Certificate in Real Estate

Program Dates

Rolling Admissions (Start Fall, Winter or Spring Quarter)

Application Deadlines: 

  • September 1, 2021
  • December 1, 2021
  • March 1, 2022


UCI Paul Merage School of Business


$27,500 (payment plan available)

New! GI Bill approval. Please follow these steps for VA benefits.

  • Length: 5 Quarters

Enhance your Career in the Dynamic Real Estate Industry

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to participate in one of the most comprehensive and carefully crafted real estate programs in the country and learn practical skills and theories from world-renowned faculty at the top-ranked Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine - in the heart of Southern California's vibrant Orange County, home to some of the nation’s most vibrant and dynamic real estate businesses and communities. 

The coursework takes a holistic and contemporary approach to real estate, drawing from the lessons of past cycles and current trends. Participants complete a total of five quarter-long courses, in addition to a two-day program, and can complete the program in as few as nine months.

The interactive and dynamic curriculum will provide participants with insights and skills regarding key factors and investment strategies driving real estate markets, and will incorporate case studies, opportunities to work on real-life projects, and feature world-renowned faculty and distinguished guest speakers from leading organizations in the real estate community.


  • Individuals looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of the real estate industry
  • Professionals interested in obtaining enhanced knowledge in a specific real estate discipline or specialization
  • Managers and leaders from all fields related to real estate planning and development

Program Overview

  • Five (5) quarter-long courses (two mandatory courses plus three elective courses)
  • A multi-day Commercial Real Estate Financial Analysis course
  • Certificate in Real Estate Transactions
  • Complete in as little as nine months 
  • Graduate-level coursework (20 units) and classes led by experienced faculty in conjunction with highly-regarded industry leaders from all disciplines
  • Valuable learning and networking opportunities with practitioners and other professionals
  • Plus exclusive and complimentary access to the Center for Real Estate's business-focused events and knowledge-sharing forums, featuring highly regarded industry leaders and current topics. Events such as:
    • Tri-Annual Breakfast Series
    • Day in the Real Estate Life
    • Real Estate Day on the Job
    • Guest Speaker Presentations
    • Real Estate Awards Luncheon and other exclusive Center for Real Estate events

Program Content

Two (2) Mandatory Courses:

  • Introduction to the Real Estate Process
  • Seminar in the Management of the Real Estate Enterprise

Plus Three (3) Electives (from the following options):

  • Applied Real Estate Security Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • The Commercial Real Estate Development Process
  • Real Estate Capital Markets
  • International Real Estate Investment
  • Mortgage-Backed Securities & Structured Debt
  • Mixed Use Community Development**
  • Practicum in Mixed Use Community Development (MBA)

**This course will be on hiatus in the 2020-2021 school year.

And a multi-day program on:

  • Commercial Real Estate Financial Analysis
  • Real Estate Transactions

Each quarter-long course is ten (10) weeks in duration and classes typically meet once a week for 3 hrs. Additionally, coursework will include required assignments.

Course Descriptions

Introduction to the Real Estate Process (Mandatory Course)

This introductory survey course provides a foundation for understanding the workings and players in the real estate market. The curriculum features a hands-on approach to analysis of real estate deal opportunities with case presentations from leaders in the real estate community.

Topics Include: Real estate economics, valuation, feasibility, investment, tax considerations, financing, development, and corporate real estate asset management. Class will feature lectures and cases with supplemental presentations by real estate professionals.

Applied Real Estate Security Analysis and Portfolio Management (Elective)

This course prepares students to value and efficiently manage a diversified portfolio composed of real estate investment trusts (REITs). The course will soon be rendered “real” and not simply “virtual” with funding through the sales of individual REIT shares to members of The Center for Real Estate's Advisory Board. 

Provides an understanding of the public real estate investment trust (REIT) market and its place in modern investment strategies, presents methods for analyzing and valuing companies, and introduces basic concepts for constructing and managing a real estate investment portfolio.

