School of Architecture

Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development

Lead your own projects

The nationally-ranked Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development (MSArch RED) program seeks to build upon the unique perspective and ethos of the architect. Through small class sizes and individual attention, we foster close mentoring relationships between faculty, staff, and students. While architects design the way a building looks and works, they are seldom involved in the decision of exactly what to build.

Students who have earned a degree in architecture qualify to apply to our RED program. Students who have completed degrees in related fields will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Woodbury Alumni qualify for a 10 percent discount on tuition for the MSArch RED program. We are still accepting applications. Apply below!

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Real Estate Development as Civic Engagement

Over 60% of Woodbury MSArchRED graduates go on to build their thesis projects. This map shows a snapshot of built student and faculty work from our program.

 

RED

Woodbury’s MSArchRED Ranked Top Real Estate Development Program in Nation

Woodbury’s Real Estate Development Program is ranked Best Studio-Based Program in the nation by Intelligent. The real estate industry requires skilled professionals to oversee new projects, manage relationships, and develop investment strategies. Woodbury RED students learn how to oversee the process of designing, developing, and managing property with a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development. We believe that real estate development should be an act of civic engagement, by working directly with communities to improve neighborhoods.

Studio-Based Hybrid Online Format

Faculty

The MSArch RED program is unlike a traditional real estate development program where the curriculum is offered in a hybrid online setting. Instead, the entire curriculum of the 12-month, three-semester MS Real Estate Development program is delivered through a studio-based format. For the thesis, students develop presentations or real estate development projects including market analysis, partnership agreements, funding proposals, architectural designs, and sales and leasing strategies. Many students have gone on after graduation to successfully build their thesis projects.

Faculty Directory 

Hybrid Online Course Delivery

Woodbury School of Architecture supports our students in building a strong foundation for professional practice while investigating the nature of practice itself. Each semester begins and ends with an intensive 1 or 2-week in-person workshop at our San Diego campus. The majority of coursework is then delivered remotely as students can choose to remain in San Diego or return home. Delivery of studio content is through online synchronous video conferencing; asynchronous lectures and seminars taught by professionals and experts in the field; online workspace where students share their work with the instructor and learn from each other; and various online activities and workshops.

Course requirements

Facilities

The San Diego facility houses a School of Architecture-only curriculum in a complex composed of design studios with 24-hour access, a library focused on architecture, urbanism and development, a lecture hall and gallery space, classrooms, a wood/metal shop, a digital fabrication lab, and computing facilities.

Making Complex

Spotlight: Artur Nesterenko

Woodbury University alumnus Artur Nesterenko graduated from the Master of Science in Architecture, Real Estate Development, program at the Woodbury San Diego campus. As the founder of Archillusion Design, he creates design-build projects throughout California and other regions.

“The MSArch RED program at Woodbury University is quite unique and differentiates itself from other real estate development programs in the US because it is structured specifically and exclusively for students with architectural backgrounds and degrees. If you want to be your own boss, design your own buildings and be your own client, this program should be your top priority.”

Spotlight: Ojay Pagano

Woodbury alumnus Ojay Pagano graduated from the Master of Science in Architecture, Real Estate Development, program at the Woodbury San Diego campus.

Alumnus Ojay Pagano (BArch ’04, MS Arch RED ’11) established an architecture and development practice to work on his own projects. After earning a bachelors at Woodbury, he came back to complete a MSArchRED degree and learn the ins and outs of building and bringing projects to life. As a licensed architect & general contractor, his architectural and real estate worlds crossed paths in 2006 when he was able to see his first small scale development come to life as an experimental co-housing addition “The Big White Box” in North Park. Read more about Ojay’s real estate development journey and what it means to build today.

MS Arch RED Course Details

The MSArch RED program is a one-year studio-based program for individuals holding a degree in architecture or related design degree. The three semester, 36-unit program provides hands-on professional experience in real estate project development for architects.

ARCH 580 CASE STUDY STUDIO (6 units)
Current and past developments are studied and analyzed leading to proposals for appropriate in- kind replacements. Students are introduced to cost estimating, financing, and pro forma (line by line), and test their understanding on the design studio proposal.

ARCH 510 REAL ESTATE AND FINANCE 1 (3 units)
Introduction to financial analysis and economic factors affecting real estate business plans. The components of a development proposal are studied, including financing, scheduling, project management, property management, sales, leasing, and marketing. Students develop a business plan to accompany the design studio project. Introduction to the basics of accounting, preparing the student for management of construction budgets, partnership accounts, and operation of finished buildings. Students are exposed to pertinent requirements for tax reporting.

ARCH 520 THESIS PREPARATION: TOPICS AND TRENDS (3 units)
This research seminar introduces contemporary architectural questions and establishes the practical and theoretical context of the thesis project. Students incorporate the issues presented into a research platform and methodology and prepare a thesis proposal. The history of the architect’s role in real estate development and theories of development and their place in urban planning are studied. Macroeconomics, analysis of economic factors affecting real estate supply and demand, market cycles, theory of land markets, macro-policy, and the impact of demographics and technological advances on markets are introduced. A series of lectures and one-day workshops with leaders in real estate development, economics, architecture, and urban planning is included.

ARCH 530 CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATING AND ETHICS 1 (3 units)
Ethical issues of development are introduced and studied, including real estate law, contracts, immediate and long-term environmental and planning issues, and ethical and legal responsibilities of the architect/developer. Conceptual and preliminary methods for cost estimating are introduced.

ARCH 585 THESIS PROJECT RESEARCH STUDIO (6 units)
Alternative proposals for the appropriate development of an identified site are explored and developed. Pro formas are prepared for each proposal to establish a means to identify the proposal and evaluate further development.

ARCH 511 REAL ESTATE AND FINANCE 2 (3 units)
Continuing study of financial analysis and economic factors affecting real estate business plans, along with the components of development proposals, including financing, scheduling, project management, property management, sales, leasing, and marketing. Students develop a business plan to accompany their thesis proposal. Income-producing properties require ongoing management, maintenance, tax considerations, accounting, and an understanding of the legal obligations associated with being a landlord. This course introduces banking, finance, and lending criteria required for various forms of real estate development and examines economic and legal issues relating to property management of rental properties.

ARCH 521 POLICY, LEGAL ISSUES, INSURANCE AND PARTNERING (3 units)
The study of the architect’s roles in real estate development and urban planning is continued and expanded with an introduction to legal agreements and insurance requirements. Understanding municipal code and responding and adapting to rules and regulations is introduced. Course materials and content are presented through a series of lectures and one-day workshops with leaders in real estate development, real estate law, construction law, and insurance. Second part of the course studies the appropriate opportunities and resources in the public and private sectors are identified and pursued, including the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships. The roles played by different kinds of partners— financial, governmental, non-profit, community, technological, construction, design, etc.—are clarified and studied.

ARCH 531 CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATING AND ETHICS 1 (3 units)
Continued study of ethical issues of development including real estate law, contracts, immediate and long-term environmental and planning issues, and ethical and legal responsibilities of the architect/ developer.  Continued study of Conceptual and preliminary methods for cost estimating are introduced and developed.

ARCH 590 THESIS PROJECT DEVELOPMENT STUDIO (6 units)
The best of the spring semester alternatives is designed and developed into a full- edged, professional prospectus for real estate development on the identified site. Participation in two mid-term reviews with the thesis advisory panel is mandatory. Completion of thesis is dependent upon acceptance of the prospectus.

MS Arch RED for Non-Architects (2 year option)

Candidates without an architecture degree, can complete the MS Arch RED degree in two years. The first year consists of a one-year series of courses (33 units) in three semesters (equivalent to the first year of our MArch program). Following the successful completion of this pre-MS Arch option, students then enter into the regular one-year studio-based MS Arch RED program. The three semester, 36-unit MS Arch RED program provides hands-on professional experience in real estate project development.

ARCH 583 GRADUATE STUDIO 1: SPACES WITHIN SPACES (6 units)
The foundation graduate design studio prompts a phenomenological understanding of architectural space through an introduction to design methodologies across multiple media and within nested scales. Students explore the manipulation of two and three dimensions through skills development in drawing, material exploration, and modeling.

ARCH 544 BUILDING 1: MATTER AND MAKING (3 units)
Students engage in hands-on examinations of major material types through application considerations, historical evolution, and physical properties of building composition.

ARCH 554 CRITICISM 1: ARCHITECTURE HISTORY I (3 units)
Survey of history and theory of architecture and design spanning a chronological period from prehistory to the nineteenth century in Western and non-Western societies. This course traces history with a process of focused explorations into diverse cultures, geographies, and places that examines many layers of historical time. When considered together, these explorations contribute to an understanding of architecture as a deeply bound discipline with components ranging from the artifacts of everyday life and ritual, to building traditions and practices, to the larger forces of geography and the design of entire cities.

ARCH 562 VISUALIZATION 1: MAKING TECHNIQUE (3 units)
Students are introduced to the cultural and traditional conventions of architectural representation. This course operates as a workshop providing analog and digital communication standards and making techniques for documenting, drawing, and modeling design ideas.

 

ARCH 584 GRADUATE STUDIO 2: LIVING ORGANIZATIONS (6 units)
Students are exposed to increasing complexity in architectural space through the mining of conceptual organizing logics of design via cumulative exploration of modules and units. Programming, contextual and environmental prompts, regulating principles, circulation and urban networks, and systems of assembly become formative drivers through an investigation of housing (habits, habitats, and inhabitations). Prerequisite: ARCH 583 Graduate Studio 1: Spaces Within Spaces.

ARCH 545 BUILDING 2: STRUCTURAL CONCEPTS (3 units)
An understanding of the relationships between gravity and structure is facilitated through the informed and intuitive testing of building units and formal typologies. Prerequisite: ARCH 544 Building 1: Matter and Making.

