Chair’s Note

Christopher Campbell

Welcome to the Runstad Department of Real Estate!

I am delighted to welcome you to the Runstad Department of Real Estate. Our roots as a department go back more than 35 years when the first certificate in commercial real estate was offered at the University of Washington. Since then, we, like our surrounding city, have continued to grow. Today, the Runstad Department of Real Estate is a leader in real estate education and research, attracting students from around the world who want to learn at one of the top universities while connecting with one of the most dynamic and fastest growing real estate markets in the country. Whether you are new to Real Estate or returning to school for more advanced training, I am confident that the Runstad Department of Real Estate can help you reach your goals, whether in your studies or your career.

I’m often asked what makes a Runstad Department of Real Estate education unique. There are three answers to this question. The first is our comprehensive approach to Real Estate as a profession and a field. Whether you are interested in development, investment, corporate real estate, housing, or another industry sector, we understand that Real Estate is a complex and dynamic field. A Runstad education includes extensive knowledge of markets and finance but also land-use policy, law, ethics, and leadership. Because our department is located in a college devoted to the built environment, our students also have access to a broad suite of courses and certificates from allied disciplines, including Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, and Construction Management. From our perspective, this is what makes Real Estate so exciting because at its core, Real Estate is not just about business; it is about using the power of investment and capital to solve real problems, shape the built environment, and bring new and lasting value to our cities, communities and people.

The second element that defines the Runstad difference is our strong partnership with the Real Estate industry and community – and this isn’t just any Real Estate community. The local Seattle area is one of the hottest Real Estate markets in the country. Home to Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and countless other global corporations and regional companies, the Seattle area, which includes more than a dozen fast-growing satellite cities, is both large enough to attract national and international Real Estate firms, and small enough for you to access them as a student or recent graduate. We help connect you to these opportunities through internships and professional events, and continue to support you throughout your career with our very active network of alumni and friends of the department. Our programs are further supported by our Advisory Board of local Real Estate leaders who are not only committed to supporting the department financially, but also to providing students with professional mentoring, networking opportunities, and insights into the real estate industry.

Finally, the third element of the Runstad difference is, of course, our faculty. Our instructors are not only outstanding teachers – in many cases drawn directly from the Real Estate community – they are also leading academics and researchers. The University of Washington is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the world. As part of this community, our faculty produce the research that deepens our understanding of the Real Estate field and advances the profession through innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time. To be frank, we don’t just study Real Estate; we change it. For students, this is a critical advantage. It means that you’ll graduate not only with the information and skills you need for today, but also with the latest knowledge and ideas that are shaping tomorrow.

If any of this sounds exciting to you, then I invite you to explore this website in greater detail. We offer a minor in Real Estate, a major in Real Estate (starting January 2021), and a Master’s of Science in Real Estate (MSRE). Additionally, students from anywhere on campus can participate in our Graduate Certificate in Real Estate and Graduate Certificate in Housing Studies. We also offer a joint Master’s degree with the School of Law and are in the process of developing new partnerships with other degree programs. If you would like more information on any of this, please feel free to reach out to our excellent advisers at (for graduate programs) or (for undergraduate programs) or attend one of our regularly scheduled information sessions.

Of course, you are also welcomed to contact me. I can be reached at I’d be delighted to talk with you about your interests in Real Estate and hope that you choose to join us soon.

Very best,

Christopher D. Campbell, PhD
Acting Chair, Runstad Department of Real Estate