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 MRED+D program at UC Berkeley is a summer start degree and classes begin in late June/early July. Students complete a pre-program "bootcamp week" and pre-fall "mini bootcamp" workshops plus take a total of 10 required core courses (plus 2 recommended course) and at least one elective* to meet a minimum of 34 units spread out over the summer, fall, and spring semesters.

*Students are required to complete a minimum of 3 units of electives but may take up to 12 units of electives (no additional charge), allowing students to customize their program.

Required Courses

  • ARCH 209: Integrated Development, Architecture & Urbanism (3)
  • LD ARCH 254: Sustainable and Resilient Development & Design (3)
  • RDEV 200: Principles of Sustainable Real Estate Development (3)
  • RDEV 210: Introduction to Development Economics & Fundamentals (3)
  • RDEV 220: Real Estate Development Finance (3)
  • RDEV 250: Land Development Law and Regulations (3)
  • RDEV 230: Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies & Tools (3)
  • RDEV 240: Professional Practice of Real Estate Development (3)
  • RDEV 270: Development & Design Studio (5)
  • RDEV 280: Capstone Project (2)

Recommended Courses

  • 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
  • ARCH 209: Integrated Development, Architecture & Urbanism (3)
  • RDEV 200: Principles of Sustainable Real Estate Development (3)
  • RDEV 210: Introduction to Development Economics & Fundamentals (3)
  • Pre-Semester Mini-Bootcamp
  • RDEV 220: Real Estate Development Finance (3)
  • RDEV 230: Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies & Tools (3)
  • RDEV 250: Land Development Law and Regulations (3)
  • RDEV 290: Preparing for Practice (1) (recommended)
  • Elective(s) (3-6)
  • RDEV 240: Professional Practice of Real Estate Development (3)
  • RDEV 270: Development & Design Studio (5)
  • RDEV 280: Capstone Project (2)
  • LD ARCH 254: Sustainable and Resilient Development & Design (3)
  • Elective(s) (0-3)

All students are required to participate in a national Urban Land Institute Annual Fall Meeting, and to 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

ARCH 209 Integrated Development, Architecture & Urbanism (3)

How development forces produce our streets, neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions, as well as our global slums and blighted urban landscapes. 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. Topics explore real estate development through exploration of selected Case Studies. Invited presentations from development, design, and planning industry professionals.

LD ARCH 254 Sustainable and Resilient Development & Design (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 200: Principles of Sustainable Real Estate Development (3)

Needs and challenges of developing sustainable urban communities through multi-disciplinary real estate development approaches, ranging from smart growth, urban infill and healthy city policies, to green building practices and a spectrum of LEED building and neighborhood development strategies. The metropolitan region’s role in managing large resource and infrastructure challenges related to energy consumption, water, transportation, service provision and climate change adaptation.

RDEV 210: Introduction to Development Economics and Fundamentals (3)

Fundamentals of real estate development finance and economics. 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. Financial analysis, from financial feasibility and predevelopment analysis and site selection to lease-up or sales of the final product, factoring in the role of design in financial performance.

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 230: Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies, and Tools (3)

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 and 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 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 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
  • CY PLAN 207: Land and Housing Market Economics (3)
  • CY PLAN C213: Transportation and Land Use Planning (3)
  • CY PLAN 230: US Housing Planning and Policy (3)
The Development Process
  • CY PLAN 235: Methods of Project Analysis (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)
Sustainable Design + Construction
  • ARCH 160: Introduction to Construction (3)
  • ARCH 242: Sustainability Colloquium (1-2)
  • ARCH 243: Natural Cooling: Sustainable Design for a Warming Climate (3)**
  • LD ARCH C250: Theories of Urban Form and Design (3)
Real Estate in Developing Markets
  • CY PLAN 231: Housing in Developing Countries (3)
  • CY PLAN 219: Comparative International Topics in Transportation (3)
Finance + Investment
  • MBA 280: Real Estate Investment and Market Analysis (3)
  • MBA 283: Real Estate Finance and Securitization (3)
  • MBA 284: Real Estate Investment Strategy (3)
Real Estate Development + Law
  • ARCH 229A: Introduction to Construction Law (3)
  • CY PLAN 207: Introduction to Planning & Environmental Law (3)
  • LAW 226: Local Government Law (3)
  • LAW 257: Real Estate Transactions and Litigation (3)
  • LAW 271.2: Biodiversity Law (3)

*Students must follow external department registration procedures and enrollment is subject to space availability. Actual elective course offering varies year to year and is subject to change.
**Prerequisite may apply.