McDonough School of Business

MS-GRA Academics

The Master of Science in Global Real Assets (MS-GRA) curriculum focuses on innovation and creativity in tackling challenges in real assets while observing the evolving intersection of real estate, infrastructure, and ESG firsthand through global travel. The 12-month, full-time program is offered in-person in the dynamic Washington, D.C., market in partnership with the school’s Steers Center for Global Real Estate, which is known for its experiential learning opportunities and individualized attention from professors.

MS-GRA Academic Director Q&A

Two students and masters in real estate Academic Director Matt Cypher in hardhats outside a construction zone

Monday, June 17th 1-2 pm ET Online 

Program Outcomes and Skills

two masters in real estate students having a coffee chat

An M.S. in Global Real Assets from Georgetown University prepares you to excel in this rapidly changing industry through an applied curriculum focused on real estate, infrastructure, and ESG issues. You’ll complete a culminating global capstone project and travel abroad for experiential learning and networking opportunities. Upon graduation with your M.S. in Global Real Assets, you will possess a comprehensive foundation in business concepts, demonstrate expertise in the broader category of real assets, and be equipped to navigate the new and rapidly developing ESG interface. You will be well-versed in themes such as asset evaluation, municipal finance, risk assessment, statistical methods, and sustainability management. You also will benefit from Georgetown McDonough’s strengths in preparing students to become ethical leaders with the ability to strategically analyze complex issues as they make critical decisions for the future of their organization. 

Global Real Assets Courses

Opening Residency

You’ll begin with a residency class that explores how to make ESG an integral part of real assets strategies.

Principles of Real Assets
The real assets industry is undergoing significant upheaval due to the massively disruptive effects of the global pandemic coupled with the abrupt rise in interest rates for an asset class that is heavily debt-dependent. This course will introduce students to the real assets industry and the people and firms who are leading the business. Students will also gain an introductory knowledge of topical areas that will be discussed throughout the MS-GRA program, including time value of money, valuation, capital markets, sustainability, and housing affordability. The course will leverage our Washington, D.C., location for access to people and projects that are highly relevant to the city and our collective future.

Fall Semester Courses

Accounting for Sustainability Management

Obtain an overview of financial reporting by for-profit and nonprofit organizations and how differences between the two can meet the needs of different constituents. The course discusses two types of non-financial reporting important for sustainability professionals: corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting and sustainability accounting (which focuses on environmental, social capital, human capital, business models, and leadership/governance). You will better understand the financial and non-financial information reported by your future employers and their suppliers, customers, competitors, and strategic partners.


Firm Analysis and Strategy

Gain a conceptual foundation in strategic analysis and design, drawing from the field of microeconomics and applications to competitive strategy. Learn the frameworks, tools, and concepts that enable practitioners to effectively think and act strategically when making critical business decisions. Realizing most business organizations operate in competitive markets, this course enables managers to develop business and marketing strategies that enhance an organization’s performance over that of its rivals and position the firm for long-term success.


Managerial Statistics

In Managerial Statistics, we try to narrow the gap between theory and practice by presenting statistical methods so they are both relevant and interesting. The data that informs a business decision has a story to tell, and the role of a Statistics course is to help us hear that story clearly and communicate it to others. This course reviews the uses of statistical tools to present, analyze, and interpret data.

You will learn methods and concepts and the “why” in the context of business decisions. Students will come away knowing how to think statistically to make better business decisions and how to effectively communicate the analysis that led to the decision to others.

The topics covered in Managerial Statistics are generally mandated by students’ needs in their future professions. Our approach requires up-to-date, real-world examples and current data. Besides using data, we will develop statistical thinking, stress conceptual understanding rather than mere knowledge of procedures, foster active learning, and use technology for developing conceptual understanding and analyzing data.


Community Development Clinic

The crux of this course is an evaluation of ESG integration for a sample of public REITs, particularly relating to their readiness to respond to SEC climate disclosure legislation. As a practical application to what was learned in the preceding ESG Foundations course, this Clinic will build on that knowledge through lecture and guest speakers to prepare students to engage organizations directly to ascertain their ESG initiatives and compliance preparedness.

An assessment tool consisting of a series of questions related to each component of E, S, and G will be developed. Teams will be formed with each being assigned a CRE organization to interview. Two, one-hour interviews will take place, ideally with one being with C-suite and/or board members, and the second with management charged with implementing the initiatives. Mock interviews will be conducted in class prior to the interviews to ensure student readiness.

