Global Leadership in Real Estate Education and Research

The Real Estate program at the Wisconsin School of Business is comprised of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate and the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. Together, the program has a century-long tradition in fostering excellence in real estate education, research and outreach. Wisconsin is uniquely positioned to provide leadership to the real estate industry in the 21st century.

The Graaskamp Center administers the Real Estate MBA program, offering students:
  • Dedicated staff with expertise in the area led by our faculty director
  • Small community of students who seek a career in the field
  • Executive Board of Advisors
  • Exclusive meeting and work space
The Graaskamp Center is also a hub for knowledge and networking for top level real estate industry leaders through our executive Board of Advisors, offering members:
  • High-level networking with industry peers, faculty and students
  • Exclusive meetings and activities
  • Lifelong learning resources
  • Opportunities to give back to the next generation of leaders


The University of Wisconsin-Madison has an honored tradition of education and research in the discipline of real estate and urban land economics. Richard T. Ely pioneered this tradition, teaching courses in land economics as early as the 1890s. As one of the founding fathers of the discipline, Professor Ely established the Institute for Research in Land Economics in 1920.

The Center for Real Estate was created in 1971 to foster excellence in real estate education, research and outreach through community and professional partnerships. The Center was renamed in 2007 in honor of the late James A. Graaskamp, a legendary figure in real estate education at Wisconsin, thanks to the generous fundraising efforts of alumni and friends.

James A. Graaskamp, affectionately known as “The Chief,” was a passionate teacher known for his devotion to students and intellectual oratory. He believed strongly in close links between theory and practice, and that real estate education required breadth as well as depth in preparing students to be industry leaders.


The Graaskamp Center's main goal is to serve as a link between Real Estate faculty and students, alumni, the real estate professional community, governmental agencies and the general public. We hope to instill students with our core values and to create a valuable and life-long network for learning and professional growth.

The Graaskamp Center creates excellent networking opportunities for students, board members, alumni, faculty, and professionals to meet and share their knowledge and expertise. Events include board meetings, guest lecture series, and activities with the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association (WREAA) and UW Real Estate Club. We also provide advising and mentoring to help match students with appropriate career opportunities. Scholarships and fellowships are available to qualified students, along with occasional opportunities to work on consulting projects with faculty.