Curriculum and Course Description

The Global Real Estate Master (GREM) program is an intensive, full-time commitment. All instruction is in English. There is one intake per year in the fall semester. Your semester at UW-Madison runs from mid-August to December, during which you will complete the following:

  • Minimum of five courses in real estate for three credits each
  • One-week introductory real estate course in the first week of the program
  • Study trip to a major U.S. real estate market

GREM graduates are effective leaders in cross-border investment, development, and finance in real estate. Specific courses include:


RE710 - Real Estate Finance (3 credits)

The trend in globalization of the world’s economies impacts all industries, especially real estate. Global investment capital continues to flow into new markets, multi-national corporations are demanding quality space in whichever country they operate, and best practices in the industry are developing and expanding across the global real estate professional community.

The course includes evaluating the role of financing and leverage in real estate investment analysis; identifying alternative types of financing; valuation of financial structure; sources of equity financing for real estate; mortgage securitization and the operaion of secondary mortgage markets.

RE715 - Real Estate Valuation and Feasibility Analysis (3 credits)

Since real estate assets are unique, expensive, complex, infrequently traded, and often rely on capital from third party investors or lenders, estimating the value of property is both critical to an efficient capital market and challenging given the complexity of the market. Systematic valuation methodologies have been developed for analyzing property characteristics, gathering and evaluating market data, and applying multiple methods to ensure reaching a reliable value conclusion. The successful real estate professional is an expert in valuation. GREM graduates are able to analyze any property type, apply a solid foundation of valuation tools and techniques, and recognize value creating opportunities in the market.

The course uses commercial property appraisal techniques to determine the feasibility of alternative programs of real property use. Students work in teams to apply the techniques learned in the classroom to an actual commercial property using current market data.

RE720 - Real Estate and Urban Economics (3 credits)

At the core of any successful investment strategy in real estate is a fundamental understanding of the underlying dynamics of urban markets. Real estate investment professionals are continually faced with deciding which cities, locations, and properties offer the best long-term investment potential. The course equips GREM graduates with a deep understanding of what drives the growth and wealth of cities.

In the course, students analyze spatial relationships in the urban economy, including urban land, labor, and housing markets; urban transport; city governance and finance; and regional models. Particular emphasis is placed on the economics of real estate, both residential and commercial. Through a range of exercises—including a student paper with original empirical work—we improve skills in data analysis, presentation, and interpretation in urban and regional contexts.

RE740 - Real Estate Capital Markets (3 credits)

With the expansion of global capital flows comes the development of increasingly sophisticated financial innovations in real estate capital markets. Building upon a solid understanding of real estate equity investment and mortgage debt financing, the course covers advanced financial innovations, including securitized debt instruments, publicly traded real estate companies, and private equity investment funds. Portfolios of mortgage loans are often pooled and securitized, creating mortgage-backed securities with a range of income, risk, and performance characteristics. GREM students learn the economics of loan securitization from both the borrower and security investor perspective.

On the equity side, real estate investment trusts—publicly traded investment vehicles with unique tax treatment and legal structures—are becoming increasingly common in markets throughout the world. GREM students learn the typical tax and governing structures, investment characteristics, stock return behavior, dividend and capital structure policy, and relations with the broader capital markets. Private equity investment funds in real estate have developed common fund structures to align the interests of and create incentives for investment managers and the capital providers. Examples include pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, and high net-worth individuals. GREM students learn to analyze fund structures and governance—including waterfall models and deal prospectives—to be able to make sound investment decisions.

GREM graduates are prepared to lead financial innovation in real estate capital markets as they continue to expand across the globe. Case studies, problem sets, and outside speakers will be used to enhance learning.

RE750 - Commercial Real Estate Development (3 credits)

Real estate professionals drive the process for the development of new real estate projects, thereby creating the urban built environment where current and future generations will live and work. The quality of this built environment has tremendous long-run consequences for the economic growth, quality of life in our society, and sustainability of our planet. Sound stewardship of the capital invested is critical to preserving and growing wealth in society.

This capstone course provides an overview of the real estate development process from project conception to asset disposition, with particular focus on the role of the developer as the strategic coordinator of many disciplines. GREM students will be exposed to best-known methods and practices that developers utilize to conduct market research, site selection, financial feasibility, regulatory review, neighborhood negotiations, design, construction contracts, construction management, debt financing, private placements, equity waterfalls, leasing, asset management, and disposition.

The course utilizes several learning methods, including lectures with significant student participation, presentations by industry experts, short case studies, a field trip to a development site, and analysis of a local development opportunity followed by a presentation to a panel of industry professionals. At the conclusion of the course, students will have developed an interdisciplinary understanding of the many facets of the development process and have an insightful understanding of the risks and rewards that accompany each step of the process.