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Working in the real estate field is much more than simply getting a real estate agent’s license to help clients buy and sell homes; it’s also a business that involves planning, land use, understanding legislation, and can also lead to a job working for government at all levels. Getting a degree in real estate helps you learn about topics that include legal issues, urban planning and public policy, sustainable development, investment theory and practice, and more. You also learn about the financial aspects of real estate that range from acquisition of assets, project management, and the different types of project financing.

When asking “what can I do with a real estate degree?”, the answer is “a lot.” You should get a degree in real estate if you find yourself intrigued by the prospect of working in a dynamic industry that directly affects people’s daily lives. A degree in real estate elevates your job prospects beyond working for a real estate agency and opens up doors to working for major property groups, employment with organizations that are in expansion mode, and real estate development. You’ll easily find your career niche when you earn a real estate business degree.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Degrees for Real Estate

For the Bachelor’s Degree Center ranking of the best real estate programs in the US, editors focused on accredited, trusted colleges and universities. We have ranked programs according to factors that matter to students, including tuition rate, student reviews, and potential salary, using current IPEDS and Niche data.

1. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business offers a BS in Real Estate that is recognized among Virginia’s best real estate programs according to Great Business Schools. This best degree for real estate from Virginia Tech offers an interdisciplinary approach with coursework from five of Virginia Tech’s colleges. Graduates from VT’s best degrees for real estate are prepared to lead complex real estate development projects, including the implementation of feasibility studies, among others.

Virginia Tech (VPI) is a public institution of higher education that was established in the early 1870s as a college of agricultural and mechanics. In addition, Virginia Tech operates as a triple-designated school (Land, Sea & Space) with a student population of approximately 36,150 students.

What We Like: Virginia Tech offers enrolled students nearly 300 academic degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Degree: BS in Real Estate

2. University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics that is ranked as one of the most innovative and best real estate programs in the Badger State and beyond. US News ranks UW’s BBA degree among the top two best degrees for real estate in the nation. Featured coursework for the University of Wisconsin’s best degrees for real estate includes real estate law, the real estate process, and real estate valuation & finance, to name a few.

The Madison campus @ the University of Wisconsin operates as Wisconsin’s flagship school. Founded in the 1840s, UW Madison’s urban campus covers more than 900 acres and serves approximately 45,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year.

What We Like: The University of Wisconsin maintains a 1,000+ acre arboretum several miles from its main campus.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics

3. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania Real Estate Department offers a Bachelor of Business (BBA) Administration in Real Estate degree program is recognized to be among the best degrees for real estate in the United States. Offered since the mid-1980s, Penn’s best degree for real estate is a major that enrolled students declare in before their junior year. The concentration for these best real estate programs from the University of Pennsylvania offers classes in real estate investment analysis, real estate law, urban real estate economics, and real estate entrepreneurship, among others.

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is among the oldest higher learning institutions in the United States, founded in 1751 as an academy. Penn now operates as one of the country’s ivy league schools that serve 22,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

What We Like: The University of Pennsylvania is organized into twelve colleges and schools offering programs at all degree levels.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

4. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin offers a Real Estate Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance that is considered as one of the best degrees for real estate in Texas and beyond. UT’s best degree for real estate program requires six credit hours in classes that include money & capital markets, real estate investment introduction to real estate, and urban land development, among others. Students enrolled in UT’s best real estate programs benefit from the school’s UTES – the Undergraduate Real Estate Society.

The University of Texas (UT Austin) is a public, space-grant school that was founded in the 1880s. The University of Texas is also the UT flagship campus serving more than 51,000 postgraduate and undergraduate students each year.

What We Like: Student-Athletes at the University of Texas have garnered more titles in women’s & men’s sports in the Big 12 division.

Degree: BBA in Finance – Real Estate

5. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate that is recognized by educational publications among the country’s best degrees for real estate. Classes included in UG’s best degree for real estate program cover topics in real estate finance, the principles of real estate, real estate development, and valuation methods, among others. Internships included with the University of Georgia’s best real estate programs may include up to six semester hours.

