In this article, we profile the 20 best master’s in real estate online programs of 2020.
Flexible online real estate programs are offered from top-ranked and accredited institutions. A master’s in real estate online degree is ideal for individuals interested in understanding how market trends impact property values. The program is also suited for business professionals seeking leadership and management roles in real estate development. Thankfully, reputable programs are out there. You just need to know where to look.
20 Best Master’s in Real Estate Online Programs Methodology
We reviewed approximately 48 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered master’s in real estate online degree programs or closely related degrees, such as the online MBA with appropriate specializations. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (regional and/or national) and institution or program rankings with at least one major publication, focusing primarily on U.S. News and World Report. We then listed our selected programs according to affordability.
Below are the resulting selections for our 20 best master’s in real estate online programs of 2020.
#20 – Georgetown University
Online Master’s in Real Estate
Washington, District of Columbia
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $51,790
Georgetown University offers a master’s in real estate online degree program designed for busy and working professionals looking for a part-time or full-time graduate program in real estate. The program consists of 33 credits and is led by a Georgetown faculty of seasoned industry practitioners. Students gain online instruction without sacrificing quality. In fact, the Georgetown real estate program is consistently ranked among the top in the country. Courses cover topics like ethics in action, foundations of real estate finance, foundations of real estate law, and foundations of real estate markets. Several concentrations are also offered to enable students to tailor their degree. These concentrations include construction management, global real estate, real estate development, and real estate finance. To add to the school’s reputation and quality, U.S. News and World Report ranks Georgetown #24 in best national universities.
#19 – University of Denver
Online Master’s in Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $51,639
The in-person and executive online master’s in real estate program at University of Denver prepares students for careers as integrated project leaders. With an average salary for real estate agents and developers after graduation of six-figures, earning a master’s in real estate is cost-effective. While University of Denver does not offer the most affordable program, it does move at a quick pace and can be completed in just 18 months online. Also, the flexible program offers four areas of concentration so students may tailor their degree to align with personal and professional goals. These concentrations include construction management, integrated product delivery, property development, and real estate. University of Denver ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 97th best national university and 65th best value school in the country.
#18 – Wentworth Institute of Technology
Online Master’s in Construction Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $37,700
Individuals looking to diversify their education before pursuing careers in real estate look at alternatives to the online real estate programs. In fact, one of the more popular degree choices includes construction management, such as the online master’s in construction management at Wentworth Institute of Technology. This part-time program is offered as a hybrid format (online and on-campus) and fully online. Courses cover a number of real estate topics, such as advanced project controls, business finance and investments, construction law, and real estate for construction management. The program at Wentworth is fully accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). To date, Wentworth Institute ranks #46 in best regional universities in the North.
#17 – Drexel University
Online Master’s in Construction Management – Real Estate Development
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $36,021
One alternative to online real estate programs, especially for those seeking a career in real estate development, is the online construction management degree like the one offered at Drexel. With three concentrations, students may tailor their degree to align with career goals and interests. These concentrations include construction project management, real estate development, and sustainability and green construction. The program, though entirely online, is highly interactive. There are no residency requirements, which add to the program’s flexibility. Real estate courses cover topics like advanced market research and analysis, community impact analysis, and real estate finance. Drexel University, a private institution, ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 97th best national university in the country.
#16 – Unity College
Online Master’s in Urban Ecology and Sustainable Planning
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,100
As far as accredited online real estate programs go, Unity College offers one of the most uniquely designed. For those interested in working in larger cities, the online master’s in urban ecology and sustainable planning might be the right program for you. This 100% online program focuses on the relationship between humans and nature in urban environments and ways to improve urban communities. The program is affordable and flexible, offering five start dates per year. Courses cover a variety of topics, including sustainable design, sustainable urban ecology, and understanding the complexities of urban planning. Unity College ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 17th best regional college in the North.
#15 – Nova Southeastern University
Online Master’s in Real Estate Development2
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,206
Nova Southeastern University’s master’s in real estate online degree program is offered through the Terry W. Stiles School of Real Estate Development. Terry Stiles was known as a visionary real estate developer in Florida and was instrumental in creating the curriculum for the program. Courses cover a number of real estate topics, including geographic information systems, land use planning and project design, real estate market analysis, and sustainable community development. Admission to Nova’s master’s program requires a conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and strong undergraduate GPA. In addition to offering quality curriculum and courses, Nova ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 246th best national university.
