Academic Course Catalogs

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Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE)

The Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) degree program develops the specialized skills needed by real estate professionals through an interactive approach. The program provides students with the leadership, communication and interpersonal skills necessary to compete for real estate careers at the middle- to upper-management levels or to become real estate entrepreneurs.

Through the use of personalized teaching methods, including a substantial number of real-time, project-based courses, students gain a full comprehension of and appreciation for the many different facets of the real estate profession. Specifically, the University of San Diego’s real estate master’s program produces graduates who have:

  • Decision-making skills, including financial and quantitative analysis;
  • Negotiating skills and an understanding of the ethical conduct issues in the real estate profession;
  • Business writing, critical thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Oral communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Technology-related skills, including spreadsheet modeling and real estate databases; and
  • Awareness of the importance that sustainability plays in the industry’s future and the knowledge to implement accordingly.

Real estate is a multi-disciplinary field, and the MSRE focuses on providing students with a solid foundation comprised of the many different disciplines and components that make up the dynamic real estate profession. Discussion of the political and social implications of real estate decisions, as well as their ethical dimensions, is incorporated throughout the curriculum. A growing emphasis is placed on sustainability. The program is built on the strengths of the USD School of Business Administration and its Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, which has an outstanding reputation throughout the region.

Requirements for the MSRE Degree

MSRE 500 The Real Estate Process (2)
MSRE 502 Real Estate Law and Public Policy (3)
MSRE 503 Commercial Real Estate Finance and Investment (3)
MSRE 505 Negotiations and Ethical Issues in Real Estate (3)
MSRE 506 Strategic Management of Real Estate Assets (2)
MSRE 507 The Urban and Suburban Development Process (3)
MSRE 508 Commercial Real Estate Valuation (3)
MSRE 509 Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets (2)
MSRE 510 Real Estate Capstone (2)
MSRE 511 Real Estate Seminar (1)
MSRE 513 Real Estate Market Analysis (3)
MSRE 515 Design and Construction Management (3)
MSRE 517 Sustainable Real Estate (2)
Total: 32 units

Courses and Seminars

MSRE 500 The Real Estate Process (2)

This course is an intensive week-long introduction to basic real estate fundamentals to provide an overall foundation. It highlights the crucial role of being a socially responsible, ethical real estate professional in shaping communities for future generations. It previews training in different technology-related tools used throughout the program, as well as the start of team-building and networking within the student cohort. Key real estate professionals serve as guest speakers and highlight the many different disciplines comprising the real estate process.

MSRE 502 Real Estate Law and Public Policy (3)

This course provides historical foundation and fundamental legal principles affecting real estate. It uses case studies and current events in real estate law and ethics to explore critical issues in the real estate marketplace. Special emphasis is given to transactions, investments and development of real estate as related to contracts, ownership, transfer, land use and environmental issues. Required readings, document reviews, class discussions, applied research, presentations and outside speakers enable a practical understanding of ethical principles and legal implications that impact real estate.

MSRE 503 Commercial Real Estate Finance and Investment (3)

This course introduces core concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools useful for making finance and investment decisions regarding commercial real estate assets. It uses a multi-disciplinary approach to an intense study of the financial, spatial and social economics of commercial real estate. It builds a cohesive framework to analyze complex real estate finance and investment decisions emphasizing the fundamentals of property markets and financial markets (primary emphasis on “Main Street” deals rather than Wall Street).

MSRE 505 Negotiations and Ethical Issues in Real Estate (3)

Negotiations are central to most decisions made about a real estate asset starting from the original acquisition agreement to the lease agreement, operations and management, as well as disposition. These negotiations often present ethical dilemmas for the parties involved. This course explores the science and art of negotiation with “science” learned largely through readings and discussions, and “art” learned through experience gained in simulated real estate negotiations in which students examine the ethical dilemmas facing various parties to a transaction.

MSRE 506 Strategic Management of Real Estate Assets (2)

This course examines strategic and tactical risk management strategies for real estate assets involving ownership entities including individuals, institutional investors and businesses. It explores how asset management directly affects cash flows and therefore the underlying value of a single asset or a portfolio of assets. Topics include: financing and refinancing opportunities and techniques, designing a tenant mix, marketing strategies for leasing the asset, creating and implementing repositioning strategies, planning capital expenditures, budget and management reporting, cost control and operations strategies. We will consider the role of real estate in a corporation including its relationship to the strategic plan and balance sheet; its place in corporate mergers; and its programming, procurement, investment, management and disposal.