The University of Georgia is recognized as one of the United States’ oldest institutions of higher learning, founded in the mid-1780s. UG is also the state’s triple designated flagship school with a student enrollment that nears 39,000 postgraduate and undergraduate students.

What We Like: The University of Georgia operates facilities throughout the state and internationally in Italy, Costa Rica, and Oxford University in England.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

6. Villanova University

Villanova University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate and Finance that is consistently ranked as one of Pennsylvania’s best real estate programs. Students enrolled in Villanova’s best degree for real estate program are required to complete a minimum of 125 semester hours to meet the university’s graduation criteria. Featured coursework for Villanova University’s best degrees for real estate includes competitive effectiveness, the principles of finance, business dynamics, and strategic thinking and implementation, to name a few.

Villanova University is a private, space-grant school that was founded in 1811 by order of Saint Augustine. Villanova University is affiliated with the Catholic (Augustinian) Church, with a student enrollment that nears 11,000 each year.

What We Like: Villanova University’s campus is about ten miles from downtown Philadelphia and is covered in more than 1,500 trees.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

7. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers a BS in Real Estate Development that is ranked among the Golden State’s best real estate programs. Featured core classes for USC’s best degree for real estate program include designing livable communities, analyzing real estate markets, real estate development fundamentals, and advanced finance and investment for real estate developers, among others. Students enrolled in the USC’s best degrees for real estate who have an interest in studying abroad will find the University of Southern California offers great international study options.

The University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880 as a private institution of higher education and is recognized as one of California’s oldest research schools. In addition, this space and sea-grant school serves approximately 48,850 students each year.

What We Like: The University of Southern California is organized into 24 academic schools/colleges.

Degree: BS in Real Estate Development

8. University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Real Estate that ranks among the best real estate programs in Connecticut and the greater New England area. UConn’s 120 credit unit best degree for real estate program includes these featured classes – real estate principles, real estate finance, commercial real estate appraising, real estate law, and investments and security analysis, to name a few. Degree candidates enrolled in UConn’s best degrees for real estate may choose to participate in a summer internship during their junior and senior years.

The University of Connecticut is the state’s flagship campus and a recognized public ivy. The university operates as a land, space, and sea-grant school with a student body of approximately 32,550 students each year. UConn’s campus covers more than 4,000 acres and is only 30 minutes from Hartford and 90 minutes from downtown Boston.

What We Like: The University of Connecticut is considered one of the best-valued education in New England.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

9. Indiana University

The Indiana University Center for Real Estate Studies offers a Bachelor of Science degree program (BS) in Business with a Real Estate academic concentration that is considered among the most innovative and best real estate programs in the Hoosier State and beyond. The integrated core coursework for Indiana University’s 120 semester credit hour best degree for real estate includes real estate finance, operations management, marketing real estate, and the fundamentals of economics and business, to name a few. The minimum GPA for students enrolled in IU’s best degrees for real estate is 2.0.

Indiana University is a public space-grant institution of higher learning that was developed in 1820. Indiana University operates educational facilities and campuses throughout the state that serve more than 110,000 students each year.

What We Like: IU’s flagship campus is located in Bloomington, with eight more campuses throughout the state.

Degree: BSB in Real Estate

10. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley Haas Business offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Real Estate degree program that is ranked by US News among the top four best real estate programs in the nation. This best degree for real estate requires students to complete 24 of their 30-semester units as a senior in residence. Sample coursework for UC Berkeley’s best degrees for real estate included an introduction to entrepreneurship, the principles of business, special topics in business administration, introduction to finance, and business analytics, to name a few.

The University of California, Berkeley was established as a land-grant school in the 1860s and has developed to be one of the globe’s leading universities. In addition, this space-grant school serves more than 43,000 students.

What We Like: Alumni from UC Berkeley have founded notable companies like Tesla, AIG, eBay, and Apple, among others.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

11. Florida State University

Florida State University offers a BS in Real Estate program recognized among the most innovative and best real estate programs in the Southern US. Florida State University’s best degree for real estate program features coursework in strategic management and business policy, risk management & insurance, real estate market analysis, and the legal environment of real estate. In addition, these best degrees for real estate offer interested students the opportunity to complete a dual BS and Master of Science in Finance, simultaneously saving time and money.