#14 – University of the Incarnate Word
Online MBA – Asset Management
San Antonio, Texas
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,122
University of the Incarnate Word offers one of the few MBA programs on our list that focuses on asset management and real estate investments, making it a top pick for online real estate programs. Students earn their MBA online with a specialization in asset management. From there, students take classes that cover topics like investments, portfolio management, and real estate investments. Other courses required for the MBA core include leading organizations, managerial finance, and strategic marketing. These courses align with the preparation and knowledge needed to work as a real estate developer or leader in the field. University of the Incarnate Word ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 272nd best national university in the country.
#13 – Saint Joseph’s University
Online MBA – Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,334
Saint Joseph’s University offers online real estate programs designed to equip graduate students in business, marketing, and real estate. The online MBA is offered with no residency requirements. Classes are taught by the same professors who lead the on-campus business program. In addition to taking the required online business courses, students may specialize their degree by taking real estate classes. This new real estate concentration allows business students to tailor their degree to better align with their real estate goals and aspirations. Full-time and part-time enrollment options are available, adding to the program’s flexibility. Students may earn their degree in one to 2.5 years. In the most recent publication of U.S. News and World Report, St. Joseph’s ranks #10 in best regional universities in the North.
#12 – University of Illinois
Online MBA – Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,566
Through the Liautaud Graduate School, University of Illinois offers online real estate programs. In fact, students may enroll in the online MBA with a concentration in real estate. This fully online business degree combines economics, finance, and urban planning to offer students a comprehensive knowledge of the urban real estate market. As the school is located in Chicago, the cityscape serves as the program’s working laboratory. Sample classes you will likely take while enrolled in this program include investments, real estate finance, urban economics, and urban real estate and land economics. Recently, U.S. News and World Report ranked the institution as the 132nd best national university.
#11 – New England College
Online Master’s in Real Estate Management
Henniker, New Hampshire
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,228
New England College’s master’s in real estate online degree program is designed to provide flexible studies and strong preparation for working in the real estate management field. By earning 36 credits, students gain a strong ability and depth of knowledge of the industry. Also, ethics, leadership, and organizational management topics are heavily explored. Some of the real estate management courses offered cover topics like contract management, customer relationship management, managerial accounting and finance for leadership, and principles of finance and insurance. New England College ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 129th to 170th best regional university in the North.
#10 – The University of Texas
Online MBA – Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,874
The University of Texas’s Naveen Jindal School of Management offers an accredited and affordable online master’s in real estate. The online MBA with real estate concentration can be completed fully online and tailored to fit personal goals and career aspirations. This concentration includes course topics like introduction to real estate, investment and analysis, real estate finance and investment, real estate law and contracts, and real estate market analysis. The school is fully accredited and offers affordable yearly tuition to graduate students. UT Dallas is also ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. In fact, recent rankings include #147 in best national universities and #147 in best value schools.
#9 – University of Arizona
Online Master’s in Real Estate Development
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,271
University of Arizona’s master’s in real estate online program focuses on sustainable and responsible development in real estate. This program is particularly designed for students interested in transit-oriented development, sustainable cities, and green building. Courses, delivered online, cover topics like due diligence and entitlements, introduction to real estate finance, and survey of responsible real estate development. After completing the required online coursework, students put to use all they’ve learned to complete a real-life development project. University of Arizona is a top-ranked and affordable institution. In fact, recent rankings for U of A include #117 in best national universities.
#8 – Colorado State University
Online MBA – Marketing
Fort Collins, Colorado
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,871
While Colorado State University does not offer an online master’s in real estate degree, the online MBA offers courses that cover a number of topics applicable to the real estate industry. In fact, students who’ve earned the online MBA have also earned a specialization in marketing, which is ideal for making the move to real estate development and sales. Courses offered that may be appealing for aspiring real estate professionals include alternative investments, behavioral finance, and real estate finance and investing. CSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Recent 2020 rankings include #166 in best national universities.
