MSRED Curriculum and Degree Requirements
The curriculum for the Master of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) is designed to instill a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of real estate. Courses typically combine lectures with case analyses and assignments that simulate situations encountered in the workplace. Courses may be taught jointly by faculty members and professionals active in the field; guest speakers from the industry provide additional perspective. Students also have opportunities to study "living" projects and real estate companies as part of the course's field work component. Academic theory and concepts are continually tested against practical realities.
Academic Year. The curriculum is completed in 11 months of intensive full-time study (fall, spring and summer terms). An orientation period in late August is followed by the beginning of classes in September. Thesis projects must be completed by the end of July the following calendar year. Degrees are awarded in the fall.
Degree Requirements. Students must successfully complete the specified MSRED core courses plus one elective per term and a thesis project. The MSRED's core courses must be taken unless advanced standing has been granted.
Electives. If a MSRED candidates applies for and receives advanced standing in a core subject on the basis of prior academic work or a record of field experience, they must choose an alternate elective course, the completion of which will be required. Advanced standing students can take courses throughout MIT or at Harvard through the MIT/Harvard cross-registration program. They have added flexibility to select courses within a chosen specialization or discipline such as finance, housing policy, or land use regulation.
Thesis Project. The required thesis provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge acquired in course work in a substantial written report, equivalent in weight to one full course. Students may choose to take part in ongoing MIT/CRE research projects, to select a research proposal offered by a partner firm (pdf, 25K), or to identify a topic of their own (see examples of thesis abstracts).
Thesis Seminar. A thesis seminar is offered during the spring term. It describes faculty research interests, and explains quantitative and qualitative methodologies to help students explore possible thesis topics. Thesis topics and work plans are finalized by the end of the spring term. Thesis research — which may include interviews, statistical analysis, project evaluations, and literature reviews — and the writing of the thesis is accomplished over the summer term.
Additional Degrees. A student who wants to complement the MSRED may apply to pursue a dual degree from other departments or programs at MIT, such as architecture, urban studies and planning, and the Sloan School of Management.