We continue our proven track record of success by ensuring that you will be successful in launching or accelerating your career. We prepare you for a broad range of career paths and arm you with tools and a network of industry leaders to help meet that end. Whether your real estate interests are grounded in entrepreneurship, finance, or sustainability, our program can be tailored to meet your goals.

Our curriculum is rigorous. Our faculty are accomplished and influential. Our network is distinguished. As an MBA student, you will have access to leading industry guest speakers and adjunct professors, and participate in real-world case studies, class projects, and competitions.

The next APPLICATION DEADLINES for our graduate programs in real estate may be found here.

MBA Track in Real Estate Development Management

Dan Ivanoff (MBA ’86, MS ’87), Managing Partner of Schnitzer West, made a generous investment to establish the new Dan & Laurie Ivanoff MBA Real Estate Development Management track. This program spans business and engineering in both academic and professional settings.

Our curriculum is specially designed and our network of professional mentors is unlike any in the nation. We offer MBA students an experiential learning program that gives them a decided advantage when competing for highly sought-after real estate positions. We’re proud of our 90% placement rate for MBA students affiliated with the real estate program.

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Meet Dan Ivanoff


Dan Ivanoff is the founder and managing investment partner of Schnitzer West LLC, one of the region’s premier fastest growing real estate investment, development and property management companies. “Outperform The Expected” is Schnitzer West’s philosophy, which is reflected in a unique combination of research and analytics, highly disciplined management and entrepreneurial spirit. Under his leadership, Schnitzer West has become recognized for creating innovative workplaces and living spaces, for delivering superior-to-market returns and for its value-creation approach to investment management.


The Real Estate track in the MBA program emphasizes a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to the study of real estate. Course offerings take three paths: entrepreneurship, finance, and sustainability.

In addition to the core MBA curriculum, students in the Real Estate MBA track prepare for careers in real estate through analyzing real estate opportunities from a development perspective; exploring the link between real estate and the capital markets through examining financial institutions and instruments used to finance real property; and developing of skills in real estate decision-making whereby teams design, complete, and present real estate projects in a competition forum.

Our multidisciplinary approach to business and real estate education takes students beyond the walls of the Koelbel building. In addition to core business courses, MBA students are encouraged to take real estate related electives in graduate-level architecture, engineering, and law programs. Students also benefit from speaker series, case studies and class projects, and consulting opportunities.

University of Colorado Scholarships

To apply for University of Colorado scholarships, please complete the scholarship application found in your mycuInfo student portal available from October 1st to February 15th.

Graduate Scholarships

University of Colorado Brindley Fellowship
  • Award: $2,400
  • Application: Determined during your admission process
  • Incoming first year MBA, real estate interest, strong academic standing

  • University of Colorado Harwood Scholarship
  • Award: $3,000
  • Application: Determined during your admission process
  • Incoming first year MBA pursuing real estate

  • University of Colorado Real Estate Center Fellowships
  • Award: Usually $1,000 - $2,000 per applicant
  • Application: The CU Real Estate Center will notify eligible applicants when to apply.
  • Generally, a supplement to the other University of Colorado Fellowships. Usually given to second year MBAs.

  • Urban Land Institute Bruce Etkin Fellow (CU Boulder graduate real estate students)
  • Award: Free 2 year national membership, all-expense paid Fall and Spring meeting attendance, an assigned mentor, and sit in on a Product Council.
  • Application: Eligible students will be contacted by the Real Estate Center
  • Second year MBA student in RE program. Good academic standing, strong involvement in Center and activities.The two years is for second year of grad school and first year in industry.