#7 – University of Florida
Online Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737
Offering one of the most unique online real estate programs on our list is University of Florida. The online master’s in urban and regional planning is a fully accredited program that mirrors the on-campus program and its curriculum. Courses emphasize sustainability and urban planning and cover topics like land use planning law, planning theory and history, urban economy, and urban spatial analysis. Admission requires an earned bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Good news for upcoming applicants! The GRE is no longer required. UF ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, University of Florida ranks #34 in best national universities.
#6 – Florida State University
Online MBA in Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,553
Florida State University’s online master’s in real estate is an MBA degree with real estate specialization. This fully online and fast-paced program is ideal for individuals seeking careers as real developers, brokers, and other real estate professionals. The degree consists of 39 credits and is offered as a part-time program. Courses embrace both practical business skills and real estate topics. These topics include real estate finance, real estate investment, and real estate valuation. A total of nine hours is required for the completion of the real estate specializations. FSU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 57th best national university and 114th best value school.
#5 – Auburn University
Online Master of Real Estate Development
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,504
The Auburn University master’s in real estate online degree program uses a different kind of completion model than many of the programs on our list. Course materials are delivered almost entirely online. Here they hold discussions with professors and classmates, submit homework assignments, and work on team projects. Students are then required to visit the Auburn campus six times during the program for week-long residencies. Courses you will take while enrolled in the real estate development program cover topics like building design and construction principles, real estate development law, and real property analysis. Auburn is a top-ranked institution that offers affordable tuition. Recently, Auburn ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 104th best national university and 164th best value school.
#4 – Florida International University
Online Master’s in International Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,106
Florida International University offers a uniquely designed master’s in real estate online program that emphasizes international real estate. This 30-credit, 10-month fast track program is recognized as having one of the fastest completion times on our list. If the rigor does not fit with your schedule, there are other completion options. In fact, a 12-month, flexible spring start program is also available. Courses cover a number of real estate topics, including corporate real estate management, real estate development, real estate finance, and real estate market analysis. FIU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 218th best national university and 63rd most innovative school in the country.
#3 – Iowa State University
Online Master of Real Estate Development
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,990
Offered through the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, the online master’s in real estate at Iowa State University is one of our most affordable programs. The Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) is designed to prepare students for career success in today’s real estate industry. The program is offered in a flexibly designed distance learning format and brief campus residencies. Courses cover topics like architecture and sustainable design, construction basics, real estate development, real estate law, and sustainable community development. In addition to offering quality classes and curriculum, ISU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent rankings for ISU include #121 in best national universities and #101 in best value schools.
#2 – Longwood University
Online MBA – Real Estate
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,982
Longwood University’s accredited online master’s in real estate is a 31-credit MBA with a real estate track. The program can be completed in as few as 10 months, making it one of the fastest paced programs on our list. To apply, you will need an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with official transcripts. Also, professional work experience is a must. Courses cover topics like financial management, managerial accounting, managerial economics, negotiation, and real estate economics and development. The program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). In addition to accreditation, Longwood ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 13th best regional university in the South.
#1 – Liberty University
Online MBA in Real Estate Development
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,400
Earning a #1 spot on our list for affordability, Liberty University offers a master’s in real estate online program that takes two years to complete. The online master’s in real estate development consists of 45 credits and is accredited with ACBSP. Courses cover topics like business research methods, investment analysis, property law, real estate development, and real estate operations. Since the program emphasizes both business and real estate, graduates feel equipped to pursue careers in various aspects of business. Liberty ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 293rd-381st best national university. Also, the online MBA programs rank #185 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with a master’s in real estate online degree?
If you want to become a real estate industry leader, experience and education are important. Fortunately, giving up a valuable career in real estate is not necessary if you plan to go back to school. In fact, many real estate professionals work while earning a degree. Thanks to online real estate program availability, working as a real estate agent or assistant while earning your degree will leverage your career. Here are a few career options once you graduate:
The role of an investment manager is to provide support for a team of real estate agents and professionals. To provide support, the investment manager analyzes the investment process, performance, and risk. A master’s in real estate degree, whether online or traditional, is often required for this job.
