New program, specialization combine real estate, finance

April 2, 2018

Giving highly qualified undergraduates a jump-start on graduate school, the College of Business has launched a new Combined Bachelor of Science in Real Estate/Master of Science in Finance (BS-RE/MSF) program.

“This new degree program offers star real estate students the opportunity to excel at high-level finance studies earlier, giving them a competitive edge when it comes time for summer internships and eventually their chosen career paths,” said Dean Gatzlaff, the Mark C. Bane Professor of Real Estate who directs the new combined program and the FSU Real Estate Center.

The combined program is open to undergraduate majors in real estate with an overall GPA of at least 3.4 and an upper-division GPA of at least 3.2 in finance and real estate courses. Students admitted to the combined program get a head start on graduate school by taking up to nine hours of coursework that will double count for graduate and undergraduate degree requirements. Eligible students also may benefit by applying any remaining undergraduate Bright Futures award toward a portion of their graduate coursework.

At the same time, Master of Science in Finance (MSF) students will now be able to specialize in real estate by choosing courses focused on real estate finance instead of further coursework in risk management and investment or international banking.

“The finance profession has long been intertwined with real estate,” said Gary Smith, director of the growing MSF program. “We determined this specialization focused on real estate finance will complement the analytical and hands-on learning we already provide.” MSF student opportunities already include managing a Student Investment Fund, currently amounting to more than $3.5 million. The program also boasts a state-of-the art trading room, equipped with presentation and financial data displays, Bloomberg terminals, an eight-zone world clock, touch-screen computers and scrolling stock tickers, replicating real-life trading rooms.

The combined program and MSF specialization will leverage the longtime acclaim of the college’s Real Estate program, ranked No. 6 among public institutions and No. 11 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2018). The college’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long offered a real estate specialization online, but the new MSF specialization coursework will be offered on campus.

Graduates coming through the combined program or customizing their MSF degree with a real estate specialization will benefit from growing industry demand for hires skilled in both disciplines. Over the next decade, the U.S. Labor Department predicts that employment in the business and financial operations sector is expected to grow 10 percent – faster than the average of other occupations. Demand is expected to be even higher for specific careers involving real estate and finance: financial analysts (11 percent); loan officers and underwriters (11 percent); real estate appraisers (14 percent); property and asset managers (10 percent); and market analysts (23 percent).

Undergraduate business students interested in pursuing the combined BS-RE/MSF program, should apply before registering for their senior coursework. For more information on the combined program, visit For more information on the MSF program and how to apply, visit


By: Melanie Yeager