  • Industry Sponsored Scholarships

    Appraisal Institute Educational Trust Graduate Scholarship
  • Award: $2,000
  • Application: See website for application
  • Awarded on the basis of academic excellence, this scholarship helps finance the educational endeavors of graduate students concentrating in real estate appraisal, land economics, real estate or related fields.
  • website link

  • International Council of Shopping Centers Charles Grossman Graduate Scholarships
  • Award: $10,000
  • Application Deadline: September 1, 2017
  • The ICSC Foundation offers two graduate level scholarships for students studying retail real estate or a related curriculum. The graduate scholarships were created to encourage extraordinary students to select retail real estate as their career path.
  • website link

  • International Council of Shopping Centers Retail Real Estate Diversity Scholarship
  • Award: $5,000
  • Application: See website for application
  • An ideal candidate is a U.S. citizen, graduate student and ICSC member who belongs to an underrepresented minority group.S/he will be enrolled in the upcoming August/September academic term at an accredited university. Applicants with 3.0 GPAs, who are full-time students or studying part-time while working, will be considered.Candidates must demonstrate a record of dedication and participation in the industry.
  • website link

  • Urban Land Institute Etkin Johnson Colorado Student Scholarship Program
  • Award: Complimentary membership to ULI Colorado
  • Application: Closes September 22, 2017
  • The ULI Colorado Student Scholarship Program provides 10 selected student applicants with a one year ULI membership and engages the students in various leadership opportunities throughout the course of their membership year. From September 2017 through May 2018 the participants will attend ULI Colorado events, committees, become volunteers, shadow developers and network with ULI members to enhance their scholastic endeavors and learn the benefits of ULI membership.
  • website link

  • Career Development

    The Center provides a multifaceted approach to career development. We work with you from the very beginning to create a strategic plan as you move through your first year in the program, secure a summer internship, choose second-year courses, and launch your post-MBA career.

    During the past five years, our placement rate within 90 days of graduation has averaged 90%. In 2011 our rate was 100%. As of June 2012, the 2012 class is currently 85% placed and we feel confident that we'll reach 100% placement once again.


    The Center coordinates the placement of MBA interns in top real estate companies. The program is designed for first-year MBA students who have a genuine interest in a career in real estate. Internships provide students with real world experience that strengthens a student’s resume and understanding of the industry, while contributing to the bottom line of the business. In many cases, an internship is an opportunity for a company and a student to learn about each other, and in many cases leads to an employment offer upon graduation.


    We work one-on-one with each student to connect you with a mentor from our Real Estate Council network that best aligns with your interests, expertise, and employment goals.

    GREA Club

    The GREA is a student-led organization that focuses on providing CU MBA students with educational, networking and service opportunities within the real estate profession. By teaming up with the CU Real Estate Center and other student-run organizations, the GREA organizes various real estate events, trips, tours, and speaker panels to provide insight into various real estate careers and topics.

    Contact Michael Kimmelman (MBA 2019) for more information about the GREA.


    NAIOP Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge

    Each year the Colorado Chapter of NAIOP sponsors a graduate student competition between the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Denver (DU). In the competition, the students are assigned a site in the Denver area to redevelop. Students work in teams with assistance from developers, architecture firms, urban planners, and financial professionals to design the project and conduct the economic and financial feasibility analysis. Teams within the Leeds School of Business compete against each other in the second week of April, and the winning team competes against a team representing DU the first week of May.

    Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition

    The Urban Land Institute's Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition is an annual competition open to graduate students pursuing real estate related studies in North America. The urban design and development challenge is named in honor of Gerald D. Hines, a Houston developer.

    This is an optional competition that is not connected with a course at CU. Students typically form multidisciplinary teams; CU Real Estate Center staff and faculty offer support and guidance. A Leeds MBA team won first prize in 2005, prevailing over 71 teams with a plan focused on minimizing the negative impacts of urban sprawl. First place carries a cash prize of $50,000.

    In 2012, about 700 students on 139 teams from 64 universities in the United States and Canada submitted proposals to redevelop the US Postal Service distribution facility in downtown Houston. The winning team consisted of two Leeds School of Business MBA students (Alex Atherton and Chad Murphy) and three students from the Harvard School of Design.

    ARGUS University Challenge

    Each year, ARGUS Software sponsors a graduate student competition that requires teams to analyze a commercial property using ARGUS-DCF® software.

