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Real estate is a dynamic field, full of opportunities for aspiring professionals to hold rewarding and meaningful careers throughout their lifetime. Earning an online real estate MBA can open the door to many new career opportunities, including positions such as real estate manager, investment analyst, or development consultant, with median salaries ranging from $60,000 to $92,000 per year.

These programs typically take 18 months to three years to complete — although some programs may allow students to take longer to accommodate professionals with a full-time job or other responsibilities. While costs vary depending on the institution, the average price of a master’s degree program was $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

How to Choose an Online Real Estate MBA Program

Choose your area of study

Earning a general real estate MBA is an excellent way to set yourself up for success in this competitive field. Still, you can take your knowledge and skills further by choosing a specialization or area of study. Options will vary depending on the program but may include real estate finance, development, investment, or sustainable practices.

Be sure to carefully consider your career goals and interests when making this decision. For instance, students with strong analytical and financial skills may excel in real estate finance, while those passionate about construction or urban planning may thrive in real estate development. Investment-focused specializations suit students interested in portfolio management and risk analysis. Sustainable practices are ideal for individuals committed to environmental responsibility and green initiatives.

Research schools and programs

With so many real estate MBA programs, starting your initial research can be intimidating. However, by keeping your intended specialty and career goals in mind, you can find the perfect program that aligns with your career aspirations.

Look for programs with a curriculum that supports your intended specialization. Carefully review course descriptions to ensure that your potential coursework will align with your professional and long-term goals, and read faculty profiles to discover instructors who specialize in your chosen field.

In addition, consider factors like program reputation, accreditation, internship opportunities, and career placement services. Institutions that excel in these areas often provide exceptional learning experiences.

Prepare for tests and applications

Now that you have compiled a short list of the schools you plan on applying to, you’ll want to prepare for tests and applications. Compiling a robust application with impressive test scores can significantly affect how an admissions committee perceives your potential in a program.

First, dedicate time to study for any required standardized tests, such as the GRE or GMAT, using practice materials. Enrolling in a test prep course can give you an advantage here, as these courses teach test-taking strategies and will help you familiarize yourself with the test’s questions.

Second, write a compelling personal statement that emphasizes your passion for real estate and aligns with the program’s values and specializations. Your statement is a unique opportunity to stand out to an admissions committee beyond your academic history and test scores. Be sure to dedicate ample time to this crucial aspect of your application.

Lastly, gather all necessary documents, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and your resume, ensuring you meet application deadlines. Allow sufficient time for your potential recommenders to compose their letters, and keep an eye out for any specific application requirements, as these can vary by program.

Select your program

After receiving acceptance letters, you can select your real estate MBA program by carefully considering a few important factors.

Start by comparing program specializations, curriculum, and faculty expertise to align with personal interests and career goals. Then, evaluate each school’s reputation, accreditation, and industry connections for networking opportunities and job placement support. Lastly, consider the program’s cost. While many resources are available to help mitigate the financial burden, choosing a program that fits your budget is essential. Review each program’s financial aid and scholarship options to make an informed financial decision that will only continue to benefit you in the years to come.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Research scholarships and grants specific to real estate or MBA programs to determine how to pay for your real estate MBA. Your school or private organizations may offer these opportunities and can cover a significant portion of your overall tuition without needing repayment.

Submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is vital, as it determines your eligibility for federal aid, including loans and work-study programs. Exploring these options, alongside potential part-time work or employer sponsorship, can help you create a comprehensive plan to find your education.

Top 50 Online Real Estate MBA Degree Programs

Best Online Real Estate MBA Degree Programs
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UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management
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FSU College of Business
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University of California at Los Angeles
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Thomas Jefferson University
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UIC Business
01

Longwood University
01

Liberty University
01

FIU College of Business
01

Rice University
01

Coastal Carolina University

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How We Rank Schools

This list ranks the best online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs with a concentration in real estate.

To be included, programs had to be delivered fully or primarily online and offered by regionally accredited institutions. We also considered whether programs had specialized accreditation through organizations like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Programs that made the cut were evaluated based on reputation, flexibility, faculty, cost, retention and graduation rates, and more. Based on these evaluations, each school received an Intelligent Score of 0-100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Online Real Estate MBA Program

A real estate MBA program offers an in-depth understanding of the real estate industry, combining core business principles with specialized courses on real estate finance, development, investment, and management. Students learn about market analysis, property valuation, legal and regulatory aspects, and sustainable practices. These programs typically take two years to complete, although accelerated or part-time options are often available to meet each student’s unique needs.

Some programs may require students to attend in-person classes or participate in residencies, providing valuable networking opportunities and hands-on experiences. However, with the advancements in online education, many programs now offer flexible online formats to accommodate working professionals. As a prospective student, prepare to collaborate in group projects, engage in case studies, and apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online Real Estate MBA program

  • Real Estate Finance: A standard core requirement, this course teaches students the fundamental principles of real estate finance, including mortgage structures, investment analysis, and risk management. They will understand how to evaluate the financial viability of real estate projects, assess potential risks, and make informed decisions.
  • Real Estate Development: Another standard requirement, this course focuses on the entire process of real estate development, covering land acquisition, entitlements, construction, and project management. Students will learn to navigate regulatory environments, conduct feasibility studies, and create sustainable and profitable development projects.
  • Property Valuation and Appraisal: In this course, students will gain expertise in property valuation methods, including income, sales comparison, and cost approaches. They will learn to appraise various real estate assets accurately and analyze market trends affecting property values.
  • Real Estate Law and Contracts: Frequently an elective, this crucial course delves into the legal aspects of real estate transactions, covering contract law, property rights, leasing agreements, and zoning regulations. Students will understand the legal framework governing real estate transactions and develop skills to handle legal issues in the industry.
  • Real Estate Investment Analysis: Geared towards students focused on the long-term benefits of investing in real estate, this course focuses on advanced financial modeling and investment analysis techniques specific to the real estate sector. Students will learn to evaluate risk-adjusted returns, perform sensitivity analyses, and make strategic investment decisions to optimize real estate portfolios.