Assessment tool questions will be sent out to companies prior to the interviews that will take place via Zoom with the second interview roughly one week following the first. Also, a thorough research of the organization’s public documents related to ESG, Sustainability, and CSR will augment results gleaned from the interviews.

The final project will be a report on the teams’ findings and conclusions that will be presented to the client organization.


Finance for Sustainability Management

Develop analytical capabilities for making financial decisions in corporations and nonprofits by focusing on: 1) the mathematics of time value of money and discounted cash flow analysis; 2) the decision rules corporations can use to determine which projects to accept; and 3) the tradeoff between risk and return and the fundamentals of portfolio theory.

You will take on the perspective of an equity investor to learn how to measure the return-generating potential and risk associated with a real estate transaction. This case study approach to apply course concepts to practical issues will broadly cover the physical and financial aspects of the investment, as well as subtopics including leverage and income tax considerations. Gain a broad understanding of the institutional real estate world and how circumstances in the current market impact the ability to acquire (and dispose of) real estate assets.


Real Estate Private Equity

Prepare to enter the world of private equity real estate investment through a focus on answering the question, “What is the real estate asset worth?” Lectures consider the thought process and mechanics implicit in establishing an asset’s value via proforma statement construction and discounted cash flow methodology.


Decarbonization and Real Assets

In board rooms, c-suites, and corporate compliance, ESG is now a dominant topic in financial success, public policy, and strategic mission. As part of their mandates, corporate officers and entrepreneurs must understand the broad nuances of ESG and integrate them into their planning and core work. According to International Energy Agency, buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for 30% of total global final energy consumption and 27% of total energy sector emissions. With investors setting ambitious net zero goals, regulators developing ESG reporting standards, and governments passing laws around greenhouse gas emissions, ESG is climbing to the top of the agenda of real asset corporations and their investors, lenders, and insurers. 

This course investigates what ESG means for real assets, dives into applicable environmental, social, and governance concepts, factors, and metrics. Under each pillar, the class will discuss topics material to real assets in detail with examples of how each key topic applies to real asset sectors and regions around the world. The content also will explore investor perspectives in each topic.


Real Estate Clinic: Multifamily

The Real Estate Clinic is designed to prepare students for graduate-level careers at institutional real estate investment firms by exposing them to the practice of underwriting real estate investments. will have the distinct benefit of being able to underwrite the “Four Main Food Groups,” i.e. office, multifamily, industrial, and retail products across the United States, developing a broad understanding of many different asset types and learning how underwriting is impacted by geography. The clinic also will provide extensive exposure to real estate technical tools in the form of Excel and Argus Enterprise. 

Spring Semester Courses

Digital Infrastructure 

You will explore how the different components of digital infrastructure (fiber, cell towers, and data centers) tie together to form the ecosystem for storing and processing data with a particular focus on the demand drivers for digital infrastructure. Gain a high-level overview of the technology behind each of the components of digital infrastructure with a focus on the underlying business models of these components. For lectures, students take on the role of analysts of a buy-side equity fund considering investing in the digital infrastructure sector. After reviewing each component of digital infrastructure, the remaining classes will focus on ESG in digital infrastructure and international digital infrastructure.


Real Estate Private Debt

Debt financing is an integral part of value creation in real estate. Yet, beyond returns, investors often do not spend commensurate time to understand and analyze financing and capital markets strategies that could add value through risk mitigation and enhanced financial performance. The choices made in financing a transaction (e.g., terms, costs, covenants) should reflect and support the investors’ strategy for maximizing value throughout the hold period (i.e., buying, operating, and exiting).

This course takes a strategic view of the debt financing of real estate, reviewing the fundamentals of debt instruments, learning the various types of debt instruments used to finance real estate assets, and assessing the risks and rewards associated with using various forms of debt.

We will pay particular attention to economic terms (e.g., rate, duration, amortization), covenants (e.g., assumability, recourse, key principal obligations), and the interests and motivations of both the borrower and the lender. You will gain a framework on how to use the various forms of debt and how to balance the elements of a loan when making the financing decision. We will primarily use multifamily properties for case studies, though other property types will be discussed from time to time.


Housing Markets and Social Infrastructure

You will develop an in-depth understanding of the housing market in terms of function and economics through a solid foundation in the fundamentals of housing from a supply/demand perspective and consideration of both single-family and multi-family assets. Our Washington, D.C., location will provide tremendous insight and access to the policy behind housing and the implications to the current housing market. You will gain exposure to issues of affordable housing market dynamics and policy.


