The stars that take the real estate world by storm on television shows might make their jobs look easy, but a career in real estate certainly involves a lot more work, skill and knowledge than a director can fit into one 30- to 60-minute episode. This page was created to serve as an introduction to online colleges for real estate, what their programs entail, and some of their potential career outcomes. Keep reading to learn more about this property-based field and some of the ways an online degree program can help students of all ages get their foot in the door.

Featured Online Colleges for Real Estate in 2018

Students interested in earning a real estate degree should not make their decision about which school to attend lightly. It can be helpful to compare programs to find the best fit for your needs. To make the search easier, we’ve highlighted 10 online colleges offering degree programs in real estate, based on the data reported by the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

1

American Public University System

Tuition & Fees
$6,880
Distance Education Participation
100%
Number of Programs Offered
154
School Type
4-year

Although this school’s physical campus is located in West Virginia, the American Public University System focuses on offering distance programming only. Because of their focus on online degrees and certificates, American Public University System offers an excellent format for online programs, along with high-quality programs that can lead to thriving careers.

American Public University System offers several online degree programs in real estate. These include an associate degree in real estate studies, an undergraduate certificate in real estate management and an undergraduate certificate in public lands management. These programs introduce students to basic real estate concepts, along with effective management and real estate law.

Accreditation:

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Location:

111 W. Congress St.
Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
2

Ashford University

Tuition & Fees
$11,248
Distance Education Participation
100%
Number of Programs Offered
68
School Type
4-year

Ashford University is another online school that offers a college degree program for students with an interest in real estate. With 51,237 students in 2014, Ashford University is also one of the largest schools out of the online colleges for real estate on this list.

Through Ashford University’s online learning platform, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in real estate studies. During this program, they’ll be introduced to concepts such as effective management, real estate law, personal and business ethics, and the principles of real estate practice.

Accreditation:

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Location:

8620 Spectrum Center Blvd.
San Diego, California 92123
3

Austin Community College District

Tuition & Fees
$10,890
Distance Education Participation
28%
Number of Programs Offered
15
School Type
2-year

Located in Austin, Texas, Austin Community College District offers both on-campus and online programs in real estate. Through this school, students can earn either an Associate of Applied Science in real estate brokerage licensing or a certificate in real estate licensing.

Students who dive into these programs typically gain an introduction to basic business concepts, plus real estate finances, laws of agency, and more. As a community college, Austin Community College District also offers comparatively affordable tuition for students.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

5930 Middle Fiskville Road
Austin, Texas 78752
4

Drexel University

Tuition & Fees
$52,002
Distance Education Participation
21%
Number of Programs Offered
98
School Type
4-year

Through Drexel University’s innovate online interface, students can study an array of important real estate concepts and even earn a degree. During an online Master of Science in property management, students typically learn the principles of real estate investing and management from an investor’s perspective. On the other hand, Drexel’s online graduate certificate in real estate is designed to help students master concepts that include real estate development, design and construction, real estate finance, and market analysis.

Both of these programs are offered online using technology such as online messaging, recorded lectures, video conferencing and online test-taking.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Location:

3141 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
5

Houston Community College

Tuition & Fees
$3,360
Distance Education Participation
36%
Number of Programs Offered
N/A
School Type
2-year

Houston Community College offers several different online degree and certificate programs in real estate and related fields. That list includes an Associate of Applied Science in real estate as well as certificates in commercial real estate, mortgage lending, real estate appraisal, residential real estate and property management.

Students who pursue these programs can gain the knowledge and skills required to work in a number of exiting real estate careers. Even better, Houston Community College offers low tuition costs for students.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Texas Real Estate Commission

Location:

3100 Main St.
Houston, Texas 77002
6

Marylhurst University

Tuition & Fees
N/A
Distance Education Participation
79%
Number of Programs Offered
4
School Type
4-year

Marylhurst University is a four-year, private school located in Marylhurst, Oregon. With just 1,273 students in 2014, Marylhurst was able to offer personalized education and small class sizes with an amazing 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Through the school’s online programs, students can earn several real estate degrees. Included on the list are a Bachelor of Science in real estate studies and a master of business administration (MBA) with electives in real estate finance, real estate management or real estate development.

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Location:

17600 Pacific Highway
Marylhurst, Oregon 97036
7

New England College

Tuition & Fees
$36,954
Distance Education Participation
63%
Number of Programs Offered
47
School Type
4-year

As a private, four-year school, New England College focuses on bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. However, they do offer some associate degree programs for students in certain career fields.

When it comes to real estate, New England College offers an excellent Master of Science in real estate management program that be completed online in a flexible and collaborate environment. As a graduate degree program, it was designed to serve working adults who want to improve their skills and experience or add credentials to their resume.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)

Location:

98 Bridge St.
Henniker, New Hampshire 03242
8

New York University

Tuition & Fees
$50,464
Distance Education Participation
7%
Number of Programs Offered
53
School Type
4-year

New York University is a private, four-year school that offers programs ranging from certificates all the way up to doctoral degrees. For students interested in real estate, they offer a graduate certificate in real estate through their New York University School of Professional Studies. The program is offered fully online, on-campus or in a hybrid format that blends the two delivery methods.

During this program, graduate students can hone their real estate skills, learn best practices in a variety of real estate-related career fields and network with other professionals in their niche.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Location:

70 Washington Square South
New York, New York, 10012
9

San Antonio College

Tuition & Fees
$7,170
Distance Education Participation
33%
Number of Programs Offered
30
School Type
2-year

As a small community college, San Antonio offers an array of career preparation courses, certificate programs and associate degree programs. When it comes to real estate, the school offers an online real estate certificate program.

