Executive Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Finance, Investment and Development

Who should consider the program?

  • Individuals looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of the real estate industry.
  • Professionals interested in obtaining enhanced knowledge in a specific real estate discipline or specialization.
  • Managers and leaders from all fields related to real estate planning and development.

Program Highlights

  • 8-month program, comprised of six-monthly modules (note: classes not in session December-January)
  • Each module is offered once per year
  • The first module begins annually in September
  • Flexibility to finish over an extended period of time (once a student begins, they have five-years to complete the program)
  • Each module has four class sessions that are held on Wednesday evenings from 5-8 p.m. on the UNLV campus

“The Lied Center for Real Estate at UNLV has a track record for bringing valuable educational and professional development opportunities for real estate professionals interested in taking their careers to the next level. The Executive Certificate in Commercial Real Estate, Finance, Investment, and Development provides another resource that will allow participants to build a strong foundation in the real estate industry in a relatively short amount of time.”

– Jeff Jacobs, President of Logic Commercial Real Estate

Core Curriculum and Timeline

All courses are assigned Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The following core courses are required for successful completion of the Executive Certificate Program in Commercial Real Estate Finance, Investment and Development.

  • September – Real Estate Economics and Market Analysis
  • October – Legal Acts of Real Estate
  • November – Real Estate Development
  • February – Property and Asset Management
  • March – Construction Management
  • April – Commercial Real Estate, Finance and Investments

Note: The Lied Center for Real Estate is committed to providing a diverse and updated portfolio of courses and reserves the right to change these course selections in future years.

Program Leadership

Lied Center for Real Estate’s certificate program is directed and led by Dr. Vivek Sah, Director of the Lied Center for Real Estate, who teaches courses along with other notable UNLV faculty and prominent industry leaders and experts. This program prides itself on the professional impacts it provides with the qualified individuals who ensure program quality for all who register. 

“Hurray for the Lied Center for Real Estate at UNLV! As a graduate of UNLV I have been waiting a long time for a program like this to become available. A successful Commercial Real Estate career in Southern Nevada is now in reach for students who have been looking for a better pathway into this exciting field. This professional certificate program will provide an accelerated learning curve into the many facets of Commercial Real Estate along with important access to industry leaders. I am very excited to see more bright minds find their way into this great industry.“

– Mike Mixer, Executive Managing Director and co-founder of the Colliers International Las Vegas office

Program Background

  • Targets industry professionals within the commercial real estate industry  
  • In-person modules and courses are created to maximize interactive learning, as well as are fast-paced and incorporate various teaching methods
  • Small class sizes that are capped at 20 students
  • Courses are taught by highly qualified UNLV faculty and Commercial Real Estate industry leaders 
  • Assessment component ensures program quality

Course Descriptions

(each course is $800 by itself and discounts still apply for single course signups)

Real Estate Economics and Market Analysis – Dr. Vivek Sah

  • Location: UNLV Campus
  • Days: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dates: September 1, 2021 to September 22, 2021

This course will cover two fundamental aspects of real estate. The first on the role of the economy both national and local as the principal driver of real estate demand. Additionally, models explaining supply and demand dynamics will also be discussed. In the second part, the significance of market research, and the tools required to conduct it and its respective significance to decision making in real estate investments, location mapping, development, appraisal and financing. Lastly current and long-term market trends will be discussed that may impact the real estate industry

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the key local economic indicators, and patterns
  • Get to know the public and private sources of economic data
  • Utilize relevant models to implement in decision-making
  • Understand the market analysis process for different property-types

Legal Aspects of Real Estate and Ethics – John Benedict

  • Location: UNLV Campus
  • Days: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dates: October 6, 2021 to October 27, 2021

This course will focus on all legal aspects of the real estate business including acquisition, development, brokerage, property management and other operating aspects. The legal expert will also focus on state laws and their impact on the real estate industry. Utilizing relevant case studies, and legal documents, this course will provide a detailed application of real estate law in the real estate industry

Learning Outcome

  • Evaluate interests and identify limitations and restrictions of the use of real property
  • Understand the legal principles applicable to site acquisition
  • Analyze ethical considerations in applying the law
  • Learn about title and physical due diligence
  • Understand environmental issues and local laws affecting real estate development

Real Estate Development – Ralph Murphy

  • Location: UNLV Campus
  • Days: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dates: November 3, 2021 to December 1, 2021

This course will cover the development process in detail including the entitlement process and permitting. All major types of development will be analyzed from start to finish including land, multifamily residential, office, industrial, and retail. Financial structures and financing alternates for development projects will be reviewed with particular emphasis on development proformas, cash flow statements, risk mitigation, and value creation. Lastly, trends in the industry will be explored including the impact of technology on the development process as well as transportation and environmental considerations and LEED Certification.