What Can You Do With an Online Real Estate MBA Program?

Career outlook

The career outlook for those with an online MBA in real estate is generally favorable. There is a range of positions you may seek with this credential in hand, including real estate or community association manager, which has a median salary of $59,230 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or real estate broker, which has a median pay of $62,010 annually. However, top brokers earn salaries in the six figures. Jobs available in the real estate sector tend to ebb and flow with the economy, but the need for those capable of undertaking leadership roles in the industry remains constant.

Career paths

Although many professionals in this field start as real estate salespersons or brokers, several job options are available with an MBA. Your MBA will give you a strong foundation of skills in finance and management, and these skills may lead to jobs including the following:

  • Real estate development manager — oversees the planning, design, and construction of real estate projects
  • Real estate investment analyst — assesses potential real estate investment opportunities to determine their feasibility and potential returns
  • Real estate asset manager — manages and maximizes the value of real estate assets on behalf of owners
  • Real estate portfolio manager — oversees a collection of real estate assets to achieve portfolio performance goals
  • Real estate consultant — provides expert advice and strategic guidance to clients in the real estate industry

Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent

Earning Potential: $30,470-$176,080

Education Required: bachelor’s degree in business or finance; MBA in real estate

Real estate brokers and agents help clients to buy, sell, and rent properties. They may work with individuals or corporate clients. Brokers are licensed to manage their businesses, while agents must work with a licensed broker. Brokers and agents research potential properties, assess their appropriateness for clients, and assist those clients in determining if the property is the right choice for their needs. They must be detail-oriented and grasp construction details and housing infrastructure well. They may mediate negotiations between buyers and sellers and work with lawyers to prepare documents needed for sales.

Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager

Earning Potential: $30,740-$124,680

Education Required: bachelor’s degree in business or finance; MBA in real estate

These professionals oversee the operations of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They may act as sales agents for housing complexes or commercial structures and be responsible for maintaining properties under their care. They will likely keep the books for a complex property, collecting rental and other fees as needed. They regularly inspect properties, determine repair needs, and manage the vendors who make those repairs. They must be familiar with contracts as they arrange for landscapers, trash removal, and other services. They also need a familiarity with anti-discrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Property Appraisers and Assessors

Earning Potential: $35,520-$120,790

Education Required: bachelor’s degree in business or finance; MBA in real estate

Property appraisers and assessors assess real estate properties and provide a value estimate on the property. Appraisers must meet state licensure or certification requirements, which vary from state to state. Appraisers and assessors need an excellent familiarity with public records to verify property descriptions. They must understand construction best practices and be able to inspect and assess a property’s condition and its details. They may analyze comparable properties to ascertain a value. They need good written and oral communication skills to prepare written reports on property value for stakeholders.

Online Real Estate MBA Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online real estate MBA program?

First, visit the program’s official website and locate the application portal. Complete the online application form, providing the required personal and academic details. As admissions requirements vary among institutions, ensure you meet prerequisites such as holding a bachelor’s degree, submitting transcripts, and providing standardized test scores if applicable. Some programs may require work experience in real estate or a related field.

While you’re moving through this process, reach out to an admissions counselor to gain insight into specific requirements and application deadlines and to address any questions or concerns about the program.

How much does an online real estate MBA degree cost?

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the average cost of an MBA was $19,749. Remember that this figure can vary among institutions, with public schools averaging approximately $12,000 and private institutions averaging $27,000. Prestigious universities might have higher tuition rates, and private schools can be equally expensive.

Besides tuition, it’s essential to consider additional costs like textbooks, technology requirements, and online course materials. Additionally, there may be fees related to virtual proctoring, online learning platforms, and other administrative expenses.

How long does it take to earn an online real estate MBA degree?

Most students complete their real estate MBA in 18 months to three years. Since online programs offer more flexibility in completion time compared to on-campus degrees, some students may take shorter or longer to graduate, depending on their study pace and personal circumstances. Those who study part-time will generally take longer to complete their degree, while full-time students often move quicker.

It’s also important to consider the total number of required credits, as this varies by institution and can impact program length. Most MBA programs require 36 to 54 credits to graduate, but some require even more. Consider this factor carefully when choosing your program, as it can significantly impact program duration.

Is an online real estate MBA program worth it?

An online MBA focused on real estate can be a worthwhile investment for students interested in the property and real estate sector. This field suits those with entrepreneurial interests, as several jobs allow for independent work. A real estate broker, for example, may start their own residential or commercial real estate business. In contrast, real estate consultants or assessors can work as freelancers, taking on clients as necessary while they build their reputation.

 

Some positions available to those with a real estate MBA offer lucrative salaries. For example, working as a real estate financial analyst provides a median salary of $95,570, with top performers earning more than $166,560.

 

Earning an MBA gives students a solid foundational knowledge of business practices, from finance to marketing, essential for those looking for career advancement. An MBA focused on real estate allows students to network with other like-minded individuals, mentors, and teachers and may offer opportunities for internships to aid in skills development.

Earning an MBA online can be a beneficial choice for those with other personal or professional responsibilities. It can be a good option, especially for adult learners who wish to earn their degree quickly and efficiently.

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