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Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program

Real estate finance is a dynamic, growing field that touches on nearly every aspect of business and management.

For example, research indicates that more than 25 percent of corporate assets are invested in real estate, and real estate-related costs could account for 5-8 percent of total gross sales. Likewise, real estate management can greatly affect an organization’s performance in terms of employee satisfaction, production, service, flexibility, and resilience in handling disruptions. It is also common for real estate decisions to involve engineering, technical, and social issues. At the same time, the real estate field is increasingly challenged by its focus on sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmentally-friendly facilities and operations.

The Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program at Purdue’s business school addresses these and other challenges with designated faculty, specialized minors and coursework, experiential learning, and research strengths in economics, finance, accounting, and related fields.

Targeting the growing demand for talent within the rapidly evolving real estate industry, the program provides an academic experience for students that equips them to plan, develop and manage successful commercial real estate projects. High-impact experiential learning opportunities – a key component of Purdue’s Next Moves: Transformative Education 2.0 – connect students with real estate experts and prepare them for industry-leading positions and careers.

“We have brought together an outstanding group of faculty with deep subject matter expertise and significant experience leading and teaching in some of the world’s best real estate programs. Graduates from this program will be ready to take a leadership role in confronting these challenges and seizing these opportunities."

David Hummels, former Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean & Distinguished Professor of Economics, Daniels School of Business


Purdue University's business school launched the Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program in April 2022. The program is named in memory of the late Indiana entrepreneur and in recognition of a $20.8 million pledge from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation.

Dean White was a veteran of World War II, attended the University of Nebraska and was a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Point, New York. He spent most of his life in Crown Point, Indiana, where he developed a successful entrepreneurial career in advertising and real estate development, eventually becoming one of Indiana’s most prominent philanthropists and successful business leaders. He died in 2016.

Dean, his son Bruce and the White family have been generous contributors to Purdue over the past three decades. Bruce White was a Purdue graduate, a member of the Purdue Board of Trustees, a longtime benefactor of the university and founder and chairman of White Lodging. He passed away in January 2023.

In early 2023, the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation committed $50 million to Purdue to help launch our reimagined business school and name our undergraduate program the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute. This commitment represents the lead gift to establish the Daniels School and the largest monetary contribution ever made to Purdue’s business school.

Barbara and Dean White


The 18-credit hour Real Estate Finance minor allows students in business-related majors to develop in-depth knowledge of theory and practices in real estate, and strengthen their leadership skills to pursue careers in real estate planning and development, investment banking, real estate valuations, asset management, and related areas.

You’ll also gain a cross-disciplinary educational experience by leveraging business courses with experiential learning opportunities offered by the Daniels School and other units on campus, as well as an advantage within major fields including finance, manufacturing, and supply chain management.

View the Plan of Study


Also 18 credit hours, the Real Estate minor helps students in non-business majors acquire basic knowledge in business and economics and develop in-depth knowledge of real estate issues and practices. It allows you to broaden or enhance your knowledge of their major field and create a unique skill set for specialized real estate-related careers.

For example, combining the minor with a major in Construction Engineering and Management would prepare you with both technical and business skills for a career in real estate development. The minor is also well suited to agriculture, hospitality, technology, and engineering. In addition, you’ll gain an advantage within business fields including finance, microeconomics, and accounting.

View the Plan of Study



Mike Eriksen
Director, Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program
Lindsay Relihan
Assistant Professor
Aaron Hedlund
Associate Professor
Zaiyan Wei
Associate Professor

You can help shape future Boilermaker talent within the rapidly evolving real estate industry by contributing to the Dean V. White Real Estate Finance program. Give today!