Online Property Management Certification and Degree Program Information

Learn about online degree programs with property management courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions as well as career and continuing education info.

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Essential Information

Individuals often need only a high school diploma or the equivalent plus work experience to enter the field of property management; however, some vocational training or a degree is commonly preferred. Fully online and hybrid degree programs in property management are available at both the bachelor's and master's levels. Educational credentials aside, some states require property managers to be licensed. Students will need a headset, webcam, audio equipment and application plug-ins. They will also need to use an online learning management system, such as Blackboard. Applicants must have prerequisite coursework for bachelor's programs, and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university for a master's program.

Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's programs are primarily concerned with the fundamentals of managing commercial or residential properties. Essentially, students gain an overview of both the interpersonal and logistical aspects of property management.

Information and Requirements

Some institutions require bachelor's candidates to complete prerequisite coursework in subjects such as organizational behavior, statistics and writing for business. For this reason, students should thoroughly research program requirements before enrolling in classes.

Online courses are completed using online learning management systems, such as Blackboard. A computer meeting course-specific software requirements and a stable Internet connection are required. Students may also need a headset, webcam and audio equipment to participate in real-time discussions.

Common Courses

Bachelor's level courses teach students how to market and lease properties. Customer service skills, tenant relationship building, legal and ethical issues, and economic concepts are among subjects covered in the program. Some common courses are listed below.

Property Manager Roles and Responsibilities

This online course introduces students to the basic roles and responsibilities of a property manager. Areas of study include an overview of the legal system, operational responsibilities and tenant relations.

Client Relations

Students learn techniques for building relationships of trust between managers and tenants. Coursework teaches students how to resolve conflicts withing legal and ethical parameters.

Financial and Accounting Principles in Property Management

Students explore the concepts of finance and accounting specific to property management. Curriculum includes budgeting and capital planning, calculating depreciation, and financial performance strategies.


Master's Degree

Online graduate programs in property management are available as a Master of Science in Real Estate with a concentration in Property Management or as a Master of Science in Facilities Management.

Information and Requirements

Acceptance into a master's program generally requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Students have about two years to complete the coursework which may include a thesis or capstone project.

Master's programs are available in both fully online and hybrid format. The technical requirements for both include access to a computer with high-speed Internet. Plug-ins such as Java, Adobe Reader and Macromedia Flash Player are generally needed as well.

Common Courses

Master's level courses cover topics like facilities management, financial analysis, risk management and property law. Field-related current events or issues are also discussed. Common courses include the following:

Contract Management

Students examine the contract management process from both the buyer and seller viewpoints. They learn the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the contract process. Topics covered include pre-RFP (Request For Proposal) planning and development, negotiation and contract administration.

Building Energy Management

Students learn how to choose energy savings options for buildings. The curriculum additionally delves into space planning, cost analysis and environmental concerns.

Security, Emergency and Risk Management

Coursework reviews risk aversion strategies used to protect key stakeholders including tenants, employees, owners and the community. Students learn best practices in security, communications and emergency response. State and federal laws applicable to property management are also explored.


Career Information

A bachelor's degree qualifies individuals to work in residential or commercial property management. Career options include that of account manager, sales manager, and property manager. Property managers earned a median salary of $46,352 in October 2016, reported PayScale.com. Meanwhile, a master's degree prepares graduates for higher-paying, senior-level positions. Senior property managers, for instance, earned a median salary of $74,193 over the same time period (www.payscale.com).

Continuing Education

As mentioned earlier, some states require property managers to be licensed. To that end, graduates of a property management degree program, as well as working professionals, can also earn an online professional certification through the National Property Management Association (NPMA). The NPMA offers three levels of certification (www.npma.org).

In online bachelor's and master's degree programs in property management, students learn how to market and lease properties, and acquire knowledge of relevant regulations and financing. Some graduates may need to attain a license to work in the field, and they can also voluntarily earn certification through a professional property management organization.

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