If you aspire to a challenging and rewarding career in real estate or property management, an online real estate degree can help you gain a competitive edge. With markets stabilizing after the housing crisis, the outlook for well educated professionals looks bright. Although not all states require a college degree to enter the field, earning a real estate degree online may boost your chances of career success and advancement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster than average employment growth of 11% for real estate association managers, and 14% for real estate appraisers and assessors through 2026.
Choosing a Program
Subject matter for a typical bachelor's program in real estate includes accounting, marketing, property management, appraisal, real estate economics, real estate finance, legal aspects of real estate, commercial real estate investment, and fiscal policy. Common electives offered include urban land economics, green and sustainable development, and design applications for real estate. While all real estate professionals must be licensed and each state has its own educational requirements for licensing, online real estate degree programs nonetheless offer many opportunities to tailor a degree to your interests. Specializations available include real estate finance and equity investment, real estate development, property management, historic preservation, and academic research in real estate. If you're interested in mortgage lending, valuation, or commercial real estate investment, you may also want to consider bachelor's programs in finance with a concentration in real estate.
Schools typically have their own internship placement programs based on agreements with local employers. If you're determined and resourceful, however, you can generally seek out your own internship to suit your career goals. Some schools also offer attractive study abroad programs or national field work opportunities. For research careers, later options include MBA and Ph.D programs with a concentration in real estate.
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Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Programs
1University of Memphis
Founded in Tennessee in 1912, UofM offers more than 60 online programs, including a bachelor's of business administration in finance with a concentration in real estate. Courses are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their convenience.
The program covers concepts such as real estate valuation and investment, real estate sales, and property management. This online degree in real estate requires 120 credits, all of which are available online. Most students earn the degree in about four years. Students must maintain at least a 2.25 GPA. Students can apply much of the program curriculum toward a minor in real estate or a professional real estate certificate.
Transfer students can bring previous credits, and UofM awards credit for prior skills and training. In-state students receive discounted tuition rates, and UofM offers scholarships, financial aid, and multiple payment methods.
UofM is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
2 Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Clarion was founded in Pennsylvania in 1867 and now offers programs at two physical campuses and online. The university's BS in business administration in real estate prepares students for careers in real estate brokerage, appraisal, finance, and property management.
Online students have access to career services, tutoring, and an online writing center. Clarion holds a mandatory online orientation each semester, which is delivered through the Desire2Learn platform.
Clarion accepts transfer credits, but students must complete at least 30 total credits and half of their major credits through Clarion. Pennsylvania residents earning the online real estate degree pay discounted tuition rates. Clarion offers financial aid for qualifying students. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Transfer students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better are eligible for a renewable transfer scholarship.
Clarion University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).
3 East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tennessee
Founded in 1911, ETSU offers a bachelor's of business administration in finance with a concentration in real estate. Students earning the real estate degree online complete coursework in the principles of investment, urban and regional economics, and real estate law.
ETSU's real estate bachelor's degree is offered partially online; students complete the majority of their coursework from anywhere in the world. Specific courses offered only at the Johnson City campus vary each semester. Tennessee residents pay discounted tuition rates, and financial aid is available for online students.
Students must complete 30 of the program's 120 required credits and at least 50% of major courses through ETSU. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA, and full-time students complete the online real estate degree in four years.
ETSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).
4University of West Georgia
Founded in 1906, UWG offers a bachelor's of business administration in real estate. The online real estate degree curriculum covers subjects including appraisal, mortgage banking, and investment analysis. Graduates enter the workforce or pursue further studies in the field.
UWG's program is delivered primarily online; about 20% of courses require in-person attendance. On-campus requirements vary by course. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency, and online tuition is about the same as on-campus tuition. UWG lists courses that are primarily online but have some in-person requirements as on-campus classes. These courses are held at the campus in Carrollton, Georgia.
Financial aid is available for qualifying online students. UWG offers loans, grants, scholarships, and work study programs. Transfer students can bring previous credits earned with at least a 2.0 GPA.
The University of West Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS), as well as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - International (AACSB).
Online Bachelor's in Real Estate Careers
Employers value graduates of online real estate degree programs for their analytical skills and marketing savvy. With experience, many agents pursue state licensing to become brokers, appraisers, or property managers specializing in either commercial or residential properties. Some ambitious graduates enter the elite ranks of corporate real estate investment management.
Real Estate Broker: Real estate brokers arrange the sales and rentals of houses, property, and buildings for clients. Brokers are licensed to work as independent agents, and can supervise the work of other real estate agents. They develop marketing plans, monitor market activity, show open houses, and complete sales agreements and other documentation.
- Median Annual Salary: $46,410
- Projected Growth Rate: 6%
Real Estate Appraiser: Real estate appraisers estimate the current value of properties before they are sold, developed, insured, or taxed. Working on-site, they determine the condition of exterior and interior features, inspect and photograph properties, note any code violations, use public records to verify legal descriptions of properties, and prepare reports on their findings.
- Median Annual Salary: $51,850
- Projected Growth Rate: 14%
Real Estate Association Manager: Real estate association managers handle the daily operational activities and financial affairs of commercial or residential properties. They maintain records of properties, supervise maintenance staff, show properties to prospective renters or buyers, inspect properties to identify violations of policies, and ensure that properties are attractive, well maintained, and in compliance with regulations.
- Median Annual Salary: $57,040
- Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics