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Best Online Master's Degree in Real Estate

Students interested in earning an online master's in real estate can choose from specific degrees in the field, like an MS, to broad degrees in the field, such as an MBA. Find out what makes some of these degrees the best and get important degree details.

Best Online Master's in Real Estate Degree Programs

There are several kinds of master's degree programs in real estate available in an online format. Some of the best of these online degree programs may offer different concentration areas, help prepare students for professional certification in the field, provide flexible scheduling formats, and/or include a hands-on capstone course. Compare and contrast some of the top online master's degree programs in real estate here.

1. University of Arizona

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)
Tucson, AZ$13,044

The University of Arizona offers a fully online Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) degree program. The program costs $850 per unit and most students in the program are working professionals with careers as architects, real estate developers, urban planners, and more. The curriculum is broken into 3 parts, with students first learning about the real estate process, including legal issues and vocabulary. Students then move on to the financial aspects of real estate and conclude with real-world development projects that allow them to analyze the development process as a whole.

2. New England College

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)
Henniker, NH$13,560

New England College provides an online Master of Science (MS) in Management with a concentration in Real Estate Management that has rolling admission every 7 weeks throughout the year. The program totals 36 credits and can be completed fully online in less than 2 years. Applicants to the program are not required to take the GRE or GMAT and students have access to course materials 24/7. The program includes a strategic capstone course and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

3. Florida International University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)
Miami, FL$11,097

Florida International University offers a unique online MS in International Real Estate degree program that totals 30 credits and has some scholarships available specifically for students in the program. Students can choose from a 10-month fast track program that begins in the fall or a 12-month flexible program that begins in the spring. The program helps prepare students to become ARGUS-certified, which is a certification for proficiency with ARGUS Enterprise software used in the field of real estate. Students in the program follow a cohort model and must complete a capstone seminar course in international real estate.

4. University of Denver

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)
Denver, CO$49,695

The University of Denver has an online master's degree program in real estate and the built environment that offers a fall and spring start date. The executive online program takes 18 to 24 months to complete and is offered in a part-time format. Online students must have at least 5 years of work experience and can choose from concentrations in real estate, property development, integrated product delivery, or construction management. The academic term for the program is 10 weeks long and students earn credits towards a number of professional certifications while completing the program, including FIABCA International Real Estate and Certified Commercial Investment Member.

5. Georgetown University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)
Washington, DC$50,012

Georgetown University has an online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Real Estate that totals 33 credits. The program can be completed in 2 years and includes a capstone course. While there are no on-campus requirements, online students are allowed to visit campus to attend conferences, job fairs, and other events and have access to numerous resources, including libraries and the school's Writing Center. The program does not require GRE or GMAT test scores and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Master's Degree Programs in Real Estate

There are several different types of master's degree programs in real estate available in online formats, including MRED, MS in International Real Estate, and MPS in Real Estate programs, as well as MBA and MA in Management programs with a concentration in real estate. These programs may range from about 30 to 36 credits and many can be taken in full- and/or part-time formats. Find out more about online master's programs in real estate below.

Length of Program

Typically, students can complete an online master's degree program in real estate in 2 years. However, there are faster and slower options to accommodate students' schedules. Some programs may offer a fast-track program that can be completed in as little as 10 months. There are also some programs that allow full-time students to finish the program in 12 to 24 months.

Another factor that may affect the length of an online master's program in real estate is the amount of transfer credit a student has. Some programs may allow students to transfer up to 50% of the credits for the master's degree, which could cut the time to degree completion significantly.

Common Courses

These online master's degree programs typically require core real estate classes along with electives and/or core courses in finance. Online master's degree programs that offer real estate as a concentration, such as MBA or MS in Management degree programs, usually have core business classes that provide a broader overview of the field and then concentration courses in real estate. Students may still have an elective course within their concentration.

It is fairly common for online master's programs in real estate to conclude with some kind of capstone course. This capstone or seminar course may allow students to explore various problems in the field and use strategic analysis to develop possible solutions and apply the knowledge they have gained throughout the program. Other common course topics for online master's programs in real estate may include:

  • Real estate finance
  • Real estate law
  • Real estate development
  • Real estate taxation
  • Real estate markets
  • Contract management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Real estate investments

Real Estate Finance

Courses in real estate finance are designed to help students learn about the different methods used to finance real estate projects. Students also learn about quantitative techniques used to evaluate the viability of a project. Other topics for these courses may include traditional and creative concepts for financing, mortgages, taxation, lease valuation, and interest rates.

Real Estate Law

Students in real estate law courses explore the legal concepts of the entire real estate process, from signing a real estate contract to buying real estate. Students may talk about the obligations, rights, and limitations to property ownership. Other topics may include procedural and legal requirements in the field and how to manage real estate.

Real Estate Development

Real estate development courses discuss the growth process of various real estate projects, such as residential and industrial developments. These courses may train students in the vocabulary of real estate development, land use and construction. These courses may also discuss topics in feasibility studies and critical decision-making.

Admissions Requirements

Some master's degree programs in real estate may offer multiple start dates throughout the year for flexibility. There are some that may require students to take the GRE or GMAT, while others do not or may offer exam waivers for qualified students. Most of these degree programs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree and/or meet a minimum GPA requirement, which is usually around 3.0. Some programs may require online students to have prior work experience.

Usually, applicants to these master's degree programs need to submit their official transcripts along with any required test scores. Other common application materials for these degree programs may include letters of recommendation, a resume, and/or a personal statement or essay.

How to Choose an Online Master's in Real Estate

There are many factors to consider when choosing an online master's degree in real estate and one of the first items should be for students to determine what kind of real estate degree they want. For example, students interested in international real estate may want to pursue a degree in the subject, while those more interested in business as a whole may wish to pursue an MBA with a focus in real estate. Students need to research coursework and even career outcomes for each kind of degree to see which one most closely aligns with their career goals.

After students determine what kind of degree in real estate they want, they may need to consider logistic factors, such as the length and format of a program. Students need to find a program that works around their personal schedule, especially working professionals. Students may also need to determine whether a full- or part-time program is a better fit and/or when a good start date for their program may be. Below we examine a couple of other important considerations in more detail.

Accreditation

Students should be sure to look for an accredited online master's program in real estate to ensure that the program has met academic quality standards. Online programs in real estate generally do not have specialized accreditation from a real estate group or organization, but instead are accredited by its institution's accrediting body. Typically, this means a regional accreditation from groups like the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. However, some business programs that offer real estate as a concentration, such as an MBA in Real Estate, may be accredited by business organizations, such as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Cost and Financial Aid

Possibly one of the most important considerations for choosing an online master's program in real estate is the cost of the program and the potential for financial aid. When researching the cost of various programs, students should be sure to note whether tuition rates are given in credits or units, such as $850 per unit for an MRED, or a total program cost, such as $70,090 for a master's in real estate and the built environment. Some programs also have different tuition rates for in-state versus out-of-state students. Students should be sure to note any additional fees, such as application fees or a Professional Development Seminar fee. Meeting technical requirements for online programs may also have additional costs to students.

To help with costs, most online programs in real estate accept various forms of financial aid. Some programs may not allow international students to use financial aid, but domestic students should start by filling out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Based on their qualifications, students may be able to obtain grants or loans to help offset costs.

Another option for aid is scholarships. Some graduate schools may offer competitive scholarships of various amounts. For example, at Florida International University, graduate students can compete for a $5,000 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Chapman Graduate School Scholarship. Florida International University also offers a few different scholarship opportunities directly pertaining to students in real estate, such as the $5,000 Miami Realtors Chapman Graduate School Scholarship and the Malcolm Butters Real Estate Award that may total $10,000 to $25,000. Many real estate organizations at the state level also offer scholarships to real estate students in their state, such as the California Association of Realtors or Ohio Relators.

Career Options for Graduates with a Master's in Real Estate

Graduates with a master's in real estate can choose from a variety of jobs in areas like real estate development, construction management, market analysis, and property management. Graduates may work in settings like banks, accounting firms, appraisal companies, regulatory agencies, and more. Some specific job titles for graduates with their master's in real estate may include:

  • Real estate developer
  • Construction project manager
  • Leasing agent
  • Mortgage loan officer
  • Property manager
  • Appraiser
  • Real estate broker
  • Investment fund manager

Real Estate Brokers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) real estate brokers made a median annual salary of $58,210 in 2018 and had a job outlook of 7% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than average. These professionals must hold a license to manage their own business that helps people buy and sell various kinds of property. They work closely with real estate agents and manage the business details of their organization.

Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

Appraisers and assessors of real estate made a median salary of $54,980 in 2018 and had a job outlook of 7% from 2018 to 2028, per the BLS. These real estate professionals are responsible for putting a valuation on properties before they are sold, developed, or insured. Appraisers usually specialize and will examine one property at a time, while assessors examine properties on larger scales, such as neighborhoods, to evaluate them for tax purposes.

Loan Officer

Loan officers, including mortgage loan officers, made a median salary of $63,040 in 2018 and had a job outlook of 8% (faster than average) from 2018 to 2028 according to the BLS. Loan officers must examine loan applications and provide their managers with a suggestion for approval. Mortgage loan officers specifically examine applications for loans to purchase real estate, either residential or commercial.