Real Estate Development Program FAQ

What sort of background do I need for the master’s degree?

All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. There is no restriction on the applicant's previous field of study and our students enter the program with a variety of previous experiences.


What are the admission requirements for the master’s degree? Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT?

Students are evaluated comprehensively on a variety of factors. This is why we ask students to provide a statement of purpose, resume, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Students interested in the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program are not required to take GRE/GMAT. The GRE/GMAT scores are only required for the dual master's degree in Real Estate Development and Business Administration (MBRE)


Why MRED at Maryland?

The Master of Real Estate Development degree (MRED) at Maryland embraces a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary 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 beyond the constructs of the traditional financial “bottom line,” but rather, for a “Quadruple Bottom Line,” one more broadly centered on Economic Viability, Environmental Respect, Social Responsibility and Beautiful Design.

Besides undertaking the work in your courses, 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. Our location in the Baltimore-Washington area, one of the most diverse and rapidly-growing areas of the country, will offer you endless opportunities to interact and connect with an active real estate environment. In addition, we encourage early and frequent involvement with one of the many development trade associations located in this region.


How long is the course of study for the MRED Program?

Students may pursue their master’s degree on a full or part-time basis. Maryland’s program is flexible and customizable; many of our students are working professionals pursuing their degree part time, so we offer an environment where students can go at their own pace. Full-time students are able to finish in about two years. Full-time dual degree students in real estate development, architecture, community planning, historic preservation and business administration can finish in three-and-a-half years. 


What is the admissions cycle? 

The program offers rolling admissions, allowing students to start in the fall or spring. 


What are the foci of the MRED curriculum?

The curriculum of the master's degree program will expand your knowledge of finance, planning, design, construction, law, and asset management. You will also focus on professional skills in effective business writing and persuasive oral communication. You will research case studies and learn from the work and educational experience of your fellow students with backgrounds in everything from journalism and economics, to architecture, construction, finance, and accounting, as they share their challenges and accomplishments.

The program and courses are designed to give you hands-on experience; you will conduct your own appraisal and market analysis, sit in and report on a public hearing on a proposed rezoning, and take multiple site visits to observe development projects while talking to the people making them happen. And you will find opportunities to take elective courses in specialty fields such as hospitality, retail, and international development. 


What does the final graduate project for MRED entail?

The Master of Real Estate Development culminates with the capstone project, where students produce a real-world, full-blown feasibility study of a development property. Presented to a jury of industry professionals at semester’s end, the capstone demonstrates a student’s ability to successfully communicate with the many players at the table of a successful real estate project--planners, policymakers, community stakeholders, architects, asset managers, financiers, and more. 


How many hours is the master's degree?

The MRED is 33-42 credit hours, depending on the student’s educational background. 


What types of financial aid or scholarships are available?

Students at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation finance their education through a wide variety of options. The University of Maryland Office of Student Financial Aid assists students in obtaining need-based aid. The MRED program provides a competitive amount of graduate assistantships each semester. To learn more about those opportunities, contact the program. 


What kind of jobs can I expect after graduating?

In a sense, the MRED program is multi-disciplinary; it prepares students for a variety of careers in the real estate development industry, including development, project management, real estate consulting and finance. Its position in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation offers a number of interdisciplinary opportunities across the school, preparing students to work closely with designers, urban planners and preservationists in professional practice.


What’s the demographic makeup of the MRED program? 

Our students are typically working professionals who have spent some time in the workforce; the median age of an MRED student is 33. Our students come from Maryland (57%) but also from all over the world (22% of our students are international students). Other statistics include 37% ethnic minority and 36% female. 


What are the requirements for the MRED certificate program? 

The Real Estate Development Program offers a 12-21 credit graduate certificate of professional studies in real estate development. The certificate program has the same requirements for admission as the master’s program. Students without real estate development and finance education or experience typically take 2-3 introductory courses in finance, development, and tax and accounting principles, process and practice. After these courses are completed, the certificate has two required courses: Development Law and Fundamental of Finance and Investments, plus two additional courses selected from cognate areas in design, construction, asset management, market analysis/valuation and planning/entitlements.


