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Profile of Cornell’s Baker Program in Real Estate

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The Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property is an immersive, two-year Ivy league graduate actual property schooling with the rigor, construction, and educational profile of an MBA whereas targeted solely on Actual Property. Situated at Cornell College’s picturesque campus in Ithaca, NY, this system is collectively administered by the School of Structure, Artwork, and Planning and the Faculty of Lodge Administration beneath the course of the brand new Cornell SC Johnson School of Enterprise.

This system leverages Cornell’s expansive actual property alumni community, the most important full-time actual property school within the nation, a multidisciplinary strategy to actual property schooling, and the varsity’s globally acknowledged model to offer Baker college students a launch pad for out-sized profession success.

Observe: This profile was initially written in late 2016, and is up to date as of early 2019.

On this submit, the fourth in a six-part collection on graduate actual property packages in the USA, I discover in-depth the Baker Program in Actual Property, its college students, its curriculum, its admissions course of, and whether or not this prestigious graduate actual property program is best for you.

Disclaimer: I’m a graduate of the Baker Program in Actual Property at Cornell College

Cornell College – Ithaca, NY (Supply: sach1tb)


School: Faculty of Lodge Administration (Cornell SC Johnson School of Enterprise); School of Structure, Artwork, and Planning

Program Identify: Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property

Location: 489 Statler Corridor, Ithaca, NY 14853

Yr Established: 1996

Program Historical past: Robert Abrams ’53 and Howard Milstein ’73 based the Cornell Program in Actual Property within the mid-90’s in response to a sea change in how institutional buyers take into consideration actual property and the pent-up demand for formal coaching in actual property funding, finance, and improvement. Mr. Abrams acted as its first director, shepherding the 2 yr program in its early years. In 2012, this system’s endowment greater than doubled with an $11 million present from Lisa and Richard Baker ’88, Governor and Government Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Firm and proprietor of Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, amongst different pursuits. Consequently in that very same yr, the Cornell Board of Trustees permitted the renaming of this system to the Baker Program in Actual Property and this system was restructured to be ruled collectively by the School of Structure, Artwork, and Planning (AAP) and the Faculty of Lodge Administration (SHA).

Program Director: Dustin C. Jones (since 2015); earlier administrators embrace Robert Abrams, C. Bradley Olson, and David L. Funk


  • Undergraduate:
  • Graduate Actual Property: No respected rankings of graduate actual property packages exist
  • Graduate Faculty:

Diploma(s) Provided: Grasp of Skilled Research (MPS) in Actual Property

Twin Diploma(s) Provided?: Sure

  • Twin Grasp of Actual Property (MPS RE) and Grasp of Enterprise Administration (MBA) with the Johnson Graduate Faculty of Administration
  • Twin Grasp of Actual Property (MPS RE) and Grasp of Regional Planning (MRP) with the School of Structure, Artwork, and Planning

Program Size: 4 semesters/two years

1st Yr Fall Semester + 1st Yr Spring Semester + Home Trek


Summer time Internship


2nd Yr Fall Semester + 2nd Yr Spring Semester + Worldwide Trek

Program Web site:

Cornell College was based in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White

Value and Monetary Help

Tuition: $28,275 per semester; 4 semester program = $113,100 excluding dwelling bills and books

Value of Dwelling Comparability: Utilizing Numbeo’s Value of Dwelling Comparability software, I in contrast the price of lease in cities the place the six graduate actual property faculties being profiled are situated. Not surprisingly, Cornell’s location in rural upstate New York is sort of a bit extra reasonably priced to stay in than within the giant cities the place the opposite packages are situated:

  • Ithaca, NY is 58% inexpensive than New York, NY (Columbia College and NYU)
  • Ithaca, NY is 45% much less costly than Boston, MA (MIT is in Cambridge, MA, throughout the Charles River from Boston)
  • Ithaca, NY is 46% much less costly than Washington DC (Johns Hopkins’ full-time actual property program is in Washington, DC; it additionally presents a part-time choice in Baltimore, MD )
  • Ithaca, NY is 37% much less costly than Los Angeles, CA (USC)

Monetary Help Obtainable?: Sure

  • Sponsored housing: Numerous College-owned housing choices can be found for graduate college students at under market lease charges
  • Benefit and need-based scholarships: Numerous scholarships can be found yearly
  • Benefit-based assistantships: Restricted variety of educating and analysis assistantships provided annually
  • Work Full-Time Whereas Learning?: Whereas not expressly prohibited, the schedule and cargo of coursework make it unimaginable to work full-time

“I might discovered an establishment the place any individual can discover instruction in any research.” – Ezra Cornell


Cornell’s motto, “any individual, any research” is mirrored within the Baker Program’s multidisciplinary strategy to the curriculum. Its 62 credit-hour commencement requirement (the very best of any graduate actual property program), its broad and numerous core course choices, and the wide selection of concentrations out there all supply Baker college students a chance to depart Cornell with a robust competency within the particular space of actual property they’re most thinking about.

