Real Estate Development + Design


“We need academic programs where real estate professionals can learn how to think about, measure and promote positive community impacts while insuring that investors and developers can still meet their financial objectives.  The MRED+D program will serve as a laboratory for testing policies and approaches that will help its graduates think about real estate in a different way.” 

Ophelia Basgal, Former HUD Region IX Administrator 

How To Apply

Applications are submitted through the UC Berkeley Graduate Division.

Application Deadlines

To be considered for our Summer 2022 start date, applications must be submitted no later than the posted deadlines by 8:59PM Pacific Standard Time.


Application Submitted By

Decision Released

One November 15, 2021 Mid-December
Two January 15, 2022 Mid-February
Three March 1, 2022 Early-March

*The Abbey MRED+D has been designated as a STEM degree. The designation grants an automatic 3 years post-graduation U.S. work eligibility to those on an F-1 visa.*

Application Criteria

Online Application

The online application is designed so that you can enter and update your information at any time before you submit your application. Click here to access the online application. For the Intended Program of Study section, please select Summer 2022 as the Admit Term. When searching for our program, you will select Master of Real Estate Development + Design MRED+D from the list of options.

Please note that applicants may only apply to one degree program per admissions cycle.

Please also note that applicants with fewer than the typically-required two years of full-time post-graduate work experience must apply via the Emerging Development Leaders program, which entails additional application requirements (see "Two Essays" and "GMAT or GRE Exam" below). As no more than 10% of the cohort may comprise Emerging Development Leaders each year, admission through this program is competitive.

Application Fee

You are required to pay the application fee using a credit card. The application fee is not refundable. If you are a U.S. Citizen or current Permanent Resident, the application fee is $120; for all others, the fee is $140.

Application Fee Waiver

Applicants may qualify for an application fee waiver. See guidelines to request an application fee waiver.

University Transcripts

You must hold or expect to hold prior to the beginning of classes a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. school accredited by one of the AACRAO regional accrediting agencies. International applicants of recognized academic institutions outside the United States must hold a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

Required Records: Upload unofficial transcripts with the application for the departmental initial review. Unofficial transcripts must include at a minimum the name of the institution, your full name, and a chronological listing of all classes and grades.  If your academic records do not include official evidence of the award of your degree, you must also submit additional documents that verify the degree conferral, such as a diploma or degree certificate

If your transcript is in a language other than English, then you must provide an official translation issued from your university or by certified members of the American Translators Association. Upload the original transcript and translation as one PDF.

Physical copies of official transcripts of all college-level work will be required if admitted. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) you have attended. Request a current transcript from every post-secondary school that you have attended, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs.

Please note that any discrepancy between the uploaded transcript and the official transcript could result in the denial of your application or withdrawal of your offer of admission.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

We are interested in learning about your work and experiential background. Please upload your most current resume or curriculum vitae. If applicable, please also include honors, awards, publications, presentations, languages spoken, and associations you belong to. The admissions committee prefers to receive chronological resumes of 1-2 pages in length.

Two Essays

Applicants are required to complete two essays. Although we do not have a required minimum or maximum word count, the suggested length of each is around 1 to 2 pages single spaced. 

Statement of Purpose
Our essay question was created to provoke honest, thoughtful responses to help us get to know you. The admissions committee is interested in learning how your professional or other experiences and achievements equip you and motivate you to enroll in our program. At a minimum, the Statement of Purpose should indicate, with clarity and focus, your purpose for entering the Abbey MRED+D program and why this advances your professional and personal goals. We are especially interested in understanding both your experience in and your capacity to take full advantage of an intensive, fast-paced degree program.

Note: Emerging Development Leaders applicants (those with less than two years of full-time post-graduate work experience) must discuss why they feel ready for the program at their current level of experience in the Statement of Purpose (they must also submit GRE or GMAT scores to be eligible--see below).

Personal History Statement
Anything that can give the admissions committee a sense of you as a person belongs here. You can repeat information about your experiences found in your Statement of Purpose, but we encourage you to highlight any experiences that show your understanding of groups historically underrepresented, and your commitment to serving underrepresented segments of society with your Abbey MRED+D degree.

