Illinois has over 300 different college campuses located in the state, but only around nine institutions of higher learning offer certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in real estate. Some of these schools offer advanced degrees for individuals seeking positions in real estate administration and management. Others offer certificate programs that are designed to help the individual meet the educational requirements for real estate sales and brokerage by the state of Illinois and gain an immediate entry-level job in the field. Below are short summaries of six of the schools in Illinois currently offering real estate programs; in addition, a comparison table summarizing each college's degree programs and tuition information is also provided.
City Colleges of Chicago - Harry S. Truman College
Harry S. Truman College awards certificates and associate's degrees to residents of the Uptown neighborhood of the north side of Chicago. A real estate broker prelicense course is available to interested individuals and fulfills the educational requirements set forth for real estate brokers by the state of Illinois. The 75-hour course educates students on Illinois real estate law, ownership, contracts, property management and commercial real estate.
College of DuPage
College of DuPage (COD) is located in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago. With over 29,000 students, the school is one of the largest single-campus community colleges in the country. Students interested in a career as a real estate appraiser can gain entry into the field upon completion of the college's certificate program. Students take five credit hours of coursework in basic appraisal principles, basic appraisal procedures and uniform standards of professional appraisal practice. These state-approved courses prepare graduates to pass the state examination required for licensure as an Illinois associate real estate appraiser. The college also offers courses to prepare students for the real estate broker and real estate managing broker licensure examinations. These courses can be taken for credit and applied towards an associate's degree in general studies.
DePaul University's location in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago allows real estate degree candidates to take advantage of both metropolitan and urban settings. The university offers a bachelor's program in business with a real estate concentration, which includes education on real estate transactions and community planning and development. Students begin by learning real estate and business fundamentals in courses such as real estate law, finance, analysis and investment. DePaul also offers a Master of Science in Real Estate and a Master of Business Administration in Real Estate Finance and Investment. The M.S. programs emphasizes the commercial aspects of real estate and include courses in real estate investment and finance, market analysis and valuation and financial methods. The MBA program, on the other hand, is for students interested in real estate management. Only two real estate finance courses make up the core curriculum. The remainder of degree requirements are electives identical to those in MSRE program.
Northwestern University is a 4-year, private not-for-profit university that was founded in 1851, moved to its current location in Evanston in 1853 and is consistently rated as one of the top universities in the country for undergraduate programs by U.S. News and World Report. The university's MBA program offers a pathway (a focus area, but not a formal concentration) in real estate that involves coursework in legal issues in real estate, public economics for business leaders and urban economic development and real estate market analysis. Students may also enroll in the Kellogg School of Management Real Estate Lab, which gives individuals the opportunity to work on a quarter-long project for a public business or organization.
A private not-for-profit university founded in 1945 and located in downtown Chicago, Roosevelt University offers two master's programs within its Chicago School of Real Estate: a Master of Science in Real Estate and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in real estate. The M.S. degree offers more specialized courses in real estate than the MBA, including real estate process, quantitative analysis and public/private development. The MBA, on the other hand, trains students in developing broader business acumen and includes classes in executive leadership, strategic management and information resource management.
University of Illinois - Chicago
The Chicago campus of the University of Illinois is located on the city's west side and offers bachelor's and graduate programs to over 27,000 students. The college offers a master's program in real estate and emphasizes its proximity to downtown Chicago as a working laboratory for students to hone their skills. Students must complete at least 36 credit hours of courses that include topics such as microeconomics for business decisions, land use law and urban real estate and land economics. Students are additionally required to choose between either a concentration in business or urban planning.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Real Estate Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-19)|
|City Colleges of Chicago - Harry S. Truman College||2-year, public; large city||Basic Certificate in Real Estate Broker PreLicense|| $3,504 (in-district)*
|College of DuPage||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Real Estate Appraisal,
Real Estate Broker and Real Estate Managing Broker Courses
| $4,080 (in-district)*
|DePaul University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Business - Real Estate,
Master of Science in Real Estate,
Master of Business Administration in Real Estate Finance and Investment
| $39,975 (undergraduate tuition)*
$19,422 (graduate tuition)*
|Northwestern University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||MBA with a Real Estate Pathway||$54,620 (graduate tuition)*|
|Roosevelt University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Science in Real Estate,
Master of Business Administration
|$20,466 (graduate tuition)*|
|University of Illinois - Chicago||4-year, public; large city||Master of Arts in Real Estate|| $16,792 (in-state, graduate tuition)*
$26,479 (out-of-state, graduate tuition)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator