The Real Estate Major: Frequently Asked Questions

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Question 1 : I'm not sure about real estate. Is there an introductory course I could take to see what real estate is about?

Answer : The introductory "principles" course is FIN 335. The only prerequisite course for FIN 335 is ECO 202 or ECO 203.

Question 2 : How would you compare FIN 335 to the previous FIN 230 real estate course?

Answer : Prior to Fall 2006, the FIN 230 course had an easier reputation. It was the course that satisfied the educational requirement to write the state licensing exam (to be a real estate broker) in the state of Michigan. It emphasized knowledge required to be a residential broker.

In the fall of 2006 and spring 2007, FIN 230 was "upgraded" to more closely resemble the new FIN 335 real estate principles course. If students have FIN 230 in fall 2006 or spring 2007, they will get credit for the new FIN 335. So, for example, if you want to take FIN 336 in spring 2008 (see discussion below), either FIN 335 or the "upgraded" FIN 230 (taken in fall 2006 or spring 2007) is the prerequisite course.

So FIN 335 will be very similar to the "upgraded" FIN 230 taught in fall 2006 and spring 2007. The new course emphasizes investment analysis of real estate properties. In fact students who have taken FIN 230 in either the fall of 2006 or spring 2007 will get credit for FIN 335 if they are pursuing a real estate major or minor.

Question 3 : Do I have to be an enrolled student in the CBA to take FIN 335?

Answer : No. You do not have to be an enrolled CBA student to take FIN 335.

Also, you don't have to be an enrolled student in CBA to take BLR 330 (Real Estate Law). Both these courses are offered in fall 2007.

However, to take FIN 336 (Real Estate Finance & Investments) or FIN 337 (Real Estate Appraisal/Valuation), you do need to be enrolled in The CBA. We are offering these courses beginning in spring 2008.

Question 4 : Do I have to be enrolled in the CBA to do the Real Estate: Development & Finance major?

Answer : Yes.

Question 5 : What are the required courses in the third and fourth years for CBA-enrolled students to do a Real Estate: Development & Finance major?

Answer : The courses are FIN 335 (RE Principles), FIN 336 (RE Finance & Investments), FIN 337 (RE Valuation/appraisal), BLR 330 (RE Law), ECO 375 (Economics of cities & regions), FIN 438 (RE Development) and FIN 490 (RE Internship).

In addition, in the first two years, students must satisfy the requirements for entrance into the CBA. Of course, this is true of any major in the CBA.

Question 6 : I'm a CBA senior in 2009-10 and expect to graduate in May 2010. What can I do with the new real estate program in my senior year?

Answer : Suppose you are an Accounting major. In spring 2009, you could take FIN 335 (principles) followed by FIN 336 (finance & investments) and BLR 330 (law) -(or ECO 375) in fall 2009 and FIN 337 (appraisal/ valuation) in spring 2010. If you had these four real estate courses and some second year prerequisites in Finance, Accounting, and Economics, you would have a Real Estate: Development Finance Minor. These second year prerequisites are normally already satisfied by CBA students as part of the admission process into the CBA.

This should be a strong marketing advantage when interviewing with real estate firms or accounting firms with real estate practices.

Even if you do not take the complete four real estate courses, there could still be substantial interviewing advantages in the job market from taking one or two courses. Obviously, the marketing advantage is stronger with excellent grades in the courses and in front of real estate firms such as developers, homebuilders, banks, insurance companies and Wall Street financial firms.

Question 7 : I'm a junior in 2008-2009, expecting to graduate in May 2010. I'm thinking about a real estate minor but I'm not sure about my interest level in real estate. What would you recommend?

Answer : I would recommend taking FIN 335 in 2008-2009 academic year and see how you like it.

Subsequently, if you were interested, you could then take FIN 336 (fall 2009) and two of BLR 330 (fall 2009), ECO 375 (fall 2009), FIN 337 (spring 2010). So if you take FIN 335 in 2008-2009 and end up interested in real estate, you could take the other three courses in your senior year and earn a real estate minor.

Question 8 : Are there any job market advantages to the real estate major or minor?

Answer : Indeed there are as you get in front of the many real estate firms in job interviews. Dr. Corcoran, the program Director, is working with the CMU real estate student organization to market students for both student internships and full-time employment opportunities. The real estate club is called Professional Real Estate Society. See their website and/or contact Dr. Corcoran at