ARCH 555 CRITICISM 2: ARCHITECTURE HISTORY II Master of Architecture (3 units)
Histories and theories of architecture, urbanism, and interiors are surveyed in Western and non-Western societies from 1900 to the present. The focus of this course is on the formal, aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political dimensions of modernism. Different historiographies are developed as various approaches in understanding modern architecture in its varied contexts, including but not limited to Marxist, Feminist, and Psychoanalytic readings. Prerequisite: ARCH 554, Criticism 1: Architecture History I.

ARCH 620 PRACTICE 1: ARCHITECTURE PROFESSIONALISM (3 units)
The roles of administration, code, contracts, documents, licensure, management, and policy in alternative and standard practices are delineated as an elaboration of the ethical, financial, and legal responsibilities of the architect.

ARCH 563 VISUALIZATION 2: ANALYTICAL CONSTRUCTIONS (3 units)
Architectural representation is composed as a spatial enabler and interpreter that establishes and conveys perspective. Engagement occurs through two- and three-dimensional analog and digital hardware and software. Prerequisite: ARCH 562 Visualization 1: Making Technique.

ARCH 580 CASE STUDY STUDIO (6 units)
Current and past developments are studied and analyzed leading to proposals for appropriate in- kind replacements. Students are introduced to cost estimating, financing, and pro forma (line by line), and test their understanding on the design studio proposal.

ARCH 510 REAL ESTATE AND FINANCE 1 (3 units)
Introduction to financial analysis and economic factors affecting real estate business plans. The components of a development proposal are studied, including financing, scheduling, project management, property management, sales, leasing, and marketing. Students develop a business plan to accompany the design studio project. Introduction to the basics of accounting, preparing the student for management of construction budgets, partnership accounts, and operation of finished buildings. Students are exposed to pertinent requirements for tax reporting.

ARCH 520 THESIS PREPARATION: TOPICS AND TRENDS (3 units)
This research seminar introduces contemporary architectural questions and establishes the practical and theoretical context of the thesis project. Students incorporate the issues presented into a research platform and methodology and prepare a thesis proposal. The history of the architect’s role in real estate development and theories of development and their place in urban planning are studied. Macroeconomics, analysis of economic factors affecting real estate supply and demand, market cycles, theory of land markets, macro-policy, and the impact of demographics and technological advances on markets are introduced. A series of lectures and one-day workshops with leaders in real estate development, economics, architecture, and urban planning is included.

ARCH 530 CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATING AND ETHICS 1 (3 units)
Ethical issues of development are introduced and studied, including real estate law, contracts, immediate and long-term environmental and planning issues, and ethical and legal responsibilities of the architect/developer. Conceptual and preliminary methods for cost estimating are introduced.

ARCH 585 THESIS PROJECT RESEARCH STUDIO (6 units)
Alternative proposals for the appropriate development of an identified site are explored and developed. Pro formas are prepared for each proposal to establish a means to identify the proposal and evaluate further development.

ARCH 511 REAL ESTATE AND FINANCE 2 (3 units)
Continuing study of financial analysis and economic factors affecting real estate business plans, along with the components of development proposals, including financing, scheduling, project management, property management, sales, leasing, and marketing. Students develop a business plan to accompany their thesis proposal. Income-producing properties require ongoing management, maintenance, tax considerations, accounting, and an understanding of the legal obligations associated with being a landlord. This course introduces banking, finance, and lending criteria required for various forms of real estate development and examines economic and legal issues relating to property management of rental properties.

ARCH 521 POLICY, LEGAL ISSUES, INSURANCE AND PARTNERING (3 units)
The study of the architect’s roles in real estate development and urban planning is continued and expanded with an introduction to legal agreements and insurance requirements. Understanding municipal code and responding and adapting to rules and regulations is introduced. Course materials and content are presented through a series of lectures and one-day workshops with leaders in real estate development, real estate law, construction law, and insurance. Second part of the course studies the appropriate opportunities and resources in the public and private sectors are identified and pursued, including the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships. The roles played by different kinds of partners— financial, governmental, non-profit, community, technological, construction, design, etc.—are clarified and studied.

ARCH 531 CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATING AND ETHICS 1 (3 units)
Continued study of ethical issues of development including real estate law, contracts, immediate and long-term environmental and planning issues, and ethical and legal responsibilities of the architect/ developer.  Continued study of Conceptual and preliminary methods for cost estimating are introduced and developed.

ARCH 590 THESIS PROJECT DEVELOPMENT STUDIO (6 units)
The best of the spring semester alternatives is designed and developed into a full- edged, professional prospectus for real estate development on the identified site. Participation in two mid-term reviews with the thesis advisory panel is mandatory. Completion of thesis is dependent upon acceptance of the prospectus.

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Woodbury’s MSArchRED Officially Designated as STEM

All architecture and interior design programs at Woodbury have been designated as STEM degrees. The School of Architecture received approvals internally from the University Curriculum Committee and Office of Academic Affairs, and externally from WASC (WSCUC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Starting in the fall of 2020, students enrolling in the following programs will graduate with STEM-designated degrees:

Master of Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development
Master of Interior Design
Bachelor of Architecture
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

All international students enrolled in these programs can now apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT (Optional Practice Training) for a total of 36 months.