Why choose the MRE degree?

The MRE degree covers the traditional skills and knowledge required of every real estate professional while also exploring how real estate can creatively advance beneficial spatial, social, and environmental outcomes. Through a multifaceted pedagogy of required and elective courses concluding with a two-month off-campus practicum in a private or public real estate organization working on a project that produces socially and environmentally beneficial outcomes, students learn about finance, institutions, design, planning, law, politics, management, entrepreneurship, negotiation, construction, technology, culture, leadership, and other elements essential to the practice of tomorrow’s real estate.

What is the length of the MRE degree?

The MRE is a 12-month degree that includes a Fall term, January term, Spring term, and off-campus Summer term that concludes with a several-day return to the GSD.

How many course units are students required to take to receive the MRE degree?

Students are required to take 60 units of courses to graduate. Fall and Spring terms are 20 units, January term is 4 units, and  Summer term is 16 units. A typical course in the MRE program counts for four units.

What are the required courses for the MRE degree?

The following courses constitute the approved MRE degree curriculum. Courses and requirements are subject to change based on ongoing assessments by the faculty.

  • Real Estate Finance and Development (4 units)
  • Urban Economics and Market Analysis (4 units)
  • Design and Design Thinking for Real Estate (4 units)
  • Real Estate, Society, Environment (4 units)
  • Construction Management, Project Management, New Technologies (4 units)
  • Advanced Real Estate Finance (4 units)
  • Public and Private Development (4 units)
  • The Development Project (4 units)
  • Real Estate Law (4 units)
  • Negotiation (2 units)
  • Leadership, Entrepreneurship (2 units)
  • Practicum (12 units)

What is the summer Practicum?

The two-month off-campus summer Practicum places students in a private or public real estate organization working on a project that produces socially and environmentally beneficial outcomes. A stipend covering expenses is provided.

Is it possible to place out of a required course?

Yes. Students who enter the MRE program with advanced knowledge and skills in specific subject areas may be able to place out of a limited number of courses and substitute others drawn from a program-curated list.

Can MRE students take courses outside of the GSD?

Yes. Students may cross-register in eligible courses at other Harvard schools, including the Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School, the Law School, the T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the College. Students may also cross-register in eligible courses offered by MIT and Tufts Fletcher School.

May the MRE degree be part of a joint or concurrent degree program?

No. However, MRE students may pursue other Harvard degrees before or after completing the MRE degree as long as they are accepted at other Harvard schools.

Is the MRE program offered online?

No. The MRE program does not offer an online option.

Will MRE students have an assigned faculty advisor?

Yes. All MRE students will have a faculty advisor to guide them on curricular and extracurricular matters.

What extracurricular opportunities exist for MRE students?

The MRE program will sponsor public events from time to time. The GSD has a real estate development club that sponsors conferences and other public events. Students may also attend public events hosted by the Joint Center for Housing, the Center for Green Buildings and Cities, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, the Center for the Environment, and a host of other centers and institutes focused on different parts of the world.

Will the MRE program provide students with career services support during their time at the GSD?

Yes. An important measure of a professional degree program’s success is the ability of its graduates to secure significant and enhanced employment following graduation. The MRE degree program enjoys the advantages of Harvard’s vast network of services and alumni engaged in real estate practice worldwide. The GSD’s Office of Career Services provides career counseling, Connect GSD (mentorship platform), and access to CREATE for post-graduation employment opportunities, programs, and events geared toward career success. The Harvard Real Estate Alumni Organization and the Harvard Alumni Real Estate Board are active in connecting students with alumni.

What type of jobs can students expect after graduating?

MRE graduates will be prepared to assume important positions worldwide in private for-profit real estate companies doing projects that involve extensive public review, public subsidies, or public-private partnerships; private not-for-profit real estate entities such as community development corporations and affordable housing developers; public and quasi-public agencies that partner with private developers; real estate advisory and consulting organizations; public and private investors seeking projects that advance socially and environmentally beneficial outcomes; and anchor institutions such as universities and medical institutions that play increasingly significant roles in urban development. Some MRE graduates may choose to set off on their own entrepreneurial path. Others may decide to return to the organization where they worked prior to matriculation, but with opportunities for promotion and new directions based on their MRE degree.

Is the MRE a STEM-designated program?

Yes. The Master in Real Estate degree has been designated a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degree. Thus, international students holding F-1 visas may be eligible for a 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension on top of their initial OPT of 12 months, for a total of 36 months, following graduation. For further information, go to the Harvard International Office’s information page.

How many students are enrolled in the MRE program?

The MRE program anticipates enrolling up to 25 students.

Are there any prerequisites for admission?

Yes. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s or equivalent degree. Two or more years of professional experience in real estate or related fields (urban planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, etc.) is preferred.

What is the admissions schedule for the MRE program?

Applications to the MRE program may now be submitted through the Admissions webpage. Decisions are usually communicated to applicants in March. For additional information on admissions, please visit the Admissions webpage.

Will there be an “Open House” for the MRE program?

Yes. The MRE program will host virtual “Open Houses” with faculty participation in Fall 2022, one on September 9th and the other on November 1st. Please visit the Connect to the GSD page to register for an MRE Open House event.

What is the tuition for the MRE program?

MRE Program tuition rates for the 2023-2024 academic year have not yet been determined. For comparison purposes only, MRE tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year would have been calculated as $82,500, which is $27,500 per term times the equivalent of three GSD terms (Fall term, January term, Spring term, and Summer term). For additional information on GSD tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 academic year, please visit the GSD Tuition webpage.

Does the MRE program provide financial aid?

Yes. Admission to the MRE program is “need-blind,” meaning that an applicant’s ability to pay tuition will not be considered in the admissions process. If admitted, students may apply for need-based financial aid from the GSD. For additional information, please visit the Financial Aid webpage.

Is the GRE or other standardized test required as part of the application?

No. GRE and other standardized test scores are not required, with the exception of TOEFL scores, which are required for international students from countries where English is not the native language. If submitted, GRE test scores will not be considered when applications are reviewed.

Is a portfolio required or expected as part of the application?

No. A portfolio is not required or expected to apply to the MRE program.

If an applicant is having difficulty obtaining a recommendation from a faculty member, may professional recommendations suffice?

Yes. Applicants who have been out of school for several years may request letters from employers or other persons in a position to evaluate their professional abilities and academic potential.

Can an admitted applicant request a deferral to another year?

No. If an applicant is admitted to the program but is unable to attend, they will need to reapply the following year.