The doctoral program in Real Estate is part of the doctoral program in finance. The normal course sequence for Real Estate requires students to fulfill all of the requirements of the finance curriculum 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, 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.