A job as a real estate agent can be extremely rewarding. Not only do you get to build strong relationships within your local community, but you can also play a pivotal role in people’s lives.
Whether it’s helping clients find their dream homes or businesses locate the perfect office space, a real estate degree offers many pathways to success. But if you’re already a certified real estate agent, you may be wondering if there’s more to this field than simply helping people buy, sell, and rent property. An online master’s degree in real estate could be the key to accelerating your career – and there are plenty of flexible, 100% online programs that will prepare you to expand into areas like development, investment, architecture, construction, and more.
Is an online masters degree in real estate worth it?
A master’s degree in real estate isn’t required to practice real estate, but it could give you a leading edge in your industry. Real estate is what’s known as a “saturated industry” because almost anybody can earn their real estate license as long as they complete the required courses and exams for licensure. A master’s degree in real estate can help you stand out amongst the competition by helping you gain advanced business and management skills that aren’t taught in standard licensing courses. It can also give you the knowledge and training you need to pursue more complex parts of the business, like commercial and corporate real estate or real estate portfolio management.
With an online master’s degree in real estate, you could pursue careers such as:
- Real estate broker
- Real estate developer
- Construction manager
- Property manager
- Appraiser and assessor of real estate
What is the difference between a degree in real estate and a real estate license?
First, in order to become a real estate agent, you’ll need to complete some real estate courses to be eligible for licensure. Depending on the state where you live and where you want to work, you’ll usually need to take a state-accredited pre-licensing course to become licensed (although some states may waive the tests if you’ve taken college courses in real estate.)
However, a master’s degree in real estate offers unique benefits typically not available in basic real estate license courses. (While you don’t need your associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree specifically in real estate to earn your master’s degree in real estate, you will need to have earned at least a bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment.)
More and more schools are recognizing the needs of today’s working professionals who need to balance full-time careers with school, which is why you’ll find increasing numbers of online options. Curriculums in online real estate master degree programs will vary by institution, but you can expect to learn about the following topics:
- Real estate development
- Real estate investment
- Project management
- Real estate finance
- Real estate valuation
- Site design and analysis
Many real estate degree programs will also cover business and management topics typically covered in an MBA program, such as:
- Human Resources
Ready to advance your real estate career and start looking at degree options? We’ve ranked the eight best online master’s degree in real estate programs – take a look at our list below!
What is an MSRE?
An MSRE is a Master of Science in Real Estate. Not all master’s degrees in real estate are MSREs. As you research graduate degree options in real estate, you may come across these types of degrees:
- MSRE – Master of Science in Real Estate
- MBA in Real Estate
- Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
- Master of Real Estate
- Master of Real Estate Development
The difference between these degrees comes down to choosing a more traditional degree with a focus or concentration on real estate (MSRE or MBA in Real Estate), or a degree that completely focuses on real estate (Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate, Master of Real Estate, or Master of Real Estate Development).
Why should I get my master’s degree online?
Online degree programs are known for being more convenient, but they are just as rigorous and respected as their traditional, on-campus counterparts. If you need an option that provides more flexibility for your busy working schedule, or you aren’t able to easily make it to campus, then an online degree program may be the best option for you.
If you’re already a full- or part-time real estate professional with other obligations, you may be wondering how to fit in earning your master’s degree with your work schedule. Earning your degree online rather than in a traditional campus setting means you can study in a way that’s most convenient for you – whether that means working from your kitchen table at 6 a.m. or from a local coffee shop between property showings.
If you’ve decided to take the next step in advancing your real estate career, then an online master’s degree in real estate could be the perfect option. We’ve compiled a list of the best online master’s degree in real estate programs based on two factors: tuition cost per credit (least expensive is best) and graduate enrollment (highest number of students is best). Take a look at our rankings below!
Top 8 Online Masters Degree in Real Estate
1. Liberty University – MBA in Real Estate Development (18 points)
Liberty University offers an MBA in Real Estate Development through its School of Business in a 100% online, 8-week course format. This unique degree program allows students to earn their MBA while concentrating on a career in real estate development. Students will gain the knowledge they need to thrive in their real estate career while building relevant business skills, including management, accounting, finance, marketing, and human resources. Classes include Legal Issues in Business, Operations Management, and Business Research Methods. Many students earn their degree in approximately two years.
- Tuition per credit: $565.00
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 38,561
2. The University of Arizona – Master of Real Estate Development (14 points)
The University of Arizona offers a Master of Real Estate Development through its College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture (CAPLA). This 100% online or in-person offered program helps professionals advance their careers as real estate developers or industry leaders with a curriculum focused on real estate finance, construction management, law, and site planning. The program is based on a three-stage approach. First, students learn the fundamentals of real estate, including vocabulary, procedure, and legal requirements in the field. Second, they study real estate finance, including market analysis, cash-flow models, and pro-forma development. Third, they learn the development process in its entirety and apply their learnings to real-life development projects. This degree program is the ideal next step for realtors, urban planners, architects, and real estate developers who want to advance their knowledge and skills in development.