    The 2012 Real Estate MBA team consisted of Tyler Field, Mitch Layden, Blake Ottersberg, Jordan Swisher, and Craig Townsend. Teams from 29 universities competed in the competition.


    MBAX 6600: Principles of Real Estate

    The course will introduce MBA students to real estate, with an emphasis on the commercial sector. The lectures will survey topics in real estate development, economics, finance, valuation, law, planning, brokerage, management, investment, deal structure, and sustainability. The course begins with broad overviews of real estate property and capital markets. It will then explore the subject areas of planning and development, market research, acquisitions, law, brokerage and asset management. We will cover major real estate topics, including office, retail, industrial, multifamily and mixed use. Included in our study will be the increasingly important aspect of sustainability. Other key aspects we will study will be the public sector’s regulatory role, and capital and financing requirements and execution. Additionally, if requested by the class, the instructor will make himself available either before or after class to discuss other aspects of real estate, business, careers, and so forth.


    MBAX 6610: Real Estate Finance and Investments

    The primary objectives of this course are to: (1) conduct income property investment analyses; (2) develop the technical competence necessary to structure income property transactions; and (3) understand the financial assets securitized by real estate. The student will analyze income properties using Excel and ARGUS-Enterprise®. Techniques for structuring real estate transactions examined in this course include lender participations, sale-leasebacks, joint ventures, and real estate syndications.

    Students are required to use ARGUS-Enterprise® in this class. ARGUS software is used throughout the real estate industry by equity investors, lenders, commercial brokers, appraisers and property managers to analyze and manage income producing properties. The students will receive some instruction on how to use ARGUS-Enterprise® during class. The take home portion of the mid-term exam will require students to use ARGUS-Enterprise® to analyze an income producing property.

    The secondary market for mortgages and mortgage backed securities (MBSs) will be examined in some detail. Topics covered include a survey of the private and public institutions that participate in the secondary mortgage market; pooling mortgages to create a MBS; and pricing MBSs. The course will examine both residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBSs) and commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBSs). The homogeneity of the mortgage pool, prepayment risk, and default risk are examined in some detail. The course will also examine real estate investment trusts (REITs) and returns to real estate investments.


    MBAX 6620: Real Estate Project Competition

    Develops skills in real estate decision making. Teams design, complete, and present a real estate project in a competition forum. Team members organize and assign responsibilities, interact with real estate professionals, and apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative tools and procedures.


    MBAX 6630: Real Estate Economics

    The course begins with an overview of residential and commercial property markets. We will identify the underlying economic determinants of real estate supply and demand, market equilibrium and short- and long-run adjustments to disequilibrium (e.g. cycles). The course then describes the three major approaches to estimating real property value: market (or sales) comparison, the income approach, and the cost approach. These techniques will be used to estimate market values for both residential and commercial properties.

    The course will then examine real estate market behavior. We will examine various theories of land price determination and use these models to understand how the private market allocates land to competing residential, office, retail, industrial/warehouse, hotel and other end users. This course draws heavily from topics taught in traditional urban and regional economics courses and treats real estate like any other scarce resource allocated in a market oriented economy. The student will examine how factors influencing the demand for real estate interact with the factors influencing the supply of real estate to determine market rents and how the flow of future expected income is capitalized to yield the market price of the property. The course will also examine the roles that local, state and federal governments have in real estate market outcomes.

    Finally, the course includes an examination of four special topics: affordable housing, resort markets, transit oriented development, and sustainable real estate.


    MBAX 6640: Real Estate Law and Practice

    This course is intended to cover many of the basic legal concepts relevant to, and inherent in, the real estate business. While many traditional real property law concepts will be covered in the course, the course is intended to introduce the student to the transactional legal aspects of the real estate business, including acquisition, disposition, development, investment, management, leasing, workouts and bankruptcy, including tax implications. At the conclusion of the course, the student is expected to have acquired a basic understanding of these principles so that the student will have the ability to function with respect to these matters in many of the various aspects of the real estate business. In order to facilitate this process, examples and cases will be utilized in order to illustrate the principles being covered.


