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Earning a master's in real estate benefits experienced real estate professionals seeking to gain more business skills and an advanced understanding of real estate development and transactions. Explore this page to learn more about this graduate degree, available specializations, and admission and degree requirements. You can also find out what kinds of jobs degree-holders qualify for and explore some of the best available online programs.

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What Are the Best Online Master's in Real Estate Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 3:

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Rank School Location
1 Georgetown University Washington, DC
2 Florida International University Miami, FL
3 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX
4 University of Denver Denver, CO
5 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA

Individuals who hold a high school diploma and a license can work as real estate brokers and sales agents; these workers earn a median annual salary of $50,300. However, master's graduates can qualify for higher-paying jobs as analysts, agency owners, property managers, developers, and urban planners. For example, urban planners earn a median annual salary of $73,050, while financial analysts make $85,660 and commercial real estate developers make about $85,000.

A master's degree prepares you to manage more complex real estate transactions than home sales.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Real Estate Programs

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Rank School Location Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Georgetown University

Washington, DC Graduation Rate: 94%

A private institution located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown offers an online master of professional studies in real estate.

The program focuses on global topics and trends, and students investigate case studies. Participants can access a network of facilities and organizations to find extra resources, internships, and mentoring opportunities.

Core courses cover topics like ethics, real estate law, and real estate finance. The program offers four concentrations: real estate development, global real estate, real estate finance, and construction management. Students also take four electives, choosing from classes like sustainable development, urban development, and real estate investment. The program culminates in a signature capstone course.

Georgetown is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,483 per credit hour
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2-5 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

2

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Located in Miami, FIU oversees an online master of science in international real estate program. Students can increase their marketability in the field by mastering widely used analytics technology, preparing to become ARGUS certified.

Learners take core classes in both real estate and finance, learning about topics like investment analysis, corporate asset management, and real estate law. The program also includes a capstone seminar in international real estate.

FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its international real estate program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in International Real Estate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $933 per credit (in-state); $1,000 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 10-12 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum on upper-division coursework required
Standardized Tests: Minimum score of 500 on the GMAT required (or equivalent GRE score)

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

3

The University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

UT Dallas offers a professional master of business administration with a real estate concentration. Participants complete the program over the course of eight semesters, including two summer semesters. Students practice using industry-standard tools, such as CoStar, geographic information systems, and ARGUS.

Learners take 32 credits of core business classes, including organizational behavior, statistics and data analysis, and managing IT in the analytics age. Participants also complete 12 credits in the real estate concentration, learning about real estate law, contracts, market analysis, finance, and investment. They round out the curriculum with nine credits of electives.

UT Dallas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Professional MBA With a Real Estate Concentration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,046 per credit (in-state); $1,758 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 53 credits
Program Length: 8 semesters (including two summer semesters)
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE required (GMAT preferred)

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

4

University of Denver

Denver, CO Graduation Rate: 77%

Located in Colorado, DU offers an online master of science in real estate and the built environment. Distance learners take live online classes, interacting with their peers and professors in real time.

Core courses cover topics like construction building systems, income property finance, and strategic leadership and integrated teaming. Students also choose one of five concentrations: real estate, construction management, property development, integrated project delivery, or a customizable option. Applicants do not need previous work experience, but they must submit essays and a resume and sit for an interview.

DU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Real Estate and the Built Environment
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,490 per credit
Credit Requirements: 48 quarter credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

5

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Graduation Rate: 50%

Operating out of Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty oversees a popular online MBA program that lets students choose from more than 20 specializations. Among these many options is a real estate development focus.

Students interested in earning an online master's in real estate take 33 credits of core business classes, learning about topics like managerial finance, the global economic environment, and legal issues in business. They also take four classes in the real estate development cognate, which focus on real estate operations and development, investment analysis, and property law.

Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its business school holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: MBA in Real Estate Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $565 per credit
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Online Master's in Real Estate Program Overview

While earning a master's degree in real estate, students take classes related to topics like real estate valuation, market analysis, finance, and law. In some cases, programs prepare students to work in international markets or to earn specific professional certifications. Most programs seek to prepare graduates for leadership positions in real estate as business owners, real estate developers, market analysts, or urban planners. Look for a program that matches with your particular career goals.

Graduates of these programs are qualified for a variety of real estate careers. While real estate agents must possess a license, they do not need a college degree to sell real estate. Many agents do graduate from college, and a master's can give any real estate professional a competitive edge, especially when pursuing higher-paying positions that call for business expertise.

Common Master's in Real Estate Degree Courses

Real Estate Fundamentals

This course introduces essential tools needed for decision-making in real estate transactions and development. Students explore property valuation, cash flow analysis, financing options, return on investment (ROI), site selection, and negotiation strategies.

