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More professionals considering real estate graduate school in down market

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While the commercial real estate market continues to struggle, more real estate professionals are considering strengthening their resumes by pursuing graduate school so they can be better positioned when the economy recovers. Admissions counselors at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, which offers a Master of Science in real estate degree, say that numbers are up for fall 2011 applications, and apparently not despite current economic woes, but because of them.

“Real estate professionals at every level are realizing more than ever the importance of acquiring new skills in a world that has changed so much,” said Ines Kraft, Ph.D., the program’s administrative director. “Many are finding this to be a perfect time to pursue graduate school since there is not as much happening on the business front, which affords them more time for graduate studies.”

Professionals prefer the USD program to other graduate real estate programs, Kraft said, because of its accelerated timeline: Full-time students complete the program in just 10 months, while part-time students finish in two years. A joint MBA/MSRE degree can be completed in two and a half years.

All program options provide students with intense interaction with the real estate industry, both inside the classroom and through extracurricular programs. Graduate students attend monthly networking events, which give them opportunities to interact with bankers, developers and investment managers, and forge the connections that can have a profound impact on their careers.

Since the program operates out of USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, students benefit from the center’s strong connections to senior real estate professionals in the area, who provide invaluable contributions and a wide range of career-oriented opportunities. A mentor relationship with a seasoned local real estate professional is mandatory for students in the program, as is training toward LEED and Argus accreditation. In real-time, project-based courses, students also gain full comprehension of and appreciation for the myriad new options and opportunities in real estate today.

This year, in keeping with the changing realities in the industry, the program’s asset management course was redesigned, and the program’s capstone course will be showcasing a development project in partnership with a local redevelopment agency. For more information on the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in real estate program, contact Annie Grand at anniegrand@sandiego.edu.

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