Answers to frequently asked questions about the Master’s degree program in real estate.

What is the length of the MSRED program?

The program is structured to be completed in 11 months of intensive study. Students are required to take a minimum of four courses during fall and spring terms, plus electives, completing the thesis during the summer term. There is a two-week Orientation period before classes begin in the fall. Since 2010, students have had the option to defer the thesis to the following fall and take the summer to pursue internships or other opportunities. Students who choose this option complete the degree in approximately 16 months.


What is the average age of a student in the MSRED program?

Although each class is quite diverse among male, female, geographic distribution, minority, and work and academic backgrounds. Students are typically in their late twenties or early thirties.


What does the Admissions Committee look for in an applicant?

The Admissions Committee is especially interested in candidates who are well rounded in terms of their real estate experience, academic ability, personality, character, and professional promise. It is important to note that the Committee will evaluate all admission requirements equally.


Do I still have to take the GMAT/GRE if I already have an advanced degree and substantial work experience?

The GMAT or the GRE is required of ALL applicants, regardless of their previous educational or professional experience. No exceptions, please.


Do you have a minimum GMAT/GRE score requirement?

While it is important to do well on the GMAT/GRE, we do not have a minimum score. Average GMAT scores in recent years have ranged between 660-680 and average GRE scores range between 155-160 in recent years. The GMAT or the GRE exam is required for admission to the MSRED program and combined with prior academic performance serves as a guide to the admissions committee in determining an applicant’s academic potential in coursework at MIT. People who take the GMAT/GRE multiple times will be interested to know that we use only the most recent score. Although we don’t recommend taking a “prep” course for the GMAT or the GRE, some applicants have found them useful. We do not accept the LSAT. Applicants must take the GMAT/GRE no later than December in order to receive an official score by January 15.


I’m an international student, but I went to college in the US. Can I get a TOEFL / IELTS waiver?

Either IELTS or TOEFL is required of all non-native English speakers. Test scores must be from within the past two years. If you intend to request a waiver, please email mit-msred_admissions@mit.edu with your request, including details regarding your educational experience in English and two writing samples (article, essay, thesis, etc.).


Is it possible to place out of a core course?

In certain cases where someone has extensive educational training in a specific area such as real estate law, architecture and design, construction and management, they may be able to place out of a class. Placing out of a class is typically dependent upon passing in instructor-administered exam. Students who place out may take courses in any department of MIT. Transfer credit is not accepted.


Can I take courses outside of MIT?

MIT has a cross-registration agreement with Harvard University. Many students have taken classes at the Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Design, or the Business School.


How many applications does the program receive each year and how many students do you accept into the MSRED program?

We receive between 130-150 applications each year. Typically we accept approximately 30 students. We also have a small number of dual degree students who apply to the program from other departments at MIT.


What advice would you give someone who is trying to decide between an MBA and the MSRED program?

One of the determining factors between whether to get an MBA or an MSRED degree is whether you have a general interest in business. If you are interested in getting general information about marketing, accounting, quantitative methods, or any of the other general business courses you would be required to take your first year, an MBA may be for you. However, if you are committed to a career in real estate and would like an intense, one-year, broad-based yet real estate focused experience, the MSRED might be more appropriate. The advantages of the MSRED program are:

      • more Real Estate courses;
      • shorter duration (1 year vs. 2 years);
      • tremendous network between alums/member companies.
      • See our choice chart, “MSRED or MBA?”.


What are some of the positions your graduates accept upon completion of the MSRED program?

The real estate industry is diverse and so are the positions assumed by Center graduates. Graduates go into project management, acquisitions, finance, asset management, investment management, etc. See a very partial list of employers (Recent Employers) and a summary of jobs alumni hold and starting salaries (Careers and Compensation).


Is it possible to get a PhD in Real Estate Development?

The Center for Real Estate does not officially offer a PhD degree. Students who are interested in a PhD degree with a Real Estate focus must apply and enroll in the PhD programs of one of the several departments at MIT that are affiliated with the Center for Real Estate. These include the Departments of Urban Planning, Economics, and the Sloan School of Management. For more information please click here.


What is the procedure for enrolling in a dual degree program?

In order to pursue a dual degree program at MIT you need to apply to each program separately. Once admitted, you must then satisfy the requirements of both programs in order to receive both degrees. Normally, students complete a dual degree program in two years plus one additional term. For more dual degree information, please click here.


Is it possible to pursue the MSRED online or on a part-time basis?

No. Like all MIT programs, the MSRED is a full-time, on-campus program. We currently do not offer distance learning.


When is the application deadline?

The deadline is January 15th every year for the following September.


Do the professional development courses count towards an MSRED?

No, the Professional Development Courses are part of our Continuing Education Program and you do not receive credit for them. Much of the material covered in these courses derives from the core courses in the MSRED program.


Does the MSRED program offer deferrals?

No. If an applicant is not admitted for a specific year, they can re-apply to the program again. The re-application process is explained in our instructions for applicants.


I have been out of school for a long time and am not able to obtain an academic recommendation. Will the admissions committee accept a professional recommendation instead?

Of the three required letters of recommendation, it is preferred that one be from a former professor. However, if this is not possible to obtain, we will accept a third professional recommendation.


Does the program offer any financial assistance or fellowships?


MIT/MSRED Public Sector Scholarship/Minority Fellowship

In order to encourage graduates to pursue public and non-profit sector careers, the Center has established a special program under which student loans may be partially forgiven. This scholarship is awarded after the student has completed the MSRED program and accepted a full-time public-sector or non-profit position. Minority fellowships may be available on a need basis.


Fellowships are at the discretion of the funding source and are not necessarily offered on an annual basis. The MSRED program makes every effort to pursue Fellowships and Awards for which our students are eligible and is often called upon to make recommendations for such awards.

Past fellowships have included: The Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Fellowship (amount varies), The Thomas J. Geraghty Memorial Fellowship ($3,000), MIT/MSRED Public Sector Scholarship (up to $10,000), The Blake Eagle Fellowship (varies), MIT/MSRED Minority Fellowship ($5,000), Heather Smith Memorial Fund (up to $20,000), AACRE Thesis Award ($1,500), The Korean Alumni Fellowship ($2,000), the WX (Women Executives in Real Estate, NY) Scholarship ($5,000),  The Legatum Fellowship (varies), and the Cultivating Leadership in Real Estate Prologis Fellowship.



How will I know when all my application materials are received?

You will receive an initial email when we have received your MIT Graduate Application form. This email will let you know what materials are missing from your application package. Once all your application materials have been received you will be sent another email letting you know that your application is complete.