Bachelor’s in Real Estate Program Guide

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Michelle Kelley
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Michelle Kelley, Ph.D., is a writer and editor who has also taught at colleges and universities across the U.S. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Balance, Film Quarterly, and other websites and publications. Michelle earned her Ph.D. ...
Updated on August 16, 2023
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If you're looking for an alternative to a nine-to-five job, you may want to consider a career in real estate. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey, 67% of real estate professionals chose the field because of its flexible hours.

A bachelor's degree in real estate can prepare you for a career as a broker, agent, appraiser, property manager, or asset manager. Real estate programs cover topics, such as real estate market analysis, lease negotiation, and real estate asset management. Earning your bachelor's in real estate can help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to excel in the profession and advance your career.

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Best Bachelor's in Real Estate Programs

  1. Texas


    Real estate agents in Texas bring in an average of $72,480 per year, good for third highest among realtors in the U.S. as of May 2017. This represents a very strong showing considering that Texas ranked 23rd in an August 2018 survey of median home prices by state. This suggests that Texas realtors close a very high volume of sales. The state also employs 1.327 real estate agents per 1,000 workforce members, which places Texas comfortably in the top third in the country. Furthermore, its location quotient of 1.28 denotes a significantly above average density of real estate sales professionals, indicating a robust demand for licensed agents.

    Market forecasts predict that the near future will bring great things for the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, which was named the nation's top real estate market to watch in 2019. The Houston and Austin areas should also see real estate sales continue their strong upward trend in the coming years as the state's relatively low cost of living continues to draw large numbers of new residents.

  2. Colorado


    Colorado ranks among the fastest-growing states in the country, and the continued inpouring of new residents translates into excellent opportunities for real estate sales professionals. This population growth has helped propel Colorado's median property values to the fifth-highest in the country, as of August 2018. Consequently, Colorado real estate agents bring in a healthy average income of $63,320. Employment numbers also speak to the health of the profession in the Centennial State; the number of real estate agents per 1,000 jobs (1.584) and Colorado's location quotient (1.53) stand significantly above national averages.

    Several intangible factors also work in Colorado's favor. The state offers the opportunity for an excellent lifestyle, combining outstanding outdoor recreation with the urban appeal of Denver and other cities, including Colorado Springs. Its unemployment rate is also low, falling to 3.3% as of January 2018.

  3. Arizona


    Arizona was hit hard by the housing crisis that accompanied the economic recession of 2008-09, but the dramatic recovery of the state's property values currently makes it one of the top places in the U.S. for real estate sales professionals. A July 2018 analysis showed a 145% spike in Phoenix metro area home prices since the city's real estate market hit its recent low in the spring of 2011.

    The current strength of the Phoenix area's housing market represents a major driver of Arizona's overall health as a top location for real estate professionals. Arizona real estate agents earned a mean annual income of $62,690 as of May 2017, good for 11th highest in the nation. Strong job numbers also reflect the positive overall state of affairs, with Arizona's employment statistics showing 1.236 real estate agents per 1,000 workforce members.

  4. California


    California's real estate sales agents earn an average of $68,860 per year, as of May 2017, though the employment rate of 0.622 real estate agents per 1,000 jobs puts the state in the middle of the pack nationally speaking. However, two critical factors vaulted the Golden State to its high finish on this list -- soaring property values and a dense concentration of the country's hottest real estate markets.

    As of August 2018, the median price of a California home was a whopping $544,000, which ranked as the third most expensive in the nation. A 2018 analysis by WalletHub also found that half of the country's 10 best-performing real estate markets can be found in California, with San Francisco leading the country and San Jose, Fremont, Oakland, and Santa Rosa also ranking favorably.

  5. New York


    For real estate agents, the Empire State has a lot to love. According to BLS statistics from May 2017, New York's real estate sales professionals enjoy the highest mean annual earnings in the country; it's the only state where real estate agents earn six-figure average incomes ($102,310). Property values also rank among the highest in the nation, with a median listing price of $385,000 -- or $183 per square foot -- as of August 2018.

