Build a better world with a master’s in real estate development from the Costello College of Business at George Mason University.
Join an active network of real estate professionals while gaining the entrepreneurial and leadership skills necessary to develop vibrant and livable communities.
Created in consultation with leading real estate development companies, the master of science in real estate development program from the Costello College of Business at George Mason University is designed to enhance the employment potential and upward mobility of real estate industry professionals like you. If you’re working in the areas of development, architecture, engineering, public planning, construction management, real estate finance, mortgage lending, property management, real estate law, or other related fields, you’ll benefit from this program.
The program’s cross-disciplinary curriculum brings real-world experience into the classroom through case studies, site tours, problem-solving simulations, and guest lectures. Our professors' real-world industry expertise enriches the classroom experience from day one.
Develop diverse business skills, broader insights, and confidence while expanding your professional network by connecting with your classmates and Mason’s international business alumni network of more than 36,000 members. Benefit from a dedicated career services team that offers you personalized career coaching, employment and networking opportunities, and planning services for life.
Whether you are in the early stages of your career or have years of experience, the master’s in real estate development program at George Mason University's Costello College of Business prepares you for key positions in real estate investment and development.
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The master’s in real estate development program requires 36 credits (12 classes): 21 credits of required core classes (7 classes) and 15 credits of elective classes (5 classes). Full-time students can complete the program within 18 months. Depending on their schedule, part-time students can complete the program in as little as two years or take up to five years.
You can strategically pick from a wide range of electives to support your career goals by creating an area of emphasis such as finance, investment analysis, project management, economic development, etc; alternatively, you can take a variety of courses to develop a broad range of industry knowledge. Electives are available through several Mason colleges including the Costello College of Business MBA program, the Volgenau School of Engineering, and the Schar School of Policy and Government.
During your coursework, you’ll gain practical skills enabling you to lead and manage every aspect of real estate development, including:
- Market Analysis and Site Selection
- Investment Feasibility and Financial Analysis
- Entitlements and Site Planning
- Construction and Project Management
- Disposition/Sales Strategies
In addition, high-impact, experiential learning activities outside the classroom setting allow you to integrate theory with practice through case studies, site tours, and problem-solving simulations. You’ll be exposed to the full range of development functions thanks to our faculty and professionals from the real estate development community, who serve as your professors, guest speakers, and mentors.
See courses and electives for the Master's in Real Estate Development program in Mason's University Catalog.
The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years.
See a sample class schedule to discover how our degree program can fit into your work and life.
The Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship
The Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship at George Mason University's Costello College of Business strives to advance real estate research and education in real estate development and finance. Working in partnership with leading real estate developers, professionals, and organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, the center develops relevant content for the business and academic communities.
The Center acts as a catalyst between the master of science in real estate development program and the real estate industry, providing a forum for professional development and offering unique opportunities to connect with the real estate development community through social events, educational events, and industry organization memberships.
Mason’s master’s in real estate development program is able to award several scholarships each year thanks to the generosity of our alumni, advisory board, and members of the Northern Virginia real estate industry.
Each fall we award the Peterson Family scholarship, the Robert Wulff Legacy scholarship, and an NVBIA Past Presidents scholarship to incoming students. All new students who have enrolled for the fall term are automatically considered for these scholarships and no additional application is necessary; however, we recommend that students consider submitting the optional Project Portfolio to strengthen their application.
Each spring we award a second NVBIA Past Presidents scholarship to an incoming student who will begin classes in the spring term. As with the fall award, there is no additional application and all new spring students are automatically considered.
Students who have been in the program for at least one full term are eligible to apply for our two EagleBank scholarships. Applications open in the spring and the scholarships are awarded the following fall term. Students must complete an application that includes a short essay.
This $6,000 scholarship is awarded in the fall semester with preference to one or more incoming first-year master’s in real estate development students from groups underrepresented in the real estate industry and/or contributing to diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry and George Mason University.
This $3,000 Scholarship is awarded to one incoming master’s in real estate development student who has the support of a senior member of the real estate development industry, as demonstrated by a letter of reference from an industry executive. Strength of the support will be reviewed based on the seniority, professional reputation, scope of business, and industry participation of the supporting executive and firm. Preference will be given to Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland residents with at least one year of professional work experience in some sector of the commercial real estate development industry (including large-scale residential). Examples of relevant sectors include, but are not limited to, brokers, architects, civil engineers, construction managers, lenders, and real estate attorneys. More than one scholarship may be awarded.
The EagleBank Scholarship awards $10,000 each to two master’s in real estate development students who are pursuing a career in the Washington, D.C., region in the field of real estate development. Recipients must be enrolled in Mason’s master’s in real estate Development program. Preference is given to Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland residents.
- Must submit a professional letter of recommendation from a current or past employer in the real estate industry. A letter from a client is acceptable provided the relationship has been professional and long-standing
- Must submit an essay between 500 and 1,000 words, answering two of the following questions:
- What do you see as the next significant challenge facing developers in our market and why?
- Assuming it was feasible to develop any project in Arlington that you wanted, what would you choose and why?
- Please give an example of a professional contribution you have made to the real estate industry thus far in your career.
