Top 10 Colleges For Real Estate Degree Programs for 2014


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Regardless of where you live – Vermont, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming – a career in real estate requires a substantial knowledge of the real estate market, a general understanding of finances and a familiarity with zoning and tax laws, insurance and mortgage and banking. A complex field, the real estate field necessitates a comprehensive understanding of finance and development of skills in analytical thinking, communication and collaboration. Business and finance are integral, related areas of real estate. In order to attain the skills and knowledge essential for success in the real estate field, individuals will need to complete a degree program in one of these majors with emphasis in the area of real estate. Individuals with degrees in the specialized area of real estate will be sought by employers for their skills in negotiations, arranging financing and valuation skills. These individuals will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in the field of business, in governmental agencies and as self employed contractors.

The real estate field is expected to experience faster than average employment growth of 14 percent according to the United States Department of Labor. The employment growth is partly attributed to the growing population. Another critical factor affecting employment opportunities in real estate are the increased investment opportunities. Many businesses and individuals wanting to benefit from the advantages of the current economic market, low interest rates and property prices, will hire professionals with real estate knowledge to assist them. Individuals and businesses will likely prefer professionals with degrees in the real estate field; favoring a professional able to limit their risks. Universities with top ranked programs in real estate will provide individuals with the skills and knowledge to become leaders in the real estate industry and any other business field in which they choose to pursue a career.

Below is the list of the top ranked real estate programs in the nation:

1. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania has earned its place among the Ivy League institutions. The University of Pennsylvania is a world renowned research institution which offers innovative, interdisciplinary educational programs. The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania was the first collegiate business school. Established in 1881, the Wharton School of Business has become an international leader in business education. Wharton is the largest business school with the most published faculty members in the country. Students enrolled at Wharton School of Business are trained to become leaders in their respective fields; prepared to effect positive change in the world. The curriculum prepares students to become successful professionals in the complex and dynamic global business world; developed in collaboration with business experts from around the globe. Wharton incorporates the latest research in business education with experiential learning. Students are trained using the latest technology utilized in the business world and offers state of the art facilities.

The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Economics. Students enrolled in the B.S. in Economics degree program are able to choose an area of concentration from twenty areas which include a concentration in real estate. The undergraduate curriculum for both programs provides a comprehensive degree program in the fundamental areas of the business field which requires the completion of 37 courses in business and arts and sciences. The real estate concentration requires students to complete two required courses and two elective courses in real estate studies. The required courses are real estate law and real estate investment: analysis and financing. Students are permitted to choose two electives from a list of courses which include advanced real estate investments, urban fiscal policy, urban public policy and private development, urban real estate economics, real estate development, real estate entrepreneurship and international real estate comparisons. Students are also required to complete at least one course from another Penn School each semester.

2. University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin, Madison is a public institution which was established in 1848 and has become a leader in education, research and public service. The University is part of the renowned University of Wisconsin system which includes 13 universities and a student enrollment of more than 42,000 individuals. The institution strives to provide challenging and rigorous programs which examine, analyze and advance knowledge through academic inquiry. The faculty members teaching the courses are highly regarded experts in their fields who exemplify the commitment of the University of Wisconsin to the idea of public service, positive and responsible contribution to the academic community and enhancing the quality of life for all individuals around the globe. The University of Wisconsin boasts many notable individuals among its alumni including Dick Cheney, a state Supreme Court justice, a CBS news reporter, playwrights, poets, authors, film producers, astronauts and several congressman and governors.

The undergraduate and graduate programs in real estate offered in the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison are consistently ranked among the top programs in the United States. The real estate program at the University of Wisconsin is one of the oldest in the nation and has earned recognition and high regard from employers for the breadth and depth of the program. The curriculum encompasses all areas of real estate including finance, appraisal, development, asset management, market analysis, law and the regulatory environment and urban land economics. Students are required to complete experiential projects and are offered the option to participate in field work within and outside of the United States. The undergraduate program requires students to complete general education courses, pre-business courses and courses within the school of business. Required courses for the major include real estate law, the real estate process, real estate finance, valuation of real estate, urban and regional economics, residential property development. Elective courses offered include international real estate, computer applications in real estate analysis, green – sustainable development and readings and research – urban land economics.

