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Appraisal Schools in California with Course Descriptions

Aug 01, 2019

There are more than 55 schools within the state of California that have appraisal programs. Read an overview of 10 of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you..

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Essential Information

Appraising students learn to determine the quality, importance and monetary value of many types of property, including real estate. In California, appraisal studies are commonly offered through associate degree programs in real estate and certificate programs in real estate or real estate appraisal, which range from 9-26 credit hours.

Students can also study real estate appraisal through programs in broker preparation, real estate lending or property management. Less common are bachelor's degrees in business administration with concentrations in real estate or master's degrees in real estate development.

The education these schools provide often meets the educational requirements needed to pass the California state real estate salesperson's licensing exam. Ten of the largest universities and 2-year colleges in California offering appraisal programs are profiled below, along with a comparison table detailing specific degree offerings and tuition prices.


American River College

American River College offers an associate's program and certificate program in real estate from its campus in the state capital of Sacramento. The 2-year school requires 34-to-35 credit hours for completion of the associate's program, including extensive coursework in business and accounting in addition to real estate. The certificate program, on the other hand, consists of 24 credit hours, as much as 18 of which can come solely from the real estate core. Students enrolled in either program are qualified to take the California real estate salesperson's exam at its conclusion; students who finish the associate's program are also qualified to sit for the state real estate broker exam.

City College of San Francisco

Located in the Ingleside neighborhood of San Francisco, the City College of San Francisco offers both an associate's degree and certificate of achievement in real estate. Both programs prepare students for the California real estate salesperson's licensing exam and include core coursework in principles of real estate, real estate economics and principles of real estate appraisal. The difference between the two is that the associate's program requires 2 years of study and provides a broader general education for students while the certificate program only requires six more credit hours of business electives in addition to the 18-credit hour real estate core.

East Los Angeles College

East Los Angeles College is a 2-year, public college attended by over 37,000 students at its Monterey Park location. Among the certificates and associate's degrees the college confers is a 60-to-62 credit hour associate's program in real estate, which gives students comprehensive training in real estate sales, brokerage and appraisal. ELAC also offers a number of smaller-scale certificate programs for students interested in starting their professional careers sooner; a 24-to-26 credit hour real estate broker certificate prepares students for the state's Licensed Real Estate Broker exam, while 9-credit programs in real estate appraisal and real estate sales do the same for their respective field's exams.

El Camino Community College

El Camino Community College serves the southwest suburbs of Los Angeles from its main campus in Torrance and offers several certificate and degree options for students interested in appraisal careers. Specialties in real estate, real estate appraisal and mortgage brokerage are all available, offering coursework in real estate finance, legal aspects of real estate and real estate investment. All three of those specialties are offered in either an associate's degree or certificate of achievement; however, the certificate of achievement in real estate appraisal can only be conferred if the individual has already earned an associate's degree or is earning an associate's degree concurrently.

Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College offers an associate's degree in business with a real estate concentration for interested students from its Long Beach campus. Students enrolled in the program must take courses in intro to business, business law and accounting before moving onto the real estate concentration courses, which include real estate economics, appraisal and finance. Completion of the degree requires 52-54 credit hours, although the school also offers a truncated certificate program in the concentration consisting of 21-23 credit hours. Certificate programs are also available in real estate property management, lending and sales.

Mt. San Antonio College

Mt. San Antonio College was founded in 1946 and confers certificates and associate's degrees to the individuals of the Los Angeles suburb of Walnut. The college offers both a certificate and associate's degree in real estate appraisal, training students in residential appraisal, uniform standards of appraisal practice and appraisal principles and procedures. Students enrolled in the associate's program receive a more extensive background in business while the certificate program mainly focuses on the core appraisal courses. A certificate and associate's degree is also available in real estate, intended to provide students the knowledge they need to pass the state real estate salesperson's exams.

