The real estate program reviews on the blog, like this one, are outdated. Programs continue to evolve and improve so static reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. I recommend you reach out to current students and alums to get the latest insights into the program. I also recommend that you check out my post on the true value of a graduate real estate program.

Here is an archive of the past reviews that I completed on the site prior to shifting the focus of the content:

A major part of the motivation behind this blog was the frustration I experienced when looking at various masters in real estate programs. So, using the contacts I established in my search process, I began doing reviews of a few of the top schools and posting them so prospective students could make a more educated decision. As more schools pop up I want to continue doing these interviews. Today, Will Andrews from Auburn’s brand new Master of Real Estate Development program was nice enough to take the time to do a thorough review of the program.

What was your background in real estate prior to the program?
Immediately out of college I began as a development associate working on mixed-use and condominium development throughout the Southeast for a multifamily REIT. After the housing bust I transitioned into corporate finance within the same company where I am currently the VP of Finance & Investments.

What other programs did you look at besides Auburn’s Masters in Real Estate Development and why did you choose Auburn over the other programs?
The Auburn program is very unique because of its executive format that allows you to continue working full time while pursuing your MRED degree. Personally I could not justify leaving my current position to go back to school full time so when I discovered the Auburn program I jumped at the opportunity. I had a strong background in finance, but I wanted to become a more rounded real estate professional by deepening my knowledge in the ‘brick and mortar’ side of the business. Auburn’s MRED program has a financial component but the core of the program revolves around sustainable building practices. The program is in its inaugural year but so far has done a great job integrating the many real estate disciplines into the coursework.

Are the professors primarily full-time or part-time? Do the part-time professors make themselves accessible outside the classroom?
The professors are part-time and come from many schools within the University including the College of Architecture & Design, Building Science, and the College of Business. In addition adjunct professors and guest lecturers are brought in from across the country to teach courses and comment on current real estate topics. The professors are very accessible and stay in constant contact with students through online forums.

How is the program’s career counseling? Do they actively help students find summer internships and full-time positions? How willing are alumni in assisting current students?
Since the program consists of working professionals a formal career counseling office has not been established. An advisory board of alumni working in top real estate positions has been formed to help in this manner. The advisory board has committed to a strong involvement with students and appears to be more than willing to cooperate on job searches or career advice.

What are your future aspirations in real estate and how has this program helped you to get closer to your goals?
Long term it’s to own and operate my own full service real estate company. Near term it’s to apply everything I learn directly to my current work. Working and going to school presents an interesting dynamic in that it allows you to theorize alternative methods while at the same time testing them in real world situations. Although I am only half way through the program I have challenged myself to look at real estate problems differently than before.

How many classes are required to complete the program?
The program is setup on a six semester format over a two year period. Each semester consists of a one week on-campus residency that brings the entire class together and involves a series of lectures, group work, and site visits related to the semester’s coursework. The remainder of the semester is taught through distance learning modules and discussion forums. In addition each semester consists of a field study where students and professors travel to a particular city and meet with local developers, owners, and city officials to discuss current projects over the course of a few days. This has been a great networking opportunity and provides considerable exposure to a variety of real estate platforms. To date, our field studies have consisted of Philadelphia and Washington DC with future studies planned for Boston, Portland, Los Angeles, and a TBD international location. The program also offers a variety of industry memberships as part of tuition including ULI, ICSC, CCIM and USGBC LEED prep classes.

Feel free to contact me with further questions through the LinkedIn link below.

Rate the various aspects of the program from 1-10, 10 being the best:
Professors: 8
Curriculum: 9
Career Counseling: 7
Outside Opportunities: 9
Overall Rating: 8