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?
» 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?
May I start the program in the Fall or Spring semester?
Courses in the Dollinger MRED program are sequential with foundational courses held 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 earned 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.
Can I submit exam scores that are more than five years old?
Exam scores are only valid for five years and we cannot accept old scores. In cases where an applicant already holds a masters degree from a highly regarded university, we may accept older scores. All applicants, regardless of prior academic degree, 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 on the knowledge that students bring with them and classroom discussions are enlivened by diverse perspectives. On 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.
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.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
We prefer that two letters come from professional references and one from an academic reference. Some 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. Admission 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, they may waive a core class only with the consent of the instructor. In such cases, the student must 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 credential that demonstrates a well-rounded education in general business management. Typically, real estate courses in an MBA program are limited (two or three) and focused on 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 MBA programs usually require two years of study. Students who seek the credential of an MBA along with the real estate immersion of the MRED may opt 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 students who enroll in the program bring solid academic credentials along with a rich professional grounding in real estate. The curriculum of the USC MRED covers the full range of disciplines required for a successful real estate career. In particular, inclusion of a strong sequence of core design courses sets the MRED program apart. We also believe that our balance between full-time and adjunct faculty provides an academic experience of breadth and depth. USC professors offer the benefit of their research and introduce students to their innovative real estate ideas. Adjunct faculty bring a wealth of professional experience and an appreciation for knowing first-hand what it takes to succeed in the current market.