Best Online Master’s in Real Estate Programs

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Individuals who earn a master’s in real estate gain access to a wide range of career options in the field. Graduates can go on to run their own real estate and property management firms or serve as developers of new commercial, residential, and industrial properties. Most jobs in this field are projected to grow at a rate close to the national average. Additionally, according to PayScale, experienced real estate developers can earn especially high salaries. Earning an online graduate degree in real estate is a good step towards pursuing an exciting and lucrative career.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 Georgetown University 88.32 N/A Washington, DC

Georgetown's online master’s in real estate program provides the industry knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field. The program requires 33 credit hours, including foundations courses in real estate finance, law, and markets. Students also study sustainable development and construction, and the impact of globalization on real estate.

Applicants are evaluated based on undergraduate GPA and major and their relevant academic and professional experience. No GRE or GMAT scores are required. Each course takes seven and a half weeks to complete, and full-time students typically earn the degree in two years. Georgetown allows part-time students five years to complete degree requirements.

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2 University of Denver 62.62 4% Denver, CO

Founded in 1864, DU is the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain Region and has offered undergraduate and graduate real estate programs since 1938. DU's real estate master’s degree online program consists of 48 credits. Depending on individual scheduling requirements, students may complete the program in 18 months to 5 years. The program covers topics such as advanced valuation, global perspectives in real estate, and income property investments.

All online courses are taught synchronously over 10-week periods; instructors and students meet online one evening each week. Students complete a three-day course in residence at Denver, during which they learn practical applications of course theories and concepts.

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3 Florida International University 61.38 52% Miami, FL

FIU’s 30-credit master’s of science in international real estate is available as a fast-track program, which students complete in as few as 10 months. While earning their real estate degree online, FIU students may also pursue certification in ARGUS software to improve their marketability in the real estate development and finance job markets. Students complete coursework in real estate and finance, including legal environments of real estate, corporate real estate management, and global financial strategy.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and minimum GMAT or GRE scores. Qualifying applicants may waive the GMAT/GRE requirement. FIU merit scholarships and business partnership scholarships are available.

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4 Florida State University 55.41 28% Tallahassee, FL

Based in Tallahassee, FSU offers a business administration degree with a specialization in real estate. Coursework for the online graduate degree in real estate is delivered asynchronously and focuses on real estate finance and analysis. Along with general business courses, students complete concentration courses in real estate valuation, real estate and finance, and real estate investments.

Although previous business coursework is not required, applicants should have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a 550 GMAT score or 530 GRE score, and at least five years of full-time work experience. With two months of study each term, most students complete the 39 required credit hours in 28 months.

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5 Marylhurst University 42.48 77% Marylhurst, OR

Oregon-based Marylhurst University has offered online degree programs since the 1990s and emphasizes small classes and interactive engagement. The online master’s in real estate program provides industry training in commercial real estate development, finance, and leadership. Students complete core courses, such as statistics for managers and marketing and communications, real estate coursework, and two capstone courses.

With flexible, five-week courses, students may complete the 48 required credits in as few as 18 months. Students may customize their degree through elective coursework in real estate development, finance, and management. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of state residency.

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No two online real estate programs are exactly the same, but most top schools and programs share common courses. The details of your program depend on the school’s location, the program’s focus, and how instruction is delivered to online students.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Real Estate

While curriculum-related details vary depending on several factors, below are some common courses you can expect to complete while earning a real estate master’s degree online.

  • Fundamentals of Real Estate: This course focuses on the income-producing components of commercial and residential real estate, including the processes and mechanisms used to evaluate properties and conduct transactions. Key topics of discussion include entitlements, financial restructuring, site selection, and cash flow.
  • Development Project Management: Students engage in all aspects of managing development and construction projects, from inception to delivery. Common discussion topics include scheduling, budgeting, managing subcontractors, cost control, and value engineering.
  • Real Estate Taxes and Accounting: This course focuses on the various tax credit programs associated with the real estate industry. Students also learn about state and federal incentive programs, synthetic leases, deal structures, energy credits, and appraisal and valuation.
  • Introduction to Real Estate Law: Distance learners gain a basic understanding of the laws and regulations affecting the real estate industry. This includes an examination of the development process and the common issues and challenges real estate agents, brokers, and developers encounter.
  • Sustainability in Real Estate: Building codes, incentive programs, and tax credits have made sustainability and energy efficiency important aspects of real estate sales, development, and management. Students learn about best practices in green development, including the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council and similar organizations.

How Long Does it Take to get an Online Master’s in Real Estate?

Several factors impact how long it takes to earn an online graduate degree in real estate. For example, students who enroll in classes full-time typically finish their degree requirements much more quickly than part-time students.