Commencement Necessities

  • 62 complete credit score hours = 38.5 core credit + four.5 management and administration credit + 12 hours of electives in an accepted focus + 7 credit score hours of free electives
  • Full a summer time skilled internship
  • Take part in two actual property case research journeys, one home and one worldwide
  • Be in residence within the Baker Program for 4 semesters of full-time research (apart from these college students assembly necessities of chosen worker and dual-degree packages)
  • Stay in good educational standing by adhering to all program necessities

Click on right here to see the curriculum plan for the Baker Program in Actual Property Class of 2021

First Semester – Fall (15.5 credit):

  • Actual Property Improvement Course of I (1.5 credit)
  • Actual Property Improvement Course of II (1.5 credit)
  • Actual Property Seminar Collection (zero.5 credit score)
  • Creating the Constructed Surroundings (1.5 credit)
  • Innovation & Technique in CRE Improvement (1.5 credit)
  • City Economics & Actual Property Markets (1.5 credit)
  • Rules of Actual Property (Three credit)
  • Managerial Finance (Three credit)
  • Elective Coursework (1.5 credit)

Second Semester – Fall (15.5 credit):

  • Actual Property Seminar Collection #2 (zero.5 credit score)
  • Authorized Elements of Land Use Planning (four credit)
  • Introduction to Actual Property Monetary Modeling (Three credit)
  • Statistical Evaluation of Actual Property Knowledge (1.5 credit)
  • Actual Property Finance and Investments (Three credit)
  • Actual Property Regulation (Three credit)
  • Elective Coursework (zero.5 credit score)
  • Home (U.S.) Trek

Summer time Internship – 12 Weeks

Third Semester – Fall (15.5 credit):

  • Development Planning and Operations (Three credit)
  • Actual Property Seminar Collection #Three (zero.5 credit score)
  • Worldwide Instances and Contracts (2 credit)
  • Residential and Business Improvement (four credit)
  • Elective Coursework (6 credit)

Fourth Semester – Spring (15.5 credit):

  • Elective Coursework (15.5 credit)
  • Worldwide Trek


On the finish of their first semester, Baker college students meet with their adviser to pick from one among 5 predefined areas of research or to design their personal focus. In my case, I selected actual property finance and investments as my focus. Focus choices at Baker embrace:

  • Worldwide Actual Property
  • Actual Property Consulting and Market Evaluation
  • Property, Asset, and Portfolio Administration
  • Improvement and Sustainability
  • Actual Property Finance and Investments
  • Unbiased Focus

Programs Obtainable Outdoors of SHA/AAP

  • College students can take programs in any of Cornell’s seven schools, area allowing
  • I personally took programs outdoors of SHA/AAP together with a number of within the Johnson Graduate Faculty of Administration and a negotiations course within the Faculty of Industrial and Labor Relations

Management and Administration

Distinctive to the Baker Program is the requirement to take four.5 credit (2 – Three programs) of Management and Administration. The tutorial calendar, programming, and curriculum of Baker are structured extra like an MBA than a standard MRE and the Management and Administration requirement is an instance of this reality. From this system’s web site:

“Graduates of the Baker Program are very more likely to transfer shortly into administration roles inside the actual property business, and preparation for profitable execution of managerial duties is a key to success. Subsequently, along with and separate from programs within the core and focus areas, no less than four.5 further credit are required within the areas of management and administration. Cornell provides numerous programs that fulfill this requirement, in addition to conferring wonderful on-the-job management and administration expertise by means of scholar work on numerous group tasks, nationwide competitions, and summer time internships.”

