Taubman College

Graduate Certificates / Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development

About the Program

Real estate development shapes our physical environment and, to a large extent, determines how we all live, work, and play. It also directly or indirectly affects energy consumption, global climate change, social relations and equity, public finance, foreign policy, capital markets, and personal and corporate wealth creation. Long a consumer of locally generated finance, it became the newest global financial asset class in the 1990s, joining stocks, bonds, and cash. And as recent experience has shown, the collapse of a real estate bubble can cause a severe recession.

Most real estate development of the last half century has taken the form of standard products built in a low-density, sprawling fashion. These standard product types are generally exclusively served by automobile, and their form is largely determined by parking and access by the car. Most zoning ordinances in the United States legally mandate this form of development. The actors in the real estate industry, including developers, bankers, investors, and consultants, have all been trained in this type of development. However, it has spawned many unintended negative social, economic, fiscal, and environmental consequences.

The University of Michigan real estate development program is committed to a different way, a progressive approach to developing real estate and the built environment in the U.S. and world-wide.

The University of Michigan program recognizes the demand for drivable suburban development, the predominate approach to development over the past half century. However, the focus of the UM program is on creating places that offer alternatives to this type of development and that reduce the environmental impact, enhance choices for people of all incomes, and have many uses within walking distance of one another – walkable urbanism. The Michigan real estate development program teaches students about building sustainable places that minimize the ecological footprint of the built environment. We explore how to build a sense of place that also encourages housing for all income levels while creating long-term wealth to motivate investors to care about the quality of the built environment. Ultimately, the program encourages building places that we can feel proud of our role in creating.

Apply to this program.