Learning Outcome

  • Learn the steps and phases of the real estate development process, from concept stage to completion
  • Analyze key roles and responsibilities of the real estate developer
  • Explore feasibility assessment and negotiation techniques
  • Gain an understanding of construction and development finance including raising equity

Property and Asset Management – Instructor TBD

  • Location: UNLV Campus
  • Days: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dates: February 2, 2022 to February 23, 2022

The first part of this course will explore the operations, administration, and other key functions such as leasing and tenant management of different types of properties. In the second half, a more holistic approach will be taught that provides a basis for understanding the strategies, key concepts, and practices around the management of real estate assets as investments. It will include discussions around the development of investment criteria, risk assessment and mitigation, and strategies for maximizing value and investment.

Learning Outcome

  • Understand day-to-day operations effectively including developing effective budgets and strategic plans
  • Evaluate legal, risk, and financial considerations
  • Learn leasing and customer relations strategies with the central focus of value-creation
  • Define and understand the different perspectives in Asset Management
  • Develop strategic insights on leasing, financing, repositioning, and buy/hold decisions

Construction Management – Instructor TBD

  • Location: UNLV Campus
  • Days: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dates: March 2, 2022 to March 23, 2022

This course examines general contracting, design-build, and construction management methods. Emphasis will be placed on understanding factors that impact construction projects and their timely delivery. Further, the synthesis of project management concepts, applications, and limitations are examined through case studies.

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the factors that make Project Management in the construction industry-unique
  • Explore methods for stakeholder governance, project life cycles, and interpersonal communications and responsibilities
  • Survey global advances in technology and society, and familiarize yourself with the opportunities and impacts of these things in Construction Project Management
  • Describe integration management and learn how industry-specific work like Value Engineering, Contract Commissioning, and Strategy formulation are of value for successful Integration Management

Commercial Real Estate Finance and Investments – Instructor TBD

  • Location: UNLV Campus
  • Days: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Dates: April 6, 2022 to April 27, 2022

This course will cover key core concepts, analytical methods, and tools for understanding the dynamic world of real estate investing, mostly focusing on institutional/sophisticated investors. The objective of the course is to provide students with a clear comprehension of all aspects of real estate investments including risk, return, capital markets, leverage, valuation, and derivatives. This course builds a cohesive framework to analyze complex real estate finance and investment decisions emphasizing fundamentals of property markets and financial markets (primary emphasis on “Main Street” deals rather than Wall Street). Use of databases such as CoStar, Moody’s REIS and analysis software such as ARGUS will also be demonstrated in the class.

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the role of Real Estate as an institutional asset class, and its relevance to a multi-asset portfolio
  • Gain a strong understanding of risk, return and leverage as it pertains to commercial real estate
  • Develop, and perform multi-period Proforma analysis and run cash flow projections for i Perform financial returns, ratios, and benchmarks reports for feasibility
  • Comprehend mortgage underwriting and valuation and secondary mortgage market and securitization
  • Define different types of real estate debt (construction and permanent loans, secondary and other debt)

Program Cost

  • At time of registration – you will be asked to pay $100. This will secure your spot with the program and be deducted from the full tuition cost below.
  • Program Tuition: $4,250
    • The program fee covers all course materials, parking on UNLV campus, and refreshments.
    • Fee reductions are available for qualified applicants.
    • Full tuition must be paid by August 15th – payment plans are provided.
  • Registration starts May 1, 2021 | Registration deadline August 15, 2021

Program Discounts

Lied Center for Real Estate industry partners receive discounts as part of their membership benefits. Find out if your firm is an industry partner, and if it is, please contact Shelby Dunscomb at shelby.dunscomb@unlv.edu to confirm you have the latest discount code. Please use this code when you register, as discounts cannot be applied retroactively.

Prerequisites: None. This program is accessible and open to all industry professionals.


Each year, the Graduate Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Finance, Investment, and Development runs on the UNLV campus.

UNLV is located in the center of a worldwide destination. Dripping in the golden desert sun and spread across 350 acres in the heart of Las Vegas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the continuing education courses transferable to a master’s degree program?
A: The majority of our courses do not count towards a degree. Credit earned in some of our courses may be accepted by some universities as applicable towards a degree but that would be at the discretion of the university.

Q: How long do I have to complete the certificate?
A: You have five years to complete the certificate.

Q: How is the program set up?
A: There are 6 courses that you will need to complete and each course has 4 in-person classes that you will need to attend on the UNLV campus. Classes are in session September, October, November, February, March and April.

Q: What if I can’t complete a course?
A: The instructor makes the final determination of acceptance of assigning an incomplete grade based on the level of work already completed and the number of assignments remaining. Each course module is offered only once a year.

Q: Is there an application or admission requirement?
A: This program does not have any prerequisites and is open to all industry professionals.

Q: Can I get a refund if I want to drop the program?
A: You are eligible to receive a full refund before the tuition deadline (August 15th). Once the program starts, you are eligible to receive a 75% refund.

For additional details, contact Shelby Dunscomb at Shelby.Dunscomb@unlv.edu.


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