3. University of Georgia

Founded in 1912, the University of Georgia was among the first institutions of higher learning to establish a business college. Terry College of Business provides students with a world class faculty, superior quality degree programs and an environment conducive to academic inquiry and research. The Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia offers a substantial number of degree programs ranked among the top twenty in the nation and continually strives to improve their programs and enhance their academic offerings. Graduates are instilled with the importance of ethical and social responsibility. The University of Georgia is involved in conferences and seminars which are regularly attended by the top individuals in both the various business industries and the academic realms, offers custom programs and sponsorships through their corporate partnerships and is involved in international strategy planning.

The Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia first introduced their real estate program in the early 1960’s. The program has grown to include more than 150 undergraduate majors. The high ranking real estate program at the University of Georgia is in such high demand it can only accept a fraction of the applicants vying for a slot in the major. The challenging and rigorous program prepares students for the dynamic industry by developing their students’ skills in analytical and adaptive thinking, problem solving and flexibility. The curriculum provides academic training and hands on experience earned through the renowned internship programs offered through the program. Students learn the fundamental areas of real estate necessary to begin careers in any of the professions within the industry. The required courses for the major include real estate principles, real estate asset management, real estate valuation, real estate finance, real estate law, real estate development and special topics in real estate. The Master of Business Administration in real estate provides an in depth examination of real estate areas such as cash flow analysis, increasing shareholder value, site selection, control and disposition, negotiations and mortgage financing.

4. University of California – Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley, founded in 1868, is a part of the prestigious university of California school system. Renowned for its innovative degree programs, the University of California Berkeley is considered a premier public university. The institution consists of 14 colleges and schools, 130 academic departments and 80 research units. The award winning degree programs offered at the University of California are nationally ranked among the top programs in the nation, and many, in the world. Graduates of the University of California have continued on to become leaders of industry, government and the arts. Among the 1582 full time and 500 part time faculty members teaching courses at the university are Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners. The institution is credited with many substantial academic contributions, discoveries and advancements derived from the cutting edge research performed by faculty and students at the University of California. Students enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley have access to the institutions extensive resources including its top ranked research library.

The Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley offers a range of real estate degree options. Students have the opportunity to complete a certificate program, an undergraduate program, a full or part time MBA program and a PHD program. The Haas Real Estate Group within the Haas school of Business is a research focused unit which strives for academic excellence, performs rigorous research and participates in community based initiatives. The unit enjoys a strong partnership with the real estate industry in the area which provides substantial opportunities for students and the institution. Students have the opportunity to participate in research projects at the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics and to become involved in the Real Estate and Economics Symposium. The curriculum for the programs includes both academic and applied learning aspects. Students are able to obtain internship . Courses offered within the program include real estate development, real estate finance and securitization, housing and the urban economy and special topics in real estate economics and finance.

5. New York University

New York University, founded in 1831, is consistently ranked as one of the top institutions in the nation. A pioneer in education, New York University is considered the “first global network university” since establishing its campus in Abu Dhabi and intends to continue its growth in this direction. Boasting thirteen schools and colleges and a student body of more than 40,000, New York University continuously strives to provide each student with an individualized experience. New York University provides innovative and rigorous degree programs which encompass the breadth of the disciplines being taught. The courses are taught by academic and industry experts, experienced in the fields in which they teach. New York University is one of the leading research university’s in the nation. The 3100 full time faculty members are dedicated professionals committed to advancing the fields they teach; participating in cutting edge research projects.

The Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University provides a challenging and comprehensive degree program in real estate. The 42 credit Master of Science in Real Estate equips students with the fundamental and advanced skills necessary to become successful leaders in the real estate profession. The program incorporates both theory and experiential learning within the curriculum. Students are taught to utilize analytical skills to perform the essential tasks of the profession; negotiating, financing, closing and evaluating. The program includes coursework on development, investment valuation, project management, law, market analysis, digital imaging and economics. Students enrolled in the program attain a thorough understanding of real estate theory and immersed in the field through internships, projects and mentoring programs. The program permits students to select an area of specialization in digital design applications for real estate, finance and investment, real estate development and strategic real estate management.

6. University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut, founded in 1881, includes 14 schools and colleges and consistently ranks among as the top public university in the New England region and among the top 30 institutions across the nation. Offering eight undergraduate degree programs in more than 101 majors and 17 graduate degrees, the University of Connecticut offers students a range of academic opportunities. The School of Business at the University of Connecticut, established in 1941, provides superior academic degree programs in the leading areas of business and high quality research opportunities. The University of Connecticut endeavors to produce graduates who will become leaders in their areas of study through its globalized curriculum and focus on experiential learning. The majority of the faculty members teaching the courses, 96%, are taught by scholars with the highest level degrees in their fields.

The Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies within the School of Business at the University of Connecticut provides students with an in depth understanding of the professional and practical aspects of real estate in the nation. Students are prepared with the skills necessary to become professionals in the real estate industry. The programs offered within the department include the bachelor, master and doctorate programs in real estate and urban economics. The baccalaureate program provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills required. The curriculum includes coursework in valuation, finance, market analysis and real property law. Courses offered in the program include real estate investments, real estate finance, GIS applications and use of the internet in real estate markets, economics for global business decisions, risk management and insurance, financial risk management and real estate investing. All programs incorporate both theoretical studies with practical experience.

7. University of Florida

The University of Florida has earned recognition for its commitment to ethics, leadership and performance. As one of the nations leading research institutions, the University of Florida makes significant and important contributions to the academic community. The rigorous and challenging academic programs offered at the University of Florida and access to industry experts provides a comprehensive academic experience which prepares graduates to become leaders of industry. The faculty members at the University of Florida are award winning respected research scholars and industry experts. The Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida offers students the opportunity to participate in seminars and various speaker series. The various real estate programs offered at the University of Florida are regarded for their unique connection to high level industry professionals which provides a unique strength for the department and a professional perspective not afforded by most other institution programs in the field of real estate. The programs include a mentoring program, participation in the distinguished speaker series, field trips, company visits and interactions with member s of the University of Florida’s Friends and Alumni of Real Estate. The high ranking school has ranked 7th for the program in finance, 8th for marketing and 13th for accounting.

The Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate within the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida offers an undergraduate minor in real estate, a Master of Business administration with a concentration in real estate, a Master of Science in Real estate and a Juris Doctor/MS in Real Estate. The curriculum provides a multidisciplinary approach with the related disciplines such as building construction, architecture and urban planning resulting in a comprehensive, in depth educational experience. The program includes theoretical study along with practical application. Students participate in case studies of real world projects designed to provide an authentic experience. The 34 credit Master of Science program requires students to complete the core real estate major courses in finance, development, urban and regional planning, building construction and entrepreneurship. Courses include real estate market and transaction analysis, professional communication, real estate law, professional writing, methods and materials of construction, investment property analysis, real estate appraisal and secondary mortgage markets and securitization.

8. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

The University of Illinois is regarded as a world leader in research, public service and education. The Department of Finance at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign has earned its ranking among the top programs due to its research productivity, exceptional degree programs and outstanding faculty members. The department‘s remarkable pioneering research projects have secured its ranking as one of the world’s most productive research units in finance. The program curriculum is taught by award winning instructors with superior educational skills and research accomplishments. Included among the faculty members employed at the University of Illinois are Nobel Prize winners and Pulitzer Prize winners. The program incorporates both practical learning and theoretical frameworks to provide a comprehensive, high quality curriculum. Students are taught the most advanced techniques in concepts, practices and technology in a range of innovative degree programs. The University of Illinois offers top ranked undergraduate and graduate programs. Students enrolled in the real estate major at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign have the opportunity to become a member of the real estate fraternity, Rho Epsilon.