Real Estate Finance

This course prepares students to apply financial management and analysis tools to real estate transactions, such as cash flow analysis. Topics may include real estate valuation and investment principles, rent and lease types, financing options, operating expenses, capital expenditures, and approval ratings. Students gain the skills needed to prepare ROI analyses in real estate.

Real Estate Law

Students in this class learn about relevant legal issues impacting real estate development, acquisition, and financing from the perspectives of developers, lenders, and investors. Learners explore legal principles, issues, and risks in real estate.

Real Estate Markets

Coursework in this class introduces the guiding principles and analytical tools of real estate markets. Students learn to use financial tools to analyze real estate markets and assess trends. Topics may include global markets, emerging markets, government policies, and portfolio theory.

Real Estate Accounting

This course introduces real estate accounting tools, rules, principles, and practices. Specific topics may include financial statements, financial analysis, tax credits, internal controls, real estate valuation, and partnership agreements. Students learn to analyze financial statements and identify potential issues.

Related Master's in Real Estate Degree Concentrations

Real Estate Development

This concentration is suitable for those seeking an advanced understanding of real estate development processes. Real estate developers can benefit by learning new techniques and strategies to analyze markets; identify risks; assess potential projects; and negotiate deals with lenders, contractors, and others.

International Real Estate

This concentration targets real estate professionals interested in gaining expertise in global real estate markets. Students explore the potential impact of a country's laws, customs, and real estate practices on real estate transactions and learn to conduct business internationally. Course topics include international finance, marketing, and economics.

Real Estate Finance

This specialization prepares graduates to become experts in financial analysis and investment strategies in real estate. Students learn about financial management strategies, ways to structure financial products, real estate valuation, and portfolio management. Additional course topics may include capital markets, taxation, and corporate real estate.

Construction Management

Real estate professionals seeking to manage construction and development projects can benefit from pursuing this specialization. Students learn project planning strategies, scheduling techniques, and cost control methods. Additional course topics may include construction accounting, sustainable development, and job site management.

A Self-designed Concentration

Some schools enable students to create a concentration that matches their particular interests, experience, and career goals. Potential options could relate to senior housing development, hospitality, sustainable urban development, and healthcare office development or management.

Online Master's in Real Estate Admission Requirements

  • Official Transcripts

    Applicants must submit transcripts from previously attended schools. Transcripts should show successful completion of a bachelor's degree. Some programs prefer a particular major — such as business — or list specific prerequisite course requirements. Most schools also have minimum GPA requirements, such as a 3.0 or higher.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Many programs require 1-3 letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with an applicant's professional or academic work. In some cases, references submit their letters online. In other cases, letters must be mailed to the school.

  • Work Experience/Resume

    Some real estate programs require a certain number of years of work experience in real estate or a related field, such as insurance, finance, construction, or banking. Even programs that do not have specific experience requirements may ask applicants to submit a 1-2-page resume.

  • Test Scores

    Some programs require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores taken within the last five years. Other programs may waive this requirement for those with significant work experience or those meeting other qualifications. Some schools use these scores as part of a holistic assessment, while others require specific minimum scores.

  • Essay

    Real estate master's programs typically require one or more essays or a statement of purpose of approximately 500 words. Check the school's admission criteria to make sure your essay meets its expectations.


Online Master's in Real Estate Career Paths

After earning an online master's in real estate, graduates can pursue careers as real estate brokers, property managers, urban planners, real estate developers, and industry analysts. They may build their own real estate companies, work for national or international corporations or banks, or enter a career in government.

Again, selling real estate does not require a postsecondary degree, but it does require a license. However, a master's degree can give graduates an advantage when seeking higher-paying jobs or leadership positions in the real estate industry, such as analysts, portfolio managers, and developers.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master's in real estate?

With a master's degree in real estate, you can qualify for a leadership position, run your own business, or land a high-paying corporate job. This degree can teach you the business skills and advanced real estate knowledge needed to advance your career.

What is the difference between an MBA in real estate and an MSRE degree?

A business degree provides training in business skills, such as accounting, finance, and marketing. These MBA skills can prove highly beneficial to real estate professionals — especially those interested in working in finance or for large real estate companies. Alternatively, a master's in real estate typically offers more focus on construction, planning, and development. MSRE programs are well suited for individuals interested in selling, building, and/or managing properties.

What should I major in for real estate development?

While most real estate master's programs do not require a specific major, some undergraduate degrees may prove more beneficial to a real estate professional than others. Consider majoring in business, finance, economics, accounting, or a related field (e.g., architecture, marketing, or communication). If you plan to work in global development, you can also consider majoring or minoring in a foreign language.

What does a real estate developer do?

Developers manage real estate construction projects from beginning to end. They locate and purchase building sites, design and finance projects, and hire construction companies and other workers needed to complete a building project.

Do real estate developers make a lot of money?

Salaries for developers can vary significantly by location, employer, and projects. According to PayScale, commercial real estate developers earn average salaries of around $85,000.

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