Real Estate Schools: Online and Campus-Based Schools

Get info on choosing a school for your real estate studies, and read about both on-campus and online training options for aspiring real estate professionals. Check the requirements for entering the real estate field, which include licensure for most positions. Review some of the course topics you'd study as a real estate student, whether you're pursuing a certificate, degree or standalone classes. Schools offering Real Estate degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online and on-campus studies in real estate are designed to prepare students for state licensure as a real estate agent or broker. Coursework can be found through public institutes as well as private real estate schools that specialize in training new agents or updating skills for existing agents.

Are There Campus-Based and Online Real Estate Schools?

Many community colleges offer programs leading to certificates or associate's degrees in real estate. Some private real estate schools offer standalone courses for aspiring real estate brokers and salesmen. Programs are generally designed to prepare you for a state licensing examination.

Although a degree is not mandatory, you'll need a license in order to practice as a real estate agent, broker or appraiser. Licensure requirements in most states include completion of a written exam in addition to some formal training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, aspiring brokers may also need 1-3 years of real estate sales experience in order to apply for a license (www.bls.gov).

Depending on the state, licenses are renewable yearly or biannually. You'll usually have to complete some continuing education courses for renewal. These courses are available online and on campus at public and private schools.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) offers numerous online courses that can lead to various industry certifications, including the Accredited Buyer's Representative and Certified Property Manager credentials. State branches of the NAR also offer online continuing education courses.

How Should I Choose a School?

The best way to choose a reputable real estate school is to contact the real estate commission or department of any given state. The commission will provide you with a list of approved public and private schools that offer pre- and post-licensing real estate courses, real estate degree programs and real estate certificate programs.

Which Schools Offer Associate Degrees in Real Estate?

Associate degree programs in real estate teach students the basic skills required to pass a state licensing exam, and to work as a real estate professional. In some cases, associate degrees are aimed at working professionals who want to build their skills and knowledge.

  • American Public University offers an online Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies
  • Merritt College offers an Associate of Arts in Real Estate
  • Dallas County Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Real Estate

Where You Can Find Real Estate Certificates

Real estate certificate programs tend to be aimed at working real estate agents who wish to advance their careers and update their skill set. Many universities and colleges offer certificates.

  • Contra Costa College offers a Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate
  • Boston University offers an online Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Practice
  • MIT offers a Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance and Development

Schools with Pre-License Courses and Continuing Studies Courses

Pre-license and continuing studies courses are almost exclusively offered through private real estate schools. In many cases, these schools also offer licensing examinations.

  • Suburban West Association of Realtors School offers online pre-license and in-person continuing studies courses
  • Kaplan Real Estate Education offers license exam preparation courses and Continuing Studies coursework
  • The New York Real Estate Institute offers online pre-license and Continuing Education coursework

What Will I Learn?

A program leading to a real estate pre-license certificate will familiarize you with technical terminology and provide instruction in the key concepts of real estate transactions. You might take courses like mortgage techniques, income-producing properties and the principles of appraisal. You'll be prepared to sit for the state licensing examination as a salesman.

After a number of years of experience as a salesman, you may qualify to take courses that prepare you to sit for a broker's license. With these courses, you'll increase your knowledge of real estate laws and regulations, property management, sales, construction, appraisal and the basic principles needed to open, staff and operate a real estate office.

Associate's degree programs explore many of the same topics as pre-license broker courses and pre-license real estate certificate programs. Additional topics could include financial accounting, business law, keyboarding, macroeconomics, personal finance and marketing. Since this is a degree-granting program, you'll have to complete a certain number of general education courses as well, such as written and oral communication, psychology, business math and natural science.

Associate degree and certificate programs in real estate can be found in both online and on-campus formats from a number of colleges and universities. Pre-license and continuing studies coursework is usually acquired from an accredited real estate school.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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