Online MBA Degrees in Real Estate


Updated February 3, 2023

Real estate is a booming industry. See how getting an online MBA degree in real estate can enhance your career. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Real estate includes the sale of homes, land, and construction. Degree-seekers can study real estate to pursue work as investors, property managers, and real estate appraisers. Data from the National Association of Realtors shows a steady decline in housing affordability since the end of 2021.

Although it is not currently an ideal market for homebuyers, real estate professionals can still reap the benefits. Higher average home prices and competitive bidding can increase real estate brokers' commissions. Real estate development managers may also see more demand for affordable housing.

Online MBA real estate programs explore general business and industry-specific topics to build project management, finance, and other necessary skills. According to June 2022 Payscale data, graduates with this degree earn an annual average of $104,000.

Below, learn more about the best MBA programs for real estate professionals, along with ways to advance your career.

What to Expect From an Online Real Estate MBA Program

Online MBA real estate programs provide the same curriculum and learning experiences as on-campus programs. Online degree-seekers can also expect to pay similar tuition and complete their degrees in the same timeframe.

However, online learners may not receive access to the same resources as on-campus students, such as in-person workshops, networking events, and career centers. These resources can be invaluable for real estate professionals' careers.

Students interested in advanced real estate degrees typically decide between MBAs and master of science (MS) degrees. While MBAs add a general business education to real estate topics, an MS degree solely focuses on real estate.

An MS degree may be the better option for professionals who are sure about pursuing a real estate career. In contrast, an MBA can combine real estate and business interests, offering more flexible professional opportunities.

Comparing MS in Real Estate and MBA in Real Estate Degrees

Degree Type

Degree Description

Degree Cost

Potential Careers

Master of Science in Real Estate

An MS in real estate covers the full real estate process from start to finish. Students learn real estate market analysis, financing, negotiating, law, and development.

$51,000, on average

Real estate appraiser, real estate developer, real estate analyst

MBA in Real Estate

Learners start with business education in courses like marketing, economics, and management communication. Then, they target real estate-focused topics, including real estate investing and law.

$67,000, on average

Mortgage loan officer, real estate broker, construction manager

How to Choose an MBA Program in Real Estate

MBA programs vary widely in cost and quality, so aspiring real estate MBAs should research factors like tuition prices, financial aid information, and student outcome data for each prospective program. We cover these and other factors in more detail below.

  • Research Program Delivery Methods: Many online students pursue real estate MBAs while continuing to work, so part-time enrollment and programs with evening or asynchronous attendance options can be beneficial. Asynchronous attendance permits students to watch lectures and contribute to discussions at their convenience rather than meeting at specific times. Students looking to complete their MBAs in 12-18 months can consider accelerated MBAs.
  • Ask About Available Student Resources: Online MBA programs require motivation, self-discipline, and functioning technology. Some schools offer 24-hour online IT support for students.
  • Programs that provide online tutoring support also prove very helpful for students tackling the advanced, rigorous coursework of MBA programs. Many programs also provide individualized academic advising, program coaching, and career counseling.

  • Estimate Your Expected Program Costs: MBA programs tend to cost more than other master's programs due to their salary potential. According to Payscale, professionals with MBAs in real estate average over $103,000 annually, whereas bachelor's in real estate graduates earn an average of $71,000 annually.
  • MBA programs typically often cost around $60,000, although prices vary among institutions. Public schools typically cost less than private schools, and in-state students at public schools typically pay the lowest rates. Many schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency.

  • Make Sure You Meet Eligibility Requirements: An MBA in real estate program applicant typically needs professional work experience and a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Many programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite coursework in business, although students can sometimes complete these foundational courses at the beginning of their MBA programs.
  • Application materials typically include essays, recommendations, and resumes. Many schools require GMAT or GRE scores, but they may waive this requirement for experienced professionals or candidates with strong performance in prior graduate programs.

  • Compare Student Outcomes Data: Many MBA programs highlight positive student outcomes data, such as high graduation and employment rates. Other positive performance markers include high net present value, return on investment, and low loan default rates. Comparing student outcomes data by program can help prospective students find high-quality programs.
  • Research Partnerships With Local Businesses And Communities: Many MBA programs boast affiliations with organizations, which may provide MBA students with internship or employment opportunities. Students interested in traveling can also consider MBAs in areas where their institutions maintain partnerships.
  • Make Sure The Program Is Accredited: Researching a school's accreditation status helps prospective students identify quality real estate MBA programs. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two.
  • Top MBA programs usually maintain programmatic accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  • Contact Current Students and Alumni: Speaking with alumni and current students can offer valuable insight into the pros and cons of prospective MBA programs. Alumni and current students frequently offer tips that can help prospective or new enrollees make the most of their MBAs.

Why Enroll in a Real Estate MBA Program?

Degree-seekers choosing real estate MBA programs typically show interest in becoming real estate brokerage managers or development managers.

Like other MBAs, the best MBA for real estate programs typically take two years to complete. Tuition also typically aligns with costs for general MBAs and other concentrations.

In-person and online MBA real estate programs teach business management, finance, and other must-have business topics. A real estate concentration adds topics such as real estate law, data analysis, and economics to help students develop industry-specific skills.

Learners can expect to develop the following skills from an in-person or online MBA in real estate.

