Real Estate Development + Design



Photo: Tony Tieu

“UC Berkeley’s Masters of Real Estate Development and Design is just what the real estate and infrastructure industries need to re-train existing participants and put emerging industry leaders on the right track.” ​

Christopher B. Leinberger, Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor of Urban Real Estate & Chair, Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, George Washington University


The Nancy and Douglas Abbey MRED+D program at UC Berkeley is a summer start degree, starting in mid-June. Students complete a pre-program "bootcamp" and pre-fall "mini bootcamp" workshops plus take a total of 30 units of core courses and at least 3 units of electives* to meet a minimum of 33 units spread out over the summer, fall, and spring semesters. (NOTE: The cohort starting in 2021 will begin the program in August rather than June, due to the ongoing pandemic.)

*Students are required to complete a minimum of 3 units of electives but may take up to 8 units of electives (no additional charge), allowing students to customize their program.

Required Courses

  • RDEV 200: Sustainable Building Systems + Construction (2)
  • RDEV 205: Equitable + Inclusive Development (1)
  • RDEV 209: Integrated Development, Architecture + Urbanism (3)
  • RDEV 210: Real Estate Economics + Market Analysis (3)
  • RDEV 220: Real Estate Development Finance (3)
  • RDEV 225: Advanced Real Estate Finance (2)
  • RDEV 230: Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies + Tools (2)
  • RDEV 240: Professional Practice of Real Estate Development (3)
  • RDEV 250: Land Development Law + Regulations (3)
  • RDEV 270: Development + Design Studio (5)
  • RDEV 277: Resilience + Urban Development (3)
  • RDEV 280: Capstone Project (2)
  • RDEV 290: Preparing for Practice (1)

This list is subject to change.

Sample Student Program

Below is a sample student program. Programs may vary according to minor changes in course offerings and scheduling over time. 

  • Pre-Program Bootcamp Week
  • RDEV 200: Sustainable Building Systems + Construction (2)
  • RDEV 205: Equitable + Inclusive Development (1)
  • RDEV 209: Integrated Development, Architecture + Urbanism (3)
  • RDEV 210: Real Estate Economics + Market Analysis (3)
  • Pre-Semester Mini-Bootcamp
  • RDEV 220: Real Estate Development Finance (3)
  • RDEV 230: Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies + Tools (2)
  • RDEV 250: Land Development Law + Regulations (3)
  • RDEV 277: Resilience + Urban Development (3)
  • RDEV 290: Preparing for Practice (1)
  • Elective(s) (0-4)
  • RDEV 225: Advanced Real Estate Finance (2)
  • RDEV 240: Professional Practice of Real Estate Development (3)
  • RDEV 270: Development + Design Studio (5)
  • RDEV 280: Capstone Project (2)
  • Elective(s) (0-4)

All students participate in a national Urban Land Institute Annual Fall Meeting, and complete a capstone project. Capstone project topics are expected to vary in terms of product type, site/location, and focus; students select from one (or a combination) of options: (1) professional client, (2) independent research, (3) project case study, or (4) real estate development project.

Course Descriptions

RDEV 200: Sustainable Building Systems + Construction (2)

Introduction to materials, means, methods and vocabulary of construction for developers and owners. Structural materials, building envelope, costs, labor conditions, conventional practices, and key regulatory factors shaping project design. Practical understanding of reading construction drawings, construction sequencing, building materials, building systems, building code and the legal documents. Relationship between feasibility, budget, design, function and risk. Incorporating sustainable building systems and features. 

RDEV 205: Equitable + Inclusive Development (1)

Equitable and inclusive approaches to real estate development. Historical perspective of racial injustice in low-income communities of color, including gentrification and displacement. How real estate development can either ameliorate or exacerbate inequality and injustice in relation to race, class, ethnicity, and gender. Best practices and innovative new tools and strategies to ensure the benefits of new development are broadly shared with communities.

RDEV 209 Integrated Development, Architecture & Urbanism (3)

How development forces produce our streets, neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions. Focus on a critical understanding of development practices and their impact on urban form as well as the social, economic, cultural and environmental nature of cities through Case Studies. Introduction to site analysis, placemaking, urban design principles, building types and key design factors that influence building form, program and real estate development.

RDEV 210: Real Estate Economics + Market Analysis (3)

Fundamentals of real estate economics and market analysis. Factors in national, regional and local real estate markets that determine development needs and opportunities. Market factors, demographic trends, regulatory issues, affordable housing and social responsibility, as well as capital and real estate market cycles, supply/demand, and highest and best use analysis. Finding and analyzing data to create a market analysis for real estate development projects.

RDEV 220: Real Estate Development Finance (3)

Fundamentals of real estate development finance. Financial analysis skills and analytical tools for evaluating private and public development and investment in real estate, over all product types. Site selection, market analysis, financial feasibility, design and legal considerations, construction, lease-up, operations, and property sales. Decision-making scenarios to evaluate and assess development concepts and project viability. Funding sources for market rate and affordable development.

RDEV 225: Advanced Real Estate Finance (2)

Advanced real estate financial analysis, taxation, mortgages, leases, valuation, and capital markets. Securitization, corporate real estate management, leasebacks, risk management. Different forms of real estate asset ownership. Quantitative and analytics tools to value real estate assets, including discounted cash flow, comparable transaction, direct capitalization and residual methods. Financing commercial real estate, including REITs, Private Equity, and crowdfunding.

RDEV 230: Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies + Tools (2)

Case studies from projects across the nation, including affordable housing, economic development projects and transit oriented development projects. Focus on planning interventions and real estate deals with a public purpose. Tools, strategies and partnerships used to implement such projects as well as development financing such as ground leases with public agencies, tax increment funding, tax abatements, and other funding sources. Skills and knowledge to manage the complex and often competing agendas of parties involved in public-private partnerships in real estate development.