Established in the 1850s, Florida State University now operates as a senior member and space-grant school of Florida’s state university system. Florida State University’s 1,300+ acre campus and online platform serve approximately 41,350 graduate and undergraduate students.

What We Like: Florida State University’s impact on the economy exceeds $10 billion yearly.

Degree: BS in Real Estate

12. University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa offers a Bachelor’s in Real Estate that is ranked among Iowa’sbest real estate programs. Graduates of UNI’s best degree for real estate enter the workforce as a land broker, commercial leasing broker, commercial asset management, or commercial appraiser, to name a few. The featured coursework for the University of Northern Iowa’s best degree for real estate includes real estate finance, real estate law and brokerage, intermediate financial management, and corporation finance, among others.

The University of Northern Iowa was established as the Iowa State Normal School in the mid-1870s. The University of Northern Iowa also operates as a space-grant school with more than 10,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year.

What We Like: Student-athletes at UNI play as Panthers in the NCAA Division 1.

Degree: Bachelor’s in Real Estate

13. Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University Cox Business offers a BBA in Real Estate that is considered as one of Texas’s most innovative and best real estate programs. Southern Methodist University’s best degree for real estate includes classes in real estate law, advanced concepts in financial management, project management, negotiations, real estate capital markets, finance, markets and valuation, and business modeling spreadsheets, plus a practicum, among others. Those who wish may apply for the honors program offered with Southern Methodist University’s best degrees for real estate.

Southern Methodist University is a research institution of higher learning that was founded in 1911. This multiple campus private school serves more than 12,150 undergraduate and graduate students from its urban campus and online platform.

What We Like: Southern Methodist University is organized into eight schools and colleges.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

14. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate and Finance that is one of the best real estate programs in Texas and beyond. This best degree for real estate program from Texas Tech University requires degree candidates to finish 120 semester hours to meet Texas Tech University graduation requirements. The featured classes for Texas Tech University’s best degrees for real estate include financial modeling, applied business economics, real estate law, business accounting, and real estate investments, to name a few.

Texas Tech University (TTU) was established in 1923 as the Texas Technological College. Texas Tech University now operates as the primary campus of the Texas Tech University system with a student enrollment that exceeds 40,050 students each year, studying on-campus and on the university’s online platform.

What We Like: Texas Tech University is a recognized Hispanic-servicing higher learning institution.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

15. Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a Real Estate BS in Business Administration (BSBA) that is one of the best real estate programs across the state of Colorado. Colorado State University offers students enrolled in this best degree for real estate program an impressive 22 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Students enrolled in Colorado State University’s best degrees for real estate must complete 120-semester units. This degree offers an accelerated option that allows students to complete the program in three years.

Colorado State University was founded as an agricultural college and land grant school in 1870. Colorado State University is also the flagship school with approximately 33,950 students each year.

What We Like: Colorado State University’s 550+ acre main campus in Fort Collins sits at the base of the southern Rocky Mountains.

Degree: BSBA in Real Estate

16. New York University

New York University’s School of Professional Studies offers a BS in Real Estate that US News & World Report ranks among the top three best real estate programs nationwide. Graduates of New York University’s best degree for real estate program are prepared for a rewarding career in commercial real estate. Featured classes for New York University’s best degrees for real estate include market analysis in real estate, real estate law, business organization and management, and introduction to risk and portfolio management, to name a few.

New York University was founded as an educational research facility in 1831. More than 51,450 students attend classes online and on campuses throughout the United States and the world.

What We Like: New York University receives the most applications for admission to any private school in the nation.

Degree: BS in Real Estate

17. Temple University

Temple University Fox Business offers a BBA in Real Estate that is among Philadelphia’s best real estate programs. This best degree for real estate program requires 124 baccalaureate credit units to meet Temple University’s graduation criteria. Degree candidates enrolled in the best degrees for real estate complete coursework in the management of corporate real estate assets, commercial real estate analysis, real estate financial modeling, residential property management, and real estate development, real estate fundamentals, and international finance, to name a few.

