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Columbia MSRED vs Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate

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Hi there!

I got an offer from Master of Science in Real Estate Development in Columbia U and another from Baker Program in Real Estate in Cornell U. Real estate is not a main stream choice so I cannot find discussions about these two programs. And here's my comparison.




1. Famous around the world (Yes I'm an international applicant);

2. Location, location and location, it's much easier for you to have a coffee chat with someone you really want to build up a connection with;

3. Better ranking than Cornell


1. Total cost of $134K , including housings, personal expense...;

2. Only a one year program, once you start the first semester, you have to hurry to find a full-time job;

3. Low bar for admission of this program... about 90 positions each year?

4. Development oriented instead of finance oriented, though they add more real estate finance courses these years and you can choose many elective courses; 

5. Bad reputation in our country, especially in those big name company...This is true since Columbia is a kind of safe school in the level of top universities (half of my classmates went to Columbia), and many rich but non-qualified students went to this school. So during job interview  you are asked which university you graduated from, and you said Columbia, then well.........




1. Also famous but not as Columbia;

2. Well-designed course structure, the required courses cover every aspect of real estate: development, finance and investment, statistics, securitization, with one summer internship and two field trip, domestically and internationally for each;

3. Under Hotel Management College and Business School, and Cornell's hotel management is awesome!

4. Total budge of $166K but for two-year study, $58K on average each year, cheaper than Columbia, and many positions for TA, RA, and a chance for scholarship;

5. Bar is high with class size of 25~35, each member is strongly bonded and spent a lot of time together;

6. Perhaps the second-best program of real estate after MIT


1. Location, location and location.It's said that there's not much entertainment or parties in Ithaca and you would climb mountains everyday on your way to college, thus networking opportunities are less;

2. Lower ranking than Columbia;

3. Feel lonely in Ithaca? At least I got such feedback from every alumni I connected with


Actually, when I received offer from Cornell I was thrilled since I never expect a position for a newly graduate student in this program (according to historical record) and I told my families that this is my final choice; and not much emotion for Columbia's since this is a safe school to some extent (I know many are still waiting and admission process is competitive, so I'm not saying it's easy). But when I notice the Columbia ranks 3# and Cornell ranks 16#, and things about networking opportunities, I don't know which one to choose....

I have come up with some ideas...For networking, it's said Cornell has a platform of handshake (?) where you can reach out to every Cornell alumni and it makes your job/summer intern hunting much easier. If I want to have coffee chat on weekend in New York City, I can took a 4.5 hours bus trip and live with my friends in New York for two days. 

But I still want to know is there a big difference between Columbia and Cornell in the USA, I cannot find an answer myself since I'm biased and not local. And for those who have lived or studied in Ithaca, is that a big problem for social communications with such remote location?


Welcome any suggestions! Please point out any mistake about facts of these two programs or universities, and I'm sorry for that  : ~)









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