Through the real estate program, students can learn about laws of agency, real estate contracts and finance, and principles of real estate marketing and property management.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

1819 N. Main Ave.
San Antonio, Texas 78212
10

University of Memphis

Tuition & Fees
$9,317
Distance Education Participation
35%
Number of Programs Offered
45
School Type
4-year

The University of Memphis offers bachelor’s degree programs all the way up to doctoral degree programs. Some degree options are available online. Students interested in real estate can earn a professional real estate certificate in an online learning environment.

Specifically with the professional real estate certificate, you don’t have to earn an undergraduate degree in real estate before you get started. This program is offered both on-campus and online.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

Southern Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38152

Degree Overview: Real Estate

Real estate degree programs are ideal for students who wish to pursue a career related to the real estate industry, such as mortgage lending, real estate development, brokerage and sales, property valuation or property management. To help you get an idea of what to expect from such a program, here we will discuss some of the commonly-encountered coursework for the field and the skills that coursework might impart.

Online Real Estate Courses

Many colleges and universities offer either an associate or bachelor's degree in real estate, but oftentimes, real estate is offered as a concentration area within a general bachelor's of business administration degree or MBA. The higher the degree level, the more you'll get into studying "big picture" concepts like comparative real estate markets, and international real estate. Two- and even four-year programs, however, will likely stick to more practical skills-based learning so students can develop real estate industry knowledge that can be applied on the job.

Whichever type of real estates studies one pursues, you can expect to cover some core coursework pertaining to basic business studies (managements, marketing, finances, and accounting), in addition to liberal arts core courses. The real meat of the subject, of course, is the real estate coursework. Here are some of the typical real estate major's most important course requirements:

Other related courses can include:

Career-Related Skills to Develop

Students who pursue a real estate bachelor's or master's degree should learn the ins and outs of the real estate industry, and best practices. Graduates should leave with a working knowledge of real estate concepts and terminology, as well as the how the general process of buying, selling, and developing both residential and commercial properties works.

Real estate programs also hone soft skills including analytical thinking, examining trends, research, and communications — all skills that will help you provide good customer service for future clients. Your communication skills, in particular, are of utmost importance in this career. People who are in the process of buying and selling their homes often find the experience to be emotional and stressful, so by becoming a real estate professional who can simplify the complex process articulately, present yourself professionally, and offer assurance and confidence despite the stressful house-buying process, you will set yourself apart.

Real Estate Specializations

Earning a real estate license opens up a number of career doors to professions from real estate broker to mortgage broker to property manager. Although you can work under the supervision of a real estate broker if you do not have a license, earning such a license yourself can lead to a much wider range of career opportunities.

To earn a real estate license, you must gain experience in the field first; each state has its own requirements, ranging between 2-3 years. From there, people usually take a pre-licensing course from an accredited real estate licensing school, and then schedule a state licensing real estate exam. For instance, in New York, in order to qualify for licensure, applicants have to complete a 75-hour qualifying education course.

States also have their own renewal requirements; usually these requirements must be satisfied every few years and involve completing a certain number of continuing education hours and paying a fee.

Real Estate Career Outlook

While online colleges for real estate can prepare students for nearly any career in this industry, most students pursue this type of education in order to work right in the thick of real estate management, sales, brokerage or financing.

The following careers are some of the most common pursued by students who take online real estate courses:

Real Estate Broker
Average Salary
$78,940
Projected Job Openings
10,100
Projected Job Growth
7.1
Entry-level Education
High school diploma or equivalent
Real estate brokers perform a wide range of tasks that make real estate transactions possible. As agents, real estate brokers sell real estate on behalf of their clients. As business owners, however, they may manage and oversee the work of real estate sales agents in their office.

Common duties include appraising properties and helping set competitive sales prices, counseling sellers on preparing their home for sale, and preparing all documents related to the closing of a real estate transaction. While some real estate brokers focus their efforts only on residential real estate, others focus on commercial real estate and acreage.
Real Estate Appraiser
Average Salary
$61,870
Projected Job Openings
6,700
Projected Job Growth
7
Entry-level Education
Bachelor's degree
Real estate appraisers are charged with preparing reports that highlight the true value of a property. Common duties include verifying that the legal descriptions of a property are correct before a sale, inspecting and photographing properties, comparing real estate to similar properties sold nearby, and creating written reports that share these details.

While some real estate appraisers focus mostly on residential real estate, others specialize in commercial real estate. Either way, the numbers they come up with are crucial to understand since they often affect both sales prices and the amount of money that can be financed for a residential or commercial property.
Loan Officers
Average Salary
$76,270
Projected Job Openings
29,900
Projected Job Growth
7.7
Entry-level Education
Bachelor's degree
Loan officers take care of the logistics behind all types of real estate loans. They advise buyers on how to prepare their finances for a loan, meet with loan applicants and gather required paperwork for each loan they oversee.

Once they gather any required paperwork, they typically check it for factual errors and omissions, taking special care to verify each applicant’s employment status, income and credit rating. Once a loan has been approved, loan officers walk their customers through the loan process and make sure each form is filled out properly. Once each phase of the process is completed by the loan officer, the decision to approve a loan is typically left to management.
Sources
Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2015-16 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
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