Temple University was founded by a Baptist minister in the mid-1880s. Temple University is also a space-grant and research school with a student enrollment of approximately 37,150 students each year, vying for the more than 500 academic degree programs from its fifteen schools/colleges.

What We Like: Temple University maintains several campuses in Pennsylvania and internationally.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

18. Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with an academic concentration in Real Estate that is among the best real estate programs. Texas Christian University’s best degree for real estate program prepares graduates for rewarding careers in mortgage lending, asset management, real estate management, or real estate development, among others. Featured classes include in Texas Christian University’s best degrees for real estate include money and banking, real estate finance & investment analysis, real estate valuation, and the management of financial institutions, to name a few.

Established in the 1870s, Texas Christian University operates as a private institution of higher learning that is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ – a Christian Church. The Fort Worth campus of Texas Christian University covers more than 270 acres and is few miles from Fort Worth’s downtown.

What We Like: Texas Christian University is comprised of ten colleges/schools.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

19. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers a BS in Business Administration (BSBA) in Real Estate that US News and World Report ranks among the best real estate programs. This University’s best degree for real estate program from the University of Central Florida prepares graduates for careers as rental agents, community association managers, real estate brokers, property managers, or land acquisition managers, among others. Sample classes for the University of Central Florida’s best degrees for real estate include real estate law, the fundamentals of real estate, and personal finance & investments.

The University of Central Florida is a member school of Florida’s state university system and a space-grant school with deep connections to Florida’s space coast. Founded in the 1960s, the University of Central Florida now serves more than 71,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students on its multiple campuses and online.

What We Like: The University of Central Florida is organized into thirteen colleges/schools that offer more than 190 academic degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Degree: BSBA in Real Estate

20. University of Miami

The University of Miami’s Herbert Business School offers a BBA in Real Estate that is one of Miami’s best real estate programs. This 120-credit best degree for real estate program explores the theoretical & analytic concepts regarding real estate development, investments, and lending. The University of Miami’s best degrees for real estate coursework includes real estate finance, legal aspects of real estate transactions, security markets, and fixed income markets & analysis, to name a few.

The University of Miami (UM) was founded in the mid-1920s in Coral Gables. UM operates as a private sea and space-grant school that serves approximately 11,090 students each year.

What We Like: The Princeton Review recognizes UM as one of the best southeastern colleges.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

21. University of Colorado, Boulder

The University of Colorado, Boulder Leeds School of Business offers a BS in Business Administration in Real Estate that ranks as one of the best real estate programs in Boulder and beyond. The required immersive coursework for UM’s best degree for real estate program includes real estate finance economics, the principles of real estate, real estate law investment analysis, and real estate development topics, to name a few. Graduates of these best degrees for real estate find rewarding careers in management, sales, or real estate development, among others.

The University of Colorado (UC- Boulder) was founded in the mid-1870s as a public institution of higher learning. The University of Colorado now operates as the flagship campus of the UC system and a space-grant with a student enrollment that exceeds 35,350 students every year.

What We Like: The University of Colorado (Boulder) is considered one of the few public ivy schools in the country.

Degree: BSBA in Real Estate

22. University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi offers a BBA in Real Estate, which is one of the best real estate programs in the state of Mississippi. The minimum credit hours required for the University of Mississippi’s best degree for real estate program are 120, with the real estate major requiring 45 credit units. Featured classes for the University of Mississippi’s best degrees for real estate include the principles of marketing real estate finance, the legal environment of business, and strategic planning in real estate, to name a few.

The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) was founded by the state legislature in the mid-1840s. With more than 18,100 students, UM is recognized to be the state’s largest institution of higher education.

What We Like: The University of Mississippi maintains satellite campuses in Jackson, Rankin, Grenada, DeSoto, Booneville, and Tupelo.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

23. University of San Diego

The University of San Diego offers a BBA in Real Estate degree program is one of Southern California’s best real estate programs. The core curriculum for the University of San Diego’s best degree for real estate program includes financing residential real estate, the legal aspects of real estate, and commercial real estate financing and investments, to name a few. Degree candidates enrolled in USD’s best degrees for real estate must maintain a C- in lower-division coursework to enter the real estate major.

