The undergraduate program in real estate provides concentrated coursework in all aspects of the real estate enterprise. The program is nationally renowned for its ability to develop real estate professionals with superb analytical skills. Many of the graduates of the program go on to work as managers of and advisors to pension funds, insurance companies, real estate investment trusts, and investment banks. Other graduates of the program go on to take public and private industry jobs in real estate development, appraisal, corporate real estate asset management, and real estate analysis.


Our real estate program is ranked 2nd in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report 2016.

Related Student Organizations

Real Estate Club
Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association

Students wishing to pursue this major must be admitted to the School of Business. Once admitted, students are able to pursue any business major they choose. To find out more about the school's admissions process for undergraduate students, please see Entering the School.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

School of Business Requirements

The Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program is based on a broad educational foundation combined with courses in business and economics. This curriculum is designed for those students who wish to prepare for careers in business. Students completing any School of Business major are required to satisfy a common set of Pre-Business Requirements, Liberal Studies Requirements, Business Preparatory Requirement, Business Core Requirement, Business Breadth Requirement, and Credits for BBA Degree.

School of Business BBA Requirements
Complete requirements:
Liberal Studies
Business Prep
Business Core
Business Breadth

Real Estate Major Requirements

Students should take REAL EST/​A A E/​ECON/​URB R PL  306 The Real Estate Process as early as possible, as it is a prerequisite for many other real estate courses.

REAL EST 312 Real Estate Law should also be taken early, ideally the semester after REAL EST/​A A E/​ECON/​URB R PL  306.

Please note that the scheduling of REAL EST 312 occasionally conflicts with that of REAL EST/​ECON/​URB R PL  420 Urban and Regional Economics in the spring semester.

It is strongly recommended that students take REAL EST 415 Valuation of Real Estate before REAL EST 410 Real Estate Finance, or that REAL EST 410 Real Estate Finance and REAL EST 415 be taken concurrently.

REAL EST 611 Residential Property Development should be taken after REAL EST 410 and REAL EST 415.

REAL EST/​A A E/​ECON/​URB R PL  306 The Real Estate Process3
REAL EST 312 Real Estate Law3
REAL EST 410 Real Estate Finance3
REAL EST 415 Valuation of Real Estate3
REAL EST/​ECON/​URB R PL  420 Urban and Regional Economics3
REAL EST 611 Residential Property Development3
Total Credits18

Additional Courses

Undergraduate students are encouraged to take additional electives from among the following real estate and related courses within the School of Business. Electives are typically not offered every semester.

Real Estate Electives

REAL EST 365 Contemporary Topics 13
REAL EST/​A A E/​URB R PL  520 Community Economic Analysis3
REAL EST 651 Green - Sustainable Development3

 The real estate department regularly offers innovative and cutting-edge electives under REAL EST 365 Contemporary Topics. Students should check the Course Guide every semester.

Related Courses

FINANCE 305 Financial Markets, Institutions and Economic Activity3
FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment Theory3
OTM/​I SY E  578 Facilities Location Models3
OTM 444 Economics of Transportation3

Recommended Non-Business Electives

Electives may also be selected outside the business-economics core from among a number of courses elsewhere in the university, which will provide greater professional awareness and more specialized tools.

ENVIR ST/​GEOG  325 Analysis of the Physical Environment4
ENVIR ST/​SOIL SCI  575 Assessment of Environmental Impact3
BSE/LAND ARC 356 Sustainable Residential Construction3
LAND ARC 250 Survey of Landscape Architecture Design3
LAND ARC 351 Housing and Urban Design4
LAND ARC 451 Open Space Planning and Design3
SOIL SCI 301 General Soil Science4
CIV ENGR 340 Structural Analysis I4
CIV ENGR 498 Construction Project Management3
ART HIST 368 American Architecture: The 19th Century3-4
GEOG/​CIV ENGR/​ENVIR ST  377 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
URB R PL/GEOG 305 Introduction to the City3-4
URB R PL/​LAND ARC  463 Evolution of American Planning3
URB R PL 601 Site Planning3

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Graduates will gather, process and analyze market, linkage and macroeconomic data for the purpose of forecasting real estate trends and making prudent investment decisions.
  2. Graduates will understand how to optimally source capital to execute on growth and development opportunities, prepare for and manage the crises and contingencies that pervade real estate ventures, and improve efficiencies in the operation of revenue generating properties.
  3. Graduates will be able to recognize, measure, and create value in real estate in the strict respect of all ethical and legal norms and with full awareness of their responsibility to the communities, investors and users they aspire to serve as real estate professionals.
  4. Graduates will be able to successfully communicate the merits of beneficial real estate projects to its various stakeholders.
  5. Graduates will develop a deeper network with local, regional and international professionals to gather market data, perspectives, investment ideas and employment leads.


Meet the academic and career advisors for Real Estate.

Jackie Murray
Academic Advisor

Please visit the advising page for information on advising and appointments. Contact for questions regarding academic advising.


Real estate as a career encompasses a wide range of activities—from development and construction to financing; from brokerage and leasing to property management; from appraisal and assessment to insurance and regulation; from research to urban planning, government affairs and more. Job responsibilities vary by function and can be office-based or in the field. Qualifications also vary from licensing and certification to advanced degrees.

Please visit our website to learn more about careers in real estate.

Faculty and Staff in Real Estate

Michael Brennan, BS
Adjunct Professor
Irgens Executive Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

Moussa Diop, BS, MA, MBA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Andra Ghent, BA, MA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Joshua Jeffers

Michael Johnson, BS, MBA, MS

Thomas Landgraf, BS
Senior Lecturer

Lauren Lofton

Jaime Luque, BS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Sharon McCabe, BA, MS
Faculty Associate

François Ortalo-Magné, MS, Ph.D.
Albert O. Nicholas Dean

Timothy Pire

Erwan Quintin, MBA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Arif Qureshi, MS
Senior Lecturer

Timothy Riddiough, BBA, MS, Ph.D.
Academic Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
Director of the Applied Real Estate Investment Track (AREIT)

Peter Ritz, BA, JD
Senior Lecturer

Robert Schwarz, BA, MS

Joe Shumow

Joseph Walsh, BS, MS
Faculty Associate

Abdullah Yavas, BA, Ph.D.
Department Chair of Real Estate