    However, the expensive and heavily populated New York City metropolitan area inflates these figures to some degree. Another factor that prevented New York from ranking higher includes a housing market that showed signs of slowing down in 2018. However, the state is well-situated to recover in the event of a protracted slump.

  6. Virginia


    Though it benefits from its proximity to Washington, D.C., which is one of the nation's most expensive property markets, Virginia real estate also attracts buyers for many other reasons; for example, the state features beautiful beaches that rank among the most popular vacation destinations in the mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, Virginia stood 14th in the U.S. in August 2018 in terms of its housing costs, with a median home listing price of $314,970 (or $159 per square foot).

    Given these market conditions, it should come as no surprise that Virginia real estate agents earn excellent incomes relative to their peers around the country. The typical Virginia-based real estate sales professional made $64,290 as of May 2017, and the profession's employment rates actually outperform those in Washington, D.C. While the state's extended seller's market may slow down in 2019, analysts believe Virginia properties will continue to see rising prices and strong demand in the near future.

  7. Washington


    In Washington state, real estate sales professionals command an average annual income of $59,590. While this places the state near the national average for the profession, high employment numbers serve as an even better indicator of the burgeoning demand for real estate agents in the Evergreen State. BLS data compiled in May 2017 shows 2.449 real estate agent jobs for every 1,000 members of the state's workforce, outpacing every state except Georgia. According to the USA Today, Washington is the fifth-fastest growing state in the country, suggesting its dense concentration of working realtors is due more to booming demand for housing than job market saturation.

    Relatively high housing prices represent another attractive feature for real estate professionals. With a median list price of $226 per square foot, or $395,000 per property, Washington posted the sixth-highest home values in the U.S. in an August 2018 survey.

  8. District of Columbia


    Home prices in the nation's capital continue to rank among the most expensive in the country, reaching second place according to an August 2018 review published by Business Insider. Largely driven by the generous commissions real estate agents earn whenever they close a deal in this city, property sales professionals in the District of Columbia generate average annual incomes of $68,140. Given the city's status as the home of the federal government and a large number of major contractors, Washington, D.C. tends to weather economic downturns and recessions better than most U.S. cities its size. This makes its housing market more stable.

    Size limitations represent the only real downside of the Washington, D.C. employment market for real estate agents. The District of Columbia proper houses a total population of only about 694,000 people.

  9. Hawaii


    Several factors combine to propel Hawaii to a top-10 finish in our ranking of the best states for real estate agents. First and foremost, Hawaii has the highest property values in the country with a median list price of $619,000 or $508 per square foot. Hawaii's popularity as a vacation, honeymoon, and retirement destination endures as a major driver of its high real estate prices. Space also remains at a premium in Hawaii, and a majority of the state's residents live in or very close to a coastal area. Properties tend to sell quickly, and most Hawaii-based property sales professionals do robust volumes of business.

    One drawback, however, is that Hawaii's small size and isolated location inhibit its growth potential as a market for real estate professionals. However, its tropical appeal offsets this drawback for many professionals.

  10. Pennsylvania


    Real estate agents in Pennsylvania take home an average income of $66,550 per year, good for seventh highest in the U.S. (as of May 2017). Its 0.98 location quotient indicates a slightly below average density of real estate sales professionals, which some analysts interpret as a signal of opportunity. However, closer analysis reveals a strong urban-rural divide in the state's property market. Nice neighborhoods in the major cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh enjoy high home values, but a steep drop-off defines the market beyond these areas.

    Overall, as of August 2018, Pennsylvania's median property values rank 36th in the nation. To some degree, your professional prospects as a real estate agent depend on where you plan to work and live. Outside of the state's well-developed, desirable urban corridors, Pennsylvania real estate agents face market conditions that tend toward the challenging side. However, your career prospects remain much stronger than average if you manage to establish yourself in a high-demand part of the state.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Real Estate?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for real estate brokers and agents could increase by 2% between 2019 and 2029. During the same period, the BLS projects 3% job growth for property appraisers and assessors and no growth or decline for property, real estate, and community association managers.

Data suggests that several professions within the real estate industry are growing at a slower than average rate. However, the housing market currently favors sellers, and while home sales declined in April 2021 from the highs of previous months, sales increased 33.9% from April 2020.

Full-time students can usually earn a bachelor's degree in real estate in four years. Some online programs take slightly less time to complete. Most programs consist of 100-120 credits of coursework, including both major and core requirements.

Once you earn your degree, you will most likely need to obtain a real estate license to work in the industry. Licensure requirements vary by state. Typically, candidates must complete a certain number of credits of real estate coursework and pass an exam. Some real estate professionals, such as property managers, may not need a license.

Find the best online bachelor's in real estate programs.

What Will I Learn in a Real Estate Bachelor's Program?

Bachelor's in real estate programs often feature courses in real estate law, appraisal, management, and finance. Schools may award bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of arts (BA), or bachelor of business administration (BBA) degrees in real estate. In general, BA programs feature more liberal arts courses, whereas BS and BBA programs include more math, science, and technical classes.


Commercial Real Estate: Commercial real estate professionals work with clients who own or lease properties for business purposes. In this concentration, degree-seekers study real estate finance and investment, property leasing, and the legal aspects of real estate.

Construction Management: In this concentration, students learn how to direct the financial and logistical aspects of building projects.

Property Development: Property developers enhance real estate to improve its value. Students in this concentration may take courses in real estate finance, real estate financial analysis, and construction building systems.

Finance and Development: In this concentration, students prepare for careers in real estate investment, mortgage banking, and market analysis by taking multiple real estate finance courses.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Real Estate?

Popular Career Paths

  • Real Estate Broker: Real estate brokers help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Some real estate brokers also manage properties. Real estate brokers often own their own businesses and supervise the work of real estate agents.
  • Real Estate Agent: Real estate agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Duties include showing properties to potential buyers and handling negotiations between buyers and sellers.
  • Real Estate Appraiser: These professionals assess the value of properties. They usually specialize in either commercial or residential real estate.
  • Property Manager: Property managers supervise the day-to-day operation and maintenance of commercial and residential properties.
  • Real Estate Asset Manager: Real estate asset managers advise individuals and businesses on purchasing, selling, and developing real estate properties as financial investments.

Popular Continuing Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Real Estate?

According to the BLS real estate brokers and sales agents earn a median annual salary of $51,220. Property appraisers and assessors make a median annual income of $58,650, while property, real estate, and community association managers earn $59,660 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Real Estate Programs

What is real estate?

Real estate refers to land and any permanent modifications made to that land, such as the construction of buildings or homes. Real estate professionals help individuals and businesses purchase, sell, and manage real estate properties.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in real estate?

The cost of earning your degree depends on several factors, such as whether the school you enroll in is public or private and whether you attend classes online or in person. The National Center for Education Statistics found the average cost of attending a four-year undergraduate institution, including tuition, fees, and room and board, was $28,123 during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Is a bachelor's in real estate degree worth it?

By earning your bachelor's in real estate, you may meet the educational requirements to obtain licensure in your state. You may not need a bachelor's degree to work as a real estate broker, agent, or property manager. However, earning your degree may make you a more competitive job candidate for some industry roles.

Is real estate a good career?

Many real estate professions offer flexible hours, and real estate can be a good second or third career option. According to the NAR, 82% of individuals surveyed came to real estate after establishing themselves in earlier careers. If you enjoy working with people, are self-motivated, and have excellent negotiation and problem-solving skills, a career in real estate may be right for you.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in real estate?

Most bachelor's degrees in real estate require at least 120 credits of coursework and take students four years to complete. Students can complete some online bachelor's degrees in real estate in less time. 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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