The Real Estate Development Process (Elective)

This course introduces students to the nature and composition of the development community and the development process. Students have the opportunity to work in teams with a client as well as prepare a feasibility analysis and create an optimal deal structure for an actual development project. 

Topics Include: Nature and composition of development community and development process with the emphasis on the role of conflicting interests, values and goals, and market uncertainty; deal structuring and risk management. 

Course will consist of lectures, guest lectures, and team projects evaluating actual development projects.

Real Estate Capital Markets (Elective)

The primary goal of this course is to develop a working understanding of the four segments of real estate capital markets: public debt, private debt, private equity and public equity, and how these markets affect real estate investment. 

Topics Include: Understanding the four sectors of real estate capital markets: public debt, private debt, public equity, private equity; fundamental drivers of real estate investment; key players; investment types; underwriting strategies; debt vs. equity source characteristics and implications for returns.

International Real Estate Investment (Elective)

This hands-on course tracks the growing phenomenon and driving forces of international real estate investing. The course features a variety of guest speakers and the potential opportunity for students to participate in an international field trip.

Topics Include: Survey of international real estate investment opportunities; size and breadth; opportunities and challenges (tax treatment, currency/political/market risks, transaction costs, lack of local knowledge); ownership vehicles (REITs, joint ventures, equity funds, etc.)

Mortgage-Backed Securities & Structured Debt (Elective)

This course focuses on the theory and operation of the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market and the market for structured real estate debt through an in-depth examination of both the residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities markets (RMBS, CMBS).

Topics Include: Theory and operation of the residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities markets, historical introduction, pricing and technical analysis, the securitization process and roles of individual players, investment characteristics, structured finance and derivatives, recent policy issues. 

Seminar in Management of the Real Estate Enterprise (Mandatory Course)

This course is a capstone seminar that explores the various aspects of decision-making related to the management and leadership of the real estate enterprise. Each session focuses on a particular topic and is hosted by a guest speaker with specific expertise from the professional community.

Course will look beyond "The Deal" to management of the real estate enterprise itself; explore aspects of decision-making focused upon strategic objectives: goal setting, legal/tax structures, public vs. closely-held entities, corporate ethics, capital structure, managing growth, diversification, and technology.

Real Estate Finance and Investment Analysis (A multi-day program - TBD)

This course explores critical technological aptitude and skill sets for success in commercial real estate. Students will learn about concepts including commercial real estate cash flow projections and asset valuations.  Additionally, students will develop the necessary Excel skill sets to prepare property cash flows and create dynamic and sophisticated commercial real estate valuation models to evaluate transactions on both an unlevered and levered basis. 

Practicum in Mixed Use Community Development (MBA)

Taught by Professor Kerry Vandell, this course introduces students to the complex variety of issues, perspectives and decision making knowledge that must accompany the current development process for mixed-use communities. This course is very hands-on allowing students to work in development teams focusing on an actual Orange County site.

Learn More


  • Fall classes begin week of September 28, 2020
  • Fall application deadline September 1, 2020
  • Winter classes begin week of January 2, 2020
  • Winter application deadline December 1, 2020
  • Spring classes begin week of March 29, 2021
  • Spring application deadline March 1, 2020

Program Application

Pre-requisites: Undergraduate / Graduate degree, plus a minimum of 2 years professional work experience with increasing responsibilities


  • Resume or CV
  • A 1-2 page document describing: 
    • Why you are interested in joining this program?
    • Why/how you would benefit from participating?
    • How other students would benefit from your participation in this program?
    • What your career aspirations are following the completion of the program?
  • Transcript from Undergrad school

Please email documents to the Office of Executive Education with Subject line: Certificate in Real Estate Application

Individuals will be notified regarding their application within 1-2 weeks.

More information:

Office of Executive Education

In partnership with the Merage School's

Center for Real Estate