RDEV 240: Professional Practice of Real Estate Development (3) 

Fundamental practices in private, public, and non-profit real estate development. Perspectives of project managers, investment specialists, bankers and lawyers, architects, planners, contractors and property managers representing companies from around the Bay Area following the life cycle/sequence of a real estate project. Approaches to understanding and incorporating community perspectives. Familiarity with professional work products, contracts, schedules and documents handled or produced by practitioners on a daily basis as course materials.

RDEV 250 Land Development Law + Regulations (3)

An advanced course in implementation of land use and environmental controls. The theory, practice and impacts of zoning, growth management, land banking, development systems, and other techniques of land use control. Objective is to acquaint student with a range of regulatory techniques and the legal, administrative-political equity aspects of their implementation.

RDEV 270 Development + Design Studio (5)

Studio focused on development analysis and project design for specific community clients. Emphasis on site planning and development, financial feasibility and funding sources, design strategies, public policy and community considerations. Collaborative team work with architecture graduate students, regular project critiques, and presentations to clients, real estate professionals, public officials, and nonprofit community organizations. Travel to study extraordinary projects and an in-studio team competition with prize.

RDEV 277 Resilience + Urban Development (3)

Methods for increasing urban sustainability and resilience through decentralized infrastructure design and appropriate development site design. Focus on urban runoff, flooding, water quality, and ecology. Comparative frameworks for urban infrastructure systems analysis, estimating rough project costs, quantitative skills in site and street design, and key international design adaptations for flooding and sea level rise.

RDEV 280: Capstone Project (2)

Individual or small group project involving research and analysis of a significant real estate project or development challenge. Supervised by committee of faculty with support from development professionals. 

RDEV 290: Preparing for Practice (1)

Seminar to prepare students for their career paths by exposing them to the breath of career opportunities in the real estate industry through lecture and discussion, course work, and assigned reading.


The Abbey MRED+D is a flexible degree that allows students to choose electives in almost any department at UC Berkeley that best fit their academic and career goals. Relevant elective courses identified are listed below. Descriptions can be found in the UC Berkeley Course Guide. In addition, students may petition to take electives not included on this list.

Housing + Urban Land Use
  • ARCH 209: Housing as Design Generator (3)
  • CY PLAN 230: US Housing, Planning and Policy (3)
  • CY PLAN 235: Methods of Project Analysis (3)
  • CY PLAN 298: Housing Lab Group Studies Project (1)
  • CY PLAN C213: Transportation and Land Use Planning (3)
  • CY PLAN C217: Transportation Policy and Planning (3)
  • CY PLAN 216: Active Transportation (3)
The Development Process
  • CY PLAN 290B: Business + Legal Issues in Real Estate Development (3)
  • CY PLAN 298: Community Engagement for Planners and Developers (1)
  • LD ARCH 140: Social and Psychological Factors in Open Space Design (3)
  • LD ARCH C242: Citizen Involvement in the City Planning Process (3)
Sustainability + Building Technology
  • ARCH 240: Advanced Study of Energy and Environment (3)
  • ARCH 242: Sustainability Colloquium (1-2)
  • ARCH 264: Off-Site Fabrication: Opportunities and Evils (3)
  • CY PLAN 254: Sustainable Communities (3)
  • LD ARCH 253: LAEP Colloquium - Water-Energy Nexus (1)
Race, Gender, Social Justice + Theory
  • CY PLAN 281: Planning Theory (3)
  • CY PLAN 290B: Critical Texts on Race and Gender: A Reading Seminar (3)
  • CY PLAN 290C: Race and the City (3)
  • LAW 272.2: Environmental Justice: Race, Class and the Environment (3)
  • LD ARCH 254: Racial Landscapes, Past, Present + Future (2)
Urban Data Science + Visualization
  • CY PLAN 255: Urban Informatics and Visualization (3)
  • CY PLAN 298: Introduction to Data Science (3)
  • LD ARCH 289: Advanced Remote Sensing (3)
Health + Development in Emerging Markets
  • CY PLAN C251: Environmental Planning and Regulation (3)
  • CY PLAN C256: Healthy Cities (3)
  • CY PLAN 290A: Urbanization in the Global South (3)
Environmental Planning
  • CY PLAN 205: Introduction to Environmental Planning and Law (3)
  • LD ARCH 221: Quantitative Methods in Environmental Planning (3)
  • LD ARCH 237: The Process of Environmental Planning (3)
  • LD ARCH 254: Rivers and Cities: Reclaiming the Connection (2)
Finance + Investment
  • MBA 280: Real Estate Investment and Market Analysis (3)
  • MBA 282: Real Estate Development (3)
  • MBA 283: Real Estate Finance and Securitization (3)
General Business
  • MBA 252: Negotiations and Conflict Resolution (2)
  • MBA 290F: Business Fundamentals (3)
  • MBA 295A: Entrepreneurship (3)
New Ventures
  • LAW 255: Venture Capital Finance (2)
  • LAW 255.9: Venture Capital Deal Bootcamp (2)
  • MBA 277: Tech and the City (3)
  • MBA 295B: Venture Capital and Private Equity (3)
  • MBA 295T: Lean Launchpad (3)
Real Estate Development + Law
  • LAW 257: Real Estate Transactions and Litigation (1)
  • LAW 273.1: Land Use Law (3)
  • LAW 285.85: Community Economic Development (3)

*Students must follow external department registration procedures. Enrollment is subject to space availability and School or Department approval and is not guaranteed. Actual elective course offering varies year to year and is subject to change.