Real Estate

The master's degree and graduate certificate offerings in Real Estate prepare students and professionals to embrace the full spectrum of real estate theory and practice in areas of design, finance, management, construction, regulatory affairs, environmental conditions, and social policy.


On Campus

Synchronous online


Evening meetings (EST)

Credits Required

Master's Degree: 34-35

Certificate: 15 

Time Commitment

Master's Degree: 1-2 years

Certificate: 1 year




$475/semester for full-time students
$160/semester for part-time students

Ways to Save

Limited institutional scholarships available

Federal student loans available with two courses or more per term

Apply By

August 15th for fall

January 15th for spring

Real Estate Information Session

Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM

You may attend virtually or in person. 

Real Estate Information Session Registration

Real Estate at RWU

As the industry evolves, there is a critical need for professionals that understand the multidisciplinary role of real estate including the complex factors of finance and investment practices, environmental considerations, the impacts of real estate on individuals and communities, and more. The master's degree and graduate certificate address these needs by providing coursework that leverages expertise in areas like project development and finance, design, urban and regional planning, and historic preservation.

Real Estate students at RWU will understand multiple aspects of the real estate profession including design, finance, management, construction, regulatory affairs, environmental conditions, and social policy. Additionally, these programs address the impact of real estate on individuals, households, and communities in terms of access to education, economic opportunity, and safe environments.

Students can customize their studies with a variety of elective coursework that can be chosen to suit individual interests.

These programs are part of the Cummings School of Architecture, which offers additional graduate programs in Architecture, Preservation Practices, and Urban and Regional Planning. The School is also home to the Cummings Institute for Real Estate

RWU Master of Architecture and M.S. Preservation Practices students can earn the Real Estate Graduate Certificate as part of their degree with no additional cost or coursework. 


REAL 501 Real Estate, Equity and Environment

This course targets real estate topics that define the scope of the practice; focusing on the multi-disciplinary role of real estate professionals in creating successful initiatives beyond design, construction or sales including business skills, resiliency and sustainability, legal topics, financing, feasibility and social inclusion. Topics may include political influences, land conservation, climate change, government and public policy, housing policy, infrastructure and land use, adaptive reuse, growth management and the impact of real estate on individuals, households, and communities.

REAL 544 Real Estate Market Analysis and Decision Making

This course reviews key theoretical models and the practical techniques of real property valuation. The course will explore models that explain why location matters, where market activity takes place, and what factors drive market changes. Students will conduct a real estate market analysis based on research and data and the application of tools and techniques. Students will learn about the economic value of a real estate development using concepts in finance and institutional analysis, techniques for market analysis, and financial strategies for long-term decisions in managing real estate assets.

REAL 543 Project Development and Finance

The Course targets the fundamentals of the real estate development process, with an emphasis on the economic/finance elements of project feasibility. Case study examples include urban, infill new construction as well as historic rehabilitation. By leveraging current/real world case study, and by engaging regional professionals, participants will create and assess pro forma that are used to evaluate and guide development projects. The goal is to establish a comfort level, capability, and the aptitude to be conversant and informed in project economics and financing. The course also focuses on the chronology and process of real estate development; from concept and feasibility through construction.

REAL 502 Real Estate Economics, Capital Markets and Finance

This course provides an understanding of the role real estate in the national and global economies while examining the practical and theoretical perspectives of real estate markets. It introduces micro- and macro-economic dynamics that inform investment and financing decisions. Considerable emphasis is placed on securitization, the housing finance system, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBs), the subprime lending, and related topics. Forces impacting demand and supply for residential and commercial land and development opportunities will be explored, plus those factors that drive rents and land costs. Analysis will also include property characteristics, market conditions, leverage, taxation and the tradeoff between risk and return.

REAL 531 Integrated Project Management and Technology

This course introduces project management techniques and skills that integrate pre-development, construction, and operations best practices and emerging approaches for real estate projects. The course reviews technical, legal, and administrative concepts that enable real estate professionals to navigate decision making through all phases of a project’s life cycle. Students will gain an understanding of project delivery systems including new technologies, such as Building Information Modeling, that support real estate development.

LAW 160 Legal Principles in Real Estate

This course focuses on the legal principles and issues essential to the real estate industry, including different ownership interests in real estate; requirements for buying, selling and leasing property; enforceable agreements and legal remedies; basic construction law; and legal issues arising from the investment in and management of real estate assets. Topics include the roles and legal authority of federal, state, and local agencies to shape decision-making in real estate development processes and rights of neighbors. Essential concepts of planning, zoning, building codes, entitlements, and condemnation will be explored. This foundational course is a pre-requisite for related electives in the law school.

PLAN 511  Interdisciplinary Planning Workshop

This workshop approaches site-specific, field-based projects informed by an understanding of laws, codes and regulations, incentives and financing, initiatives, players, and an array of planning and conservation practices. Typically, the class is conducted in partnership with and for a governmental entity, organization or community group. Students’ organization, management and graphic/oral/ written presentation skills; use of research resources, documentation techniques and computer applications; and teamwork are critical. Students will be challenged to take a multifaceted approach and consider diverse stakeholders.

ARCH 517 Collaborative Revitalization Studio 

Existing structures were once considered as either sites to be demolished for new construction or to be preserved for ‘historic’ value. Developable land is now harder to find and often remote from urban centers and infrastructure, while new construction in dense urban areas is increasingly impractical. Re-urbanization has moved beyond major cities like Boston, New York, and San Francisco to smaller communities, like Providence, RI, or Charleston, SC, which are dealing with an influx of workers, new business models, obsolete structures and increasing inequality. Adaptation and revitalization are increasingly important strategies and create a new paradigm for consideration. Taking what exists, preserving and celebrating its intrinsic value – physically and culturally - and adapting it for dynamic and feasible re-use is the focus of this studio along with the broader implications of fitting modern development programs into existing urban environments and structures.

REAL 510 Real Estate Case Studies and Project Proposal

The capstone course is designed to allow students to apply knowledge acquired in the MSRE program to critically examine issues of a real-world real estate development project. Students will assess the market, community and environmental impacts, permitting and regulatory process, design, construction, cost analysis and financing for a development case study. Students are expected to create a development proposal to include visioning, project planning and design, program development, public policies and potential partnerships, financial analysis and capital structure, project delivery and management strategies. The capstone project encourages students to develop their leadership, collaboration and negotiation skills and balance program goals and cost with the ethical, social, and environmental issues commonly faced by real estate professionals.

The Office of Graduate Admission hosts Open Houses and Virtual Information Sessions throughout the year. 

View our upcoming events for the most current opportunities to hear about the graduate programs in Real Estate.

Real Estate Symposium

RWU holds an annual Real Estate Symposium to showcase and address the complexity and interconnected challenges facing the real estate industry. 

Annual Real Estate Symposium


REAL 501- Real Estate, Equity, and Environment (3CH-5:30pm-8:20pm)

REAL 544- Real Estate Market Analysis and Decision Making (3CH-6:30pm-9:20pm)

REAL 543- Project Development and Finance (3CH-6:30pm-9:20pm)

Elective (3CH)


REAL 502- Real Estate Economics, Capital Markets, and Investment (3CH-5:30pm-8:20pm)

LAW160- Legal Principle in Real Estate (3CH-asynchronous)

Elective (3CH)

PLAN 511 - Interdisciplinary Planning Workshop (4CH) or ARCH 517 - Collaborative Revitalization Studio (5CH) - (2:00pm-6:20pm)


REAL 510-Case Studies & Project (3CH)- TBD

REAL531 (3CH) - TBD

Paid Internship (no credit)

M.S. Real Estate Application Requirements

To be considered for admission to the M.S. Real Estate program, applicants must hold an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. To apply, submit the following:

  1. Completed online application form accompanied by the $50 application fee (waived for internal applicants)
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in the program, relevant past experiences, and career goals
  4. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school
  5. Resume
  6. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results.

Certificate Application Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Real Estate Graduate Certificate program, applicants must hold an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. To apply, submit the following:

  1. Completed online application form accompanied by the $50 application fee (waived for internal applicants)
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in the program, relevant past experiences, and career goals

Submitting Documents

Where appropriate, documents should be submitted online through the applicant portal or via email to Any official documents that must be mailed (i.e. transcripts) should be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1 Old Ferry Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809

Have questions about the application process? Visit the How to Apply page from the Office of Graduate Admission.


Alumni who enroll Fall 2024 qualify for a 20% scholarship toward MSRE tuition. This scholarship is our way of supporting your continued education and success as you advance into the dynamic world of real estate. 

Class of 2024 Scholarship:  Apply for the MSRE by June 1, 2024, you will automatically be considered for the Cappelli Real Estate Scholarship as an addition to your alumni scholarship.  Thanks to the generosity of the Louis R Cappelli Foundation, we have a limited number of these special scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 for the class of 2024. These scholarships will recognize exceptional candidates who demonstrate a passion for real estate and a commitment to academic excellence.