If I enroll in the certificate program and decide I want to pursue a master’s degree, do I have to start over? 

No. If you start out with a certificate and decide you want to pursue a master's, you can apply the credits. 


When are classes held? 

Classes are held in the evenings at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to accommodate many of our working professional students. 


What opportunities are available outside of the classroom?

The school’s signature active learning program, the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability, gives students the opportunity to work with communities in Maryland on real-world projects related to issues of sustainable development and redevelopment. Through the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, students are afforded opportunities to participate in competitions, including the ULI Student Design Competition, the Colvin Case Study Challenge, the NAIOP Capital Challenge, and the HUD Affordable Housing competition, as well as attend conferences and networking events. 


What is the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development?

Founded by Baltimore developer and UMD alum John Colvin and his wife Karen, the Colvin Institute provides student enhancement for the master’s program, including regular guest speakers and opportunities to attend conferences and competitions. Learn more by visiting the Colvin website


I’m interested in minoring in real estate development. Where can I learn more? 

Undergraduates with an interest in real estate can now complete a minor in real estate development. The minor provides students with an overview of sustainable real estate development, including the development process, the basics of real estate finance, urban planning and design, and the unique roles of government and the private sector. 

The minor is particularly suited to students with an interest in careers related to real estate and the built environment, such as architecture, business, construction management, civil engineering, historic preservation, local government, non-profit housing, public-private partnerships, landscape architecture, urban planning, or related entrepreneurial ventures. 

Students should consult with their undergraduate advisor to develop a plan for completing a minor. To learn more, visit the minor in real estate development page.

FAQs for Undergraduate Students

What is a registration block and how do I lift this block on my registration?

A block is a hold placed on student records to prevent registration. Each semester, students are expected to log on to Testudo and check their registration time and blocks. It is the student’s responsibility to take appropriate actions to remove those blocks in order to register on time.

Every semester, students will have a mandatory advising block on their registration. It is important that students meet with an advisor before their designated registration date. Once you have met with an advisor, they will lift the mandatory advising block that prevents you from registering. If you do not meet with your advisor, this block will not be removed and you will NOT be able to register. Since space in some classes can be competitive, it is in your best interests to get cleared of ALL blocks well in advance of your registration date.


How do I sign up for my mandatory advising session?

Current undergraduate Architecture and Real Estate and the Built Environment students should schedule an advising appointment please visit TerpEngage.

Current UMD Students interested in changing undergraduate major to Architecture or Real Estate and the Built Environment, you can learn more about the major by attending one of our Change of Major/Information Workshops. If you have any questions prior to attending this workshop, you can email us at (Architecture) or (Real Estate and the Built Environment).

Non-UMD students interested in majoring in Architecture or Real Estate and the Built Environment at UMD, you can learn more by attending one of our virtual Undergraduate Information Sessions.


Where is the Office of Undergraduate Advising in the School of Architecture?

The Office of Undergraduate Advising is located in Preinkert Hall. 


How do I declare a minor?

You can find a full list of minors on campus in the Undergraduate Catalog's Minors section. You will need to see the department in charge of each minor you are interested in to declare the minor. The School of Architecture currently has four minors, Construction Project ManagementReal Estate Development MinorHistory and Theory of Architecture and Creative Placemaking Minorbut there are over 90 minors across campus to choose from as well.


How can I get permission to take classes at another institution?

You must fill out a Permission to Enroll (PTE) form. Information can be found on this web page


Can I take a course Pass/Fail?

Students should refer to the Pass/Fail Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog.


Can an undergraduate student take a graduate level class?

Students, usually junior or senior standing and who meet certain criteria, are eligible to take graduate level courses. Students first need to obtain permission from the instructor offering the graduate level class. Then students must obtain an approval from the Director of Student Services.


How many times can I repeat a course?

Students who need to repeat the course for their major for the third time must obtain an approval from the department. Permission for the third repeat is not automatically granted; students should be prepared to discuss why they seek an exception and their preparedness for doing so.