Ethical Leadership

Ethical Leadership is designed to deepen your understanding of the ethical and social dimensions of business and corporate leadership. At its conclusion, you should have the know-how to evaluate and lead the ethical performance of organizations—from teams to enterprises and from the top to the trenches. You should have an acute awareness of the heightened social demands on firms and how leaders are anticipating and managing this expanding responsibility. Finally, you will examine and reflect on your profile as an ethical leader and formulate strategies for making the most of your upcoming leadership opportunities.


Global Business Experience: Suitable Infrastructure on a Global Stage 

This capstone experience will draw from your lessons in the program to date and apply them to a real-life, international consulting project. The course will take place in an area of the world seeing the most dynamic intersection of real estate, infrastructure, and issues of ESG. You will learn directly from professionals leading this change with globally relevant firms.


Real Estate Clinic: Commercial

The Real Estate Clinic is designed to prepare students for graduate level careers at institutional real estate investment firms by exposing them to the practice of underwriting real estate investments.  Students will have the distinct benefit of being able to underwrite the “Four Main Food Groups,” i.e. office, multifamily, industrial and retail product across the United States so they develop not only a broad understanding of many different asset types, but they learn how underwriting is impacted by geography.   The Clinic will also provide extensive exposure to real estate technical tools in the form of Excel and Argus Enterprise.  


The Business of Sustainable Energy

Explore how economic value is created in the energy industry across a wide spectrum of sectors, including oil and gas, transportation, and electricity generation. Become familiar with the evaluation of economic and environmental implications of traditional and innovative business models in the energy industry. Focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with the transformation to a renewable energy future using innovative business models that are both economically and environmentally beneficial. Investigate business models for renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, as well as for urban mobility, such as electric vehicles.


Real Estate Public Equity

Taught by a former CFO of a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT), this course will instill a deep understanding of the modern REIT and its role in today’s capital and real estate markets, viewed from the perspective of the C-suite executive. It will cover the different types of REITs, as well as the various statutory requirements. There will be a comprehensive review of REIT valuation metrics and corporate financial structures. We also will examine growth strategies, including merger and acquisition transactions. Finally, we will review the primary factors investors should consider when investing in REITs. The course will combine lectures on the underlying principles and theory with specific case studies of current industry leaders that demonstrate their practical application. Other industry professionals with unique insights will be presenting some of the materials used in the class.


Transportation Infrastructure

Gain an introduction to the breadth of transportation systems owned by typical real assets investors with a heavy focus on the financial asset. Develop an understanding for how key transportation assets are evaluated and analyzed from a financial perspective. Policy implications on transportation will also be incorporated given our Washington, D.C., home.

Summer Term

Infrastructure Finance

The U.S. municipal capital market is unique among those in the world. There is currently over $3.7 trillion dollars of municipal debt issued in the United States. Every year, state, city, and local governments bring to market billions of dollars in new issues to fund all manner of infrastructure be it roads, bridges, airports, sports stadiums, hospitals, low‐income housing, educational facilities, mass transit systems, water and sewer systems, and not-for-profit institutions. This market has shaped the economic development of the United States, its states, and municipalities.

This course will provide an in‐depth understanding of municipal finance both in terms of how it functions and how infrastructure is both developed and financed in America. This course is well‐suited for those who will be working in investment banking and finance, public sector finance and administration, public sector consulting, and related areas such as public policy, project finance, healthcare, sports management, transportation, real estate, not-for-profit management, and sustainable growth.


ESG Investing

Examine issues related to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing through such topics as: ESG Performance (historical risk and return of incorporating ESG factors, costs to ESG investing); ESG Ratings (identifying the different raters, ratings estimations, measurements, and similarities/differences); Investors (interest in ESG, considering the tradeoff between fiduciary responsibility, performance, and other factors); ESG Factors (incorporation in investment and portfolio decisions, impact on performance, role of active managers vs. passive indexing); Companies (response and incorporation of ESG; voting by portfolio composition vs. proxy voting and engagement); and Policy and Regulatory Issues (whether ESG disclosure by companies is needed, what form it should it take).

*Courses and course descriptions are subject to change.

Join Our August 2024 Intake

Our next Master of Science in Global Real Assets intake launches in August 2024. We welcome the opportunity to connect with you throughout the admissions process to learn more about your background and interests, share details about the classes and capstone project, and explore how you can make an impact in this field.

Questions? Contact Our MS-GRA Admissions Team

We can answer questions about making an investment in your future through the Master’s in Global Real Assets program. / +1 (202) 784-1478