Skip to content

Chair’s Note

Welcome to the Runstad Department of Real Estate!Steve Bourassa

The Runstad Department of Real Estate offers two undergraduate programs—a BS with a Major in Real Estate and a Minor in Real Estate—and four graduate programs—an MS in Real Estate, concurrent MS degrees in Real Estate and Construction Management, a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate, and a Graduate Certificate in Housing Studies. Our growing student base includes domestic and international students pursing our degrees and others seeking to explore the intersection of real estate with other disciplines.

Why consider studying real estate at UW? The answers are numerous and here are some of them:

Why Runstad?

  1. Location-Location-Location: is critical in real estate. Significant growth and change in Seattle provide a unique canvas for the study of real estate, with substantial Transit-Oriented Development and expansion of corporate campuses, among other types of development. Additionally, Seattle is home to PropTech companies such as Zillow and Redfin, providing unique opportunities for our graduates to apply their real estate expertise in the corporate world. Eleven Fortune 500 companies (such as Amazon and Microsoft) are also based here.
  2. College of Built Environments: The College provides students opportunities to engage and learn from other key participants in real estate markets, such as architects, urban planners, and construction managers.
  3. Full-time faculty and affiliates: The University of Washington is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the world with full-time faculty who produce research that advances knowledge nationally and internationally. The department also benefits from a significant number of affiliate instructors who are working professionals with decades of practical experience.
  4. Advisory Board: The department benefits from an engaged Advisory Board of regional real estate leaders who are committed to supporting students through mentoring, internships, networking opportunities, and insight to the real estate industry.
  5. Alumni network: Our students benefit from a diverse alumni network who are engaged in all aspects of real estate and offer their help through mentoring and other activities.
  6. Real Estate Club: Led by students, the Real Estate Club organizes an annual speaker series, professional development opportunities, and property tours.

Undergraduate programs at Runstad:

  1. The BS prepares students to enter careers in real estate finance, asset management, brokerage, urban and real estate development, or affordable housing, among numerous other potential career paths. For students in the minor, the program can make them more competitive for real estate careers or broaden their understanding of the real estate industry’s role in shaping the built environment.
  2. Students completing the BS and the minor take courses that develop their analytical and business skills and equip them with the ability to make sense of the increasingly complex data that guide the real estate industry. They also take courses that expose them to the interdisciplinary nature of real estate among built environment related professions and how real estate fits into a broader economic and social framework.
  3. Students have the opportunity to engage with professionals that represent the breadth of the real industry. A professional development course supports students in developing their career goals and preparing the material they will need to apply for internships and jobs.
  4. The BS is designed to be completed in less than six quarters so that students who discover real estate is a path for them by the beginning of their junior year and transfer students can complete it. It is designated as a STEM degree, which makes international students eligible for up to three years of work in the U.S. after graduation.

Graduate programs at Runstad:

  1. The MSRE prepares students for careers in corporate real estate, real estate finance and investment, development, and affordable housing in both the public and private sectors. Students are prepared for success by a series of courses in leadership, negotiation, and professional development.
  2. MSRE students benefit from taking courses that help them with their business, technical, and real estate skills. In addition to the typical real estate curriculum, they learn the importance of data analytics and visualization, as well as the evolution of real estate markets and how they are and can be disrupted. The last quarter includes a capstone course that allows students to focus on one of the four areas of specialization.
  3. Students with undergraduate or master’s quantitative degrees can fast-track the completion of the MSRE in three quarters (September through June). Those with other types of degrees can complete the MSRE in six quarters. Students have the option to pursue the MSRE full- or part-time.
  4. The MSRE is designated as a STEM degree, which is rare across real estate programs and allows international students to be eligible for up to three years of work in the U.S. after graduation.
  5. MSRE students benefit from being matched with mentors in their area of interest from the advisory board and their contacts, allowing them to begin building professional networks. Additionally, students are introduced to a variety of organizations (such as ULI, NAIOP, CoreNet, BOMA, and CREW) which can further help to expand their networks.
  6. MSRE students can qualify for multiple scholarshipsthat are available for outstanding applicants and those with financial need.
  7. Students from across the university have the opportunity to complete either of the two graduate certificates (in Real Estate or Housing Studies) and obtain an additional credential that can be very useful in the job market.

With all these aspects of the Department and its programs in mind, I invite you to explore our undergraduate and graduate programs and sign up for future information sessions to learn more. In the meantime, if you would like more information 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.

Beyond the contacts for the undergraduate and graduate programs you can always reach out to me with questions at I look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to our Department.


Steven C. Bourassa, Ph.D.

H. Jon and Judith M. Runstad Endowed Professor
Chair, Runstad Department of Real Estate