- Tuition per credit: $850.00
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 10,061
3. Georgetown University – Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate (13 points)
Georgetown University offers a Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate through its School of Continuing Studies. This online program enables real estate professionals to further the skills they need to excel in their field while building leadership skills. Taught from a global perspective, this program prepares students to practice in real estate all over the world and focuses on topics like Ethics in Action, Foundations of Real Estate Accounting, Impact of Globalization on Real Estate, Real Estate Portfolio Management, Sustainable Development and Construction, and Multi-Family and Affordable Housing. The program takes about two years to complete and is 33 credit hours.
- Tuition per credit: $1,441.00
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 12,080
4. Florida International University – Online Master of Science in International Real Estate (MSIRE) (12 points)
Florida International University offers an Online Master of Science in International Real Estate (MSIRE) through its Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business. The MSIRE program at FIU is ranked No. 1 in the world for real estate faculty research by the Journal of Real Estate Literature. This program can be completed 100% online and in as little as 10 to 12 months, depending on whether students start in the Fall or Spring. Students prepare for ARGUS certification, which increases student marketability in corporate real estate and may qualify them to pursue roles like real estate analyst or acquisition expert. Courses emphasize real estate industry fundamentals while teaching every phase of the real estate process, including analysis, valuation, financing, and closing a transaction. Courses include Real Estate Management, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Markets, Institutions and Practices, and Corporate Real Estate Management.
Students earn substantial credits towards the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. Also, they get a substantial portion of courses for the Appraisal Institute’s MAI designation. During the program, they become members of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
- Tuition per credit: $1,000
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 9,385
5. The University of Denver – Master of Science in Real Estate and the Built Environment (9 points)
The University of Denver offers a Master of Science in Real Estate and the Built Environment through its Daniels College of Business. This flexible program is designed to meet students’ individual needs by offering 36 different courses and can be attended online, on campus, or in a hybrid method. The online program enables students to study and interact with peers and faculty live and in real-time. Graduates benefit from the school’s location in Denver, one of the most vibrant real estate and construction markets in the country, and join an expansive alumni network. Integrated with a strong foundation of business principles, the curriculum emphasizes real estate fundamentals (including the full cycle of the built environment) and construction and asset management.
- Tuition per credit: $1,461.00
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 7,157
5. New England College – Master of Science in Management: Real Estate Management (9 points)
New England College offers a Master of Science in Management: Real Estate Management as part of its catalog of online graduate degree programs. Students will gain a blend of traditional leadership and management skills required to succeed in business while becoming experts in real estate theories and practices. Offered in a flexible, collaborative environment, this program is designed for current real estate professionals who want to advance in their field or for those who want to transition into the industry with an enhanced skill set. Topics covered include accounting, strategic planning and policy, organizational ethics, insurance, contracts, customer relations, and research. The real estate management concentration curriculum includes courses like Contract Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Principles of Finance and Insurance.
- Tuition per credit: $576.00
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 1,669
7. Auburn University – Master of Real Estate Development (6 points)
Auburn University offers a Master of Real Estate Development as a joint offering through its Harbert College of Business and the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction. This program can be completed primarily online but is enhanced by learning experiences on campus and out in the field. Learning from a curriculum focused on architecture, finance, planning, construction, law, and market analysis, graduates leave prepared to design, finance, and construct sustainable developments both locally and abroad. Courses include Principles of Real Estate Development, Real Property Analysis, Building Design and Construction Principles, Real Estate Development Law, and Real Estate Market Analysis.
- Tuition per credit: $1,500.00
- Program Enrollment: 25 students per year
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 5,866
8. Portland State University – Master of Real Estate Development (4 points)
Portland State University offers a Master of Real Estate Development jointly through its School of Business and College of Urban & Public Affairs. The program is available in three flexible formats: 100% online, 100% on-campus, or in a hybrid method. Students learn how to create a sustainable career in commercial real estate while benefiting from the school’s proximity to Portland, one of the country’s leading-edge real estate markets. Featured courses include Real Estate Finance I, Downtown Revitalization, Development Project Design, Executive Perspectives on Real Estate, and Housing Economics. Graduates pursue careers in real estate investment and ownership, lending, brokerage, affordable housing, development, property management, architecture, construction, and more.
- Tuition per credit: $1,586.79
- University Enrollment (Graduate): 5,001
Curious about additional online masters degrees? Navigate to our easy-to-use Degree Finder tool. We’ll help you find a program that’s right for your goals, schedule, and budget.
Our Ranking Methodology
Our ranking system is based on a formula using each school’s per-credit tuition rate (in-state where applicable) and graduate enrollment rate. After sorting first by the per-credit tuition rates and then by graduate enrollment rates, we assigned points to each school and added these points to get a final ranking score.
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