The doctoral program in Real Estate offers students with strong backgrounds in finance and economics the opportunity to focus their studies and their research activities on a broad range of topics in real estate, capital markets, housing and urban economics. The purpose of the program is to train individuals for academic positions in real estate and finance and technical research positions in industry. Doctoral students are exposed to state-of-the-art treatments of a variety of current issues in real estate, including structured financing, contract design and pricing, regulatory issues in real estate finance, real estate cycles, real options, agglomeration economies and the structure and operation of mortgage, housing and land markets.
The doctoral program in Real Estate is closely aligned with the doctoral program in finance. The normal course sequence for Real Estate requires students to fulfill all of the requirements of the finance major as well as a doctoral course in Real Estate and the Real Estate research seminar. Students are expected to demonstrate a command of micro- and macro-economic theory, econometrics and statistics, basic finance, and urban economics, local public finance, and real estate finance. Students should bear in mind that they will carry additional course loads to accommodate the somewhat greater range of materials required to understand how modern research methodologies are applied to real estate problems and issues.
Students attend frequent seminars to gain exposure to current research in the field. The Real Estate program sponsors an active weekly seminar series which features guest speakers from other universities throughout the world. In addition, the finance group sponsors the Berkeley Program in Finance, which holds two conferences a year on current topics for finance academics and practitioners. These provide another forum for doctoral students to learn about current methodologies, and assess how these methodologies may be applied to their own research interests.
Other opportunities for students to improve their research skills come from working with faculty on joint projects or as research assistants. It is common for third- and fourth-year students to serve as teaching assistants in the undergraduate, MBA, and Masters in Financial Engineering programs.