project management, acquisitions, finance, asset management, investment management, etc. See a very partial list of employers ("Recent Employers") and both full-length profile of graduate career paths and short examples of the jobs alumni hold s ("Alumni Career Profiles").
We do not officially offer a PHD degree. Students who are interested in a PHD degree with a Real Estate focus must apply and enroll in the PhD programs of one of the several departments at MIT that are affiliated with the Center for Real Estate. These include the Departments of Urban Planning, Economics, and the Sloan School of Management. For more information please click here
In order to pursue a dual degree program at MIT, you need to apply to each program separately. Once admitted, you must then satisfy the requirements of both programs in order to receive both degrees. Normally, students complete a dual degree program in two years plus one additional term.
No. Like all MIT programs, the MSRED is a full-time, on-campus program. We currently do not offer distance learning.
The deadline is January 5th every year for the following September.
No, the Professional Development Courses are part of our Continuing Education Program and you do not receive credit for them. Much of the material covered in these courses derives from the core courses in the MSRED program.
No. If an applicant is not admitted for a specific year, they can re-apply to the program again. The re-application process is explained in our instructions for applicants. Application Procedure
I have been out of school for a long time and am not able to obtain an academic recommendation. Will the admissions committee accept a professional recommendation instead?
Of the three required letters of recommendation it is preferred that one be from a former professor, however, if this is not possible to obtain, we will accept a professional recommendation.
MIT/MSRED Public Sector Scholarship/Minority Fellowship
In order to encourage graduates to pursue public and non-profit sector careers, the Center has established a special program under which student loans may be partially forgiven. This scholarship is awarded after the student has completed the MSRED program and accepted a full-time public-sector or non-profit position. Minority fellowship may be available on a need basis.
Fellowships are at the discretion of the funding source and are not necessarily offered on an annual basis. The MSRED program makes every effort to pursue Fellowships and Awards for which our students are eligible and is often called upon to make recommendations for such awards.
Fellowships awarded in 2009-2010: The Thomas J. Geraghty Memorial Fellowship ($3,000), MIT/MSRED Public Sector Scholarship ($10,000), MIT/MSRED Minority Fellowship ($5,000), Heather Smith Memorial Fund ($10,000), AACRE Thesis Award ($1,500).
You will receive an initial email when we have received your MIT Graduate Application form. This email will let you know what materials are missing from your application package. Once all your application materials have been received you will be sent another email letting you know that your application is complete.
MBA or MSRED?
What is the difference between an MIT MSRED or an MBA? Here are some issues to consider:
|MBA||MSRED at MIT|
|Time Frame||2 years||1 year|
|Curriculum||1st year - Business Basics
2nd year - Specialization largely focused on finance-related areas
|Real estate focus and specialization throughout. The MIT MSRED program provides an intense, one-year graduate education entirely focused on real estate.|
|Expense||2 years of tuition, partially offset by possible summer income.||One year of tuition|
|Specialization||Real Estate specialization tends to be finance focused urban economics, housing economics, and investment.||Broad-based real estate education in design, management, law, development, economics and signficant focus on finance, e.g., real estate finance, capital markets.|
|Program Size||Typically, the programs are large with real estate students representing a relatively small (2% - 3%) percentage.||Small, tight knit group of 30 to 40 students.|
|Industry Commitment||Students pursuing a MBA may not be committed to a real estate career; therefore they are seeking a broader base.||MIT/CRE students are committed to the real estate industry and have real-estate related experience prior to coming to the program. An important part of the program is the learning between students.|
|Post Graduate Careers||Varied but with a heavy concentration in finance-related areas of the industry.||Varied, with significant representation in project management, finance-related areas, acquisitions, entrepreneurship.|
|Internship Opportunities||Internship opportunities exist during the summer between 1st and 2nd years.||Limited. However, there is the opportunity for participation in the MIT Alumni Association's externship program during the January Independent Activities Period. After the completion of the program, students move to full-time employment.|
|Thesis||Generally, no thesis is required.||A thesis is required; however, the thesis is seen as an opportunity to synthesize the theoretical and practical; potentially establish an area of expertise; and continue to make and cultivate industry relationships and connections.|
|Alumni Network||Usually extensive, but predominantly outside of the real estate industry.||Over 700 real estate-focused alumni/ae in all facets of the industry and located throughout the world. The alumni/ae network is accessible, extensive, and well-connected.|
|Recruitment||Business programs have an extensive recruitment program for people interested in finance (including investment banking), marketing, and consulting; however, for those students interested in other sectors of the industry, most job search efforts will be self-initiated.||Each year, approximately 5 to 10 companies interview on campus. However, most hiring in the real estate industry is done based on need. Therefore, the 12 to 20 informal opportunities for students to meet with company representatives and industry executives, position students well for meaningful access for self-initiated job searches. Investment banks do not tend to recruit at the Center.|