Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development
The Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development (MSRED) degree is an interdisciplinary one-year graduate program that prepares students from diverse backgrounds to become effective and influential participants in the fields of real estate finance, design and development. We equip our graduates with a blended education in business, economics, sustainable design, urbanism, and legal issues. The MSRED degree is practice-oriented, and the program emphasizes opportunities for students to gain experience and build a professional network in innovative for-profit, non-profit and public settings.
- Designed for students looking to accelerate their careers and to take their careers in a new direction
- Class sizes are kept small, typically 20 students, to provide a quality educational experience, support collaboration in the classroom, and allow us to focus on experiential learning throughout the curriculum
- Curriculum is comprehensive, teaching fundamental real estate principles with integrated discussions on social and economic sustainability
- Students learn from a faculty of industry practitioners who bring real-world expertise to the classroom
- Access to a global network of partner organizations to facilitate mentoring, internships, job placement, and additional resources that help students build connections and pursue rewarding careers
- Both full-time (1-year) and part-time (2-year) degree tracks available
New Orleans is a vibrant and rapidly growing city, with unique opportunities and persistent challenges related to reinvestment, revitalization, and innovative development strategies in a post-Katrina era. In the effort to rebuild an economy and focus on environmental solutions to protect this region, New Orleans and Tulane are at the forefront of the sustainable development movement. As affordable housing and economic development needs are considered and neighborhoods and businesses are rebuilt, questions emerge constantly regarding density, market growth and economic value in relation to community, the environment and a personal connection to the City. This program addresses these questions while examining successful case studies throughout North America and the world.
Our curriculum gives students a deep understanding of fundamental real estate principles. The core courses focus on:
- Financial Analysis
- Community Development
- Tax Credits & Creative Financing
- Taxation & Legal Issues
- Sustainable Design & Planning
- Urban Economics
In addition to the core curriculum, students choose from a variety of elective courses to further enhance their understanding of specific real estate topics, including:
- LEED Certification & Building Performance
- Community Finance
- Business of Real Estate
As part of MSRED’s practice-based education, students have the opportunity to complete a paid internship with local non-profits, development companies, or local government partners. For these GIGs (“Graduate Internship, GO!”), selected students work with the partner for approximately 15 hours/week on a specific project: conducting research, participating in meetings, and engaging in the real work of development. Each GIG is designed to foster mentoring relationships between the host partner and the MSRED student. These experiences also result in tangible work products and professional relationships that can help jump-start a career in real estate.
Previous GIG hosts:
- Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative
- GCR Consulting
- Greater New Orleans, Inc.
- Gulf Coast Housing Partnership
- Preservation Resource Center’s Operating Comeback
- ULI Louisiana
- New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA)
During the spring semester’s capstone Directed Research course, each MSRED student completes a substantial independent research project with a professional partner. This research gives our students an opportunity to apply and deepen their knowledge, while gaining practical experience and building a professional network. Research partners can be in New Orleans or around the globe. The public presentation of each student’s final work product is attended by industry professionals and is a further chance to demonstrate skills, build confidence, and make connections.
Prior research partners have included:
- Center for Planning and Excellence
- Downtown Development District
- HRI Properties
- Enterprise Community Partners
- Louisiana Land Trust
- New Orleans Redevelopment Authority
- Stirling Properties
- Forest City Ratner
- Jones Lang Lasalle
- National Trust Community Investment Corporation
- New York City Housing Authority
- Perkins + Will
- U.S. Green Building Council
- Walker & Dunlop
The MSRED program is graphically diverse, with students representing 41 U.S. states and several countries located in both Latin America and Asia. Additionally, MSRED students enter the program with a diverse range of educational backgrounds. Approximately 40% of students in the program have an architecture or design degree, and an equal number have a management or business degree. The average age of our entering students is 27, and most have at least 2-3 years of work experience.
Importantly, our graduates go on to succeed in a wide range of jobs throughout the real estate industry. Many alumni currently work with companies and firms such as:
- Financial Institutions
- Investment Banks
- Consulting Companies
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
- Property Management Companies
Although many MSRED graduates are making an impact in the New Orleans region, almost half of our alumni are working outside Louisiana.
In addition to undertaking the work in the courses, you will find multiple opportunities to interact with alumni and industry professionals, many of whom will come to lecture in classes. Through supporting alumni and the development community around the country, practitioners from major U.S. urban centers, including Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and the world at large participate in the curriculum via academic coursework as well as in the field replete with professional practices and development projects.
The MSRED educational experience is enhanced through two group Field Study trips, the cost of which is included in tuition. In the summer, MSRED students travel to Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA to meet with developers and policy-makers, and tour innovative projects and neighborhoods. In the fall, students attend the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Fall Conference and use the trip as another opportunity for site visits and professional networking.
In large part, the success of the MSRED program at Tulane is a credit to the exceptional faculty that has been assembled. Our faculty, who cover the breadth of enterprises necessary in this field, are industry practitioners who bring real-world expertise to the classroom. Many of them have national reputations and accomplishments in the fields of real estate development, community-based planning, design and urbanism. View faculty bios online.
