The program is set to start in the spring semester. An information session will be held at the Westchester campus on Oct. 25. The 36-credit master’s takes a multidisciplinary approach with a focus on the finance aspects of the industry while offering students the opportunity to develop skills in other areas, such as law.
The program is designed for working professionals. Classes will be held during the evenings, weekends and online. It can be completed in one year of full-time study, but is also offered to part-time students.
Hugh Kelly, Ph.D., has been selected to head up the curriculum committee of the program. Kelly comes to Fordham with more than three decades of lecturing on real estate and economics, as well as running his own consultation practice. His most recent book, 24-hour Cities: Real Investment Performance, Not Just Promises (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2017), received the year’s Gold Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
He said that a strong advisory council of investment, data, development, and labor experts has helped guide the design of the new program.
“There are not too many programs like this out there because of the way the academic aspect of the industry has evolved; programs usually come out business or architecture schools,” said Kelly. “Our program will break apart the silos—and the institute is on the same campus as the law and business schools.”
With its vast range of development—from Hudson Yards to the World Trade Center to million-dollar condos to micro apartments—New York City has no shortage of academic and industry experts from which to find faculty for the curriculum, he said.
“Mega projects will be an important focus, but they’re just one element in New York City, and we won’t just focus on bright shiny objects,” Kelly said.
“The degree gives professionals in the field tangible knowledge that can be immediately applied to their careers and can help them get to the next level professionally,” said Anthony Davidson, Ph.D., dean of PCS. “This program bridges the divide between academia and practice with a rigor that only Fordham can provide.”
The program will also have a suburban focus, which will treat New York City as a regional center where developments in Yonkers and White Plains carry as much weight as a midtown high rise.
“With campuses in Westchester, the Bronx, and Manhattan, Fordham is a hub for real estate research and industry,” he said.
Robert Morgenstern, director of the institute, said another strength of the new master’s will be the ability of students to “tap into the loyal alumni network that Fordham already has.”
But most importantly, Morgenstern and Kelly expect that students will gain practical knowledge that helps in decision making.
“When you think of the biggest losses that came from the 2008 financial crisis, it didn’t happen because those investors know math, it’s because they didn’t exercise good judgment,” said Kelly.
“That’s what we want to teach our students—good judgment.”