Palomar College

Attended by over 25,400 students at its San Marcos location 35 minutes north of San Diego, Palomar College offers a certificate of proficiency in real estate appraisal license preparation. The 12-credit program consists of classes in real estate principles, real estate appraisal, advanced real estate appraisal and business appraisal. Upon completion of the program, students are qualified to take the California Real Estate Salesperson examination. Palomar also offers programs in real estate sales and real estate brokering for more experienced individuals.

San Diego Mesa College

Found in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, San Diego Mesa College offers an associate's program in real estate intended to give students the education they need for a career in real estate and appraisal. The 60-credit hour program consists of 27-28 credit hours of coursework in real estate, business and accounting; the remaining 32-33 credit hours must come from general education and other elective courses. The college advises students who are interested in moving on to a 4-year university after graduation to consider enrolling in the business administration program as well.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU) is a 4-year public school with an enrollment of around 30,500 students at its San Diego campus. Topics covered within the school's real estate bachelor's program include principles of investing, developing and appraising. Upon graduation real estate majors with an interest in appraising typically work for financial lenders and developers, as well as courts of law and agencies that manage public land. Students looking to further their education could also enroll in the school's Master of Business Administration program, which offers a concentration in real estate. Combining courses in real estate investment and urban development issues with classes in statistical analysis and marketing, the degree is designed to give students a well-rounded business acumen with added specialization in the real estate market.

University of Southern California

Founded in 1879, the private not-for-profit University of Southern California today hosts over 38,000 students at its campus in the University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The university's Sol Price School of Public Policy offers a Master of Real Estate Development, which consists of 36 course units and includes coursework in intersectoral leadership, building typologies and real estate capital markets. USC's Lusk Center for Real Estate further aids students in building connections with professional real estate developers and gaining real-world experience in the field. A 12-unit certificate in real estate development is also offered; the program consists of classes in real estate practices and principles, foundations of real estate analysis and real estate project analysis.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Appraisal Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition Fees (2018-19)*
American River College 2-year, public; suburb Associate in Arts in Real Estate,
Real Estate Certificate
$1,104 (in-state)
$8,712 (out-of-state)
City College of San Francisco 2-year, public; large city Associate in Science in Real Estate,
California Real Estate Certificate of Achievement
$1,696 (in-state)
$10,372 (out-of-state)
East Los Angeles College 2-year, public; small city Associate in Arts in Real Estate,
Real Estate Broker Certificate of Achievement,
Real Estate Appraisal Trainee Skills Certificate,
Real Estate Sales Skills Certificate
$1,220 (in-state)
$7,746 (out-of-state)
El Camino College 2-year, public; suburb Associate in Arts in Real Estate,
Associate of Arts in Real Estate Appraisal,
Associate of Arts in Mortgage Brokerage,
Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate,
Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate Appraisal,
Certificate of Achievement in Mortgage Brokerage
$1,144 (in-state)
$6,520 (out-of-state)
Long Beach City College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Arts in Business,
Certificate of Achievement in Business,
Real Estate Lending Certificate of Accomplishment,
Real Estate Property Management Certificate of Accomplishment,
Real Estate Salesperson Certificate of Accomplishment
$1,174 (in-state)
$7,750 (out-of-state)
Mt. San Antonio College 2-year, public; suburb Associate in Science in Real Estate,
Associate in Science in Real Estate Appraisal,
Real Estate Certificate,
Real Estate Appraisal Certificate
$1,350 (in-state)
$9,414 (out-of-state)
Palomar College 2-year, public; small city Associate in Arts in Real Estate Broker License Preparation,
Certificate of Proficiency in Real Estate Appraisal License Preparation,
Certificate of Proficiency in Real Estate Salesperson License Preparation,
Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate Broker License Preparation
$1,338 (in-state)
$8,702 (out-of-state)
San Diego Mesa College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Science in Real Estate $1,144 (in-state)
$7,024 (out-of-state)
San Diego State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate,
Master of Business Administration
$7,488 (in-state)
$19,340 (out-of-state)
University of Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Master of Real Estate Development,
Certificate in Real Estate Development
$56,225

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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