- During the award of last year’s scholarships, EagleBank CEO Ron Paul discussed the importance of good leadership with the recipients. He believes there are six important elements to leadership; please describe how you have exemplified one of these six elements.
- making an active contribution
- developing & maintaining relationships
- taking ownership/responsibility
- developing expertise
- developing a vision
- living a life worth living
The $5,000 Peterson Family Scholarship is awarded each fall to one incoming master’s in real estate development student who reflects the Peterson Companies’ dedication to developing thriving communities that offer a sense of place. Preference will be given to Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland residents with at least two years of professional work experience in some sector of the commercial real estate development industry (including large-scale residential). Examples of relevant sectors include, but are not limited to, brokers, architects, civil engineers, construction managers, lenders, and real estate attorneys.
The $2,000 Wulff Scholarship is awarded each fall to one incoming master’s in real estate development student who has made notable professional contributions in the field of real estate development.
The recipient of the Wulff Scholarship must meet the following criteria:
- An incoming Master’s in Real Estate Development student beginning their first semester in the fall who has accepted admission and paid the fall enrollment deposit
- Has submit a “Professional Project Portfolio” to include the following three points:
- A list of no more than five projects/deals the student has worked on in a professional capacity and include relevant project details
- A brief description of the student’s role and contribution to the project/deal
- A summary of why the student believes these were successful projects/deals
Preference will be given to scholarship applicants with five or more years of professional work experience in some sector of the commercial real estate development industry (including large-scale residential). Examples of relevant sectors include, but are not limited to: brokers, architects, civil engineers, construction managers, lenders, and real estate attorneys.
The recipient of the $5,000 Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) Past Presidents Scholarship must be an incoming graduate student in the Masters in Real Estate Development (MRED) program and must reflect the Northern Virginia Building Industry’s dedication to developing thriving residential communities in the Washington D.C. metropolitan region. Preference will be given to residents of Virginia, with at least two years of professional work experience in some sector of the residential homebuilding industry (including large-scale residential).
Meet Your Instructors
Our real estate development faculty live, work, and consult in the Washington, D.C., area and draw on their real-world experience to enrich classroom instruction. In addition to their teaching duties, they serve as your mentors and are involved in every aspect of your education.
What Our Alumni are Saying
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions, call us at (703) 239-2670.
This program was designed for professionals at all stages of their real estate careers.
Our students come from a wide range of sectors within the real estate industry including:
- Real estate development
- Civil engineering
- Construction and project management
- Real estate finance
- Real estate law
Classes are taught in the evening at Mason Square (Arlington Campus), with some elective courses available at our Fairfax campus or online.
Our career consulting and leadership coaching method provides strategies to leverage career opportunities and strengthen leadership skills. Our coaching is tailored to your unique professional situation whether you are looking to leverage your degree within your organization, stay in the same field, but move to a different company, transition into a new field or industry, or become an entrepreneur. We offer virtual or in-person one-on-one meetings to make career engagement a convenient process.
Some of the other services we provide include:
- Resume/Cover Letter Help
- Salary Negotiation Tactics
- Networking Activities & Guidance
- Maximizing LinkedIn & Handshake Profiles
- Mock Interviews
- Leadership & Career Coaching
- Career Change Planning
- Personal Branding
- Career Webinars
- Career Exploration Resources
- Online Career Portfolios
Some of the job titles our students and alumni have include:
- Managing Partner
- Director of Development and Construction
- Director of Project Management and Development
- Vice President of Development
- Vice President of Finance
- Project Executive
- Project Manager
- Portfolio Manager
- Land Acquisition Associate
- Land Development
- Project Manager
Our graduates have found professional success at top companies such as:
- CBG Building Company
- DAVIS Construction
- Foulger-Pratt Companies
- JBG Smith Properties
- Lincoln Property Company
- Madison Marquette
- Peterson Companies
- Pulte Group
The goal of the MRED Alumni Industry Group is to create a strong network of alumni and to aid in the expansion and promotion of the MRED program at George Mason University.
Diversity is one of Mason's core values; everyone is welcome here. Mason was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Mason, visit the university's DEI website. Visit this page to learn more about DEI at the College of Business.
After earning your master’s in real estate development from George Mason University, you’ll gain:
- Knowledge of Functional Disciplines: the ability to evaluate projects across different critical dimensions including investment feasibility, sustainability, and long-term asset viability.
- Analytical Decision Making: the ability to analyze project variables and compare different investment scenarios by using appropriate tools, techniques, and information.
- Understanding of Multiple Perspectives and Interests: the ability to evaluate the impacts of competing interests on project outcomes and community development.
- Leading and Managing Complex Projects: the ability to recommend strategies to mitigate risk and enhance project feasibility.
- Professional and Ethical Responsibility: the ability to demonstrate interpersonal communication skills and effective verbal presentation skills.
News from the Master's in Real Estate Development Program
- Graduate Students of the Year share why they chose the Costello College of Business (and why you should, too)November 9, 2023
- November 8, 2023
- Get to know May Abou Ghazaleh, assistant director of Mason’s Master’s in Real Estate Development ProgramOctober 4, 2023
- July 6, 2023
- International Student Discusses his Experience in Mason's Master's in Real Estate Development ProgramJune 29, 2023