The Department of Finance within the College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign provides students with a rigorous and in depth degree program in real estate. The Bachelor of Science in Finance offers a comprehensive curriculum. Students receive a broad understanding of the “acquisition and management of funds by business firms, governments and individuals” including the ability to determine the value of financial and real assets and derivatives. The program includes both theoretical studies and the development of analytical reasoning skills necessary for effective financial planning. The various specialization areas include corporate finance, risk management and wealth management, under which real estate falls. The emphasis in real estate includes the required courses in fundamentals of real estate, financial markets, urban real estate valuation, urban economics, property-liability insurance, policy and strategy, financing emerging businesses and introduction to insurance and legal issues in real estate. Exceptional Students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Finance Academy which is an enrichment program intended to develop leadership skills. The enhanced program is only offered to specific students during their junior and senior years and provides additional academic and career opportunities to the students chosen to participate. These students develop an expertise in a particular financial ‘tool’ through a focused curriculum and are offered internship options not available to students in the general curriculum.

9. University of Southern California

The School of Policy, Planning and development at the University of Southern California offers high quality degree programs, exceptional research opportunities and extensive public service and support projects. The department is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people, domestic and internationally. The degree programs are tailored to prepare students to meet the challenges of their professions, to become trained problem solvers, collaborators and leaders in their areas of expertise. The curriculum within the degree programs emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to accomplish this purpose. The flexible degree programs can be tailored to meet the specific goals and needs of each individual student with the range of options offered by the University of Southern California. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in internships, research and civic projects and to work closely with faculty members.

The School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California offers a Master of Real Estate development program. The program provides students with the fundamental academic and practical training required to become successful professionals in the field; design, finance and policy. Students study the areas of market analysis, finance and deal structuring, site planning, project management and operations, real estate law, economics, marketing and negotiations. Specialized areas of study include historic preservation, suburban growth and urban redevelopment. The curriculum includes studies in various types of real estate; residential, commercial, retail, office and industrial. The curriculum includes studies of global interest within the field of real estate; preparing graduates for employment in our globalized society. Students have the opportunity to participate in a study tour course in various other countries. The real estate program provides students the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. The Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California serves a liaison between the institution and industry professionals.

10. University of Texas – Austin

The University of Texas Austin is home to one of the top ranked business schools in the nation, with the majority of its programs receiving high rankings. The McCombs School of Business has earned its reputation through innovative research and its high quality degree programs designed to train its graduates to become leaders of business. The University of Texas is considered one of the most productive research schools in the country; credited with advancing business knowledge. The research is conducted with the intention of helping to manage and solve the most pressing challenges to society; energy sufficiency and sustainability a main area of strength for the institution. The degree programs offered at the McCombs School of Business are taught by its 177 faculty members with expertise in the varying segments of the business world and a commitment to teaching excellence. Students have the opportunity to pursue undergraduate, graduate and executive education, non degree programs.

McCombs School of business at the University of Texas at Austin offers a comprehensive and challenging degree program with a specialization in real estate. The Bachelor of business administration in finance provides an overview of the interrelated fields of business and finance. Students study resource allocation, the markets and institutions, the various instruments utilized to transfer money, and the function of finance in relation to business. The program offers students the opportunity to pursue one of six tracks, including real estate. The real estate track includes three required courses, six hours of real estate and one independent study course. The curriculum for the finance major provides students with the analytical tools essential for individuals within the field. The program includes theoretical studies and training in the various techniques of managing finance and business. Students develop skills in collaboration and communication and are instilled with an inherent understanding of ethical responsibility.

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