Cornell Baker Master Program in Real Estate


Program Description

Choose Cornell

An intimate community engaging with the industry and the world

You want to make your two years count. When you join the Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate, you are choosing to live and study for a master’s degree in an environment that is both globally connected, yet distant enough from daily urban distractions to ensure focus and immersion.

A small and interconnected graduate community, the Baker Program provides a campus atmosphere conducive to an intensive and rigorous learning experience, while simultaneously ensuring that the larger world of real estate, from multiple corners of the world, is fully represented and integrated into the program.

Focused globally and strengthened by the depth and breadth of the Cornell network, Baker Program students are unconstrained in where they look for and find opportunities.

Your Career

Students come to the Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate to gain the skills they need to have a successful real estate career. They leave with in-depth, specialized knowledge, real-world experience, and a network and connections that last a lifetime.

Baker Program graduates achieve more than just success—they become thought leaders who influence the future of the industry.

Beginning with your matriculation in the Baker Program, and throughout your time at Cornell—including your internship and full-time employment job searches—you have access to the people and resources you need to reach your CRE professional goals.

The Baker Difference

A comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and flexible real estate degree

Two years

Rather than simply scratching the surface with a one-year course of study, the two-year Baker Program fully prepares you to become an expert and leader in the industry.


At the end of the first semester, students, in collaboration with their advisors, select a concentration—an area of specialized expertise that distinguishes them in the industry


A summer internship between the first and second year typically aligns with your chosen area of concentration and gives you a distinct edge in finding leadership positions in the industry upon graduation


In between the fall and spring semesters, Baker students embark on week-long domestic or international site visits that include meetings with alumni and local real estate leaders, and exploration of a variety of environments around the world.

Largest full-time faculty

Specialists in their fields, our faculty members provide expertise in areas as diverse as:

  • The role of the developer, owner, investor, financier, operator, and user
  • The investigation into development, finance, investment, and deal structuring, architecture, sustainable design, property management, urban design and economics, and more

Outside the classroom

Case competitions, the Cornell Real Estate Review, student groups, and paid assistantships provide additional opportunities to connect and enhance your real estate education.


Choose your path

The real estate industry covers a broad spectrum of specialties. With the largest full-time faculty in real estate education, the Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate is uniquely positioned to help students identify and craft an area of expertise that is entirely their own.

At the end of the first semester of the master’s program, you work with your advisor to select from one of five predefined areas of study or design your own concentration.

International Real Estate

Real estate opportunities exist around the world for those with a master’s degree and advanced knowledge of the industry; a keen understanding of the international environment including management, communication, trade, financial, and legal strategies; and the willingness to work across borders.

Key areas of interest:

  • International finance
  • International marketing
  • Cross-cultural management
  • International economics

Real Estate Consulting and Market Analysis

Consulting, advisory services, and real estate market analysis rely on quantitative and analytical skills. The services span a wide diversity of activities within real estate, ranging from brokerage services to acquisitions and valuation services to financial advising. The growth of advisory services, notably through large companies such as Jones Lang LaSalle, CBRE, and others, illustrates the trend toward outsourcing activities in the increasingly complex real estate industry. Advisory services provide a diversity of opportunity and demand a commitment to working in a variety of contexts and the ability to collaborate simultaneously with a large number of groups.

Key areas of interest:

  • Statistics
  • Econometrics
  • Database management
  • Financial analysis
  • Marketing
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Graphical and presentation skills

Property, Asset, and Portfolio Management

Property managers, asset managers, and portfolio managers have the responsibility for maximizing the performance and value of both individual assets and the behavior of these assets in a portfolio. They are responsible for formulating and implementing long-range portfolio strategies from which individual asset management strategies devolve. While asset managers typically focus on single properties within the real estate portfolio, portfolio managers are responsible for the fund as a whole or the real estate fund within a larger mixed-asset portfolio. Property managers narrow their focus to the operation and management of specific assets.

Key areas of interest:

  • Asset management
  • Facility management
  • Negotiations
  • Unit-level property finance
  • Human resource management
  • Leadership

Development and Sustainability

Developing real estate is among the most entrepreneurial and rewarding activities undertaken by real estate professionals. To be a successful developer, individuals and firms must be able to read market behavior to properly time completion of projects, manage financial risks, negotiate contracts, integrate new spaces into the existing environment, and follow land-use regulations. Most real estate developers are local businesses, but some very successful international firms such as Hines Property Group and Related create large and highly complex spaces.

Key areas of interest:

  • Development process
  • Finance
  • Negotiations
  • Physical asset planning
  • Construction management
  • Sustainable building

Real Estate Finance and Investments

Debt and equity capital flows are essential for a well-functioning real estate market. Banks, life companies, and other institutions underwrite real estate loans involving existing property transaction, renovations, and ground-up development. Equity investors from individuals to multi-billion dollar REITs go through meticulous due-diligence processes to ensure that money allocated to real estate produces returns greater than or commensurate with the risks.

Independent Concentrations

Recent independent concentrations have covered specialties including:

  • Senior housing development
  • International hospitality investment
  • International corporate real estate
  • Private real estate investment trust (REIT) consulting
  • Health care office real estate
  • Sustainable urban infill development financing
Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

Served by one of the world’s largest business faculties at the only Ivy League university with a land-grant mission, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business comprises three powerhouse schools unsur ... Read More

Served by one of the world’s largest business faculties at the only Ivy League university with a land-grant mission, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business comprises three powerhouse schools unsurpassed in their integration of rigor with relevance: Read less
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