Real Estate Degree Program Options

Oct 13, 2019

Real estate degree programs focus on how to buy and sell commercial and residential properties. Anyone interested in a real estate education can seek degrees from institutions with specialized business or architecture departments.

Essential Information

A four-year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in real estate curricula covers basic principles, real estate law, property appraisals and assessment, insurance, taxation, and statistics. Master's programs in real estate can be completed in 10 months to two years and focus on specialty areas, like real estate development or sustainable real estate. Research skills are gained through a thesis project overseen by an assigned faculty adviser. In a four- to five-year real estate doctoral program, students explore topics such as urban studies, governmental policy and business administration. An exit dissertation is required.

A high school diploma/GED and ACT/SAT scores are required for bachelor's degree programs. A bachelor's degree in business or real estate and GRE/GMAT scores are needed for master's degree programs, and a relevant master's degree is sometimes required for doctoral admission.

Bachelor's Degrees in Real Estate

Undergraduate real estate degrees encompass a wide range of subjects, such as finance, economics and mathematics. Most real estate programs offering bachelor's degrees also require students to take classes in history, language and political science. Here is a list of some typical course offerings:

  • Urban economics
  • Appraisal techniques
  • Property/liability insurance
  • Real estate law
  • Taxation

Master's Degrees in Real Estate

Courses in a real estate master's program include market analysis, dispute resolution and risk management. Other courses may cover:

  • Real estate investment management
  • Market analysis
  • Residential housing development
  • Commercial leasing analysis
  • Acquisition procedures

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Real Estate

Students in a doctoral program perform research in specialized areas such as urban policy or business administration. Students receiving a doctoral degree in real estate take classes in land use regulation or architecture history. Other classes include:

  • Real estate valuation
  • Asset management
  • Urban planning
  • Housing econometrics
  • Real estate finance

Popular Career Options

With a bachelor's in real estate, graduates can work as agents or brokers. Graduates with a master's in real estate can apply for jobs in financial research or property management. A doctoral degree in real estate can lead to advanced positions in government or academia. Possible career titles with this degree include:

  • Real estate agent or broker
  • Real estate professor
  • Real estate policy analyst
  • Investment manager
  • Escrow officer
  • Development consultant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were roughly 369,200 real estate sales agents employed as of 2018. Job growth for real estate sales agents and brokers is expected to increase by 7% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than average when compared to other occupations. Real estate sales agents made an annual median salary of $48,690 as of 2018, while real estate brokers earned an annual median wage of $58,210 per year.

Whether you pursue a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in real estate, you'll gain a firm understanding of the real estate industry through courses that focus on real estate laws and regulations, investing, and appraisal among other topics. Graduates have a wide variety of career options available to them, including escrow officer and investment manager.

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