Real estate asset manager:
A real estate asset manager is responsible for overseeing real estate holdings for all kinds of businesses, companies, and organizations. This role also manages budget, sales and acquisitions, and other aspects of real estate.
Real estate broker:
A real estate broker may work alone or as part of a team of real estate agents and other brokers. They are responsible for buying and selling commercial and residential properties. Since competition for broker jobs has increased, holding a master’s in real estate online degree will better your chance at employment.
How much money will I earn with a master’s in real estate online degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of real estate brokers and real estate agents is projected to grow seven percent through 2028. This growth is slightly better than the average for all other occupations. Why the expected increase? As the market stabilizes and thrives, the demand for real estate also increases. As a result, buyers turn to agents and brokers to assist with the purchase and sale of a home or business.
But how much can you earn with a master’s in real estate online degree? BLS reports the annual wage for real estate brokers was just under $60,000 in May 2019. However, the highest ten percent of earners in this occupation made more than $178,720.
Earnings depends on a variety of factors, including economic conditions, geographic location, types of properties sold, and the broker or agent’s motivation. As agents or brokers become better at sales, income usually increases. It is important to remember that experience or on-the-job training as a real estate professional directly impacts earnings. However, earning a master’s in real estate online degree can also provide you with the skills necessary to leverage your career in real estate.
What kind of licensing is required after earning an online master’s in real estate degree?
After earning an online master’s in real estate degree, licensing may be required. If you plan to pursue a career as an agent or broker, you must be licensed. Requirements for licensing vary by state, but most licensing agencies have similar criteria. Candidates eligible for licensing must be at least 18 years of age, have completed the required real estate courses, and have passed the appropriate real estate exam. Thankfully, many master’s in in real estate online programs offer access to exams and required licensing courses as part of the program.
Eligibility for a broker’s license is more stringent. In fact, to become a real estate broker, you will need at least one to three years of experience working as a real estate agent. Additional training and education depend on state requirements. And in some cases, a bachelor’s degree is required to obtain licensing as a real estate broker.
A real estate license typically must be renewed every two to four years depending on state requirements. Most states require the completion of continuing education courses for license renewal. It is important to contact the real estate licensing commission in the state you plan to work to find out what the requirements are.
What is the job outlook for individuals with an online master’s in real estate?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a seven percent growth in employment for real estate brokers and sales agents from 2018 to 2028. This means an additional 32,400 jobs or job openings will be available for graduates in the upcoming years. Since the real estate market is dependent on financial and job markets, we will see an ebb and flow, but overall, an increase should be expected in the next several years.
As the job market improves and consumer spending recovers from a crippling pandemic, a demand for brokers and agents to handle home purchases should increase. However, we could see tighter credit regulations and increasing real estate prices, which may drive individuals to rent rather than purchase. This is especially true of a millennial generation that has historically delayed their home ownership due to financial and personal reasons.
While entering occupations, such as a real estate agent or broker, acquiring listings will depend on the overall job market, real estate market, and economic conditions. As the economy recovers and we see an increase in home sales, there could be more competition as real estate professionals return to school for education and licensing. As a result, those with additional education will have the best chances for success.
What classes will I take while earning an online master’s in real estate?
Course topics vary by program. However, most online master’s in real estate programs require similar classes that focus on the advanced academic and professional skills needed to succeed in different aspects of real estate. Whether you are planning to enter your career as an agent, broker, or developer, it is important to take classes that immerse you in real-world trends, ethics, and the evolving challenges in the industry.
Courses you will likely see as an online master’s in real estate graduate student cover a series of foundational topics. These topics may include foundations of real estate accounting, foundations of real estate finance, introduction to real estate law, and introduction to real estate markets. Ethics and real estate fundamentals courses are also usually taken during the first year of study and serve as foundation courses.
Once your foundation courses are behind you, electives may be taken. Electives allow you to specialize your degree or tailor your courses to better align with interests and career goals. Some electives may include construction project management, globalization of real estate, and urban planning.
In addition to required courses, there are important qualities a real estate professional should possess. Having strong business skills help a real estate agent or broker succeed, as most professionals are self-employed. You can improve your business skills by taking business, finance, and marketing courses while earning your online master’s in real estate degree.