Through the University of Michigan’s minor in real estate development, undergraduate students in many fields can supplement their major areas of study with broad knowledge about improving metropolitan developments. Drawing on faculty expertise from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Ross School of Business, and the School of Kinesiology, the program guides students in integrating disciplines that shape the built environment and enhance the quality of life for all people while conserving the natural environment.

The minor offers a progressive approach to developing real estate and the built environment in the U.S. and worldwide. We focus on creating places that offer alternatives to auto-oriented development and that reduce environmental impact, enhance choices for people of all incomes, and have many uses within walking distance of one another. We teach students about building sustainable places that minimize the ecological footprint of the built environment. We explore how to build a sense of place that also encourages housing for all income levels while creating long-term wealth to motivate investors to care about the quality of the built environment. Ultimately, we encourage building places that we can feel proud of our role in creating.

This 15-credit minor equips students with the basic understanding of sustainable real estate development principles, history, finance, and how development intersects and impacts the arts, sciences, and social areas. Students will gain the necessary skills and experience to incorporate real estate and market fundamentals in addressing issues in the built environment related to housing, retail, office, commercial, and industrial uses.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

Explain the ways in which policy, finance and economics shape the built environment and produce a varied set of outcomes that are dependent on geography, access to information and capital, demand, and available resources.

Evaluate and understand our existing mechanisms for constructing, financing, and managing property developed for a myriad of use types, populations and specific conditions.

Demonstrate an ability to understand the basic principles of development, finance and management of a variety of assets.

Engage with a range of professions seeking a basic knowledge and understanding of the development process.

Interact with fellow students interested in the field, and with alumni, local practitioners, and thought leaders working in areas that touch various aspects of sustainable real estate and development.

Participate in co-curricular activities such as the Michigan Real Estate Club and its annual RE:Con conference, real estate-related public programs, and industry internships.

Career Outcomes

A grounding in sustainable real estate development can create a range of career pathways that augment knowledge gained in a student’s chosen major. These include but are not limited to:

  • Community Development
  • Management and Operations
  • Advocacy
  • Law and Policy
  • Finance
  • Asset Management
  • Public Sector Employment
  • Urban Planning / Urban Design
  • Sustainable Development

Student Criteria

The Real Estate Development minor currently is open to undergraduate students enrolled at Taubman College, Michigan Ross, the Schools of Kinesiology, Public Health, Information, The Stamps School, SMTD, The Ford School of Public Policy and the College of Engineering.

  • Sophomore standing and above
  • Declared major
  • In good academic standing

* Students who have elected the Urban Studies minor are not eligible for the minor in Real Estate due to the substantial overlap in coursework.

Academic Advising

Students wishing to pursue the minor need to complete a declaration of the minor, which is submitted to their home unit/school for adding/processing on their student record.

Students are responsible for completing a final audit of the minor with Taubman College Advising and a minor release form would then be submitted to their home unit/school.

For questions or to schedule an advising appointment, contact

Program Coordinator:
Marc Norman,
Associate Professor of Practice, Taubman College


This minor requires a minimum of 15 credits in addition to prerequisites, with 10 out of the 15 credits being upper-level courses.

Prerequisites: See course listing below

Students must complete at least one course in economics at the University of Michigan or obtain a waiver from their home unit due to previous courses or mastery of the subject.

Course # Program Title Credit Hours Department/School
101 ECON Principles of Economics 4 LSA
102 ECON Principles of Economics 4 LSA
401 ECON Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 4 LSA
251 ECON Introduction to Statistics and Economics 4 LSA

Foundational Courses: 6 credits

Foundational courses introduce students to the field of real estate and cities to ground future work with an understanding of market mechanisms.

A financial management course provides a foundational understanding of rational decision-making using financial analysis and the ability to apply that framework to make investment decisions, allocate capital within an organization or firm, and assess risk.

The core course in Real Estate Development and Design provides the knowledge to understand real estate finance, underwriting, operations and management and the tools to be effective in shaping the built environment.

Course # Program Title Credit Hours Department/School
300 FIN Financial Management (BBA majors only) 3 ROSS
302 FIN Making Financial Decisions (non-Ross students only) 3 ROSS
390 URP Real Estate Design and Development Fundamentals 3 TAUBMAN

Electives: A minimum of 9 credits (no more than one course below 300 level)

Electives to complete the minor cover a range of disciplines to allow you to craft a course of study that fits your interests. From kinesiology to business to anthropology, courses can be selected that assist in preparing you to be effective in a range of fields. Note that elective courses change from semester to semester so it is important to check the course catalog for the term and availability of classes.

Course Title Department/School
AAS 408 African Economics: Social and Political Settings LSA
AAS 426 Cities in Contemporary Africa LSA
ALA 223 Entrpreneurial Creativity LSA
ARCH 215 Architecture in Capitalism Taubman
ARCH/URP 357 Architecture, Sustainability, and the City Taubman
ARCH/URP 423 Introduction to Urban and Environmental Planning Taubman
URP 529 History of Urban Form Taubman
BL 482 Real Estate Law Ross
CEE 307 Sustainable Cities Engineering
CEE 402 Professional Issues and Design Engineering
CEE 431 Construction Contracting Engineering
CEE 435 BIM (Building Information Modeling) Engineering
CEE 501 How Cities Work Engineering
CEE 537 Construction of Buildings Engineering
ENVIRON 408 Land Use Policy, Law, and the Environment LSA
ES 444 Finance for Societal Good Ross
FIN 320 Real Estate Finance Ross
FIN 321 Introduction to Commercial Real Estate Finance Ross
FIN 425 Entrpreneurial Finance Ross
FIN 428 FinTech Ross
FIN 466 Real Estate Finance and Investments Ross
HISTORY 364 History of American Suburbia LSA
POLSCI 327 The Politics of the Metropolis LSA
PUBPOL 475 Community Development Finance Ford
PUBPOL 750 Community Development Finance Ford
RCSSI 330 Urban and Community Studies LSA
SM 238 Introduction to Accounting and Finance Kinesiology
SM 313 Monetizing Sport Kinesiology
SM 341 Sport Finance Kinesiology
SM 440 Sport, Economic Developmant, and Urban Revitalization Kinesiology
STATS 100 Introduction to Statistics LSA
STATS 250 Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis LSA
ARCH/URP 357 Architecture, Sustainability, and the City Taubman
ARCH/URP 423 Introduction to Urban and Environmental Planning Taubman
ARCH/URP 529 History of Urban Form Taubman
URP 590 Integrative Real Estate Seminar Taubman
WOMENSTD 350 Nonprofit Management and Community Engagement LSA