Wilbur H. Smith III Department of Real Estate Development
The real estate programs offered at USC Price represent the best in higher education. Successful real estate projects require finance, design, and construction, naturally, but today every project is to some degree a public-private partnership. Community collaborations are as important are debt and equity partners. To get a project off the ground is to understand the neighborhood, local land use policy, and the businesses and households that operate within it. Real estate owners and operators create the urban landscape, working within a complex system of finance and governance to tackle the challenge of converting undeveloped or under-utilized resources into homes, employment centers, and places of recreation and commerce. With the excitement of finding place-based solutions to the unique set of problems presented by a real estate project, there also are the risks, rewards, and responsibilities that come with making our built environments more habitable and prosperous for all.
USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate serves as the liaison between our academic programs and the real estate industry. Each year, the Lusk Center convenes industry leaders, students, and faculty in seminars, workshops, symposia, and forums to examine the current state of the industry and to anticipate future opportunities and challenges.
The particulars of real estate are moving targets but the essential tools of real estate are a durable framework around which we orient our degree programs. Leadership requires looking ahead. While our curricula are always evolving to meet the needs of our students, the structure remains constant: fundamentals matter and USC Price real estate graduates are skilled as complete real estate professionals.
The Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Development builds upon the Price School’s long standing commitment to real estate. For over 30 years, the Price School has been a pioneer in real estate education.
Real estate developers are the impresarios of the built environment. They orchestrate the talents of many players and balance the needs and interests of the various constituents touched by a real estate project. It is their job to discover how we want to live and work and to provide the settings accordingly.
The minor in Real Estate Development provides students an overview of the field — its principles, urban context and history, and finance. The minor requires 20 units, including four core classes and 4 units of electives.
The minor is intended for students interested in a career in real estate or related areas such as architecture, construction, finance, urban planning, or entrepreneurial ventures.
The USC Price Certificate in Real Estate Development provides an extensive overview of current development processes, modeling, and specific training in market analysis used to evaluate the potential of a real estate endeavor. The program is designed to give current USC graduate students in related fields a more comprehensive perspective on public policy issues in the context of real estate.
The mission of the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate is to enable members of minority groups and those that invest time, talent and financial resources in emerging communities to establish a foundation toward becoming leaders in real estate finance and development.
About Wilbur H. Smith III
Smith is a 1999 graduate of the master’s program in real estate development at the school, which prepares professionals to navigate complex systems of finance, design and market analysis to create housing, workplaces and centers of commerce and recreation. He is the founder and principal of Greenlaw Partners, a Southern California-based real estate firm with holdings throughout the United States.
Smith founded the company in 2003, naming it in honor of his grandfather Greenlaw Grupe Sr., who was known for real estate development projects and large planned communities in Stockton, California. Under his guidance, Greenlaw Partners has completed more than $5 billion in real estate transactions, representing more than 20 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, multifamily and other properties.
He has since remained engaged with USC, frequently delivering guest lectures in USC Price classes and mentoring graduate students in the real estate development program. He has been a coach and judge for case competitions involving USC and UCLA real estate students, and he has hired USC Price graduates as interns and employees at his firm.
Smith is also a member of the executive committee of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, the USC Price Board of Councilors and the USC Price School Real Estate Advisory Board. He is a licensed real estate broker in California and a member of the Orange County chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization.