Master’s in Real Estate Program Guide

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Published on October 20, 2020 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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Graduates who earn a master's in real estate, can become realtors, appraisers, brokers, construction project managers, and analysts. Students can explore real estate programs and careers that relate to individual interests. For example, a person who enjoys mathematics may enroll in a program with a finance specialization and become a real estate accountant.

The BLS projects an above-average growth rate of 14% for appraisers and assessors of real estate by 2026.

Students who enter real estate programs can enter into a profitable job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an above-average growth rate of 14% for appraisers and assessors of real estate by 2026. Furthermore, property, real estate, and community association managers earn a median salary of $58,670, with a projected growth rate of 10% in the same time period.

A master's in real estate allows candidates to choose from several program options that will prepare them for employment.

Should I Get a Master's in Real Estate?

The ideal master's in real estate student should have an interest in property, good social skills, and patience to oversee the buying and selling process. Since many factors impact real estate transactions, real estate agents should be detail-oriented. Master's students explore real estate concepts to prepare for careers, including as brokers, agents, realtors, and accountants. Additional abilities developed in a program may include negotiation skills, networking expertise, and competence in discerning market trends.

Students should decide whether they would prefer to study online or on-campus. A learner with a full-time job may need the flexibility of an online program. A recent bachelor's graduate entering real estate may choose an on-campus option that encourages networking with faculty and on-campus events. These personal connections can lead to job positions and letters of recommendation after graduation.

Program requirements may include internships and fieldwork, which help candidates build professional relationships. Internships allow candidates to apply field knowledge in real-world settings. These experiences give graduates a competitive edge on the job market. The professional connections made during a program can help secure a job after graduation.

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

Real estate professionals may concentrate on property sales, including appraising estates and analyzing investments, or specialize in particular types of properties, such as residential homes, commercial properties, and empty lots. For any of these careers, candidates should have an interest in property, a sociable personality, and self-motivation.

Financial Analyst

Analysts provide investment guidance by staying up to date on financial trends and anticipating market fluctuations. This process involves knowing how a company uses finances and suggesting new economic directions.

Median Annual Salary: $58,990*

Construction Project Manager

These managers supervise stages of construction for structures, such as roads and buildings. Managers address financing, time concerns, legal aspects, and understand how to read blueprints.

Median Annual Salary: $75,995*

Acquisitions Associate

Acquisitions associates decide on corporate opportunities and business choices. Tasks can include researching, examining, and determining property worth for companies. Real estate concepts from a master's program prepare candidates for this position.

Median Annual Salary: $69,187*

Real Estate Analyst

These analysts research potential properties for companies and advise corporations during ideal selling times. Additional tasks involve examining legal and budget concerns, as well as conducting meetings to update companies on current properties.

Median Annual Salary: $58,498*

Source: PayScale

How to Choose a Master's Program in Real Estate

Students should consider a programs' curriculum and concentration when pursuing a real estate degree. One program may specialize in corporate real estate with coursework that covers leasing, while a financing focus involves classes on safeguarding investments. Candidates should also decide on full-time or part-time enrollment. A full-time job may prevent students from completing a thesis, practicum, or direct experience. In this situation, degree seekers can select programs with less time-consuming work, such as a final project.

Learners should consider program length. Typically, a master's in real estate takes one to two years to complete; however, candidates can research different program durations when choosing a college. For example, programs with lower credit requirements allow students to finish degrees quicker.

Degree seekers should consider program costs to ensure that they can manage educational and living expenses. Factors that impact educational costs include residency and a student's decision to study part time or full time. For lower tuition, candidates can explore in-state schools that do not charge additional tuition for part-time status or course overloads.

Students should think about location, since practicums and direct experiences can link candidates to potential work environments. Learners must also decide whether to study online or on-campus, and should only explore accredited schools and programs.

Programmatic Accreditation for Master's Programs in Real Estate

Accreditation agencies review schools to determine academic merit. Students should only apply to colleges that hold accreditation. Learners at unaccredited institutions may experience limited financial aid options, which raises the expense of higher education. Employers may not accept a degree from an unaccredited school.

Schools may receive national or regional accreditation. Regional accreditation makes it easier to transfer credits between institutions. Additionally, programs may receive programmatic accreditation. Students who enroll in programs with this type of accreditation can feel confident that they will receive a quality education. Employers may look for programmatic accreditation when hiring employees to ensure sufficient field knowledge.

For real estate licensing assessments, accreditation may come from the the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials.

Master's in Real Estate Program Admissions

On-campus admissions for a master's in real estate involves an application and other possible requirements, including an interview, resume, and personal statement. The time needed to complete the process varies based on required materials. For instance, an essay or recommendation letters may take weeks to complete.

Each application may only receive a few minutes of consideration from schools due to the high number of applicants. Online admissions are similar to the on-campus process, but may involve more interaction with an admissions team.

In general, candidates should apply to three to five schools with relevant programs, but varying admission standards. Students should apply to elite schools with high admission standards and safety schools to ensure enrollment for the upcoming year. When choosing schools to apply to, candidates should consider cost, location, and accreditation.


Many master's programs require a bachelor's degree. Real estate programs do not typically specify a major for this degree. Experience verifies that applicants can apply real estate knowledge in real-world settings. Master's in real estate programs do not often mandate this experience, but may look for evidence of professional endeavors on personal statements and resumes. This requirement provides schools with proof that applicants can excel academically. Real estate programs may require a 3.0 GPA at minimum, but may accept learners with lower GPAs on a provisional basis.

Admission Materials

An application takes less than an hour to complete and provides an overview of candidates' accomplishments. Students may need to submit additional materials that extend the process, such as essays and personal statements. Transcripts outline a students past courses and grades. Applicants should request transcripts from all previous schools when applying to a new institution. Some schools may charge a fee. Teachers, employers, and community leaders may submit recommendation letters. Each school's admission requirements state the number of letters that students need for applications. Candidates should give recommenders a month's notice. Tests required for master's in real estate programs may include the GRE and the GMAT. Some schools specify a score minimum. Schools require these fees as compensation for reviewing applications. Often, students pursuing a master's degree pay $50 to $150, and may have the charge waived if they present financial need.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's Program in Real Estate?

Master's in real estate programs have different concentrations, as well as tuition rates and time commitments. Students should consider these factors when choosing a college to ensure that degrees prepare them for a desired profession and cater to financial and scheduling needs.

Courses in a Master's in Real Estate Program

Master's program specializations have distinct curricula. For instance, a program with an infrastructure emphasis could include courses on infrastructure development. Programs with concentrations still cover foundational real estate concepts. These core concepts offer a preview of common real estate coursework.

Real Estate Law

These courses introduce learners to the legal concerns of real estate, including contract details and land ownership. Since legality matters in all aspects of real estate, this course prepares candidates for several careers, including as real estate brokers, agents, and landlords.

Real Estate Financial Analysis

This class explores financial elements of real estate for determining present and future property worth. Concepts include income capitalization, debts, mortgages, taxes, and lease factors. Degree seekers learn skills that may prove useful for financial and real estate analysts.

Real Estate Appraisal

Appraisal courses discuss the significance of assessing property value when buying or selling estates. Additionally, classes help students understand what factors hinder a property's worth, such as neighborhood quality. Courses use case studies to explore topics.


Candidates explore theories and techniques for negotiating during each real estate stage. Ethical concepts and communication are covered in this course, as well as cultural considerations when overseeing a real estate purchase.

Market Analysis

This class teaches real estate trends, current market details, and common sources of information for analysis. Students learn how to decipher property value to determine good investments, which prepares for students careers as real estate agents and investors.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master's in Real Estate?

Earning a master's degree in real estate often takes one or two years, but factors such as credit requirements can alter program duration. For instance, a 60 credit program may require up to three years to complete, whereas students can finish a 30 credit program in nine months. Generally a master's in real estate requires 32 to 48 credits.

Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow learners to quickly finish degrees. Cohort programs; however, insist students advance through coursework as a group.

Students with work and family responsibilities may study part-time, which extends program length. Some institutions may charge part-time learners higher per-credit tuition. Likewise, students who want to graduate quickly can enroll in high credit loads for a shorter program length, but schools may charge overload fees if classes surpass typical full-time status. Students who need to study part time or beyond full-time expectations, should avoid colleges that penalize learners.

How Much Is a Master's in Real Estate?

Students should consider program costs to avoid extensive student loan debt. Public schools, in particular, often charge lower tuition than private colleges, and many institutions charge lower tuition for resident learners. With these details in mind, students can save thousands of dollars by studying in state or at a public school.

Tuition costs vary, students can pay less than $6,000 for an entire semester, or higher than $3,000 for a single course. Additional college expenses include institutional fees, such as health insurance, graduation, and technology fees. On-campus learners may need to pay for a meal plan, as well as room and board, while off-campus learners must consider commuting expenses and parking fees.

Degree seekers should consider textbook costs. For a 10-course program, texts may amount to over $1,000. Students who struggle with these expenses should explore financial aid options.

Certifications and Licenses for Master's in Real Estate Graduates

Seller Representative Specialist

The Real Estate Business Institute grants this certification to candidates who complete the SRS designation course and one elective class. Other requirements include membership with the National Association of Realtors and evidence of previous real estate experience.

Real Estate Broker License

While real estate agents may need a license to sell property, earning a broker license allows candidates to own a real estate company. The steps to earn this license vary by state, but may include an exam and years of experience as a real estate agent.

Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certification

The National Association of Realtors certifies real estate agents for sales where the amount earned from selling property may be less than the amount owed in the property's liens or mortgages. This process may involve connecting sellers with legal assistance and discussing costs with merchants. Candidates must complete the required coursework and webinars, and also submit an application with a $175 fee.

Resources for Graduate Real Estate Students

The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors

SIOR delivers spring and fall world conferences, as well as an international event, where candidates can learn field topics and network with professionals. Students can complete the company's designation course for real estate training and build real estate knowledge through the site's webinars and the SIOR Report magazine.

Commercial Real Estate Women Network

This group began in 1989 to connect women involved in real estate. Students can benefit from CREW network's events, such as a leadership seminar and conferences, and participate in the group's leadership certificate program. Members gain access to company publications and can explore an online forum for virtual networking.

American Real Estate Society

ARES hosts yearly meetings and delivers a biannual newsletter with ARES updates and information on job opportunities. The group connects site viewers to publishing opportunities in several journals.

Institute of Real Estate Management

IREM hosts events related to real estate management, including regional meetings and global summits, and offers webinars on topics such as budgeting and marketing. Candidates can browse job opportunities and course options through the site, and may pursue IREM real estate credentials to improve career options.

National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts

This group provides data on real estate markets and links to articles, podcasts, videos, and blog posts. Students can use this information for course research. Learners may also benefit from Nareit forums and conferences that discuss concepts such as finance and investment tips.

Professional Organizations in Real Estate

Professional organizations host events and conferences where candidates can learn new field ideas and connection with real estate professionals. Additionally, these groups offer opportunities to fulfill any continuing education hours that are necessary for renewing licenses and certifications. Current and former students can browse job boards and use career services. Real estate agents, brokers, and realtors should consider affiliations with these groups for career and licensing assistance.

This association provides real estate brokers with conferences on topics such as veteran real estate purchases, as well as publications that address racial issues in real estate. Members can undergo training, gain certifications, and stay updated on relevant policy changes. This resource provides guidance on the law, marketing, insurance, and financing. The association delivers career information for real estate brokers and agents. The website offers professional insight data, continuing education opportunities, and group conferences. Candidates can apply for REBI credentials, including the certified real estate brokerage manager designation and the seller representative specialist designation. Candidates may also earn certifications for real estate team specialists and real estate negotiation experts. REBI publishes the Real Estate Business, as well as courses on leadership and negotiation. This group hosts networking events, such as fishing and golf competitions in Houston. Members can also post details of projects on the site, view the membership directory, and subscribe to the ACRP newsletter for field updates. BOMA delivers educational opportunities on management, healthcare, and energy in connection to real estate. Candidates can attend global summits, leadership events, and yearly conferences through BOMA, as well as access the group's newsroom and experience exchange report for relevant data. Site viewers can also explore the association's career center.
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