Tuition for Tulane's MSRED degree program averages approximately $1,500 per credit hour for the 40-credit program (subject to change). Tuition costs include group travel and lodging for both the summer Urban Field Study and the Fall Urban Land Institute conference. Other general University fees such as the Student Health Fee and an Activity Fee also apply.
A few modest stipends are awarded by the MSRED program to prospective students through the standard admissions process. The program also offers a number of paid internships with local industry partners. Additionally, the MSRED courses are structured in a way to allow students to work part time, and a part time academic option is available for students who wish to work full time while completed the degree requirements.
Still, most MSRED students finance their graduate education through a mix of sources including federal loans. More information about federal loan options is available through the links below:
- How long is the MSRED program?
- The MSRED degree takes three semesters to complete, starting with an intensive series of introductory courses in the Summer and a full time course load in the Fall and Spring semesters. Graduation is in May along with the main University and School of Architecture ceremonies.
- When do classes start?
- Classes typically start in the last week of June each summer. The Summer courses run through July and then end with a week-long Urban Field Study trip the first week of August.
- How many credits are required?
- The MSRED degree consists of 10 required courses and 2 electives, for a total of 40 credits. The full curriculum can be accessed here.
- How much does it cost?
- MSRED tuition is approximately $1,500 per credit hour for the 40-credit degree program, with the exact rate determined by the University each academic year, typically in January. The most current tuition information is available here.
- How can I learn more about federal loans available to graduate students?
- Tulane’s Financial Aid Office is available to answer very general questions about federal loans, and will provide a specific counselor only once a student has applied and been admitted to the program. All applicants who are considering federal loans are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as it’s made available—typically on January 1 for the following academic year.
- Are grants or work study opportunities available to MSRED students?
- Yes. The School of Architecture provides a small number of merit-based grant awards as part of the normal application process. Additionally, there are a number of paid internships with industry partners that are available to interested MSRED students. However, these funds are very limited, and MSRED students cover the majority of their tuition and living expenses through federal or other loans and personal funds.
- How much work experience do I need before entering the program?
- Most MSRED students have at least 2-3 years of work experience before starting the program. However, many students have been successful who have come directly from an undergraduate degree, or who may not have prior work experience directly in the real estate industry.
- What if I don’t have an undergraduate degree in business or design?
- Not a problem. Most of our students typically do have a degree in either business or design, but each year there are students who bring a different educational background altogether. The MSRED degree is very much an interdisciplinary program, and we do not require specific classes or degrees prior to starting our courses. Instead, the Summer curriculum is specifically designed to bring students from a variety of backgrounds up to speed in different key topics—one topic may be a refresher for some students, while other topics will be new to them.
- Is there anything I should know as an international student?
- International applicants whose first language is not English must also submit a TOEFL score (or IELTS) as part of their application. Additionally, applicants will need to have their undergraduate transcripts translated into English if those official documents are not already in English.
For additional information about life in New Orleans and other University resources for international students, please contact Tulane’s Office of International Students and Scholars.
- When are applications due?
- Applications are due at 11:59pm on January 15 of each year. After this date, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, if space is available.
If you have missed the deadline and are interested in starting the program this year, please contact us immediately.
- Do I need to take the GRE?
- Yes. The University requires official scores from either the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). These scores should be sent directly to Tulane from the Educational Testing Service--School Code 6798 and Department Code 4401.
In the event you cannot get your scores prior to the application deadline, you can still apply to the program. However, any offer of admission will be provisional, pending receipt of your official test scores.
- When will I know if I am admitted?
- All applicants with completed applications by January 15 will receive an official admissions decision from the University via email by March 1. Again, if you have missed the January 15 deadline and are interested in starting the program this year, please contact us immediately.
- Are there joint degree options?
- Yes. Each year a handful of students typically earn a joint M.Arch/MSRED degree from Tulane. This curriculum requires at least one additional full time summer, and possibly also an additional full time semester. Due to the longer coursework required for the M.Arch degree, students typically start in the M.Arch program first.
Other joint degrees are possible with the Tulane Business School, the Law School, or the Graduate School generally.
- Is there a part time or executive education option?
- Yes. With a measure of flexibility from the employer and significant communication and time management skills from the student, it is possible to complete the MSRED program over two years while working full or part time. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.
- Can I schedule a campus or classroom visit?
- Yes! We would love to meet you in person and tell you more about the MSRED degree and New Orleans. Please contact us anytime to schedule either a brief meeting or help with a longer visit to the University.
We also schedule a formal Graduate Open House in both the Fall (late October) and the Spring (early April). These are good opportunities to learn about both the MSRED program and the University, as well as to meet other prospective students who are interested in the program.
- How can I get more information?
- Glad you asked. See below to contact the MSRED Program Director:
“The most valuable part of my MSRED experience was professors with field experience, teaching case studies instead of just theory.”
Brinda Sen Gupta, MSRED ‘12
Booz Allen Hamilton
“I was part of an interesting class of students that were each impressive in their own right. Everyone was supportive of one another.”
Jasmond Anderson, MSRED ‘13
Strategic Development Partners
“We were introduced to the biggest players in the industry. These introductions have been vital in accelerating my career.”
John Huppi, MSRED ‘14
Community Rehab Investors
New Orleans, LA