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Real Estate and Community Development Undergraduate Certificate

About The Program

The goal of Metropolitan State University’s Undergraduate Certificate in Real Estate and Community Development is to build students’ understanding in the areas of community development, real estate, and the important intersection between them. We achieve this through a flexible combination of business courses focused on real estate and entrepreneurship, and social science courses focusing on organizing, developing and sustaining community to form a common foundation and allow students to pursue their personal and professional interests.

This program does not prepare a person for real estate licensure in Minnesota or in any other state. For information about Minnesota real estate licensure please see information posted by the Minnesota Commerce Department:

Student outcomes

Note: The Undergraduate Certificate in Real Estate and Community Development is intended for students who are not currently pursuing a baccalaureate degree at Metropolitan State University. Students who are currently enrolled at Metro State are encouraged to pursue the Minor .

  • Discuss and differentiate between various career paths in real estate.
  • Explain and discuss the importance of fundamental economic, financial and legal concepts related to real estate.
  • Describe the tradeoffs made in any development plan and defend decisions that might be made in the face of these tradeoffs.
  • Compare and contrast different neighborhood and community development organizations’ approaches to accomplishing their missions and goals.
  • Explain how various legal, social and administrative practices marginalized diverse communities in the United States and in Minnesota
  • Propose strategies and tactics for undoing impacts of systemic racism in real estate and property ownership.

Related minors

How to enroll

Program eligibility requirements

Students should have completed at least 30 credits of post-secondary course work. At least one writing course is strongly recommended.

Metropolitan State University is a leader in credit for prior learning. Certifications, continuing professional education and work experiences can potentially be used to satisfy part of the 30-credit requirement.

Apply to Metropolitan State now

Start the journey toward your Real Estate and Community Development Undergraduate Certificate now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Real Estate and Community Development Undergraduate Certificate

Courses and Requirements


Students must complete 18 credits to earn the certificate. However, students do not need to enroll in the certificate to take the listed courses.

Course Requirements

+ Required Courses

This class will examine theories and models of community development, and introduce students to the realities of community development work. The course explores the history of the community development field from its origins in the late 19th-century urbanization through present innovations fueled by grassroots, foundations and public policy initiatives. The lens of movement and industry approaches will be a key analytical tool. Three traditions in the field community building, community organizing, and community development will be critically examined and compared, including exploring the dynamic relationship between these three traditions. Special attention will be given to community development challenges facing traditionally disenfranchised communities, including factors of race, class and gender. The class will emphasize both a theoretical understanding of community dynamics, ad an introduction to practical skills used by people working in the community development field.

Full course description for Perspectives on Community Development

This course will introduce students to career paths in real estate and community development and multiple perspectives on how land use and real estate ownership, development and management impact diverse communities. This course will meet weekly and feature guest speakers who are leaders in real estate and community development.

Full course description for Introduction to Real Estate and Community Development (RECD)

This course introduces the fundamental concepts, principles, and analytic techniques applied in the field of real estate. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the real estate and real estate market, the course will cover topics including real estate law, urban economics, market valuation, real estate finance and investment. The goal of the course is to expose students to the world of real estate and prepare them for more advanced real estate courses.

Full course description for Principles of Real Estate

+ Electives: Choose any 8 credits from the list below

Interdisciplinary Business Knowledge and Skills for Non-Business Majors is designed to provide broad coverage of major business concepts in finance, marketing, accounting, and management and deep coverage of specific skills and knowledge needed as a foundation for applying that knowledge to opportunities in existing or new businesses. Students will learn how to research data within the Metropolitan State library databases to augment their knowledge and skills to evaluate opportunities and existing organizations. The students will be asked to enhance their analytical thinking by asking pertinent questions, determining relevant information, and systematically developing and applying the business processes to make decisions.

Full course description for Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Business for Non-Business Majors

The focus and topic of this course change from semester to semester. The topics presented are focused on timely learning opportunities or are designed to take advantage of the availability of community resources in management and/or business administration. Topics are listed in the Class Schedule.

Full course description for Management Topics

Internships offer students opportunities to gain deeper knowledge and skills in their chosen field. Students are responsible for locating their own internship. Metro faculty members serve as liaisons to the internship sites¿ supervisors and as evaluators to monitor student work and give academic credit for learning. Students are eligible to earn 1 credit for every 40 hours of work completed at their internship site.

Full course description for Management Individual Internship

What is leadership? What skills and qualities make a good leader? What is the relationship between leadership, civic participation and the common good? Open to both experienced leaders and those who are just starting out, this course will explore a variety of leadership principles and approaches as well as the relationship between civic engagement and social justice. Students will investigate a variety of community participation strategies including: volunteer service, citizen organizing, electoral politics, public and non-profit boards and commissions, and community development. On-line and community resources and assignments will supplement class-room based learning. Students will be able to apply previous community experience to completion of course requirements.

Full course description for Community Leadership: Principles and Approaches

This course examines the theories, current trends and practical dimensions of how people organize to effect change. Topics include the nature of community organizing, cultural and historical models, issue identification, leadership development, approaches to social power, campaign planning and implementation, and the relationship of community organizing to other forms of social action. The class is participatory and includes intense interpersonal and reflective exercises designed to increase students organizing skills. Students will supplement classroom learning with a case study of a Metro area community organization.

Full course description for Community Organizing and Social Action

Democratic governments are assumed to be more legitimate than and preferable to other forms of government due to their openness and responsiveness to citizen influence. Yet many citizens and residents in the United States express feelings of powerlessness when it comes to influencing legislators and engaging in politics. In this course, students will learn about the state legislative process in Minnesota and develop a wide range of democratic skills necessary for becoming citizen advocates and influencing elected officials. Over the course of the semester, students will identify an issue area they want to work in; choose legislation related to that issue area to advocate for; identify and build relationships with community organizations working in the issue area; work in coalition with at least one community organization; develop a range of political communication materials for influencing legislators; and meet with state legislators to advocate for their preferred policies. The…

Full course description for Advocating and Making Change

This course surveys the principles and applications of community psychology, emphasizing person-environment interactions and societal/cultural impacts upon individual and community functioning. Attention is given to community-based interventions that facilitate individual and community competence and empowerment, prevent disorder, and promote health and social change. Students select and research an issue of their choice (such as, mental illness, violence, alcohol or substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, discrimination) utilizing a community psychology lens.

Full course description for Community Psychology

Students interesting in pursuing a business focus for this certificate should consider the following electives: ENTR 300: Interdisciplinary Business Knowledge and Skills for Non-Business Majors – 4 credits and REST 495: Real Estate Finance and Investment - 4 credits.

Students interested in pursuing a community development/organizing focus for this certificate should consider the following electives: SOC 381: Community Leadership: Principles and Approaches - 4 credits; SOC 311: Community Organizing and Social Action - 4 credits; POL 312: Advocacy for Policy Change - 4 credits; and, PSYC 363: Community Psychology – 4 credits.

Depending on student interest and the availability of opportunities and leadership, the following electives may be available: MGMT 350: Management Topics: University Real Estate Challenge – 2 credits and MGMT 350I: Management Individual Internship – 1-8 credits.