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About Real Estate Development

Welcome to the Colvin Institute and Real Estate Development Program at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland. You could soon be embarking on an exciting journey in a unique program that combines academics and practice, professors and practitioners, in a joint effort to enhance or jumpstart your career in real estate development.

The Master of Real Estate Development degree (MRED) at Maryland embraces a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to real estate education addressing all facets of the industry from planning to property management, finance to construction. We educate our real estate students to develop for a Quadruple Bottom Line concerned not only with profit, but more broadly for economic viability, environmental respect, social responsibility, and beautiful design.

Besides coursework, you will find multiple opportunities to interact with industry professionals, many of whom will come to lecture in your classes or work with you on your capstone project. In addition, we encourage early and frequent involvement with one of the many development trade associations located in this region.

We welcome onsite interviews and tours of the school. Feel free to contact the Assistant Program Director, Tanya Bansal, at tbansal@umd.edu to set up your appointment. Questions by telephone or email are also welcome.

Maria Day-Marshall, JD, LLM
Director of the Real Estate Development Program
Clinical Associate Professor

Margaret McFarland, JD
Founding Director of the Real Estate Development Program
Professor Emerita

The Master’s of Real Estate Development Program

A comprehensive, collaborative approach to real estate development education focused on building sustainable communities for the future is at the heart of the Master of Real Estate Development Program (MRED). While there are many real estate finance programs available to students around the country, there are only a handful of real estate development graduate programs that tackle the broader educational task of engaging the full range of real estate development--from property acquisition to planning and permitting, law and finance, design and construction, and culminating in marketing, commercial leasing, property, portfolio and asset management.

The program addresses all aspects of real estate. It is multidisciplinary and  focuses on developments that will deliver for a Quadruple Bottom Line-- one that is Financially Viable, Environmentally Respectful, Socially Responsible, and Beautifully Sustainably Designed. Finance, the original bottom line, will not be left out, but is taught as part of the whole, with advanced courses for those who wish to emphasize that aspect of development.

A degree in real estate development should prepare each student to be the orchestra leader. He or she should know not only how to find the development opportunities, but effectively engage bankers, investors, architects, contractors, lawyers and accountants, as well as how to bring the project in on time and assure dynamic marketing and effective property management.

Maryland's comprehensive and collaborative approach to real estate education uses not only the traditional reading and research mode of learning, but also the popular case study review and discussion method, as well as embracing the studio, or practice method, engaging the development community as partners in class and in the field.  Assignments and exams are about using knowledge and tools presented in the classroom or the field. The classes are enlivened by a rich mixture of students, some already working in some part of the real estate industry, others changing careers mid-stream, some building on their undergraduate degrees in architecture, engineering, finance, criminal justice, health or history to name a few, while others will be adding to their depth of specialty education following other graduate work in law, finance or architecture. Although the program is intense, it is relatively short, allowing for the program to be undertaken before or after other graduate programs in business planning, preservation, architecture, finance, landscape architecture and public policy.

In sum, the program is designed to educate its students (1) in an academic and systematic way of thinking, as well as (2) in the practicalities of developing livable and sustainable neighborhoods, communities and cities.