Columbia University Masters of Real Estate Development Program Review

*If you’re interested in the Columbia MSRED Program, this is a great review. However, I wanted to make you aware of a more recent review which can be found here.

I want to thank Slaon Saunders for taking time to add his valuable insight into the Columbia University Masters in Real Estate Development Program. Check out the Graduate Education tab to learn more about the program.

What was your background in real estate prior to the Columbia program?
I had 3 years of Real Estate Investment Banking experience at Deutsche Bank. I also took some RE classes at Georgetown Undergraduate business.

What other programs did you look at besides Columbia and why did you choose Columbia over the other programs?
NYU, Cornell, MIT – I chose Columbia due to its intense focus on the asset level analysis and focus on the development aspect of RE. I became very familiar with the capital markets of RE at DB and wanted more of a ground-up approach with construction and architecture playing an important role.

Are the professors primarily full-time or part-time? Do the part-time professors make themselves accessible outside the classroom?
Majority are part-time, but make themselves available outside the classroom. They bring in an invaluable perspective on what is really going on outside the classroom and are able to bring in real time examples of how to adapt to changes in the investment environment.

Do you notice a variation of the material taught by different professors of the same course?
Some, but they communicate very well with each other.

What kind of opportunities does the program provide to students outside the classroom?
There are internships as well as a few class trips.

How is the programs career counseling? Do they actively help students find summer internships and full-time positions? How willing are alumni in assisting current students?
Yes, there is a full time career counselor who helps students find the opportunities they are looking for. Once you are put in touch with Alumni they sometimes go out of their way to help find the right person and the right assistance.

What are your future aspirations in real estate and how has this program helped you to get closer to your goals?
Currently doing RE lending with my own company. The program helped me get a better understanding of the current market and network with major players in the industry to help grow the company’s network.

Is there anything else about the program you think people should know?
Very talented classmates and teachers which are very effective in teaching what current events are effecting the RE industry and how to take advantage of these events from an entrepreneurial perspective.

Rate the various aspects of the program from 1-10, 10 being the best:
Professors: 9
Curriculum: 9
Career Counseling: 9
Outside Opportunities: 8
Overall Rating: 9

Feel free to put any questions or comments you have about the program in the comment section.





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  • Andrew Wilson

    Great article. I have considered both NYU and Columbia's program in real estate to formalize some of the real world real estate investment experience I am acquiring.

    I am wondering if there were any/many architects in the program.


  • Joe Stampone

    Andy, it's my understanding that the Columbia's MSRED program has a strong focus on architecture.

    The NYU Real Estate Institute only has a few electives that focus on architecture. However, their continuing education program offers plenty of courses in architecture. Here's a link to the courses they offer:

    Let me know if you have any follow-up questions. Thanks for visiting.

  • wasiu

    Hey Slaon,

    I am a junior at a large state school in California. I have a 3.5 GPA; with two years of residential real estate experience, and currently undertaking an internship with a development company. Do you think I can get in to Columbia’s program for real estate development straight out of undergrad?

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  • dennymarsh

    The program helped me get a better understanding of the current market and network with major players in the industry to contribute to the growth of the company network.Majority are part time, but make themselves available outside the room class.
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  • Blake Pierce

    I am currently at a non-target MBA school concentrating in
    corporate finance and investments and was looking to enter either Columbia’s or
    Cornell’s Master of Real Estate program, upon completion…My background has
    been in project management on the commercial construction side. I am looking to
    transition into asset management / commercial (preferably office) acquisitions.
    Last summer I interred with a major real estate asset management firm.
    Sooooooo, with regards to my background and what I am currently pursuing would
    you recommend Columbia’s program?

  • Joe Stampone

    Hey Blake, thanks for reading. It’s my understanding that Columbia’s program is more development focused.  

    Columbia v. Cornell are very different, with one being in Manhattan and the other upstate. If you plan to work in the city post the program, then I’d recommend Columbia’s program.

    Does that help at all?

  • Leonidaspills

     It is informative post.  This above shear great review.  There are so many advantages of it.  I got the knowledge what I exactly want. I am highly obliged to be here by getting it.

  • Lawrence Peters

     I was recently admitted to this program.  I already have a masters in architecture from another Ivy.  With all the debt I am accumulated with my both my undergrad and grad degrees, I don’t know if going into debt with MSRED will pay off in the long run.  What is the average salary for a recent grad? 

  • Joe Stampone

    Hi Lawrence, thanks for reading. That question is much better suited for the program’s administration.

    Thanks for reading!