Management and administration programs embrace research within the areas of:

  • Human relations/interpersonal/communication
  • Venture administration
  • Cross-cultural management
  • Battle decision/negotiation
  • Administration and decision-making

Instance Electives

Elective choices span the chances, relying on the world of actual property most of curiosity to the scholar. Provided that my focus was in finance and investments, my electives included:

  • Funding Evaluation and Portfolio Administration
  • Hospitality Actual Property Finance
  • Superior Enterprise Modeling in Excel
  • Due Diligence in Personal Fairness
  • Superior Actual Property Monetary Modeling
  • Securitization and Structured Monetary Merchandise
  • Funding in Actual Property Securities and Funds
  • Actual Property Personal Fairness Case Competitors

A pattern of different electives embrace programs similar to:

  • Merging Markets Finance
  • Methods for Sustainability
  • Strategic Change and Renewal
  • City Principle and Spatial Improvement
  • Organizational Variety
  • Fundamentals of Well being Facility Planning for Administration
  • Lengthy-Time period Care Options for the Older Grownup
  • Worldwide Advertising
  • Behavioral Economics and Public Coverage
  • Lodge Transactions
  • Immigration and Public Coverage
  • Financial Evaluations in Well being Care
  • Office Design Methods
  • Research in Human-Setting Relations
  • Poverty, Youngsters, and the Setting
  • Common Design: Ergonomics and Accessibility
  • Adaptive Reuse Studio: Recycling the Constructed Surroundings
  • Economics of the Public Sector

Full-time Actual Property School

Comprising 25 school from 5 schools at Cornell, the Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property has the most important full-time actual property school in the USA.

For an inventory of the school members and their respective schools, click on right here.


Statler Corridor – House of the Baker Program (Supply:


Observe: When it comes to class profile, knowledge is restricted on this space as is the case with all the packages profiled on this collection. Moreover, within the case of the Baker Program the comparatively small class measurement (~25 college students per yr) means the category profile can range tremendously from yr to yr. The knowledge provided under is anecdotal based mostly on my expertise.

Class Profile

  • Measurement: ~25 college students
  • Worldwide (%): ~40%
  • Feminine (%): 20%-25%
  • Avg. Age: Late 20s
  • Age Vary: Mid 20s – early 40s
  • Avg. Years Work Expertise: Varies tremendously, however Three-5+ years is typical
  • Median GMAT: No info out there, however I might guess excessive 600s
  • Avg. Undergraduate GPA: Greatest guess is low to mid 3s
  • Pre-Grad Faculty Business: Many college students include an present actual property background and wish to both transition right into a separate space of actual property or transfer into the institutional aspect of the business

Extracurricular Actions

The Cornell Affiliate Actual Property Council (AREC)

AREC is the offical graduate actual property membership on campus, connecting actual property associated disciplines from throughout Cornell’s graduate group. Membership, whereas largely made up of Baker college students, consists of college students learning regulation, engineering, planning, structure, administration who share a standard curiosity in actual property. AREC hosts numerous networking, profession, and social occasions. The group’s programming consists of actual property treks, night socials, a audio system collection, interview prep, profession workshops, and mentoring amongst different actions.AREC_2line_4c

Cornell Actual Property Council

The Cornell Actual Property Council is among the largest university-based actual property alumni networks on the planet. By way of numerous Council networking occasions and conferences, Baker college students are related to job alternatives around the globe. The Baker Program director acts because the liaison between this system and the Council.

Middle for Actual Property and Finance (CREF)

CREF produces a collection of on-line publications, is a number one supply of actual property analysis, and supplies college students direct entry to business leaders.

Case Competitions

Participation in actual property case competitions is huge at Cornell. Cornell hosts an undergraduate actual property case comeptition in NYC and graduate scholar groups from Cornell persistently place nicely within the competitions they compete in. A Cornell workforce has gained MIT’s The Case competitors a number of occasions in recent times. Course credit score is obtainable in some conditions for participation in case competitions.

Distinguished Audio system Collection

A weekly occasion at Baker, the audio system collection can also be a core course. A outstanding actual property skilled involves campus every week, and speaks to the scholars for about two hours adopted by a reception the place college students are capable of work together with the distinguished invitee. The collection is restricted to Baker college students solely, which suggests the ~50 Bakers have unique entry to those people.

  • Once I was at Cornell, the collection was held each Thursday from four:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Audio system embrace fund managers, builders, buyers, bankers; senior degree professionals, entrepreneurs, and retired practitioners
  • A query and reply portion follows a proper presentation after which the attendees proceed to the reception
  • Enterprise formal apparel is required
Cornell Actual Property Evaluation

The Cornell Actual Property Evaluation is a student-led actual property publication. The Assessment employees additionally maintains a weblog, which you’ll be able to go to at:

Social Life

Let’s be trustworthy, there isn’t precisely rather a lot to do in Ithaca NY – inhabitants 30,00zero. Nevertheless, Ithaca gives Baker college students the quintessential school city expertise and helps make for a extra immersive, private expertise than they might in any other case get in the event that they selected to attend a faculty in a big metropolis.

