Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investment

Course starts 28 October 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
20 October 2020
Course Starts:
28 October 2020
6 weeks, excluding orientation
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online
USD $2,600
Payment Options
MIT School of Architecture and Planning


Making informed investment decisions in commercial real estate hinges on understanding micro and macroeconomic theories and frameworks, and using practical financial analysis tools. This online program draws on real-world examples of real estate investment and development projects, with a focus on unique tools, terms, and theories that have been pioneered and developed by the Faculty Director David Geltner. On completion of this course, you’ll be armed with the insight and skills needed for investment analysis, valuation, and decision-making.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this program, you’ll walk away with:

  • The ability to assess the financial viability of real estate development projects
  • Tools to evaluate and manage a property portfolio based on economic principles and data
  • A broad understanding of interactions within the broader real estate system, including the space and asset markets

Is this course for you?

This online program is geared towards finance, investment, and real estate professionals who want to understand how to apply financial tools to analyze the commercial real estate market and make informed investment decisions. This program has a technical focus, and previous financial or real estate investment experience will significantly benefit you.

Course curriculum

Gain a holistic overview of commercial real estate finance as you work through the weekly modules of this online course.

  • Orientation module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Financial economic concepts and tools for real estate 
  • Module 2 The real estate system and the space market
  • Module 3 Micro level: property valuation and investment analysis
  • Module 4 Leverage, and financing the investment
  • Module 5 Macro level: strategic and tactical tools for portfolio management
  • Module 6 Investment analysis of real estate development projects

A holistic approach to real estate finance

The design of this online program is guided by MIT SA+P faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth knowledge with you throughout the course.

Quantitative but accessible

While there are no formal prerequisites for this program, general numeracy skills are recommended as you will be expected to engage with quantitative content. If you aren’t from a quantitative background, there will be resources available for revision of numerical concepts and calculations, as well as ongoing support to guide you through content-related challenges. 

Your Faculty Director

A subject matter expert from The MIT Center for Real Estate who guides the course design and appears in a number of course videos, along with featured industry experts.

David Geltner


Professor of Real Estate Finance at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Associate Director of Research at the MIT Center for Real Estate

Professor David Geltner is an expert in commercial real estate research and lead author of Commercial Real Estate: Analysis and Investments, which is recognized as the most widely cited real estate investment textbook in the world. Geltner has been at MIT since 2002 where he has held the George Macomber Chair, and currently is professor of real estate finance in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Geltner has served as academic director of the MIT Center for Real Estate, and as faculty chair of MIT’s Master of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) program. He received the U.S. Pension Real Estate Association’s prestigious Graaskamp Award in 2011 for excellence and influence in real estate investment research.

Industry Expert

W. Tod McGrath


VP Finance, Boston Properties, and Lecturer, MIT Center for Real Estate

Tod McGrath is a lecturer at the Center for Real Estate and a vice president of finance at Boston Properties. McGrath teaches courses for MIT’s Masters Program in Real Estate Development and the Center for Real Estate’s Professional Development Institute in real estate finance and in negotiating development-phase, operating-phase, and financing agreements relating to real estate development ventures. He has written many papers and case studies on real estate finance and is also a two-time recipient of the Shidler Award.

Earn a certificate from MIT SA+P

Gain a deeper understanding of commercial real estate investment and earn a certificate from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 28 October 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.