Harvard GSD Mdes - Real Estate (Pros and Cons)


Hello architect / non-architect community ... this is my personal opinion so far about the program.

I am currently a first year Mdes - Real Estate candidate at Harvard GSD focusing on finance & investments. I have worked for couple of years in RE before applying (recommended). There are pros and cons, but the pros outweigh the cons (by a lot).

Some of the main pros:

  1. Flexibility of the program and cross registration with HBS, HKS, HLS, and MIT (HBS tougher than others, but doable with the right approach and networking with professors + a priority is given to you when you become in your second year)
  2. Huge networking opportunities if you know how to leverage the brand and how to sell yourself (especially if you have previous experience in RE)
  3. Top notch speakers (from AM, PE and Development side, etc..)
  4. Real Estate Conference that happens every Spring and attracts over 400 RE professionals (GSD + HBSstudents work jointly on that event)
  5. Very good / Excellent professors with professional experience (some better than others)
  6. The Mdes RE program is supported by HSREC, Harvard RE alumni board, and the RED Club at Harvard (you will be assigned a mentor from the Harvard RE alumni board in Year 1)
  7. If you know how to pick your courses, you can enhance your modelling skills drastically

Cons (in my opinion)

  1. Harvard GSD: Very small building - not the best fitted out space technologically - lack of space and very few collaboration spaces (this might be partially solved by the planned expansion of the GSD)
  2. Degree name "Masters in Design Studies" [although we call it a RE masters internally and with employers that know the program] - hopefully it will change in the future (due to the new leadership at Harvard [new president] and at the GSD [new dean])
  3. You do not live in New York (Columbia beats Harvard on that front)

Grosso modo: this program has a huge potential to grow exponentially if things are done right in the future. Very smart students get in + Professors that graduated from the GSD and HBS teach the course + very good networking opportunities and speakers' series

Nov 23, 18 1:06 pm
Con no 3 is the best
Nov 24, 18 10:38 am

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