Real Estate Development

Vishaan Chakrabarti, director

Development is at the epicenter of the forces shaping our world today, be it the economy, the environment or the planet’s inexorable march towards urbanization. Columbia’s rigorous Masters of Science in Real Estate Development program—structured in the context of the world’s most innovative laboratory for architecture, planning and preservation—provides an unrivaled platform to tackle these pressing issues. Building off the extraordinary resources of Columbia University and the City of New York, students learn from both industry leaders who provide current real world knowledge and outstanding faculty who provide a lifelong theoretical underpinning.

The core mission of the RED Program is to create visionary builders of the global urban environment. The program focuses intensely on the three pillars of the field, namely the financial, the physical and the legal. We teach development as a creative act in which issues of program, sustainability, building technology and construction are taught alongside intensive financial and transactional coursework. This holistic curriculum directly engages the future of entrepreneurial, “ground up” development, which in turn allows our students to recognize and create value where others cannot.

The students are required to synthetically apply their studies in both domestic and international case studies and are increasingly traveling – with a particular focus on the cities of the emerging “BRIC” economies—in response to the globalization of the industry and the densification of the planet. As the world has become more urban than rural—with issues of development, infrastructure, environment and competitiveness at the forefront – we stand at the cusp of the transformation of our field into an endeavor that is global in scope, entrepreneurial at heart and creative in practice.