  • Project Management: Real estate managers juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Skills in overseeing projects help them move plans forward while delegating tasks to the appropriate team members. These courses may also touch on development planning, stakeholder management, and financing and underwriting management.
  • Real Estate Law: Development managers must understand the laws that govern their properties. Real estate law oversees real property sales and purchases, financing, foreclosures, and investments. Students also learn about zoning requirements and environmental compliance when planning and creating new developments.
  • Real Estate Investing: Investing in real estate can be a lucrative business venture. Through investment, finance, and entrepreneurial courses, MBA in real estate students learn strategies and risks for investing in real estate. Some MBA programs allow students to invest their money into various property types for hands-on practice.
  • Data Analysis: Real estate professionals rely on data to make wise investment decisions. An MBA program teaches learners how to use data sources to improve and innovate their approaches.

Why You Should Get Your MBA Online

Pursuing an online MBA in real estate allows enrollees to complete their degrees without disrupting their employment. Also, without commuting or location restrictions, degree-seekers can pursue their education with virtually any school that accepts them.

Full-time workers can study at a pace that suits their needs with asynchronous online delivery. Asynchronous classes do not require specific meeting times, offering more flexibility for students than synchronous programs.

Additionally, many restrictions on in-person higher education classes during the COVID-19 pandemic do not apply to online students. As a result, online programs can often continue during unprecedented events to avoid interruptions in your real estate MBA track.

MBA With a Real Estate Focus Curriculum

Most MBA in real estate programs feature advanced management courses in marketing, finance, and operations. Other core topics include leadership, business strategy, and data-driven decision-making. Real estate MBAs also offer courses in real estate capital markets, real estate valuation, and real estate finance. Some programs allow students to specialize in areas such as entrepreneurship, sustainability, or business analytics.

The following curriculum includes common courses that appear in real estate MBA curricula. Keep in mind that real estate MBA coursework varies by program.

Real Estate Market Analysis

This course examines real estate and economics research methods. Enrollees analyze market trends, sales, and lending. Degree-seekers also learn to research consumer spending patterns and population behavior. Additional topics include land use, city and traffic planning, urban renewal, and shopping center development. This course may require previous coursework on real estate principles.

Real Estate Law and Contracts

Students in this course learn the legal and ethical duties of real estate agents. The course outlines broker-agent and agent-client relationships, emphasizing the importance of creating and maintaining these relationships. Topics include buyer-seller agreement starting and ending processes. Students learn to streamline and clarify these processes.

Real Estate Development

This course cultivates the advanced organization, coordination, and project management skills needed to succeed as real estate developers. Understanding real estate markets, industry cycles, and municipal regulation helps real estate agents successfully analyze, plan, and carry out real estate development projects. This course typically uses case studies to cover topics such as financial projection, budgeting, scheduling, and management.

MBA Real Estate Jobs

MBA in real estate graduates can pursue numerous career opportunities. New graduates without prior real estate experience can consider entry-level careers as real estate agents and appraisers.

Experienced professionals with this advanced degree can pursue advanced roles as real estate analysts, development managers, and vice presidents. Some graduates also use the knowledge and skills gained in real estate MBA programs to launch real estate companies or other ventures.

Real Estate Agent

These professionals guide clients through the stages of selling and buying property. Daily activities include reviewing comparable prices to establish property value and conducting negotiations between buyers and sellers.

Real estate agents must obtain state licensure by exam. These professionals need strong interpersonal skills to cultivate successful client relationships and negotiate real estate prices. June 2022 Payscale data indicates that real estate agent salaries average $48,140 annually.

Real Estate Analyst

Often employed by companies with considerable real estate holdings, these analysts oversee company real estate by tracking markets, analyzing data, conducting risk assessments, and making recommendations regarding investment portfolios.

Real estate analysts also coordinate service agreements with property managers, negotiate transactions, and present reports to company executives. As of June 2022, Payscale reports that these professionals earn an average salary of $61,430.

Real Estate Appraiser

Appraisers evaluate properties by conducting inspections, calculating property value, and estimating the worth of various property assets. Appraisers also need to know the structural and aesthetic value of additions and improvements completed since prior evaluations.

These professionals create detailed written reports, which require writing and basic math skills. According to Payscale, real estate appraisers earn an average of $60,740 annually as of June 2022.

Real Estate Development Manager

These managers expand real estate companies through excellent customer service and financial oversight. Real estate development managers need advanced professional communication skills, along with abilities in accounting and business.

These managers estimate costs, analyze markets, create budgets, and monitor company finances. Real estate development managers also train and manage real estate teams. Payscale indicates an average annual salary of $97,550 for this position as of June 2022.

Vice President, Real Estate Acquisitions

These top-level executives assist real estate acquisitions presidents in managing company real estate. Vice presidents supervise acquisition processes, including underwriting and closing processes.

Tasks include drafting real estate documents, including letters of intent, purchase terms, and joint venture agreements. Successful vice presidents benefit from attention to detail and excellent writing skills. The salary for this position averages $138,810 annually, according to Payscale data from June 2022.

Common Questions About an MBA in Real Estate

Is an MBA helpful in real estate?

Yes. An MBA offers a pathway to real estate that also blends foundational business knowledge. Degree-seekers might choose MBAs to pursue an interest in real estate management, such as executive positions in real estate brokerages.

What jobs do MBA graduates in real estate get?

Real estate MBA graduates can become real estate brokerage managers, real estate consultants, or asset managers. Their broad financial and management skills and targeted real estate knowledge make them suitable candidates for leadership roles.

Which MBA is best for real estate?

Although a general MBA can lead to a real estate career, an MBA with a real estate concentration provides a more straightforward route. This program includes electives, such as real estate law, investing, and economics, to broaden industry skills.

Featured Image: mediaphotos / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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