Bachelor’s in Real Estate Degree Guide

A real estate degree can prepare you to work in roles such as real estate agent, appraiser, and property manager. Learn about real estate programs in our guide.
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Updated on May 31, 2024
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Interested in property management, finance, development, or entrepreneurship? A real estate degree may be right for you. This degree offers a variety of specializations to choose from while providing a holistic understanding of the real estate landscape.

In this guide, we explain what a bachelor's degree in real estate entails, whether you can earn a real estate degree online, and how a degree can pave the way for a rewarding career.

What Is a Real Estate Degree?

A degree in real estate provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the real estate industry. You'll study topics like finance, law, and accounting in relation to property and land.

The degree can prepare you for several careers in areas such as real estate finance, development, and entrepreneurship. A bachelor's degree in real estate typically comprises 120 credits and includes general education coursework.

Here are some examples of real estate classes you may take:

  • Principles of Financial Accounting: This class teaches you the basics of financial accounting, providing a solid foundation for understanding financial transactions in the real estate industry.
  • Business Finance: This course delves into the financial aspects of running a business, a crucial skill for anyone considering a career in real estate development or entrepreneurship.
  • Real Estate Law: This class covers the legal aspects of real estate transactions.
  • Valuation and Management of Property: This course explores how to evaluate and manage properties.
Featured Online Real Estate and Business Degrees

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Do You Need a Degree for Real Estate?

While a real estate degree isn't required to become a real estate agent, it can give you an edge when looking for jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), real estate agents must take pre-licensing courses and successfully pass a licensing exam — no degree necessary.

That said, some companies may favor candidates with a bachelor's degree in real estate or a related field like business or finance. A degree can equip you with a deeper grasp of the fundamental aspects of real estate transactions, financing, development, construction, and renovation projects.

Ultimately, having a degree in real estate isn't mandatory for a successful career but can help you advance more quickly and stand apart from other candidates.

Can You Earn a Real Estate Degree Online?

Yes, you can earn a real estate degree online.

Online real estate programs work best for students who need a lot of flexibility due to work or personal commitments. Accredited online programs provide the same comprehensive curricula as their on-campus counterparts, covering essential topics such as real estate law, property management, investment, and real estate marketing.

Additionally, many online programs offer accelerated options, allowing you to earn your real estate degree in less time.

Jobs for Real Estate Degree-Holders

Real estate degree-holders can pursue a variety of careers within the industry and can become real estate agents, real estate brokers, real estate appraisers, property managers, or mortgage brokers.

Here's a snapshot of popular jobs in real estate:

Popular Real Estate Jobs
Job Median Annual Salary (May 2023) Job Growth Rate (2022-2032) Minimum Education Required
Loan Officers $69,990 3% Bachelor's degree
Real Estate Brokers $63,060 3% High school diploma or equivalent
Property and Real Estate Managers $62,850 5% High school diploma or equivalent
Property Appraisers and Assessors $61,630 5% Bachelor's degree
Real Estate Sales Agents $54,300 3% High school diploma or equivalent
Source: BLS

Is a Degree in Real Estate Worth It?

A degree in real estate can be worth it if you're seeking advanced knowledge and a potentially higher salary down the road.

That said, be aware of potential pitfalls, including more time and money spent on your education.

Here are some of the biggest pros and cons to weigh before you commit to a real estate degree.

Pros of Getting a Real Estate Degree

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    A real estate degree can pave the way toward promotions and higher salaries.
  • Check Circle
    Studying real estate in college can connect you with like-minded peers and industry professionals.
  • Check Circle
    Online real estate degrees can offer flexible scheduling and help you save money on your education.

Cons of Getting a Real Estate Degree

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    Earning a degree requires a long-term commitment, typically four years for a bachelor's degree.
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    Tuition for a real estate degree can be high — the average tuition and fees for in-state undergrads at public universities was $9,374 in 2021-2022, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • X Circle
    Many real estate positions, like being an agent, don't require a degree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate Degrees

Which real estate career makes the most money?

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Any management-level position in real estate, such as facilities director, relocation director, and privacy director, can earn you salaries in the six figures, depending on your location and experience. For example, the 10% highest-paid facilities directors earned a base salary of at least $141,000 as of May 2024, according to Payscale.

Real estate consultants can also take home high salaries.

Does real estate require a lot of math?

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Real estate regularly involves math, though it's not typically highly complex. Agents must understand financial and spatial calculations, such as measurement conversions and various formulas like gross rent multiplier.

The amount of math on the real estate licensing exam varies by state but is generally 10-15%.

Is real estate a hard major?

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The difficulty of a real estate major can vary based on your skills, time commitment, study methods, and program requirements.

While a real estate degree involves rigorous college coursework and understanding complex concepts, the challenge is comparable to that of other business-related majors. Success in a real estate program requires dedication and a strong work ethic.

Which degree is best for real estate?

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While the best degree for a career in real estate will vary depending on your interests and goals, common choices include real estate, business administration, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Other degrees like computer science and psychology can be advantageous for maintaining client relationships and understanding the technological aspects of the real estate industry.

Is a master's in real estate worth it?

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A master's in real estate can be valuable, offering in-depth knowledge and opening doors to high-level careers in areas like acquisitions, finance, advising, and development.

A graduate degree can also equip you with skills to navigate the industry more effectively and can fast-track certifications. Its worth ultimately depends on your career ambitions and budget.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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