    MBAX 6815: Survey of Best Practices in Sustainable Real Estate Development

    By 2025, the Colorado Front Range is expected to grow by 1.5 million people, requiring the construction of hundreds of thousands of new homes and apartments, places of employment, shopping, entertaining and recreating, as well as systems of mobility and infrastructure that connect these places. How we develop in this uncertain future will not just tell about our future urban form, but how the quality of our communities are impacted, and the degree that they are sustainable. As Sustainable Real Estate Development has matured to the point of a viable and profitable alternative to the sprawling and resource inefficient development practices of decades past, this course will focus on the environmental values, limitations of natural resources, socio-economic, public health, technical and business precedents that has brought together this critical real estate development practice that is necessary for our future.

    Pursuing sustainable real estate development makes firms more competitive, more resilient and nimble in a fast-changing world and more likely to win and retain customers. In addition, it can make them more attractive to investors and insurers, while reducing their exposure to regulatory and other liabilities and risks.


    BADM 6950: Land Use Law

    This course examines the Federal, state and local regulations governing land use in the United States and surveys the basic principles of urban planning and public finance. The course describes the basic tools that governments use to control land use: Euclidean zoning, nuisance law, police power, eminent domain and takings, planned unit developments, historic preservation, wetlands and flood zones, airports, endangered species, view restrictions, and environmental law. The course then reviews the literature on growth management and sustainable real estate development. Finally, the course examines the techniques that governments and real estate developers use to finance new construction: public finance, urban renewal and special districts.



    MSBX 5605: Real Estate Investment and Risk Management

    This course examines strategies for mitigating the legal, property, and portfolio risks associated with developing and operating income producing properties. The course begins by examining risks created by commercial property leases. The course then analyzes strategies for mitigating interest rate and currency risk; debt risk; and real estate development risk. The course also illustrates how the market values publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Finally, the course examines how risk changes with real estate portfolios consisting of multiple properties, and to optimally incorporate income property investments in mixed asset portfolios.

    The course prepares students to be asset and portfolio managers for private real estate equity funds as well as for large real estate institutional investors (e.g. Real Estate Investment Trusts and Pension Funds). The material in this course also helps equity investors, commercial property lenders and real estate developers understand the investment attributes that institutional sources of capital want for their portfolios.


    Electives: College of Engineering & Applied Science; CU Boulder

    CVEN 5836: Construction Engineering & Management Fundamentals

    The purpose of the course is to provide an overview of the construction industry to establish a foundation for subsequent graduate courses in construction engineering and management. The intended audience for this course is a student with limited prior construction experience or education. Students will be exposed to projects of varying funding sources, contracts, scope and complexity. Project phases will be established including planning, funding, design, construction, turnover, operation and maintenance. The course will focus on fundamental construction cost estimating, scheduling, delivery systems, contractual relationships, key contract clauses, risk allocation, building materials/systems and project controls. Special attention will be paid to emerging technologies and industry trends.


    CVEN 5206: Design/Build Development

    Developers must bring together multiple parties (i.e. contractors, architects, engineers, lawyers, bankers, city planners, etc.) to take a project from conception through development. In many ways, they are the conductor of an orchestra. Because the development process is a critical and necessary component to building, engineers and contractors working in the AEC industry should have a basic knowledge of the process. Whatever your future plans, gaining an understanding of the teams, phases, financial elements and building components will enable you to better understand how your specialty relates to the overall project, how to manage the design/build components of a development project, and should enable you to better communicate and understand the concerns of the other team members during the project.


    CVEN 5246: Legal Aspects of Construction

    Anyone who is planning a career in construction, design, project management or real estate should be familiar with construction law. Construction is perhaps the most litigious industry in the country and virtually everyone working in construction will sooner or later become involved in a legal dispute. This course will not turn you into a lawyer, but it should provide you will enough knowledge to spot legal issues when they arise during your work.