When it comes to social life for Baker college students, faculty work consumes a lot of their time however the weekends aren’t devoid of enjoyable. Research teams have been an enormous a part of my expertise and whereas I studied quite a bit, doing it in a gaggle with individuals I got here to admire and luxuriate in being round was extremely rewarding. I needed to hitch a tight-knit group of outstanding individuals and selecting an actual property program in a small school city helped make that attainable.

Right here’s an fascinating thread discussing the subject of social life at Cornell.

Collegetown Bagels is a staple in Collegetown, the epicenter of social life at Cornell. (Supply:

Ithaca to New York Metropolis

Whereas Ithaca might really feel farflung, it’s a comparatively brief four hour drive to New York Metropolis. Cornell provides bus service, the campus-to-campus, with a number of journeys daily to and from Cornell’s educational campuses in NYC (e.g. Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medical School).

A number of programs are taught at Cornell Tech in NYC and out there to Baker college students. And it’s my understanding that Baker college students are quickly to be given the choice to finish their fourth semester of research (Spring of 2nd yr) in New York Metropolis. Extra particulars on this are slated to return within the subsequent yr.


Areas of Focus

This was coated some within the concentrations part, however the Baker Program provides a variety of areas of focus. Plenty of college students arrive on campus fascinated with improvement. Nevertheless, in my expertise as college students come to find the choices out there to them, most find yourself selecting a profession path outdoors of improvement. This isn’t as a result of improvement jobs aren’t obtainable, they’re, nevertheless it’s as a result of there are such a lot of different choices which might be extra appropriate. Finally although, most college students find yourself going the acquisitions, improvement, or asset administration route.

Geographic Focus

I wouldn’t say this system has a selected geographic focus, it actually has a worldwide attain and that isn’t anymore evident than within the placement of these I went to high school with. My classmates scattered all through the U.S. and the globe – from Seoul to Dubai, from Miami to Seattle – and right here I’m in Dallas, TX! One of many strengths of this system is that the alumni community shouldn’t be overly concentrated in anybody metropolis, which suggests the diploma has a broad geographic attain that different faculties don’t have.

With all that stated, New York Metropolis, due to its proximity to Ithaca and powerful Cornell connections (Cornell Tech, Cornell Weill Medical Faculty, Cornell Membership of New York), does draw a bigger proportion (Three or four in my class?) of graduates annually. However it’s definitely a minority of the category that decides to go to NYC.

Profession Service Choices

  • Full-time Actual Property Profession Improvement Skilled?: Sure
  • Profession Programming: Advisory Board and alumni mentorship program, actual property profession festivals every semester, resume prep, mock interviews, common networking occasions with potential employers
  • Campus job board: an excellent variety of actual property jobs annually; I utilized for, interviewed by way of, and secured each my internship and full-time place by way of the Cornell job board


The summer time internship is an integral a part of the Baker expertise. The internship demonstrates to potential full-time employers of your curiosity in a selected space of actual property (e.g. asset administration) and affords Baker college students the chance to place into follow what they discovered of their first yr. I interned with USAA Actual Property Firm, which was an enormous assist to land my full-time place at an identical sort firm (the actual property funding division of a life insurance coverage firm) the next spring.

Job Placement and Wage Info

The Baker Program publishes annual wage statistics for the graduates from the earlier yr. Listed here are the statistics from the category of 2018.


Admissions info is all the time topic to vary, so it is best to affirm this info continues to be relevant by visiting Baker’s admissions web page. As of the writing of this submit, the Baker Program admissions staff is providing an software “pre-assessment.” This can be a good approach to know what your likelihood is of admission.


  • Undergraduate diploma from an accredited college
  • Acceptable English language proficiency for worldwide college students (see TOEFL rating minimums right here)

Moreover, the Baker web site gives this steerage:

“Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property college students are as numerous because the specialties they select to pursue. The power to deliver management to the business and make a singular contribution to the group at Cornell are elements which are typically emphasised over direct expertise, GPAs, and GMAT scores.

