Best Online Associate in Real Estate Programs of 2022

Learn about the best online associate in real estate programs; compare stats such as accreditation, tuition, & licensure and certificate information.

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Published on April 11, 2022 · Updated on April 26, 2022

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This guide outlines the best online real estate associate and certificate programs with respect to factors such as financial aid availability and student outcomes. Readers can gain insight into the curriculum, as well as common course offerings and concentration options. Lastly, the guide covers career paths and answers frequently asked questions.

The field of real estate covers the sale, rental, and management of residential and commercial properties. With a relevant certificate or associate degree, you can sit for your state's sales and broker licensing exams. Both of these occupations enjoy solid growth potential.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of real estate brokers and sales agents to grow 7% from 2018-2028. This percentage translates to approximately 32,400 new jobs. An associate degree in real estate also allows you to work as an appraiser or property manager.

Online Real Estate Program Overview

An associate degree in real estate online curriculum totals approximately 60 credits, and usually takes two years to complete. Some colleges offer accelerated tracks that allow you to earn the credential in under 12 months. Certificate programs can span either a full semester or 3-4 months.

Required coursework usually covers core business topics such as microcomputer applications, interpersonal communications, and marketing strategies. Major coursework outlines basic real estate principles such as relevant laws concerning property valuation and public control. Real estate economics is another standard course and covers the factors that affect the value of a property.

In general, you are qualified to sit for the broker and salesperson licensing exams with just a certificate or associate degree. However, requirements differ by location, so you should consult your state's real estate commission to confirm details. Associate credentials also enable you to pursue bachelor's degree completion, which may open the doors to lucrative management positions.

Common Real Estate Degree Courses

Real Estate Practice

An introductory course, real estate practice covers the fundamental skills you need to work as a licensed broker or sales agent. These competencies include salesmanship, advertising, financing, prospecting, and public relations. The class also teaches basic office procedures, such as how to create property listings and communicate with your client.

Legal Aspects of Real Estate

This core class offers a study into the real estate laws at work in your state, including the rights incident to property management and ownership. Additional topics consist of contracts, trust deeds, and their applications to real estate transfer. You also learn about recent federal and state legislation concerning residential and commercial property transactions.

Appraisal Principles and Procedures

Most introductory appraisal courses focus on residential properties. Students learn to conduct market analysis using best practices such as sales comparison and the income approach. You also learn to use cost approaches common to the duties of licensed real estate appraisers. Furthermore, the class teaches you to create and analyze official appraisal reports.

Property Management

Students discover the different types of income properties and how to manage each classification. The course also covers the nature of leases, contracts, and rent schedules. Lastly, learners develop practical management skills, such as how to select tenants, supervise employees and contractors, and facilitate evictions.

Real Estate Investment Planning

This class emphasizes the research methods necessary for successful investing. You learn to implement investment analysis techniques and how to factor tax shelters, depreciation, and applications to property tax when looking at residential and commercial properties. Additional topics include time-valued money, as well as discounted and non-discounted investment criteria.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

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

Online Real Estate Program Admission Requirements

Community and technical colleges usually facilitate the admissions process through a digital portal accessed on their website. Applicants create a user profile and submit general information like legal name, address, and program of interest. Although some institutions require an application fee, postsecondary schools increasingly waive this charge as a way to recruit new students.

You need to furnish a high school diploma or GED to enroll in an associate or certificate program. Colleges require official transcripts, which you can request through your high school's student affairs office. To obtain a GED, you need to pass the relevant exam after studying for the test and/or taking preparation classes.

Many two-year colleges do not require ACT or SAT scores. However, you will probably need to take an assessment test like ACCUPLACER or a state-specific iteration. The results of this test dictate what core/general education courses you can take.

While this is a rare criterion, some associate degree in real estate online tracks may need you to demonstrate relevant work experience because of state licensing requirements. For example, California requires prospective brokers and appraisers to possess at least two years of full-time paid experience as a licensed sales agent.

Colleges and universities offer distance education across state lines by participating in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. If you want to enroll in an online program outside your state, consult the NC-SARA directory to ensure that the school is part of this network. Note that California does not participate in NC-SARA at all.

