Real Estate Development Certificate Program

The University of Michigan Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development offers MBA students the opportunity to study real estate development through an interdisciplinary curriculum and earn a graduate certificate in addition to the MBA degree. For specific information on this program, application and requirements, please visit the Real Estate Development website at: General information about applying and how to plan to complete the certificate for Ross students is outlined below. Students are also encouraged to schedule an academic advising appointment with an Academic Advisor at Ross to discuss the certificate and curriculum planning.

What is it? (About the program)

The Real Estate Development Certificate is a graduate certificate program offered through the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and administered by the Rackham Graduate School. Current UM non-Rackham graduate students (e.g. MBAs) are eligible to apply, but the program also considers applications from individuals who are not current UM graduate students. Current UM graduate students must submit a separate application to the Rackham Graduate School for admission to the certificate program.

The certificate requires a minimum of 17 credits. Once admitted, current UM graduate students are permitted to double-count some credits from their primary degree (e.g. MBA) with the certificate program, but will need to complete additional stand-alone credits (see below for more info about credit counting).  

For a Full-Time MBA student, the certificate can be completed during the two year MBA program, but this does require careful planning! Students who are considering pursuing the certificate should start to plan their schedule accordingly in their first term at Ross.

How do I apply and get started? (Next steps)

Students may be admitted to the program in both Fall and Winter terms. The earliest that current MBA students can apply is during the Fall of their first year for Winter term admission, as applications will not be reviewed until a full semester of grades is available. It is recommended that Full-Time MBA students apply during their first year at Ross, however, Full-Time MBA students MUST apply and be admitted prior to the start of their final Winter semester. (Note that students can begin to take certificate classes as part of the Ross MBA prior to admission to the certificate – but only up to the 8 credits allowed for double-counting.)

Admission timelines and requirements are available on the Taubman College website. The GMAT is accepted for certificate admission; MBA students do not need to complete the GRE.

What will my schedule look like? (Curriculum & Planning)

Pursuing the Real Estate Development Certificate and the Full-Time MBA degree does take careful planning. Students are encouraged to meet with an Academic Advisor early in their MBA program to discuss their goals and to start mapping out the combined curriculum.

Credit Requirements for MBA Students pursuing the Real Estate Program

The certificate requires completion of 17 credits.

  • What does “Rackham career” mean? Students who are formally admitted to both the MBA and the certificate will have two “career” codings in Wolverine Access. Students will only have an active Rackham career after being formally admitted to the Rackham certificate program. In a semester where a student is “dual enrolled” in courses under both the Graduate Business Admin and Rackham careers, students will continue to pay the Graduate Business tuition rate for all classes. Classes registered under the Rackham career will not count towards MBA requirements or degree honors.
Degree ProgramCredits required for DegreeMaximum Certificate Credit Hours Double-Counted in DegreeMinimum Certificate Credit Hours  (separate from Masters Degree)Total Minimum Credit Hours required to complete Degree and Certificate
Full-Time MBA578966
Evening MBA608969
Dual MBATotal dual hours0 (no double-counting permitted)17Total dual credit hours required + 17 credits for certificate

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requirements are available on the Taubman College website, and students will need to meet with an advisor, the faculty director of the certificate, or the registrar in the Taubman College to verify that they are meeting the appropriate requirements for the certificate. Final completion of the certificate will also need to be approved through the Taubman College registrar and the Rackham Graduate School. (Unlike dual degrees, the certificate may be awarded separately, after the MBA; the degree and certificate are not dependent upon each other.)

Certificate requirements are allowed to overlap with the MBA requirements, as long as they are within the 8 double-counted credits and are registered under the Graduate Business Administration career. For example, students may complete BL 582 – Real Estate Law, to fulfill both the MBA Law/Ethics requirement and the Real Estate and Land Use Law requirement.

Sample Schedules

As mentioned above, Full-Time MBA students are encouraged to start planning early for the certificate. Review our sample schedules here, and schedule an advising appointment early on to map this out with an advisor. In most cases, students will need to plan to take close to 18 credits in one or more semesters in order to complete the certificate within the 2 year MBA.


  • Q: What specific classes can be included in the 8 double-counted credits?
    • A: Because the Ross MBA allows students to complete up to 10 credits of non-Ross graduate coursework at UM-Ann Arbor towards the MBA requirements, students have the flexibility to take a wide range of courses towards the certificate as part of the double-counted credits. You do need to ensure that you are taking approved graduate level coursework (generally in the 500+ catalog numbers), and that you are meeting the core requirements for the MBA and for the certificate. Be sure to talk with a Ross Academic Advisor about your course plans and to review which courses you do plan to double-count. 
  • Q: Will I have to go to North Campus?
    • A: Yes. The Taubman College is housed on North Campus (Ross is on Central Campus), so you will need to visit the North Campus location to meet with faculty and staff, and for some classes. While students could choose to complete much of the certificate program with courses offered by, or cross-listed with, Ross (and held on our campus), you will be required to take some classes in the Art & Architecture building on North Campus.
  • Q: How do I get to North Campus? Where is it?
    • A: See North Campus Map. North Campus is located across the Huron River from Central Campus. University buses run regularly between North Campus and Central Campus, or students can choose to bike/drive between the two locations. Be aware that it does take time to travel between the two locations, so you will need to plan your course schedule to allow for travel (you can’t make it in 10 minutes). Often students will try to group their courses so that they spend certain afternoons or mornings in one campus location to consolidate travel as much as possible.
  • Q: Do I have to finish the certificate in 2 years?
    • A: No, but additional time will incur additional tuition charges. Most Full-Time MBAs will want to complete the certificate during the 2 years in which they are completing the MBA to minimize their tuition, but students could choose to extend their time at UM to complete the course work at a more relaxed pace. Students considering this plan are encouraged to talk to an Academic Advisor.