MSRE 507 The Urban and Suburban Development Process (3)

This course provides a step-by-step analysis of the phases involved in the real estate development process including original product conceptualization based on market research, site acquisition, entitlement process, construction process, financing, and marketing (lease-up) of the property. Leadership, management and control of the development teams will be highlighted. Land use theory, traditional and contemporary metropolitan development patterns, transportation and environmental issues also discussed. We will consider the impact of choices regarding investment objectives, changing technology, telecommunication, and socioeconomic and market activities on the development process and the success of a real estate project.

MSRE 508 Commercial Real Estate Valuation (3)

This course focuses on the theory and practice of real property valuation beginning with fundamental concepts of real estate appraisal, then gaining practical experience by completing an appraisal and analysis of an investment property in San Diego. Teams are assigned an industry mentor who provides the appraisal project and coaches the data-gathering process. We will conclude with team presentations of appraisal projects to a panel of judges. This course uses the ARGUS financial software and various real estate market databases to complete the valuation.

MSRE 509 Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets (2)

This course examines the major players, investment criteria and deal structures available in the capital markets (both debt and equity) for the real estate investor. It analyzes roles of traditional sources of real estate capital, as well as the proliferation of newer financial products, with a focus on the risk or return parameters for the various sources of capital.

MSRE 510 Real Estate Capstone (3)

Teams work on a live feasibility-consulting project in the San Diego region providing their client with a professional presentation and a report at the end of the term. Projects will vary so that the class will be exposed to different kinds of real estate challenges. The unique attributes of alternative real estate assets will be explored. The course helps develop problem-solving and consulting skills essential for success in determining real estate feasibility.

MSRE 511 Real Estate Seminar (1)

A seminar designed to bridge the academic to practitioner gap by providing student interaction with practicing real estate experts on a current topic of special interest.

MSRE 513 Real Estate Market Analysis (3)

This course is aimed at providing the foundation for the program’s development course and eventually the capstone course. We cover transportation and land economics and examine how these influence land values. We explore changes in transportation costs and the impact of public transit. We also focus on various property types including but not limited to housing, office, industrial and retail property, looking at sources of demand and supply, management and marketing issues and forces which drive rents. We spend some time on financial feasibility analysis, front-door and back-door techniques where we examine supportable values given rents, or required rents given the costs. Experts on market and feasibility analysis will present at various points in the course.

MSRE 515 Design and Construction Management (3)

This course provides an overview of planning and design considerations for the most productive use of a site, as well as exposure to the process of construction management. It considers construction management from a developer’s point of view and includes direct student interaction with design professionals and the general contracting and construction management side of the real estate industry. Students will be exposed to the major issues facing the developer in terms of feasibility, site planning, design, space utilization, management of the construction process including quality control, budgeting and scheduling. Alternative project procurement and construction delivery mechanisms will be identified and compared. An inside perspective on how a general contractor analyzes and bids a project will be provided, particularly the proforma from a design-build contract, the scheduling process, and the various computer tools available to the general contractor. A team of on-site specialists involved with a project will take students on a tour of a project under construction.

MSRE 517 Sustainable Real Estate (2)

As the United States focuses on carbon emissions, high energy prices and climate change, the real estate industry is responding to the challenge with environmentally sensitive, “green” and sustainable development practices. While the cost of going green is no longer a prohibiting factor, owners are now recognizing this as an economic opportunity to attract and retain tenants. Today’s building tenants are not only demanding buildings that incorporate waste recycling, energy efficiency and functional design, but they are also seeking quality of life, healthy environments and a reduced carbon footprint. This course will answer questions such as: Is sustainable real estate development a passing fad, or will future developments be mandated to meet national sustainability standards? What does sustainability mean to the typical public corporation; private firm; and what does it mean for the GSA, EPA and State GSA offices? How can real estate industry professionals proactively incorporate sustainable practices into their leasing and development strategies? What are the costs and benefits of sustainable real estate development?