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Director's Message

Dr. Robert Benedict

Dr. Robert Benedict

We were excited to announce our first substantive revision to Clemson’s Master of Real Estate Development program for 2016. MRED is now a full-time, 56-credit program that can be completed in either 18-months for Entry Level Early Career Students, or 12-months for Experienced Development Professionals, who have the opportunity to exempt 15 credit hours through an interview, transfer courses, and portfolio documentation prior to admittance. We know that time and opportunity costs are critical for graduate studies, and we have shortened the timeframe, yet still provide the same high caliber of program since starting in 2004. For details please see the schedule.

It’s an exciting time to be in the real estate profession and the demand for our students has never been higher. Our Early Career students obtain great summer internships and graduates have no problem getting excellent positions, even during the past recession. We have 185 alumni making major contributions with prestigious firms in 26 states (45 metro areas) and Asia.

Our alumni network is growing and is very supportive promoting the program and helping with job placement, internships, and panel and individual presentations. The same is true with our Advancement Board for Real Estate Development Directors who are generous with their intellectual, networking and financial resources. Comprised of approximately 40 prominent professionals from across the eastern United States, they are actively engaged as mentors, lecturers, tour hosts and employers. We owe much of our placement success and program prominence to our alumni and ABRED Directors.
Clemson University’s ranking as a Top Twenty Public University and the program’s location in the premier ONE mixed-use complex in the heart of the award-winning, vibrant downtown Greenville have also increased our national exposure. Located in a dynamic metro area of 1.4 million population on the I-85 corridor, we are located only 2 hours from Charlotte or Atlanta and several hours from the coast with great opportunities to observe active development in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah—great laboratories to see quality development and preservation of all types of uses.
The program has attracted 205 students from 88 collegiate institutions, 28 states, and Austria, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and S. Korea. About 28% are from design/construction backgrounds, 48% from business/finance, and 24% from others such as planning, public administration, history, and environmental studies.

The interdisciplinary, practitioner-oriented MRED curriculum is another reason our students are highly marketable. Our courses are from MBA, Law, Construction Science, Planning, Architecture and Real Estate Development rubrics, which enable our students to have broad and versatile skill-sets. The feedback from our alumni and employers continues to be very positive about the capability and immediate contributions of our graduates.

Perhaps one of the most desirable attributes of our alumni is their ability to work in a team. The 2017 Practicum was another exciting project of three proposals on three comparable sites located in downtown Greenville. In concert with traveling together on development tours, such projects enable our students to become very close with long-lasting friendships. The faculty work hard to make the projects as close to a “real-life” experience as possible, including a professional jury. This is invaluable in the real estate profession - a profession with challenges and cycles.

One of my favorite quotes in the real estate development profession is by Jim Chaffin, an active supporter of the Clemson MRED program, President of Chaffin/Light Associates and former Chairman of the Urban Land Institute. Jim stated: “Don’t ever think you are as smart as everybody thinks you are during the good times because you’re not going to want to believe you’re as dumb as they think you are during the bad times.”

The Clemson MRED experience prepares our students for such challenges along with the many successes they should achieve. We hope you would like to become a part of the Clemson MRED family. The Future is Developing! 

Go Tigers!

Robert Benedict, Ph.D
Director, Master of Real Estate Development Program
Department of Planning, Development and Preservation
College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities
Clemson University