Two Letters of Recommendation

The two required letters of recommendation provide the admissions committee with third party, qualitative accounts of your potential for success in our program. We require two letters of recommendation. However, you may submit up to three if you like. The online application will prompt you for three letters of recommendation.  If you are only submitting the required two, just enter your own name into the third space.  

We strongly prefer that letters of recommendation come from a current direct supervisor, former direct supervisor, or other individuals with whom you have had significant professional interaction. Please select individuals who know you well and who will take the time to write thorough and thoughtful letters on your behalf. The title of those you select is not important. What does matter is how closely your letter writers have worked with you and whether they can attest to your value as an employee, your professional accomplishments, and your personal qualities. We have found the most helpful letters to be recent, relevant, and written specifically for this application. We discourage letters of recommendation from subordinates, family, or friends.

When completing the online application, you will enter the email address of your recommender and click the appropriate box to have the recommender upload their letter. You are responsible for ensuring that both required recommendations are submitted prior to the application deadline.  

Video Question

You will be asked in the application to upload a video where in 2 minutes or less you tell us what drives your interests in real estate development + design and what you see yourself doing after you graduate from the MRED+D program. Please spend about one minute addressing each part of the question. File may be no larger than 5MB, and the following file types are supported: .3g2, .3gp, .avi, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .mxf, .webm, .wmv

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada).

However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement: 1) courses in English as a Second Language, 2) courses conducted in a language other than English, 3) courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and 4) courses of a non-academic nature.

To qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS exemption you must:

  • Have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English.
  • Have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution, in the United States or abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the United States’ regional accrediting* agencies.
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with a grade B or better at a regionally accredited* institution within the United States.

*Regionally accredited college or university means an institution of higher education accredited by one of the following regional accreditation associations in the United States:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

There are two standardized tests you may take: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
We will only accept TOEFL tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and sent to us directly by the TOEFL office. For Summer 2022, tests taken before June 1, 2020 will not be accepted even if your score was reported to Berkeley. The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. From the list of Division options to send, please select "Graduate Schools" and no department is needed.

For purposes of admission, your most recent score should be at least 100 for the Internet-based test (IBT), or 600 for the paper-based format (PBT).

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
As an exception, you can submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

You are responsible for providing us with an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your IELTS. Remember to order the TRF when you register to take the test and send your results to the following address:

UC Berkeley Graduate Admissions
318 Sproul Hall #5900
Berkeley, CA 94720-5900

For Summer 2022, tests taken before June 1, 2020 will not be accepted. Your most recent overall Band score must be at least 7 on a 9-point scale.

To register for the IELTS, consult the IELTS website to locate the office of the test center where you plan to take the test.

Portfolio of Work (optional)

While this is not a requirement, we encourage applicants to submit images of work, writing samples, and/or past projects with your application. Accpetable documents include presentations, pro formas, publications, and design portfolios, among others. Please keep this to 10-12 pages in length, and feel free to redact any confidential information.

GMAT or GRE Exam (optional for most)

GRE or GMAT scores are not required but may help you demonstrate skills otherwise not present in your application.  If you wish to submit them, they can be either current or expired. Please self-report your scores on the application and send the official results to UC Berkeley. For the GRE please use institutional code 4833. For GMAT scores please use institutional code N2V-M5-04.

Important Note: Emerging Development Leaders applicants (those with less than two years of full-time post-graduate work experience) must submit GRE or GMAT scores to be eligible (they must also discuss why they feel ready for the program at their current level of experience in the Statement of Purpose--see above).

"Real estate is a collaborative and multidisciplinary industry. Any aspiring real estate professional would be doing themselves a disservice to learn the business in a vacuum. Whether you work on the development, asset management, legal, financing, construction or design side of the industry, you will interact with members of all of those professions on a daily basis. Learning the language, priorities, and concerns of those groups as a student has helped me be a more successful professional in my field. Berkeley's new MRED+D program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of real estate development and I would have applied to the MRED+D had it been available."

Allie Stein, Project Manager, BRIDGE Housing (MCP and IGCRE ’16)