Real Estate Development

The School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture

Real Estate Development

Real Estate Development has become more dynamic and sophisticated, involving complex networks and collaborations, and is increasingly regulated. The Auburn University Executive Master of Real Estate Development (AUMRED) Degree Program provides students an understanding of multiple disciplines that put them at an advantage in their real estate development careers. We take the lead in generating practical and theoretical knowledge that enables students to better understand the changing demands of real estate development. 

AUMRED is a unique partnership between the College of Architecture, Design and Construction and the Harbert College of Business. Increasingly, real estate development requires practitioners who bring a broad spectrum of skills for the constantly evolving landscape. In recognition of the increased complexity of the development process, the program aims to develop competencies essential for success and leadership in the emerging creative economy. Our objective is to provide an intellectual and practical application to real estate development. The program aims to provide students an understanding of multiple disciplines—design, construction, market research, finance, and development management—that put them at an advantage in their real estate development careers.

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The program is entrepreneur- and industry-focused. By aligning theoretical knowledge with dynamic real-world application, it bridges the typical dichotomy between the public regulatory process and market approaches to real estate development.


A fundamental factor to the success of the program is its residential component. The combination of asynchronous distance online learning with brief and rigorous on-campus synchronous contact makes this program an exceptional one. The curriculum explores current trends in real estate securitization, finance, law and taxation, and provides students with information and solutions they can apply instantly, not after graduation. They immediately join an exclusive network that provides rich opportunities for ongoing, real-time, peer-to-peer interaction around critical issues. Students will be better able to understand shifts in economy, public policy and the environment, learn to negotiate, and successfully adapt to the changes.


The trend is moving towards a green, energy and resource-efficient post-industrial economy. It has been estimated that in less than ten years, all buildings will meet LEED Gold standards and all real estate development will be considered sustainable development projects.


AUMRED’s curriculum mainstreams issues of green building, energy and natural resource efficiency and sustainable development into every course, giving students a deeper understanding of these concepts. As green building becomes embedded in municipal regulations, students must learn to maximize energy and natural resource efficiency. Our goal is to train a new generation of executives who are highly knowledgeable about sustainable development, energy, and natural resource efficiency.


AUMRED prepares students to meet the challenges related to this industry-wide change. Students become not only successful, but also stewards of the environment. Equipped with these capabilities, graduates will be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new millennium economy that is both post-industrial and green in its thinking.

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The unique partnership between the College of Architecture, Design and Construction and the Harbert College of Business makes this program exemplary. Faculty members are distinguished scholars who share an enduring commitment to teaching. They are experts in their diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and offer insight into finance, marketing, architecture, landscape architecture, planning, construction and law. They bring many years of work experience in their field, and are actively involved in professional societies in their respective fields.


The AUMRED program aims to develop students’ skills needed to evaluate, create, implement, and manage real estate development. It is designed to make extensive use of community and regional examples of sustainability-based development. Students will learn to challenge paradigms through experiential learning, positioning themselves and their organizations to meet current and future challenges.


The benefits of educating smart, knowledgeable, and capable real estate practitioners are becoming more evident as the goals and realities of urban development are changing with new lifestyles, technical advances, and concerns about sustainable forms of development. Our faculty prepare students to see how market forces must be factored into the equation to yield desirable—and profitable—community development.


Michael Clay, AICP

Christian Dagg, AIA

Ben Farrow, PE

Joe Hanna, PhD

David Hinson, FAIA

Paul Holley, MBA

Jay Mittal, PhD

Steve Monk, Attny

Kurt O'Brien, CCIM, CPM

Michael Robinson, ASLA

J. Mark Taylor, PhD, JD

Ben Wieseman, ASLA

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This executive program requires a minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience or three years of real estate experience in the fields of accounting, appraisal, brokerage, construction, design, development, engineering or law. Entrance exams such as the GRE or GMAT are not required. An advantage of AUMRED is that students interact with a peer group that has several years of experience in the field. The interaction in the residential program—in planning, design, construction and market analyses—is an enriching experience, and an ideal setting for the exchange of ideas, teamwork, and often, collaboration among participants.


