All Degrees + Certificates

Real Estate Design and Development Certificate

Students who are accepted into the Certificate program and complete the required courses will receive a Certificate in Real Estate Design & Development in addition to their degree. The program includes courses in the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design and in the Wharton School.

Only Weitzman students may pursue the Real Estate Design and Development Certificate. Applications for the certificate program are in the Admissions office. Applicants should submit a one-page essay explaining why they want to study real estate and how it fits with their future plans. They should include any relevant work experience and/or college courses and list any real estate courses currently being taken at Penn. Only applications are for spring admission are reviewed. The application deadline is November 1. There are a limited number of places and students are admitted on the basis of educational accomplishments and relevant work experience. Ten students are accepted each year and are guaranteed places in most classes. 

Requirements and Courses

Students can take any 5 courses from the following list; with at least one course each from Architecture, City Planning, and Wharton.

ARCH 762 Design & Development
ARCH 765 Project Management
CPLN 540 Property Development or ARCH 761 Real Estate Development for Architects
CPLN 641 Progressive Development*
REAL 721 Real Estate Investments, Analysis, & Finance*
REAL 804 Real Estate Law 
REAL 821/ARCH 768 Real Estate Development*

CPLN 540 or REAL 821 or ARCH 761 is a prerequisite for CPLN 641
FNCE 611 is a prerequisite for REAL 721
REAL 721 is a prerequisite for REAL 821

For students in the MCP program with a PPD concentration, in addition to the four courses taken to meet the PPD Concentration requirements, take any three additional courses from the above list. Courses may not double-count for the PPD concentration and REDD Certificate.

All substitutions to required courses must be approved in writing by the director of the certificate program and submitted to the Weitzman School Office of Records and Registration (110 Meyerson Hall).

Director: Vincent Reina (

Student FAQs

1. Why do I have to apply to the CREDD program?
There are a limited number of slots in the program (currently 10), in order to assure that courses will not be oversubscribed. Applicants are judged on a personal statement, previous work experience, and previous courses taken.

2. If I am accepted into one of the 1 1/2-year post-professional MSD programs, can I apply to the CREDD?
Since students are accepted into the program for the following year, it is recommended that MSD students meet with the Program Director prior to applying to the REDD certificate to assess whether their schedule is flexible enough to complete the five certificate courses without extending the length of their degree program.

3. If I have an open elective, can I take a course before I am accepted into the CREDD program?
Yes. Any courses taken successfully will be credited retroactively.

4. As a CREDD student, do I have any priority in registering?
Yes. There are 5 reserved places each semester for CREDD students in REAL 721 and REAL 804, and 10 places in ARCH 768. You must submit your name to the program director before the beginning of the semester; you will be notified that you are on the reserved list. Registration is automatic and will occur after the auction period, about two weeks into the semester.

5. How do I preregister in a Wharton course?
It is not possible to pre-register for an MBA course (the computer will simply indicate that the class is "full"). Students formally accepted into the CREDD program have reserved places in REAL 721, REAL 804 and REAL 821, but only in the final year of their studies. If you have a reserved place in a course, you will be contacted by the real estate department and given instructions regarding registration. If you do not have a reserved spot you must attend the first class and wait until the MBA auction period is over (1 week), to see if there are places available. Some instructors keep a wait list. It is a good idea to talk to the instructor. Please do not contact the real estate department, or try to pre-register in MBA courses.

6. Is it possible to complete the CREDD at the same time as my degree?
Yes, but you will have to plan your curriculum carefully, especially if you are in a two-year degree program. Not all courses are given in all semesters, and there are also prerequisites to consider. There may be scheduling conflicts (especially with design studios). Take note of possible substitute courses. We will work with you to try to resolve issues that arise.

7. Is there any particular order in which I should take the CREDD courses?
Below are sample schedules for:
2-year programs (City Planning or Historic Preservation)
Yr 1 Fall: CPLN 540
Yr 1 Spring: CPLN 641 or CPLN 643/ ARCH 762 or ARCH 765 or REAL 721*
Yr 2 Fall: REAL 804
Yr 2 Spring: REAL 821* or REAL 821* or ARCH 762

3-year program (Architecture)
Yr 2 Fall: ARCH 761
Yr 2 Spring: CPLN 641
Yr 3 Fall: REAL 804 or ARCH 765 or REAL 804 
Yr 3 Spring: REAL 821*

*REAL 821 is cross-listed as ARCH 768

8. What's the best way to benefit from real estate activities at Penn?
Join the School of Design Real Estate Club.