Real estate development is an interdisciplinary field. Therefore, courses for the Real Estate Development certificate come from the University of Michigan’s Business, Law, Urban and Regional Planning, Natural Resources and Environment, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design, Kinesiology, and Engineering programs. Students are eligible to apply either as (1) a University of Michigan graduate student or (2) as a real estate professional on a stand-alone, certificate-only, basis. Applicants have to be a graduate of an accredited four-year college or university. We welcome applications from real estate professionals in the Detroit metropolitan area who are not currently enrolled at UM. Most of our UM graduate students are enrolled in urban planning, business, law, architecture, public policy, natural resources, kinesiology, and construction engineering.

Certificate students must complete a total of 17 credits hours.

The application for the real estate certificate is a separate process from the application for a master’s degree. In evaluating the applications, we will consider an applicant’s overall qualifications as well as his or her understanding of the real estate sector and performance in key real estate courses (if the applicant has taken such courses).

Course Requirements

Students are encouraged but not required to have completed a course in microeconomics before beginning the certificate. Students will complete the following requirements (see the Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development Requirement Checklist (PDF) and this link for specific course offerings):

  1. An introductory real estate development overview course
    The aim of these courses is to give students an overview of the process of real estate development from conception to completion before they enter courses that deal with detailed aspects of development.
  2. At least three credits in real estate finance and investment
    These courses provide an understanding of how real estate is financed and why investors are interested in real estate. Students will learn about the role of real estate finance in capital markets and about the structure of financing for real estate projects.
  3. At least three credits in real estate and land use law
    These courses provide background in the legal structure that encourages, discourages, and controls different types of real estate development. These courses provide the background for understanding why jurisdictions regulate development and how regulation can enhance the quality of development.
  4. At least three credits in real estate in the urban development context
    These courses encourage students to consider what constitutes desirable development that enhances the quality of life in the context of market, political, and social factors.
  5. At least three credits in design and implementation
    These courses aim to give students a background in areas of design and implementation of real estate development projects.
  6. An integrative seminar
    This two-credit seminar addresses topics in real estate that build on the knowledge gained in previous courses and that offer advanced students the opportunity to share ideas about current real estate issues such as walkable urbanism, innovative project financing, smart growth, regionalism, mortgage foreclosures, and others. Students should have completed at least one real estate certificate course offering before taking the integrative seminar.

For specific questions related to the Graduate Certificate and for getting sign-off on the course requirements Please reach out to

An integrative, applied, “capstone” real estate project course is highly recommended but not required

Certificate students enrolled in programs that require a final, integrative project for a master’s degree (such as the M.S. and M.L.A. in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and the M.U.R.P. in urban and regional planning) should seek to design their projects around real estate development.

Counting credits from a single course toward both the certificate and another degree

Students in a master’s program may double count up to one-sixth of their master’s credits but not more than one-half of the certificate program credits, provided they are courses from the approved certificate curriculum. Certificate students should consult advisors in their home units to confirm courses they wish to be double-counted.

For example:

  • M.U.R.P. 48 x 1/6 = 8 credits can be double counted

Please review Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development Double Counting Rules and Guidelines (PDF).

Course Websites

For Current Schedule of classes, please check Office of the Registrar’s website:
Schedule of Classes

Tuition and Fees

Courses in the Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development are open to full time students as part of their tuition.  Students wanting to apply for the Certificate as Stand Alone Students, meaning not enrolled full time at the University of Michigan will pay per credit hour and should refer to the University’s Tuition and Fee Schedule.