USC Price School of Public Policy

Admission

Frequently Asked Questions

» What is the application deadline?
» Can I start the program in the Fall or Spring semester?
» What are the minimum requirements to apply?
» Can I apply if I do not meet the minimum requirements?
» Is there a preference for one exam score over another?
» Can I submit exam scores that are more than five years old?
» Can I apply if my work experience is not in real estate?
» Can I apply if I have less than two years full-time work experience?
» Is it possible to request an interview?
» Do I have to decide between the Full-time and Part-time program when I apply?
» Are the admissions requirements the same for the Full-time and Part-time programs?
» What is your policy on deferred admission?
» Who should write my letters of recommendation?
» Do you offer dual degree programs?
» When are classes held?
» Is it possible to waive a core course?
» How does the MRED differ from an MBA?
» Is the MRED program ranked?

What is the application deadline?
There is only one deadline for the Dollinger MRED program – February 1. Applications are only accepted for the Summer semester.

Can I start the program in the Fall or Spring semester?
The courses in the Dollinger MRED program are sequential with foundational courses in the Summer and capstone classes in the Spring. All students must begin the program in the Summer semester.

What are the minimum requirements to apply?
The  MRED program requires a minimum of two years full-time professional experience in real estate or a related field. Applicants are expected to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Minimum requirements for graduate exams are: GMAT score of 600; LSAT score of 160; GRE verbal and quantitative sections combined score of 310.

Can I apply if I do not meet the minimum requirements?
Admission into the Dollinger MRED program is competitive and each year we receive a large number of applications. In some cases, we have admitted students who did not meet one of the minimum requirements. In these cases, the applicant had exceptional merit in other facets of the admission requirements and presented a persuasive written statement that clearly articulated their candidacy for the program.

Is there a preference for one exam score over another?
We do not have a preference. Most applicants will submit GMAT scores, but we readily accept scores from either the GRE or LSAT.

Can I submit exam scores that are more than five years old?
Exam scores are only valid for five years. We cannot accept old scores. In some cases, where an applicant already holds a masters degree from a highly regarded university, we will accept older scores. All applicants, regardless of prior academic degrees, are required to submit scores from either the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT.

Can I apply if my work experience is not in real estate?
Students in the  MRED program come from a variety of professional backgrounds either directly in real estate or a related field such as architecture, construction, commercial real estate finance, law, city planning, and commercial real estate brokerage. The program builds upon the knowledge that students bring with them and classroom discussions are enlivened by the diverse disciplines. In rare occasions, students who have professional experience outside of real estate are admitted into the program. In these instances, the applicant presented solid academic credentials and a persuasive written statement that clearly articulated their candidacy for the program.

Can I apply if I have less than two years full-time work experience?
The MRED is an advanced degree and is suited for individuals who already possess a solid professional foundation. Students are best able to benefit from the program if they already have a first-hand working knowledge of the industry. In rare occasions, students who have less than two years work experience are admitted into the program. In these instances, the applicant presented solid academic credentials and a persuasive written statement that clearly articulated their candidacy for the program.

Is it possible to request an interview for admission?
Admissions interviews are by invitation only. Given the level of interest in the Dollinger MRED program, it is not possible to interview all applicants. All candidates being considered for admission will be interviewed, but not all applicants will be interviewed. An interview does not guarantee admission.

Do I have to decide between the Full-time and Part-time program when I apply?
We do request that you indicate your preference. It is possible to switch between the two options after you enroll.

Are the admissions requirements the same for the Full-time and Part-time programs?
There is no distinction in admission requirements between the two options.

What is your policy on deferred admission?
We do not offer deferments of admission. Applicants unable to enroll for the term they were offered admission must reapply.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?
We prefer that two letters come from a professional reference and one from an academic. Some of applicants have been out of school for some time and are no longer in contact with their faculty. In such cases, it is fine to submit a third letter from a professional. The letters should address your ability to succeed in the Dollinger MRED program and in the real estate profession. Letters of recommendation from family members, co-workers, someone you have supervised, or personal friends are not appropriate.

Do you offer dual degree programs?
There are three dual degree options: Juris Doctorate, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Planning. Applicants must apply to and be admitted into both programs to pursue a dual degree. Admissions decisions are made independently by each unit and have no bearing on the other program.

When are classes held?
Classes for the Full-time program are held Monday through Thursday during the day with one or two evening classes each semester. Classes for the Evening Executive program are held Monday through Thursday starting at 6:00 pm. Executive students will attend class two or three nights a week depending on the semester and elective course selections. Full-time and Executive students attend at least one class together each semester. All classes are held on the main USC Campus in Los Angeles.

Is it possible to waive a core course?
A number of students in the  MRED program already hold an MBA, JD or another advanced degree. Where a student has already completed an equivalent course, with the consent of the instructor they may waive a core class. In such cases, the student then has the opportunity to take additional elective classes to satisfy the 44 unit requirement for the MRED degree.

How does the  MRED differ from an MBA?
The MBA is a well regarded credential that offers a well-rounded education in general business management. Typically real estate courses in MBA program are limited (two or three) and focused in the area of real estate finance. The Dollinger MRED program is wall-to-wall real estate. Our curriculum covers all of the critical facets of the profession from finance to market analysis to political entitlements to design. All 44 units are devoted to real estate curriculum. Students in the Dollinger MRED program are committed to a career in real estate. Many MBA students are undecided about their career path and look to graduate school as an opportunity to make a career transition. The opportunity costs for the  MRED are much less than an MBA as the  MRED is a one year degree and MBAs require two years of study. Students who prefer the credential of an MBA along with the real estate emersion of the MRED, can select to pursue the dual degree.

Is the  MRED program ranked?
There currently are no rankings for the specialized masters degree programs in real estate. We invite interested students to conduct their own due diligence and determine which program will best meet their needs. The USC Dollinger MRED is a highly competitive program and is distinguished by its affiliation with the Lusk Center for Real Estate. The caliber of students who enroll in the program bring with them solid academic credentials along with a rich professional grounding in real estate. The curriculum of the USC MRED program covers the full range of disciplines required for a successful real estate career. In particular the inclusion of a strong sequence of design courses in our core sets the MRED program apart. We also believe that our balance between full-time and adjunct faculty provides a more solid academic experience. USC professors contribute the benefits of their research activities and introduce into the classroom innovative real estate ideas. The adjunct faculty bring their wealth of professional experience and an appreciation for knowing first-hand what it takes to succeed in real estate in the current market.