A growing interest in a growing market
In the mid-1960s, after the world visited Seattle for the 1962 World’s Fair and in response to the growing interest in Seattle’s real estate market, the University of Washington began offering a series of graduate-level real estate courses taught jointly by the UW’s Business School and the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (now College of Built Environments). These initial courses raised awareness of an industry that was growing, changing and bringing Seattle into the national arena.

Studying real estate gains momentum
As interest in the area’s real estate grew, so did the programming at UW. Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, courses specializing in real estate were taught to interested students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In 1990, the UW Department of Professional and Continuing Education began offering a non-degree certificate in Commercial Real Estate. This certificate continues to be exclusively offered in the evening and caters to professionals at mid-career. The early 90’s also saw the creation of the Center for Community Development and Real Estate (CDRE) which conducted research and industry outreach.

A vision becomes reality
In 2002, following a generous cornerstone gift from Jon and Judy Runstad, the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies was born. The first few years at Runstad were spent conducting academic research and refining the top-tier graduate-level real estate programming that is essential to accommodate an ever-evolving real estate industry.

This research also helped establish the ethos by which Runstad operates- presenting students with the most comprehensive and interdisciplinary real estate education possible, complete with superior research and internship opportunities. By the mid-2000’s, after thorough research, the Master in Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program was proposed, refined and authorized for induction at Runstad, along with the Specialization in Real Estate.

The first class of MSRE students graduated in 2011.




From Industry Professionals to Visionaries: Jon and Judy Runstad
The Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies is named in honor of Jon and Judy Runstad. In 2001, a cornerstone gift from the Runstads created the Center, providing a permanent focus to the intellectual and research interests in real estate at the University of Washington, something both Jon and Judy feel strongly about in this area. Both Judy and Jon Runstad are graduates of the University of Washington and have a firm investment in, and great hope for, the future leaders graduating from the Runstad Center.