Complete Guide to a Real Estate Degree Online
Online real estate degrees are available at universities across the country. Individuals interested in working directly with a variety of people and performing both in and out-of-office duties may be interested in a real estate degree. Graduates may find careers as real estate agents and real estate brokers, both of which work directly with people to purchase and sell properties. However, a degree in real estate can also help to prepare graduates for careers in real estate finance or development, among other career paths.
Prospective online real estate students should ensure that their programs of choice are accredited before they enroll. Attending an accredited institution is also required by some states prior to seeking real estate licensure.
Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Real Estate Bachelor's Degrees
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|# 1||Purdue University Global||$14,358||64% (309 reviews)|
|# 2||Liberty University||$11,700||58% (298 reviews)|
|# 3||University of Alabama at Birmingham||$20,400||100% (1 review)|
|# 4||Louisiana State University - Shreveport||$20,481||50% (8 reviews)|
|# 5||Everglades University||$18,320||87% (125 reviews)|
|# 6||American Public University System||$7,324||70% (171 reviews)|
|# 7||Clarion University||$16,078||100% (3 reviews)|
|# 8||Old Dominion University||$30,840||64% (11 reviews)|
|# 9||University of Arizona||$11,800||100% (2 reviews)|
|# 10||University of Memphis||$13,752||33% (3 reviews)|
Overview of Online Real Estate Degrees
An online real estate degree offers individuals the flexibility to complete coursework necessary for licensure from any location and at any time. From entry-level online certificates to online graduate degrees, there are online programs available at most degree levels.
Depending on the level of licensure desired, an online undergraduate certificate may be enough to start a real estate career, while an online bachelor's degree can also fulfill the requirements and provide students with a more in-depth understanding of the field.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Real Estate
An online bachelor's degree in real estate may help to prepare students for a career as a broker, agent, or assessor after obtaining licensure. Students will learn how to adapt their business and marketing strategies to accommodate the changing real estate field and how to cater to their clients' needs. Programs take an average of four years and 120 credit hours to complete, however, online programs may give individuals the flexibility to continue accumulating work experience throughout.
Typically colleges and universities offering online bachelor's degrees require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED, a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in high school and/or previously attended institutions, and a minimum SAT or ACT score. Coursework for a bachelor's degree in real estate may cover advanced real estate appraisal, project and quality management, and real estate principles; programs also offer case studies and capstone projects to immerse students in real-life application of their skills and knowledge.
The Importance of an Accredited Online Real Estate Degree
When deciding which online real estate program to attend, individuals should verify that their schools of choice are accredited. Accrediting agencies such as The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Higher Learning Commission evaluate programs based on a number of criteria to determine if they comply with rigorous standards, have implemented an Institutional Effectiveness plan, and have undergone annual reviews of retention rates, placement rates, and financial stability.
Accreditation enables students to obtain financial aid from government entities, allows for the transference of college credits to other accredited programs, and helps to ensure the integrity and quality of the program. Employers, graduate schools, and certification programs may require degrees from accredited schools. Additionally, to obtain licensure in most states, aspiring real estate agents must have completed the educational requirements at a regionally or nationally accredited school or certification program.
Real Estate Agent Licensure
Though there is not presently a specific accrediting agency for real estate programs, licensure requirements stipulate that the program an individual graduates from must be regionally or nationally accredited. Additional licensure requirements include a minimum age of 18 years old, a background check, and successful completion of the license examination as set forth by the state. Additionally, a real estate professional must complete a minimum requirement of real estate courses and cumulative years of work experience, as determined by their state. Individuals interested in obtaining a real estate degree are encouraged to verify the licensure requirements in their state, as each state varies.
Careers in Real Estate
The two most common titles that students pursue after completing an online real estate degree are Real Estate Broker and Real Estate Agent. Brokers function as independent business professionals and have a license to manage their business. They often handle business details related to buying and selling real estate and renting or managing properties for clients, as well as oversee the work of their sales agents. Agents are required to work with a broker to sell property and complete transactions. They typically earn a commission for each sale. Both professions can represent either the seller or the buyer; these professionals will meet with the client to fully understand their needs, financing options, and budget. They are responsible for staying current with mortgage rates that are available to clients, government programs, fair housing laws, and zoning regulations.
Daily responsibilities of real estate brokers and agents may include soliciting potential clients, taking clients to see properties, generating lists of available properties, and promoting individual properties through listings and open houses. Real estate agents and brokers also advise clients on market conditions and mortgage rates, as well as mediate price negotiations between a buyer and a seller. Once a price is decided upon, they prepare the necessary documents and ensure that all terms of the purchase contracts are met before finalizing the paperwork.