The University of San Diego was founded as a women’s school in the late 1940s. Currently, the university operates as a private research school with a student enrollment of approximately 5,600 undergraduate & postgraduate students.

What We Like: The University of San Diego’s urban campus is ranked first for the most beautiful urban campus by Best Choice Schools.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

24. George Washington University

George Washington University offers a BBA in Real Estate, which is one of the nation’s capital’s best real estate programs. The required coursework for this best degree for real estate program includes real estate development, real estate investments, urban and regional economics, and valuation and investment analysis, to name a few. Students graduate from George Washington University’s best degrees for real estate to find rewarding careers in real estate management, brokerage, investment analysis, or a market consultant, to name a few.

George Washington University holds an unusual status as a private institution of higher education with a federal charter. Established in the 1820s, George Washington University serves more than 27,050 students, making it the largest school in the DC area.

What We Like: George Washington University is one of only five schools with a congressional charter.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

25. University of Denver

The University of Denver offers a Bachelor’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment (REBE) that has been ranked among the best real estate programs in the country. This best degree for real estate program from the University of Denver offers a multi-disciplinary approach to the real estate business. Degree candidates must complete 185 quarter credits in classes that include real estate valuation and appraisal, the management of income properties, real estate securities, and real estate taxation, to name a few.

The University of Denver was established as the Colorado Seminary in the late 1840s. The University of Denver now operates as a nonsectarian space-grant school with a student enrollment of more than 12,650 students each year. The urban campus of UD is about five miles from Denver’s downtown.

What We Like: The University of Denver is organized into twelve schools offering programs in arts, business, law, education, social work, music, and psychology, to name a few.

Degree: Bachelor’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment

How Do I Choose a College for Real Estate?

The best college for real estate is one that offers a program that meets your career goals, has high percentage of graduates working in the field, and has accreditation from an organization registered with the U.S. Department of Education. Good colleges for real estate have degrees have programs that are staffed by people who have worked in the industry, have classes that provide you with the fundamentals of working in real estate, and can prepare you for licensing tests after graduation. Check to see if the program features regional accreditation or has accreditation from The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) or the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC) as accreditation ensures the quality of the education you receive is in accordance with national and international real estate education standards.

As you’re picking the best college for real estate, keep your options open in terms of the school you ultimately decide to attend. Some of the best undergraduate real estate programs are offered by schools you may not be aware of, and its graduates find employment with major organizations in the field of real estate. The best universities for real estate programs are ones that suit your career goals, feature the best real estate programs in your area or national ranking, and have a solid reputation for the best undergraduate real estate programs.

Is Real Estate a College Major?

The idea that there’s a college major for real estate seems questionable on the surface. The fact is, there are many prestigious universities that offer real estate degrees from the undergraduate level to the postgraduate level. One college major for real estate is the real estate MBA program which is a master’s in business administration with a focus on real estate. Some college real estate programs offer a bachelor’s to master’s program that teaches foundational and higher-level courses while enabling a student to graduate in five years instead of six. A college major for real estate program teaches students how to handle all aspects of real estate and real estate finance which prepares them for employment in all manner of real estate-related fields.

Do I Need a College Degree to Get a Real Estate License?

When looking at how to get your real estate license, the answer is no, you don’t need a college degree in most states. You can take a course offered by an organization approved or otherwise authorized to provide real estate licensing classes in your state. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be able to take the licensing test and get a real estate broker’s license. This is the most straightforward way to get a real estate license, but you can also learn how to get your real estate license through college real estate programs even though a degree may not be necessary.

As noted, there are two paths towards getting your real estate license in the form of taking a class or going to college to get a bachelor’s degree. You can get a real estate license quickly, or you can take your time. The main difference between college real estate programs and getting your real estate license through a short educational course is the amount of knowledge you possess after you graduate either type of education. These are both valid options when looking at how to obtain a real estate license, but getting your real estate license through a university or college opens up better employment prospects. Getting your real estate license and degree can help you find employment roles that go beyond being a real estate broker.

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