Online real estate programs and individual courses can be found mainly at traditional four-year universities or colleges. Some distance learning programs are available through schools' continuing education departments, which may not result in any college credits. Other institutions have formal degree programs that could lead to a bachelor's or master's degree. Any of these programs could offer a convenient way for prospective real estate agents to get the education they need to become licensed. In fact, many online real estate schools are approved by their state's licensing board.
Several distance learning programs in real estate can be completed totally online, although some schools offer the option to complete certain classes on campus. Students in these programs typically log on to a online course management system accessible from their school's Web site. From there, they can view lectures, download assignments and interact with peers or instructors through discussion boards, chat rooms or Web conferencing.
Some academic programs may have specific prerequisites. Bachelor's programs may require students to have an associate's degree or a certain number of college credits, while some master's programs may require either a minimum GPA or professional work experience.
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Distance learners in an online program in this field typically study real estate law, development, finance and investment. Programs, especially those leading to degrees, typically include business, ethics and management courses as well in order to help students become well-rounded, knowledgeable professionals. The following schools are just a couple of options when it comes to pursuing online education in real estate; details about their programs can give insight into what to expect from distance learning in this area of study.
South Texas College
South Texas College, located in McAllen, Texas, strives to prepare traditional and non-traditional students for the workplace, offering both flexible on-campus schedules and online programs. Students in the online real estate school work independently and at their own pace to obtain a Texas real estate license or complete annual real estate education requirements. South Texas College also serves other real estate professionals through its online home inspector's course.
Students in the online real estate program at South Texas College work through interactive tutorial-style lessons to fulfill the requirements for a Texas real estate license. The classes are designed in such a way that very little technical computer knowledge is required. Topics include Texas real estate principles, real estate law and real estate appraisal. A 60-hour add-on course fulfills the 210 credit hours required by the State of Texas to become a licensed real estate agent and covers topics in real estate finance and investment.
Founded in 1893 as a Catholic liberal arts school in Marylhurst, Oregon, this university offers online, regionally accredited programs in business and real estate. At Marylhurst, students receive their instruction from working professionals who provide them with a real-world look at the real estate business.
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate
In this accelerated online program, prospective real estate professionals learn how to analyze markets and work in a global economy. To be admitted to the program, a candidate must hold an associate's degree or have earned 50 transferable college credits. Students in this online real estate program take courses in the following areas:
- Business ethics
- Real estate development
- Real estate leverage
- Real estate law
- Business communications
The capstone experience in this bachelor's program is available through the online course in applied management principles, which requires students to use their newly-gained knowledge to make ethical, collaborative business decisions. Distance learners aren't required to come to campus at any time and they're able to earn their degree in about two years.
Master of Business Administration in Real Estate
Designed for professionals, the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Real Estate at Marylhurst University offers concentrations in real estate development, finance and management. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and submit a resume, recommendation letters and an essay. Those students who don't meet the undergraduate GPA minimum of 3.0 must have professional work experience. The MBA program can be completed in one to two years and includes two capstone projects. Online core coursework includes:
- Real estate finance
- Real estate law
- Managerial accounting
- Managerial economics
- Organizational behavior
- Quantitative Analysis
Fully online real estate degree programs are available, as well as non-credit online continuing education programs. Some online real estate programs, like the one at South Texas College, include a licensure option that will equip students with the required number of hours to obtain their real estate license.