Additionally, the format of your program affects the time it takes to complete your degree. If your program utilizes a cohort learning model, you will take most of your classes with the same group of students. This style of teaching tends to emphasize more group work and allows for greater networking with your peers. Alternatively, individually-paced learning provides more flexibility and lets you take classes at your convenience.

On average, students take two to three years to earn their master’s in real estate degree. Most programs require the completion of 60 credits of coursework, although this may differ somewhat between schools.

The regional or national accreditation status of a school is a primary factor to consider when you’re searching for a real estate master’s degree online program. Regional accreditation is more common and is generally considered to be more rigorous. However, nationally-accredited schools still meet specific standards and tend to often offer more affordable tuition rates.

In terms of regional accreditation, you should look for approval from organizations like the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, AdvanceED, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The most common national accrediting bodies are the Higher Learning Commission and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Additionally, some real estate programs are accredited specifically by the International Distance Education Certification Center.

Two entities maintain standards for and monitor the work of regional and national accrediting agencies: the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education. The CHEA is an independent nonprofit organization that recognizes 60 accrediting agencies nationwide. It is made up of more than 3,000 American colleges and universities. The Education Department also regulates these agencies and enforces strict standards.

Both the CHEA and the Education Department ensure that accrediting agencies uphold their responsibility to certify only those schools and programs that offer meaningful educational experiences to students. By checking the accreditation status of the schools and programs you’re considering, you can determine whether or not you should apply. You can visit the websites of the CHEA and Education Department to view a list of all accredited colleges and universities in the United States.

JOB PLACEMENT

A bachelor’s degree in real estate or a related field can help you find an entry-level position and gain experience as a broker, agent, or property manager. However, a master’s degree allows you to earn a higher salary and secure a more stable career. Below is some data from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) on the unemployment rates in the business world for workers with undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Master’s In Real Estate Salary

As you gain more experience in your real estate career, you can expect to enjoy an increase in your salary. The table below shows that real estate professionals tend to earn considerably higher salaries as they reach the middle and later stages of their careers. Where you work is another factor that influences your wages.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Entry-Level Salary Mid-Career Salary Late-Career Salary
Real Estate Development Manager $88,021 $68,797 $90,847 $126,127
Commercial Property Manager $60,414 $48,935 $62,226 $69,476
Realtor $58,049 $32,507 $71,400 $104,488
Real Estate Analyst $57,781 $56,625 $63,559 $67,604
Real Estate Broker $55,753 $49,620 $57,983 $66,903

Master’s In Real Estate Careers

While most people think of agents or brokers when it comes to jobs in real estate, many other career opportunities also exist. Professionals in this field are self-motivated, knowledgeable, and comfortable working with people. Success in real estate also means staying on top of recent trends and effectively advising clients on a variety of issues.

The list below describes some of the most common career options for people who earned a real estate master’s degree online:

Real Estate Broker/Agent

These professionals help clients purchase, sell, or rent real estate. Many are self-employed and set their own hours. They often make high salaries during peaks in market cycles. Real estate brokers are licensed to run their own real estate firms, while real estate agents usually work for an established company.

Median Annual Salary: $46,410
Projected Growth Rate: 3%

Real Estate Appraiser

Real estate appraisers assess various types of properties and often work out in the field. They assign value to buildings, homes, and parcels of land by using a variety of techniques. This is typically done for tax assessments, insurance purposes, or to determine a house’s value before it is placed on the market.

Median Annual Salary: $51,850
Projected Growth Rate: 8%

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Property Manager

Professionals in the property management field oversee the operations and maintenance of many different types of real estate, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Real estate owners often hire property managers to ensure properties remain in top condition. Managers may also show properties to potential tenants.

Median Annual Salary: $57,040
Projected Growth Rate: 8%

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Construction Manager

To be successful in this field, workers must pay close attention to detail, have strong leadership skills, and be able to find creative solutions to a range of unexpected challenges. Construction managers typically work on development sites where they supervise crews and budget/plan projects.

Median Annual Salary: $89,300
Projected Growth Rate: 5%

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Loan Officer

Because these individuals decide whether to approve loans for people purchasing homes and other properties, loan officers benefit from advanced real estate knowledge. These professionals usually work for mortgage lenders, commercial banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. They must be highly knowledgeable and able to make sound decisions based on data and evidence.

Median Annual Salary: $63,650
Projected Growth Rate: 8%

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As you prepare to enroll in a real estate degree online program it is important to remember that there are many resources to help fund your studies. A good first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine if you qualify for financial assistance. You have nothing to lose by doing this and the form takes only a few minutes to complete. You may be surprised by the number of low-interest loans, grants, and/or work-study benefits you have access to. It is also prudent to look for scholarship opportunities, including those related to the real estate field. For example, the Pension Real Estate Association offers scholarships to students seeking a master’s in real estate.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.