Teaching, Research and Outreach

The Center for Real Estate is educating the next generation of industry leaders through rigorous coursework and applied learning.

The cornerstone of the Commercial Real Estate major, established in 2003, is an applied undergraduate experience that includes classroom, on-site and in-the-office experiences that lead to internships, job placement and lifelong learning.

While embracing applied learning, the curriculum builds on strong theoretical and conceptual foundations which creates a context for sound and sustainable real estate decision making.

Commercial Real Estate Major

The Commercial Real Estate Major emphasizes theory and practical applications. Students learn how to apply principles of market analysis, financing and development with respect to commercial real estate.

Academic criteria for the College of Business Administration Real Estate Major


Innovative problem solving requires a deep appreciation for conceptual and theoretical foundations and the ability to apply them to a broad range of complex commercial real estate questions.

Theoretically grounded applied research is critical to address today’s complex economic and built environments. Real Estate faculty’s research includes the following areas of commercial, residential and mortgage finance:

  • Market acceptance of new urbanist and smart growth designed communities;
  • Determinants of retail sales and rents in planned shopping centers;
  • Pricing of commercial mortgage-backed securities;
  • The impact of tax incremental financing districts on surrounding property values; and
  • Predatory lending and credit availability in single family and residential real estate.

Dr. Anthony Pennington-Cross's Statement of Research Programs

At its broadest, Dr. Pennington-Cross’s research focus examines how households interact with credit markets. In particular, he had devoted much of his research to studying real estate markets and mortgage markets. The financing of home ownership offers a unique opportunity to a typical person: it is one of the few occasions when you can buy something worth a great deal more than the amount of money you have saved. Indeed, most homeowners borrow at least 80 percent of the value of a home to buy it; and many then leverage off the home as it gains value, taking out even larger loans through refinancing and credit lines in order to put money in their pockets (at least, until they spend it). In many cases the equity in the house reflects almost all of a homeowner’s wealth. As has been seen recently, crises in the housing and mortgage markets can erode consumer and business confidence at all levels and potentially bring an economy to its knees. Therefore, it is important to understand how households use credit secured by real estate to purchase a home or finance the purchase of other goods. It is also important to understand the conditions (economic, financial, and personal) under which the credit will be repaid and not be repaid.


Relationships are the cornerstone of the commercial real estate industry.

The Center for Real Estate is a resource to students, industry and communities through:

  • A Web site that provides timely dissemination of information including faculty research, presentations and student resumes;
  • An online directory of students, alumni and industry professionals;
  • Seminars and statewide presentations highlighting industry and market trends; and
  • Networking events that connect Founding Members and other industry professionals with the Center for Real Estate and each other.

The CRE was the founding educational partner for the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program, a minority outreach program that provides commercial real estate training, networking and mentoring opportunities. Now spun off as The ACRE Network (TAN), ACRE graduates are carrying on the successful program, which has served more than 125 individuals since 2004.