By USC Price School Office of Communication
The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the USC Marshall School of Business have announced a new world-class degree, BS Real Estate Finance and Development (REFD), that combines the strengths of the USC Price School in real estate development and urban planning and the USC Marshall School in real estate finance and investment.
Success in the real estate industry requires both expert financial skill and a keen understanding of planning, land use and development. This new degree will offer students a deep dive into all of these facets of the industry and will feature frequent interactions with experienced real estate professionals, drawing on both schools’ rich expertise and long history in real estate education and industry engagement.
“This collaboration underscores the importance of real estate in advancing our mission and the potential in collaborating with other USC schools to offer a rich educational experience,” said Dana Goldman, dean of the Price School and C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair. “Together, the USC Price School and USC Marshall School will provide students with the skills and experience they need to succeed in an increasingly complex world.”
“There is great interest in and enthusiasm about real estate among both Marshall and Price students, and our schools have complementary strengths that the new degree will leverage,” said Marshall Dean Geoffrey Garrett. “Students in the new combined degree will benefit from integrated courses, cohort building and industry engagement – all while graduating in four years with one diploma endorsed by two schools.”
The combined degree program will be offered to incoming freshmen in the fall of 2024, with an anticipated initial class size of less than 50 students. Students will enroll in a comprehensive core curriculum from each school, an applied project class and two summer internships.
The two schools have had strong but largely independent undergraduate real estate programs for decades. The USC Price School is the academic home to one of the nation’s leading real estate departments, the Wilbur H. Smith III Department of Real Estate Development, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in real estate development and a curriculum that emphasizes market analysis, real estate product types and urban planning.
The USC Marshall School has an undergraduate emphasis in real estate finance and a REIT fund course, where students invest an endowment in publicly traded real estate investment funds.
The new program builds on the success of USC Marshall and USC Price School’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, and both schools enjoy close ties to local, regional and national real estate development and investment firms.
“The new combined degree is particularly important given our location in Los Angeles,” Goldman added. “Real estate and Los Angeles are intertwined, and this degree is uniquely USC.”