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Real Estate Development

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Curriculum & Courses

I. Foundational Ethics (3 credit hours)

Your first class will be Foundational Ethics. 

This course introduces students to some of the major positions in normative ethics with special emphasis on the role of ethical reasoning and practice in professional contexts. Through diligent preparation and participation in this class, students should expect to sharpen their critical reading, writing and oral skills so that they are not only comfortable with discussing the problems introduced in class, but are capable of doing informed, critical reasoning about current issues in ethics. As a results, students should come to have a better sense of the nature of key ethical problems and how they can be responsibly confronted. (3 credit hours)

II. Concentration courses (24 credit hours)

The following eight courses fulfill the 24-credit hour concentration requirements.

This course introduces students to the various professional roles and responsibilities of the developer, and the stages and elements of real estate development process. The course introduces and reinforces market data research analysis and applicable presentation skills. Students are expected to devise and present a professional market analysis. Site selection analysis through synthesis of market drivers and supply-demand analysis is introduced and reinforced. Net present value and discounted cash flow financial analyses are introduced. Emphasis is placed on market analysis core concept reinforcement with application to different types of projects. (3 credit hours)

This course examines the fundamentals of site analysis due diligence and entitlements. Students analyze and assess reports and impact studies necessary to determine the suitability of sites for specific development projects. Regulatory planning processes and entitlements are experienced through application of urban planning, comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, transportation plans, land use approvals, and historic preservation processes and requirements. (3 hours)

This course covers the practical mathematics for analyzing the financial viability of real estate development projects. The course provides the student with a foundation of real estate business concepts and technical skills to create and implement financial modeling techniques utilizing comprehensive pro forma analysis. In addition, the student will learn how to calculate and utilize critical return parameters for making appropriate risk adjusted real estate investments. Emphasis will be placed on project evaluation via financial analysis and building of spreadsheets. (3 credit hours)

This course introduces financial markets, sources of capital, and instruments that impact real estate finance. The course covers various types of real estate financing, construction and permanent mortgage loans, variable and fixed rate loans, financial leverage, mezzanine loans, non-recourse carve outs, swaps, and structuring real estate investments. Public and Private debt and equity structures are covered. (3 hours)

This course explores the data sets gathered and the methods of calculating the value of real estate, considering its market value at its highest and best use and/or the other specific reasons for the valuation. The course addresses the perspectives of the buyer, seller, and lender. This course will also examine the ethical underpinnings of the valuation profession, and explore other assignments and services that the professional valuer may be engaged. (3 hours)

This course examines the fundamentals of building delivery methods, building standards, sustainability, and various building materials and systems of construction. The course applies concepts of land development, due diligence and the development process in regard to construction principles, building materials and systems, and the processes by which projects are designed and delivered. (3 hours)

This course examines the principles and processes of real estate development project management, and explores project management processes and applications using Microsoft Project® and incorporating the principles of the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK). Students will develop specific skills and practices relative to real estate development and the developer’s role in managing the construction process. (3 hours)

This course covers fundamental real estate development law and contracts associated with the development process. Legal aspects covered include site negotiation, acquisition and disposition, finance, construction, leasing, and management. Emphasis will be placed on viewing the development process as a whole to gain a working knowledge of documentation necessary for project execution and completion, and the role of the developer in managing the professional services of lawyers, bankers, accountants, engineers, architects, and general contractors. (3 hours)

III. Capstone experience 

This course provides students an opportunity to integrate and apply program knowledge through a culminating professional experience. The course is designed to provide flexible opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to industry leaders. You may select one of the following options: 

Students will conceptualize, analyze and propose a real estate development project. Projects that may be considered include a response to a municipality’s request for proposals for development, development of a site the student identifies in a local market, or a site recommended by an industry mentor. This project requires the student to evaluate and produce a highest-and-best use analysis, market analysis, feasibility pro forma, financing proposal, development timeline, conceptual drawings, cost estimates, investigations and other information necessary to present the project to industry leaders as though the student were employed as a professional developer. The final project proposal shall be documented in a written executive memorandum with supporting documents as exhibits, and also presented in front of industry leaders. (3 credit hours)

In collaboration with an industry mentor/sponsor, students will identify a project for analysis and resolution within the fields of real estate development or construction management. The project must require significant analysis, data collection, implementation of a resolution including a timeline, resolution impact cost/benefit analysis, and a method for measuring the success of the resolution. This project may be corporate-specific or industry-generic. The project will be presented to industry leaders in written and oral formats, either within the corporate-specific organization, or a panel of leaders within the industry. Industry leaders, in collaboration with respective faculty, will evaluate the project analysis to determine the likelihood of success and the thoroughness of the proposed resolution. (3 credit hours)

Students will investigate and prepare a white paper that will bring value to the real estate development industry. Students must work collaboratively with a respected journal within the industry to determine the value of their proposed investigational topic. The final product must involve a thorough review of the selected journal, as well as others similarly respected in the field, to avoid duplication, replication, and the potential for plagiarism. The paper shall include substantive and quantifiable research conducted through surveys and other forms of data collection. While the final work does not need to be published, it must be submitted for publication. (3 credit hours)

Students will participate in an eight-week field experience opportunity. The experience must be in a development role, and there must be a senior-level industry executive mentor who has sufficient time to devote to the student during his/her experience. The field experience requires a minimum of 120 direct contact hours with the industry executive mentor. The 120 hours may be divided throughout the field experience in a manner that meets both the executive’s and the student's needs. During this time, the student will participate in meetings, planning sessions, critical events, strategic thinking, projects, networking opportunities and outreach. Students will be expected to maintain a critical events journal, write four analytic essays as they relate to the experience, and to produce a project analysis, proposal or executive memorandum within the field experience itself. (3 credit hours)