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Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University

New Real Estate Minor


The Finance Department is officially launching a new Real Estate Minor Spring Quarter, 2018.  The minor in real estate will support undergraduate students from across the university as they explore and develop fundamental skills that can help them create and lead real estate companies. 

Stephanie Hsu, a graduating finance major, has been taking offered real estate courses and decided to postpone her graduation in order to complete the Real Estate Minor.   She says:  “Santa Clara is one of the few universities to offer a full real estate program, so the opportunity to pursue my passion and explore the intersection between finance, economics, and real estate was a no brainer.”  When asked what she likes best about the minor, she did not hesitate:  "Without a doubt, my favorite aspect of this minor has been learning from industry leaders. Matt DiNapoli [Chief Executive Officer of DeNapoli Capital Partners] is an absolute genius in his field, and combines the blend of personal insight, case study, fascinating guest speakers, and old-school humor to keep his courses absorbing and practical to the real world.”  Stephanie further describes the empowerment she has felt through the program stating, “Although the commercial real estate business is still heavily male-dominated, both the men and women I have met through my minor have empowered me to pursue this opportunity for even further innovation and growth within the industry.” 

As Stephanie mentioned, Leavey School of Business has utilized their alumni contacts and have recruited local real estate industry experts to teach the courses.   Matt DiNapoli, and Jim Whelan, Owner and Founder, Woodward Holdings, LLC, are two of these professors.  When asked what excites him about the Real Estate Minor, Jim Whelan, says: “The new Real Estate Minor is a great complement to the extremely strong business school offerings at Leavey. It will allow students, starting as early as the sophomore level, to learn about the many aspects and opportunitiescareer-wise and personallythat exist in real estate. For example, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and other well-known companies, employ a number of people in their facilities divisions. These companies are concerned about where to locate offices, and where their employees can find housing.” 

Here is how Matt DiNapoli summarized the focus of the minor: “The courses for the real estate minor have been designed such that students begin by learning the basic principles and terminology used in the real estate industry through the Real Estate Principles class.  They then gain exposure to basic finance principles commonly used to evaluate and underwrite real estate transactions in Real Estate Finance.  As they progress through the minor, students gain exposure to real estate case studies in classes like Real Estate Transactions and Real Estate Development.” 


When asked what advice they would give the students interested in the Real Estate Minor, both Matt and Jim agree: “Don’t be afraid to get involved.”  DiNapoli also recommends that students check out the SCU Real Estate Association and attend some of the organizations’ events such as “Location of Innovation,” a real estate symposium; as well as tap into the network of Santa Clara University real estate professionals. He concludes: “The real estate minor and the Real Estate Association provide two excellent avenues for students to learn and experience how the real estate industry works and the many different types of skills and talents needed by real estate companies.” 

For more information on the minor visit our website or email the finance department at  To declare a Real Estate Minor, students will have to fill out a Program Petition Form (available in Undergraduate Business Office, Lucas 115)  and have the form signed by the Finance Department.