A notable feature of the program is that it is very relevant to the current economic context in the region. The program was designed for working professionals drawn to improving their expertise. We give you tools you can use instantly, in your current practice—not just after you graduate. Our focus is entrepreneurial real estate development and our program is more real-world targeted than typical academic real estate studies.


This knowledge is critical to creating successful development projects in both the current dynamic real estate capital markets and in the emergent greening of the economy. Part of the curriculum explores new avenues of financing for real estate development as they unfold.


We prepare students with discrete knowledge of workouts, repositions, recapitalizations, and redevelopment of troubled real estate assets. Armed with these skills, graduates are viable not only in rising markets but also when the curve bends down during recessionary periods.


The curriculum includes 39 total credit hours spread over 21 months. Rigorous online distance learning classes are combined with short term residencies on campus. Classes combine lectures, projects, case studies, site visits—exercises to experience all facets of a real estate professional’s tasks and challenges. The classroom is transformed into a place to learn from peers as well as top ranked faculty, to expand circles of influence, and to gain perspectives not otherwise easily available.


The distance component of the curriculum is delivered through the University's online student learning platform CANVAS. Using CANVAS, students can view their lectures, work with team members on group assignments, ask questions and hold discussions with their professors and classmates, submit homework, download course materials and stay in touch with the program.


A principal signature of the curriculum is the field trips, four in all. The trips are intensive short courses that feature exemplary real estate development projects in different regions of the country, and one international field study. One of the emphases is on sustainability, and each field study attempts to meet developers, designers, contractors, equity providers, and property operators. Our goal is to train a new generation of graduates who are highly knowledgeable about sustainable development, energy, and natural resource efficiency. Students are required to work on a 5-credit capstone project in the fifth semester of their program.


2019 Curriculum (PDF)

2020 Curriculum (PDF)

2021 Curriculum (PDF)

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Program Costs: AUMRED tuition is $58,500 for the 21-month, five-semester program. This amount covers tuition, required books and other instructional materials, university fees, lodging and lunches during Auburn residencies and on required field trips, international lodging for international field study and annual student memberships in the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP) and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). 


The opportunity cost of attending AUMRED is ultimately less than similar programs because a student does not have to move to campus or give up current employment income. AUMRED‘s executive format allows students to work full-time while enrolled in the program.


Career Services

An advantage of the program is that on-campus residencies coincide with the 36-member Advisory Council and the alumni council meeting on campus. Their presence provides students with several opportunities to interact, network, and learn.


Plus membership in professional organizations: Urban Land Institute (ULI),  Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP) and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Admission to the Master or Real Estate Development program begins by completing the Auburn University Graduate School application


Our goal is to admit the best students possible so our admissions policy is deliberately flexible. We accept applications on an ongoing basis but encourage early application to increase the probability of admission to the upcoming cohort. We are now accepting applications for Fall Semester 2019.

The Master of Real Estate Development program admissions committee will review applications as they are completed. Applicants meeting the requirements for program entry will be contacted for an interview after the review process. Selection for the program is based on meeting admission requirements, information supplied on the application, the personal interview, and comments from references.


Applicants to the program are required to have a four-year undergraduate degree and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience or three years of real estate experience in the fields of accounting, appraisal, brokerage, construction, design, development, engineering or law. Entrance exams such as the GRE or GMAT are not required.


Current students have come from backgrounds that include finance, building sciences, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, law, and business, among others.  


Application materials:

  • Graduate application fee: $60 ($70 international applicants)
  • Transcripts submitted: one copy
  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation: two
  • Statement of Purpose
  • For International Students: TOEFL 550;
  • Application Deadline – July 1


For more information, contact:

Joe Collazo, EdD, PMASE, MBA
Assistant Director, Graduate Executive Programs
Auburn University
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
405 W. Magnolia Avenue, Suite 503
Auburn, AL  36849
Phone: (334) 844-4060


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Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Director, Master of Real Estate Development Program