The Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development (MSArch RED) program seeks to build upon the unique perspective and ethos of the architect. While architects design the way a building looks and works, they are seldom involved in the decision of exactly what to build. In most developments, the architect is considered only one of numerous players and is often left to carry out a pre-established vision for the development.Apply Request Information Take a Tour
Woodbury School of Architecture supports our students in building a strong foundation for professional practice while investigating the nature of practice itself. Throughout our architectural degree programs, students gain knowledge and skills that they will use in their professional lives. Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork, research projects or teaching assistantships that give them firsthand experience of practice. These experiences prepare students to make informed choices regarding their diverse career options. Visit our School of Architecture Career Services page for more information about the services offered by our Career and Outreach staff.
The MSArch RED program is unlike a real estate development program where the curriculum is offered in a traditional lecture setting. Instead, the entire curriculum of the 12-month, three-semester program is delivered through a studio-based format.
For the thesis, students develop and prepare finished presentation packages for their 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.
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. Furthermore, it features an extraordinarily talented and successful pool of practitioners in their faculty who teach based on their own experiences while simultaneously providing a step-by-step guide on how to start a real estate development career as an architect. During my year in the MSArch RED program, 90 percent of my classmates, including myself, purchased a property for our final thesis project. Looking back, I can say with confidence today that choosing the MSArch RED program was one of the best choices I have made in my career. If you want to be your own boss, design your own buildings and be your own client, this program should be your top priority.”
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.
This course of study introduces more than the typical elements of development. In addition to learning from a broad array of building industry professionals, MSArch RED students work with architects who have been successful as developers through innovation and the invention of specific strategies to overcome financial shortcomings and policy roadblocks. These strategies are studied and shared in the studios.
ARCH 580: CASE STUDY STUDIO
Current and past real estate 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: FINANCIAL ANALYSIS I
Financial analysis and economic factors affecting real estate business plans are introduced. 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 projectARCH 520:
TOPICS AND TRENDS 1
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, 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 I
Conceptual and preliminary methods for cost estimating are introduced.
ARCH 540: ACCOUNTING AND MANAGEMENT
Micro and macro political environments and their roles in the success or failure of development are studied and assessed. Local, national and international issues impacting real estate development, and development as a political activity, are introduced.
ARCH 550: BANKING
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. Legal agreements are introduced.
ARCH 560: CONSTRUCTION ETHICS
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.
ARCH 585: THESIS PROJECT RESEARCH STUDIO
Alternative proposals for the appropriate development of an identified site are explored and developed. Pro form as are prepared for each proposal to establish a means by which to evaluate and identify the proposal to develop further.
ARCH 511: ECONOMICS AND MARKET ANALYSIS II
The study of financial analysis and economic factors affecting real estate business plans is continued 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.
ARCH 521: ETHICS, LEGAL ISSUES, AND INSURANCE
The study of the architect’s role in real estate development and their place in urban planning are continued along with the study of macroeconomics, analysis of economic factors affecting real estate supply and demand, market cycles, theory of land markets, and the impact of demographics and technological advances on markets. The series of lectures and one-day workshops with leaders in real estate development, economics, architecture, and urban planning is continued.
ARCH 531: CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATING II
The study of the conceptual and preliminary methods for cost estimating is continued.
ARCH 541: ACCOUNTING AND MANAGEMENT
Micro and macro political environments and their roles in the success or failure of development are continued including local, national and international issues impacting real estate development, and development as a political activity.
ARCH 551: OPPORTUNITIES AND PARTNERING
The study of appropriate development opportunities and resources in the public and private sectors is continued, including the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships, and the roles played by different kinds of partners. The study of legal agreements continues.
ARCH 561: CONSTRUCTION AND ETHICS II
The study of ethical issues of development is continued, including real estate law, contracts, immediate and long term environmental and planning issues, and ethical and
legal responsibilities of the architect/developer.
ARCH 590: THESIS PROJECT DEVELOPMENT STUDIO
The best of the spring semester alternatives is designed and developed into a full-fledged, professional prospectus for real estate development on the identified site. Participation in two mid-term weekend reviews with the thesis advisory panel is mandatory. Completion of thesis is on the acceptance of the prospectus.
Our faculty are architects, designers, academics and policy makers practicing in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana. This internationally recognized and award-winning group works closely with students, teaching the skills required to push the limits of practice and explore disciplinary possibilities in both theoretical and professional arenas.
Dedicated staff members bring their professional expertise to students throughout the student experience. Through individual attention, we foster close mentoring relationships between faculty, staff and students.