Traits that the choice committee appears for embrace:

  • A ardour for actual property and its associated fields
  • Creativity and an mental spark
  • The power to positively contribute to numerous groups
  • Management in a tutorial, work, or group setting
  • Direct or oblique actual property expertise or publicity”

Admissions Necessities

  • On-line software
  • $105.00 software charge
  • Assertion of Function (750 phrases)
  • Video Essay
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE

Admissions Statistics

  • Candidates: Not obtainable
  • Acceptance Price: Not obtainable

Notice: In my acceptance letter, a number of years again, I used to be informed fewer than 15% of candidates have been admitted. It’s my impression that purposes are up since than, which might imply acceptance charges have dropped.

Admissions Schedule

  • Spherical One Software Deadline: December 1
  • Spherical Two Software Deadline: January 15
  • Spherical Three Software Deadline: March 1
  • Spherical 4 Software Deadline: April 15

Beebe Lake Waterfall on the Cornell Gorges (Supply: Noitazilivic)


My aim has been to offer a fact-based profile of the Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property. As such, I’ve been cautious to not present a lot commentary on the details as they’ve been communicated. This final part, ‘Commentary’, deviates barely from that aim in a lot as right here’s my probability to supply private insights on my expertise at Baker.


  1. International Attain. Baker college students depart Cornell and actually span the globe when it comes to the place they land a job. That is potential largely because of the power and breadth of the Cornell actual property community and the standard of the Cornell model. But in addition, due to Ithaca’s distant location graduates haven’t been pigeonholed into one location. Which suggests if you wish to find yourself in Denver, or London, or Hong Kong or San Francisco, or NYC, you possibly can.
  2. MBA-Like Two-Yr Program. The size of this system is a large power for 2 causes.
    • First, it provides adequate time to develop a deep Cornell connection. The first cause for my part to attend a top-tier college is for the community. Two years affords you enough time to really plug into the alumni community and adapt the tradition of the establishment. After one yr at Cornell, I used to be simply barely beginning to really feel like a Cornellian, after two I bleed carnelian pink.
    • Second, the internship. I can’t stress sufficient how essential the internship is – particularly for profession changers or for these pivoting inside actual property. The internship exhibits potential employers that you simply’re able to this new position and permits you to follow what you discovered in your first yr at Baker. Nevertheless it additionally provides you some respiration room; as a result of if you end the internship you continue to have one other yr of faculty to work on touchdown the full-time job. There’s a very good cause full-time MBA packages are two years – the internship.
  3. Community. Cornell’s actual property community is rock strong. I landed my internship and my full-time place with the encouragement, assist, and help of Cornell alumni. The Cornell Actual Property Council is 1600+ robust and Cornellians love to assist different Cornellians. In my expertise, you e-mail a Cornell alum they usually e-mail you proper again. They’re anxious to speak to you and assist in anyway they will. I went to Cornell, largely, due to the community and I haven’t been disenchanted.

Admissions Recommendation

  1. Go to campus. I’ll say that once more, go to campus! The admissions committee needs to confess candidates that may settle for the supply and there’s no higher option to reveal real curiosity than to journey all the best way to Ithaca NY to say, “hey, I need to be a Baker.” You’ll probably be competing towards a pair hundred candidates for 25 spots, a campus go to will go a great distance towards serving to you stand out from these different candidates.
  2. Do one thing particular. It doesn’t matter what (as long as it’s constructive!), simply do one thing that makes you stand out. Begin a weblog. Transfer to Africa. No matter, simply set your self aside.
  3. Attain out to some Bakers. Monitor down and e-mail a couple of previous and current Baker college students. Ask for his or her recommendation. Study their expertise. Your assertion of function and interview can be all the higher due to it; and it gained’t harm to call drop when applicable moments warrant it.

Different Assets

My hope is that the varsity profiles, together with this profile of the Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property, could be dwelling paperwork which are often up to date as new info comes out there. So if in case you have any further info you assume will enhance this profile, please share it with me and I’ll gladly add it to the profile. Additionally, undoubtedly there’s inaccurate or incomplete info on this profile and so please let me know should you see one thing that wants correcting.

Learn Different Profiles

Columbia MSRED | Cornell MPSRE | MIT MSRED | NYU MSRED & MSRE | Johns Hopkins MSREI | USC MRED

Concerning the Writer: Born and raised within the Northwest United States, Spencer Burton has over 15 years of actual property funding and improvement expertise. In his present place, Spencer assesses new acquisition, improvement, and debt alternatives for a $45bn actual property fund. He resides in Dallas, TX.

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