FAQ - MIT Center for Real Estate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Master’s Degree Program in Real Estate FAQ
  2. Admissions FAQ

The program is structured to be completed in 11 months of intensive study. There is a one-week Orientation before classes begin in the fall. Students are required to take six core courses, plus electives during the fall and spring semesters, and complete their thesis during the summer semester.

Students have the option to defer their 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.

Although each class is quite diverse in many regards, students are typically in their late twenties or early thirties. However there is no upper age limit to the program.

Students are not able to place out of core courses. Transfer credit is not accepted.

MIT has a cross-registration agreement with Harvard University, Wellesley College, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt).

Many students have taken classes at the Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Design, or the Business School at Harvard.

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, an MSRED might be more appropriate. The advantages of the MSRED program at MIT are:

  • A wealth of focused Real Estate courses;
  • Shorter duration (1 year vs. 2 years);
  • Global network of alums/partner companies;
  • See our chart, “MSRED or MBA?”

The real estate industry is diverse and so are the positions assumed by MSRED graduates. Graduates go into project management, acquisitions, finance, asset management, development, construction & site management, investment management, etc. Find out more about our career development resources.

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 program in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, with which the Center is affiliated. More information can be found here.

Please see our Dual Degree admissions process.

No. The MSRED is a full-time, on-campus program.

There is a one-week orientation prior to the start of class in late August. Classes typically start in the first week of September. The spring semester ends in late May. Students in the 11-month program pass in their theses by the first week of August and officially graduate in September.

See the MIT academic calendar for all important dates.

No, the Professional Development Courses are part of our Certificate in Real Estate Finance and Development and you do not receive Masters-level credit for them. Much of the material covered in these courses derives from the core courses in the MSRED program, however, and offer a brief window into the MSRED rigor and experience.


In addition to our online application, you will need to submit supplemental materials such as official transcripts and test scores.

For all digital submissions use: msredadmissions@mit.edu

For items sent via postal mail:

MIT/MSRED Admissions
Attn:Admissions Coordinator
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Samuel Tak Lee Building 9-343
Cambridge, MA 02139

For items set via courier (i.e., DHL, FEDEX):

MIT/MSRED Admissions
Attn: Admissions Coordinator
105 Massachusetts Avenue
Building 9-343
Cambridge, MA 02139

The GMAT or the GRE is required of all applicants, regardless of their previous educational or professional experience.

While there is no minimum score, the average scores from successful applicants have been:

  • GMAT 680-720
  • GRE 155-160

We do not accept the LSAT. Applicants should take the GMAT/GRE no later than December 31 in order for the Admissions Committee to receive an official score by January 15.

Either IELTS or TOEFL is required of all non-native English speakers, regardless of educational experience.

Applicants may request a waiver for the English language proficiency exams. If approved, they will not be required to provide a test score. Waivers are not guaranteed; the deadline is December 15.

Submit the following into your Graduate Application in Slate. (Note: your graduate application does not have to be complete by this time but the English Language testing waiver must be entered by the 12/15 deadline)

  • A clear outline of your history of English language experience, both academic and professional.
  • Two single-author documents, written in the past two years, that showcase your English language capabilities. The documents may be professional or academic in nature but must relate to the real estate industry and be at least four pages of narrative text.
  • You may also include an old (older than two years) TOEFL score as part of your waiver request package.

The number of applications the MSRED Program receives varies year to year. Over the past few years, it has been between 85 at the low end and 150 at the high end. Typically the program accepts approximately 30% of applicants. We also have a small number of dual degree students who apply to the program from other departments at MIT.

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.

No, providing one is optional. Portfolios or work samples may include a traditional architecture or development portfolio, an RFP, published article, Excel model, or other work sample. Note: the file size limit is 32 MB.

Typically the admissions committee does not perform interviews but they may request one of an applicant as part of the review process.

There is an option for applicants to upload a video into their application. There are instructions and prompts within Slate.

The deadline is January 15th every year for enrollment the following September. All materials must be received by this date. Late applications will not be reviewed.

No. If an applicant is admitted to the program but is unable to attend, they may re-apply the following year, or in a subsequent year. Applicants who are waitlisted or rejected may also re-apply to the program again.

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. It is most important that recommendations come from contacts best able to speak to your character.

For our Young Leader Program applicants, 2 academic and 1 professional recommendation is preferred. If you do not have a professional recommendation, a third academic may be used. If you have more than 1 professional recommendation, you may submit 2 professional and 1 academic recommendation.

You will receive an automated email when you submit your application via the online application system. You will receive an email from the Academic Administrator if any materials are missing from your application package. Please be sure to check your Spam/Junk folder for messages from the Center for Real Estate.

Do note: because of the large number of requests we receive, and the high volume of supplemental application materials we receive, we are unable to spot-check for receipt of materials until after you have submitted your application.

The online application will only allow candidates to input information for 3 recommenders. In the spirit of fairness, we do not allow more than 3 letters. If you get a letter from a 4th recommender, we can swap it in for one of the original 3. But the total number allowed is 3.

Please be sure to give your recommenders ample time to write and submit their letters. If your letters are not in when the committee convenes, you application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.