The one-year, three-term Master in Real Estate (MRE) degree program teaches students the foundational knowledge, technical skills, and methods of thinking required for investing in, developing, owning, and managing real estate and for carrying out well-designed real estate that advances beneficial spatial, social, and environmental outcomes.

For nine on-campus months from late August to the end of May, students take a mixture of required and elective courses, including a development project course that simulates the multidisciplinary, holistic, collaborative, and transactional environment in which real estate projects are successfully created. The two-month off-campus summer term Practicum places students in a cooperating private for-profit, private not-for-profit, or public real estate organization to participate in the realization of socially and environmentally beneficial projects. Students subsequently return to the GSD for several days to complete a paper and reflect on their Practicum experience through presentations and discussions. All MRE students have a faculty advisor to guide them on curricular and extracurricular matters throughout their time at Harvard.

The following plan describes the degree requirements for the MRE degree. Students are required to take 60 units of courses to graduate. Fall term is 20 units, spring term is 24 units (which includes a course in January), and summer term is 16 units (which includes two modules in May). A typical course in the MRE program counts as four units. Note that curriculum requirements are subject to change based on ongoing assessments by the faculty.

For detailed course information, refer to the Curriculum page.

Fall Term

  • 4 units SES 5204 Real Estate Finance, Development, and Management
  • 4 units SES 5495 Urban Economics and Market Analysis
  • 4 units SES 5249 Design for Real Estate
  • 4 units SES 5250 Real Estate, Society, Environment
  • 0 units ADV 9850 Master in Real Estate Practicum Prep
  • 4 units Elective

Spring Term

    • 4 units SES 5253 Project Management, Construction Management, New Technologies (January)
    • 4 units SES 5205 Advanced Real Estate Finance, Development, and Management
    • 4 units SES 5103 Public and Private Development
    • 4 units SES 5251 The Development Project
    • 4 units SES 5252 Real Estate Law
    • 0 units ADV 9850 Master in Real Estate Practicum Prep
    • 4 units Elective

Summer Term

  • 2 units SES 5254 Negotiation (May)
  • 2 units SES 5255 Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Ethics (May)
  • 12 units ADV 9851 Master in Real Estate Practicum


* Students possessing superior knowledge of material covered in designated required courses may take a waiver examination and, if successful, substitute a specially created MRE elective course in fall or spring terms.

** Students take one elective course in the fall term and one in the spring term by enrolling in a GSD course or cross-registering in any course offered by other Harvard schools, including the Business School, the Law School, the Kennedy School, and the College, as well as at MIT, as long as such non-GSD courses permit cross-registration. Students must follow the rules for cross-registration at the various schools. With program director permission, MRE students may take a second elective course in the fall and a second in the spring.