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Online Real Estate Career Paths

A certificate or associate degree in real estate enables you to pursue your state's broker and salesperson licenses. Real estate sales agents work under the direction of a broker and receive commissions for the properties they sell. Licensed brokers act as independent professionals who own their own their own businesses and facilitate the sale, purchase, and rental management of properties. You can also work as a certified assessor. These professionals inspect properties, analyze comparables to help determine value, and prepare official reports with photo documentation.

As a real estate professional, you advance by gaining hands-on experience and accumulating clients. As the job market becomes increasingly complex, some employers may prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor's degree.

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Best Online Associate in Real Estate Programs of 2022

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#1 Online College in Ohio

Lorain County Community College

School Information
Location Elyria, Ohio
Graduation Rate 19%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format: Hybrid | Course Format: Self-paced and scheduled classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $149 (in county) $174 (out of county)
Out of State | $360

Credits to Graduate: 60-62 credits

Program Information

Lorain County Community College, in Elyria, Illinois, offers an online associate of applied business in real estate degree. This program satisfies the state's educational requirement for real estate professionals and qualifies students to sit for the salesperson’s licensure exam. 

The course also meets the educational requirements for the Ohio real estate broker’s license. Upon course completion, students may sit for the real estate broker’s license examination.  

Courses in the curriculum include accounting and finance, real estate law, and macroeconomics.

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#2 Online College in Ohio

Clark State Community College

School Information
Location Springfield, Ohio
Graduation Rate 15%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format: 100% online | Course Format: Self-paced 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $165
Out of State | $303

Credits to Graduate: 60 credits

Program Information

Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio, offers an associate of applied business in real estate broker. The online associate in real estate degree prepares students to take the Ohio real estate broker exam.

The state of Ohio requires students to meet additional requirements before they can pursue a real estate broker's license. Requirements include 20 real estate transactions — working with buyers and sellers — as an Ohio licensed realtor. 

Besides making learners eligible to sit for the real estate broker’s license exam, completion of this program qualifies students for one or more embedded certificates. These designations give students an edge in the real estate job market.

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#3 Online College in Mississippi

Hinds Community College

School Information
Location Raymond, Mississippi
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format: Hybrid | Course Format: Self-paced classes and in-person practicums 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $150
Out of State | $275

Credits to Graduate: 64-66 credits

Program Information

Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, offers an associate of applied science in marketing management technology - real estate technology.

This program combines online courses and practical experience, as students work as licensed real estate brokers or licensed Mississippi real estate salespeople. The curriculum encompasses all phases of real estate. Courses include principles of real estate, real estate sales, and principles of macroeconomics.

The online associate in real estate technology course prepares students to work in real estate sales and management. Completion of the course qualifies students to sit for the Mississippi real estate broker’s license examination. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a certificate or associate degree in real estate?

After obtaining state licensure, you can work as a real estate sales agent to help clients buy or sell properties. Agents also mediate negotiations between buyers and sellers. Alternatively, you may pursue a broker career; these professionals own their own real estate and property management firm, and recruit clients and oversee the duties of their employees.

What should I major in for a real estate career?

Some schools offer a major in real estate, while others offer a business major with a real estate concentration. At the certificate level, colleges may specify if a program fulfills state licensing for real estate salesperson or broker, since these are distinct occupations with separate requirements. Depending on the school, you may graduate with an associate of arts, science, applied science, or applied business.

Can you get a degree in real estate?

Yes, you may earn an associate degree in real estate. This two-year credential not only satisfies state pre-qualifications for professional licensure in the field, but also prepares you to earn an advanced business degree. Relatedly, some universities offer real estate as a concentration for bachelor's degrees in finance and business administration.

How long does it take to get a degree in real estate?

A conventional associate degree in real estate takes about two years to earn. You can expect to complete around 15 credits of coursework per semester for four semesters (for a minimum of 60 credits). Certain colleges facilitate accelerated associate tracks that enable you to graduate in 12 months. Certificate programs are typically shorter. Bachelor's programs span four years.

What kind of education do you need to be a real estate agent?

You can become a licensed real estate broker or sales agent by completing state-accredited pre-licensing courses and passing the necessary exams. Note that you do not need to obtain an associate degree to work in real estate. However, as the market grows more competitive, earning college credentials can give you an edge over other candidates.

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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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