The Merage School is home to seven Centers of Excellence enabling you to collaborate with respected business and industry leaders, providing exceptional networking and mentoring opportunities including the nationally recognized Business Plan Competition. Our MBA Career Center partners with our FEMBA students to help you develop the skills and expertise for the lifelong management of your career.

Spring Open House

Saturday, May 13th

10:00 am - 2:00 pm

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Apply Now for Fall 2017

The next application deadline is June 1st. Contact us now to assess your fit for the FEMBA program.

Schedule a Consultation Appointment

Admissions staff members are available for in-person, phone or Skype consultations. Send us your resume to schedule.



Real Estate

The Center for Real Estate is quickly becoming known as a leading international resource for the real estate industry.  As one of the Centers for Excellence at the Paul Merage School of Business, the Center for Real Estate is the only real estate “think tank” that is fully incorporated within a business school in southern California.

As a FEMBA student, the Center offers unparalleled opportunities in the area of real estate. In your second year, you can choose the real estate career path and tailor your MBA curriculum in real estate. Your elective courses focus on real estate topics, taught by leaders in the industry.

Course offerings include:


  • Introduction to the Real Estate Process
  • Real Estate Capital Markets
  • The Real Estate Development Process
  • Mortgage-Backed Securities and Structured Debt
  • Seminar in Management of the Real Estate Enterprise
  • Applied Real Estate Security Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • International Real Estate Investment 


State-of-the-Art Resources, Top-Notch Experts

The Center for Real Estate has been designed as a state-of-the-art resource to train the next generation’s leaders. The impressive 2,000-square foot home of The Center for Real Estate offers the latest technology and design innovations, with two 45-inch screens streaming real-time marketing information.  Students can sit down at a workstation, tap in a security code and access virtually any real estate data source.

The Center for Real Estate has attracted recognized leaders in the industry. Center Director and Professor Kerry Vandell is a nationally known expert on the real estate industry, and Merage School faculty are world-renowned for cutting-edge research. The Real Estate Advisory Board is composed of strong and influential real estate industry leaders who offer practical and tactical advice for program development.

FEMBA Students Can:


  • Attend Important Real Estate Events
    The Breakfast Series. A prestigious panel of experts discusses and debates major issues of current interest. Examples of recent topics include the subprime mortgage market, the impact of proposed changes in eminent domain laws, the development of Orange County’s “Great Park,” and the future of residential development.

    Real Estate Gala. The annual awards banquet attracts more than 500 attendees honoring Lifetime Achievement Awardees such as Donald Bren, General William Lyon, the Shea Family and CB Richard Ellis.
  • Join a Dynamic Student Real Estate Organization
    The Real Estate Association, run completely by students, organizes social activities, guest speakers, job fairs and alumni networking events.
  • Access Software and Database Information
    Through the Real Estate Association, you’ll learn programs such as FactSet for real estate securities and Argus for property performance and project feasibility. At the center, you can also access databases including REIS, Torto-Wheaton, CB Richard Ellis, Delta Associates, Bloomberg, SNL Securities, PPR, NCREIF and others.
  • Meet Powerful Board Members
    The Center’s Advisory Board is made up of distinguished leaders from every segment of the real estate industry. Students gain the opportunity to network with Orange County’s real estate pioneers.
  • Manage an REIT  Portfolio
    As part of the class in Applied Real Estate Security Analysis and Portfolio Management, you’ll have the opportunity to manage a real portfolio of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) securities, advised by staff from Oak Hill REIT Management, LLC, and Green Street Advisors.
  • Learn from a Mentor
    When you participate in the Mentorship Program, you have experience in your corner. You can call on your mentor for advice, strategy decision sessions, or even shadow a senior executive during meetings and presentations.
  • Help The Community
    Merage students can be involved in local Habitat for Humanity projects to benefit the less fortunate in our area.
Kerry D. Vandell“Orange County is one of the most emulated real estate markets in the world. It’s only fitting that we have a world-class academic center dedicated to the study of real estate topics here at the Merage School of Business. Many of our most active students are FEMBA students; I’m struck by the commitment they have to the real estate market.”

- Kerry D. Vandell, Director, Center for Real Estate


Kerry D. Vandell
Professor of Finance
Director, Center for Real Estate
Professor Vandell is a nationally known expert on the real estate industry. He is a past President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA) and past Co-Editor of Real Estate Economics.

Degree: PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests:


  • Urban growth, economics and design
  • Real estate finance and market dynamics
  • Valuation of complex real property interests
  • Real estate liquidity and portfolio diversification
  • Economic perspective on environmental justice
  • International real estate
  • The economics of arts and cultural policy

Published work sampling:
Multifamily Finance: A Pathway to Housing Goals, a Bridge to Commercial Mortgage Market Efficiency
The Mortgage REITs: Dynamos or Duds?
Strategic Management of the Apartment Business in a Big REIT World
Store Location in Shopping Centers: Theory & Estimates (with Charles C. Carter)