Real Estate Master's Degree On Tap

By Lorie Briggs
USF College of Business

TAMPA, Fla. (Updated: Aug. 4, 2010) – An interdisciplinary master's degree program in real estate that includes coursework in business, geography, architecture, and engineering launches this fall at the University of South Florida. Ron Rutherford has joined the College of Business as the holder of the Lykes Chair of Finance and Sustainability and will spearhead the new program.

The multifaceted, 34-credit hour program designed for both full-time students and working professionals, has a social, environmental, and economical approach that will prepare students for a variety of careers in real estate and development. The new Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program can be completed by full-time students in one year (three semesters); part-time students can complete it in two years.

All students will receive ARGUS training as well as software training in geographic information systems and real estate applications of spreadsheets. They will have access to prominent real estate professionals through a distinguished speaker series, individual mentoring from advisory board members and engaging research opportunities.

Real estate is all about location, and, according to faculty member Greg Smersh, location is also an advantage in real estate education. “USF's metropolitan location in central Florida makes it easy for students to connect with the market and local business leaders,” he said. “Students and faculty in the MSRE program will have research opportunities working with local communities on smart growth and ‘sustainable urbanism' in housing and neighborhood plans.”

Real estate is perhaps the most multidisciplinary of academic fields, requiring the coordination of many domains including architecture, business, planning, engineering, construction, law and policy. USF's interdisciplinary approach to the new offering distinguishes it from most traditional real estate programs. Housed in the College of Business, the program interacts with related programs in areas such as urban planning and geography to offer courses in development, investment, and green infrastructure.

Students learn a practical, diverse approach to today's real-world problems in the real estate market.“The current economic situation and credit crisis are accelerating a shift in real estate development towards more livable community design, long-term sustainability, and multi-use development. It makes sense to offer a program that focuses on financially feasible and yet environmentally and economically sustainable projects,” Smersh said.

The MSRE program begins in August and applications are currently being accepted.

Additional information can be found on the College of Business website at http://coba.usf.edu/departments/finance/programs/msre.html or in the Master of Science in Real Estate brochure.