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 The Real Estate Process.

Please note that the scheduling of REAL EST 312 Real Estate Law 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 Valuation of Real Estate be taken concurrently.

REAL EST 611 Residential Property Development should be taken after REAL EST 410 Real Estate Finance and REAL EST 415 Valuation of Real Estate.

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
or REAL EST 611 Residential Property Development
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

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 561 Housing and Urban Design4
LAND ARC 562 Open Space Planning and Design4
SOIL SCI 301 General Soil Science4
CIV ENGR 498 Construction Project Management3
CIV ENGR 340 Structural Analysis I3
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. Gather, process and analyze market, linkage and macroeconomic data for the purpose of forecasting real estate trends and making prudent investment decisions.
  2. 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. 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. Successfully communicate the merits of beneficial real estate projects to its various stakeholders.
  5. Develop a deeper network with local, regional and international professionals to gather market data, perspectives, investment ideas and employment leads.

This is a sample four-year plan for students directly admitted into the School of Business from high school. We encourage all students to consult with their academic advisor to develop an individualized plan that meets their specific needs. 

ECON 1014ECON 1024ACCT I S 10013
GEN BUS 1101MATH 211 or 2215 
Communications A3-4PSYCH 2023 
Ethnic Studies 3-4  
Science 3  
 14-16 12 3
Total Credits 29-31
GEN BUS 3063GEN BUS 3073
ACCT I S 2113GEN BUS 3003
M H R 3003MARKETNG 3003
Humanities, Social Sciences or Literature course 3OTM 3003
 15 15
Total Credits 30
REAL EST 365 (Excel Modeling )1REAL EST 3123
Business Breadth3GEN BUS 3013
Ethics 23-4Humanities, Social Sciences or Literature 3
Communications B3-4 
 11-13 12
Total Credits 23-25
REAL EST 4103REAL EST 611 or 66133
REAL EST/​ECON/​URB R PL  4203Business Breadth3
Science3Humanities, Social Sciences or Literature3
Elective 3Elective 3-6
 12 12-15
Total Credits 24-27


Advising is an integral part of any student’s educational journey in the School of Business BBA Program. Starting at Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR), we encourage all students to connect with academic advisors. BBA academic advisors have a wealth of knowledge about courses on campus, as well as policies and procedures.

BBA career advisors help students with career exploration, internships, resumes, job search, interviewing and more. We encourage students to connect with their career advisor once they arrive on campus.

BBA advisors want students to succeed. Students experiencing academic difficulty or personal struggles are encouraged to talk to their advisor about how their individual situation may affect their academic performance.

Assigned Academic and Career Advisors

For admitted BBA students, advisors are assigned by academic major. If you have more than one major, you may have more than one assigned advisor. You can find your assigned advisor by logging into your student center and looking on the right hand menu under “Program Advisor.”

For students not yet admitted to the School of Business, we have a team of pre-business advisors available to you.

Accessing Advising

If you have a quick question, no more than 15 minutes, please utilize our drop-in advising.

You may schedule a 30-minute appointment with an academic and career advisors. Advisors are trained, and have knowledge regarding all ten majors in the BBA, so if your assigned advisor is not available you can be confident to schedule an appointment with any of the BBA advisors.

Pre-business students may also schedule an appointment with a pre-business academic advisor.

If you have a quick yes/no question you may always send an email to your assigned advisor.

For more information on accessing academic advising, please see our academic advising page.

For more information on accessing career advising, please see our career advising page.


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

Alina Arefeva, BA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

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

Yongheng Deng, BA, MS, Ph.D.
Director of PhD Program

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

Mark Eppli 
Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center

Andra Ghent, BA, MA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Academic Director for the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

Joshua Jeffers

Michael Johnson, BS, MBA, MS

Thomas Landgraf, BS
Senior Lecturer

Lauren Lofton

Sharon McCabe, BA, MS
Faculty Associate

Timothy Pire

Arif Qureshi, MS
Senior Lecturer

Timothy Riddiough, BBA, MS, Ph.D.
Director of the Applied Real Estate Investment Track (AREIT) 
Department Chair of Real Estate

Peter Ritz, BA, JD
Senior Lecturer

Robert Schwarz, BA, MS

Joe Shumow

Joseph Walsh, BS, MS
Faculty Associate

Abdullah Yavas, BA, Ph.D.


AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2021–2022.