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22 FEBRUARY 2020
 For an industry in which the numbers truly do matter, the leaders of the Rutgers Center for
Real Estate can point with pride to the program’s growth over the past five years.
Look no further than the more than 500 students who have enrolled in
at least one of the university’s real estate courses during the current academic year — a sizable leap from the 30 seats that were filled before the center’s launch in 2014. That’s not to mention the growth in degree programs, scholarships and job placements, among other areas.
Morris Davis sees the opportunity to build on that growth and even accelerate it.
“Does the growth come from the latent interest in real estate? Absolutely. Kids are getting real
estate jobs and they want training for it,” said Davis, the center’s academic
support from many of the state’s
top commercial real estate leaders, the Center for Real Estate is now looking ahead to the next five years and beyond. Davis, his team and
the center’s committee of industry advisers feel that further growth
will hinge on expanding and fine- tuning the course offerings — such as creating a standalone real estate major and a master’s in real estate
— while navigating the challenges of fundraising and scaling up to support their growing student population.
Those efforts are well underway. Starting this academic year, the center has expanded its offerings with the launch of a new real estate track available to finance majors
at Rutgers’ Newark campus, or what Davis calls a “quasi-major” in real estate. To complete the track, students must take four real estate
courses — law, finance, development and investments — along with
three of four electives: appraisal, capital markets, property and asset management and fixed income.
The curriculum is a step up from the current undergraduate concentration, which requires three real estate courses, having launched on the Newark and New Brunswick campuses in fall 2017 and fall 2018, respectively.
“It’s still a finance major,” said Davis, who joined Rutgers in 2014 after leading the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin. “It’s just a much deeper dive into real estate and we hope to be able to port that to New Brunswick relatively soon.”
The new offering is another incremental step toward a much larger goal. Davis and his team are now in the early stages of developing a full, standalone major in real estate for undergraduates. But that is no easy task. Creating such a program requires approval from the state, which he said is a process that takes at least 18 months. That means that top administrators at the business school “want to make sure that you’re ready in terms of student demand.”
The same is true for the prospect of developing a standalone master’s degree in real estate, which the center also hopes to do, with specializations in development
and industrial real estate and e-commerce. Davis believes that graduate-level enrollment in real estate classes and classes in other fields may have been hurt by recent changes to Rutgers’ MBA program, which reduced the number of courses required to graduate.
One solution, he said, is the standalone program.
“We know there’s demand for a
Rutgers real estate program eyes new degrees, new investment as it looks to the future
By Joshua Burd
 Morris Davis
director and the Paul V. Profeta chair of Real Estate at Rutgers Business School. “Does the demand come from our approach
to teaching real estate? Yes, the students understand that they’re being taught by some of the top practitioners in the state.
“And then does the demand come from the way that we invest in students? And the answer is absolutely yes. The students know we’re unlike most places in Rutgers.”
With a foundation in place and
 More than 500 students have enrolled in at least one of Rutgers University’s real estate courses during the current academic year, up from 30 seats that were filled before the launch of the Center for Real Estate in 2014.

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