    This course is designed to acquaint the students with the basic principles and practices of construction law. Although construction law isn't normally considered a single, identifiable body of law, there are a large and growing number of attorneys who practice as construction lawyers and there are many engineers (claims consultants) who specialize in supporting the litigation process. Generally, construction law consists of contract law, professional liability issues, land use issues and tort law. We will not spend any significant time on land use issues. Rather, we will concentrate on the more common areas of construction loses and disputes.


    Environmental Studies Program; CU Boulder

    ENVS 5100: Energy, Science and Technology (Spring)

    This course examines the basics of energy science and technology with a focus on the fundamentals of both conventional and renewable/sustainable energy. The first half of the course concentrates on conventional energy sources such as oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and hydroelectric. The second half concentrates on renewable/sustainable energy technologies including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, ocean and conservation. A thorough comparison between conventional and renewable energy sources is a key to understanding the possibilities and limitations of new energy sources. We investigate the technological promise and progress of each technology, as well as its limitations and challenges. At the conclusion of the course, students will have a solid understanding of energy sources and the foundation to pursue additional energy study.

    Electives: CU-Denver College of Architecture and Planning


    URP 5501-3: Planning Issues and Processes (Fall Semester)

    Provides an overview of planning history and theory. The philosophical, political, and economic roots of the various theories are discussed. Ideas are placed in the context of the planning profession’s history and its present aims, interests and ethics.

    URP 5510-3: Planning Methods I (Fall Semester)

    The focus is on the application of statistical, quantitative and mathematical techniques, and computer applications for urban and regional planning the policy development. Major topics include types of data, sampling, basic probability distributions, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation, and an introduction to multi-variate and cluster analysis. Applications in planning and development are emphasized.

    URP 5511-3: Planning Methods II (Spring Semester)

    Addresses advanced models associated with the estimation, prediction and prescription of conditions and trends in population, employment, land use and transportation. Considers means for program scheduling and evaluation. Introduces essential software. Examines the means for orchestrating analytic studies that inform all phases of project, comprehensive and strategic urban and regional planning.

    URP 5530-3: Planning Law (Fall Semester)

    Focuses on the legal setting for urban and regional planning in the United States and major constitutional issues in the effectuation of planning policy. Contemporary controversies are put into the larger context of attempts by the judicial system to redefine the balance between individual rights and governmental power in an increasingly weakened society.

    URP 6612-3: Geographic Information Systems for Planners

    An introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems for environmental, economic and physical planning. Will focus on what a GIS is and how it works, data issues, and using a GIS to improve planning and decision making.

    URP 6649-3: Environmental Planning I: Ecology

    This course studies the physiography, cultural factors and aesthetic criteria in relation to landscape and spatial organization and structure. It will cover data sources and interpretation, and it will look at environmental factors in development and siting analysis. Prereq: URP 5510 or consent of instructor.

    URP 6650-3: Environmental Planning II: Policy and Law

    Provides a comprehensive perspective on environmental planning policy. It focuses on major environmental issues and problems, methods of evaluation and legislative responses. Prereq: URP 5530 or consent of instructor.

    URPL 6656: Land Use Controls and Planning

    This course examines environmental and land regulations such as zoning, subdivision controls and growth management systems in the context of public policy. Emphasis is placed on case studies, the analysis of past and present practices, the improvement of existing systems and the design of new regulatory systems.

    Electives: Colorado Law


    LAWS 6002-3: Public Land Law

    Deals with the legal status and management of federal lands. Explores federal law, policy and agency practice affecting the use on mineral, timber, range, water, wildlife, and wilderness resources on public lands.

    LAWS 6112-3: Foundations of Natural Resources Law and Policy

    Examines the historical, political, and intellectual influences that created and shaped major areas of law governing land and natural resources development and conservation, especially in the American West. Readings include books and articles by leading writers as well as the landmark court decisions. Enables students with a passing interest in natural resources to take a single course in the field. Allows students going on to take other natural resource courses a more advanced treatment of the subject matter. Strongly recommended for students to complete before taking LAWS 5000 Public Land Law, LAWS 7122 mining Law, LAWS 7202 Environmental Law, LAWS 6302 Water Resources, LAWS 7725 American Indian Law, or seminars in natural resources law.

    LAWS 6302-3: Water Resources

    Analysis of regional and national water problems, including legal methods by which water supplies are allocated, and an examination of problems involved in water resource planning.

    LAWS 7202-3 Environmental Law

    Examination and analysis of important federal pollution control statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Related economic theory and policy issues are considered.

    LAWS 7402-2: The Law of Toxic and Hazardous Wastes

    Explores the growing problem of handling and disposing of toxic substances in a way that protects public health and the environment. Focuses primarily on several federal statues that regulate hazardous waste disposal, clean-up of contaminated sites, uranium mill tailings and nuclear wastes, toxic chemicals, and pesticides. Examines a sampling of state laws, as well as common law liability for toxic torts.

    LAWS 8112-3: Seminar: Advanced Natural Resources Law

    For students with a strong interest in natural resources issues in the American West. Coverage is based upon biological and geographical classifications where numerous resource issues converge. Studies historical, literary, and scientific materials and then moves to an analysis of current problems relating to matters such as federal public lands, wildlife habitat, water quantity, ocean and coastal law, land use planning, pollution control, Indian law, and state federal authority as they implicate the topic of the seminar. Includes a field trip and additional expenses for students.

    LAWS 8302-2: Seminar: Advanced Problems in Water Resource Management.

    Explores the use of watersheds as geographic and political entities for addressing water-related issues. Introduces the nature of watersheds and their historical treatment, and looks at the ways in which laws and institutions facilitate or impede watershed-based problem solving or decision making. Students prepare and present major research papers focusing on a particular water issue and explore solutions in the context of the entire watershed with its related problems and multiple, interconnected interests.


    LAWS 6024-3: Real Property Security

    Basic mortgage law, including use of mortgage substitutes, deeds of trust, and installment land contracts. Covers foreclosure, redemption, and related problems, special priority problems in land acquisitions and construction financing; special financing devices including variable interest and wrap-around mortgages; and problems relating to the transfer of the mortgagor’s and mortgagee’s respective interests.

    LAWS 6104-3: Wills and Trusts

    Covers intestate succession; family protection; execution of wills; revocation and revival; will contracts and will substitutes; creation of trusts; modification and termination; charitable trusts; fiduciary administration, including probate and contest of wills; constructional problems in estate distribution.

    LAWS 7024-3: Real Estate Planning

    Consideration of various contemporary legal problems involved in ownership, use, development and operation of real estate. Particular emphasis on the income tax and financing aspects of commercial and residential use of development such as shopping plazas and apartment buildings.

    LAWS 7154-3: Land Use Planning

    Examines public control of local environments and private land uses through planning, zoning, and regulation of land development, including consideration of the constitutional and statutory limitations on such legislatively-created techniques.



    LEED Accreditation

    In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter, the CU Real Estate Center offers students a unique opportunity to prepare for and take the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Green Associate exam.

    We're serious about sustainable real estate development practices. So are our students. Regardless of the role a graduate student will play in the broader real estate industry, becoming LEED certified is a significant plus for our graduates and speaks to their commitment to sustainable practices.

    ARGUS-DCF® Certification

    ARGUS-DCF® is a widely used income property investment/valuation real estate software package. We are proud to offer the ARGUS-DCF® Certification class to our MBAs, undergraduates and members of the CUREC community. According to ARGUS®, our high pass rates are unprecedented among ARGUS-DCF® Certification classes offered by either ARGUS or other universities.

    Prerequisite: MBA students must be currently enrolled (or have completed) MBAX 6610: Real Estate Finance and Investments or have obtained instructor permission.