Best Colleges for Real Estate: How to Invest in Your Future

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Written By Justin McGill

DealBloom aims to share the latest tips and strategies to help realtors, brokers, loan officers, and investors navigate the world of real estate.

If you’re looking to invest in your future, there’s no better place to start than with your education. And if you’re interested in starting a career in real estate, these are the best colleges for real estate.

From top-ranked programs to incredible career opportunities, these schools offer everything you need to get ahead in the industry. So whether you’re just starting or ready to take your career to the next level, check out this list of the best colleges for real estate and find the perfect fit for you.

The Best Colleges for Real Estate: A Student’s Guide

Some prospective students might prefer colleges that offer a broad range of courses, while others might prefer smaller schools with a more intimate learning environment.

Additionally, some students might prefer colleges located in major metropolitan areas where they can gain firsthand experience with the real estate market, while others might prefer colleges in more rural areas.

Ultimately, the best college for real estate depends on the individual student’s needs and preferences.

How to Choose a Real Estate Degree

When choosing a real estate program, students should consider their academic and vocational goals. Many factors such as location and available concentrations can influence a student’s decision.

A program that allows students to specialize in a particular area, such as commercial or investment, will appeal to those interested in that field. An accelerated option with more flexible scheduling options is also appealing.

Most programs allow students to enroll part or full-time, although some programs require students to enroll in a specified number of credits per semester.

When considering the cost of a real estate program, a student’s primary consideration is often whether the tuition is in-state or out-of-state. In general, in-state tuition prices are lower than out-of-state tuition prices.

Choosing a real estate degree program is an important decision that will affect both the cost and duration of your studies. If you’re looking to save money, consider completing the first two years of your education at a nearby community college.

The type of real estate degree you pursue will also impact the length of time it takes to complete your studies.

Associate degrees typically take full-time students two years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree takes four years.

When choosing a real estate program, students should consider the course delivery format. Online programs allow students to earn their degrees while juggling prior commitments.

Online degree programs allow students to attend classes from anywhere in the country, while on-campus programs are only offered in a specific location.

Online courses often incorporate interactive elements like live video conferences, which help students engage with their peers and professors.

Most online programs allow students to complete fieldwork requirements close to home.

While a college education isn’t required to become a successful real estate agent, earning a certification or a degree can give real estate professionals a competitive edge.

Real estate professionals with a 20-credit real estate license earn roughly the same income as those with an associate’s degree.

While a bachelor’s degree in real estate requires twice as many credit hours as an associate degree, the extra time in college translates into a higher salary. If you are trying to maximize the amount of money you make in the real estate market, a bachelor’s program could be the best choice for you.

With a bachelor’s degree, you can earn approximately $17,000 more annually.

Pursuing a graduate certificate in real estate is a great way to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in this field. This 12-20 credit program is a great fit for those with busy or hectic schedules or those who are looking to get their careers started as soon as possible.

A 36-hour credit MBA program can take about 2 years to finish, and professionals who have this type of advanced education tend to make about $72,120 per year. With an MBA, you’ll have more career options and higher earning potential.

Choosing a real estate degree can be difficult with all of the different topics covered. However, it is important to make sure that the program chosen covers topics such as appraisal techniques and property management principles to be prepared for a successful career in real estate.

While colleges that offer degrees in real estate have very similar training requirements, some programs may cover different material.

5 Best Online Real Estate Schools of 2022

Best Overall and for Continuing Education: The CE Shop

The CE Shop is one of the best online real estate schools and offers courses for individuals from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.Keeping up with trends in the real estate world, the company offers in-person and online courses.

  • Offers a free trial for pre-licensing courses
  • Wide selection of continuing education courses
  • Individual CE courses as low as $15
  • Website is not as user-friendly as others
  • Licensing courses are not available in every state

The CE Shop is a leading provider of high-quality, state-approved continuing education for real estate agents. They offer many different types of courses, including licensing, exam preparation, and professional development.

Instructors are real estate industry veterans who have been in the business for several years.

The CE Shop is accredited by ARELLO, which is an organization that accredits continuing educational organizations.

The courses at the CE Shop are available 24/7, and agents who are licensed in more than one state can benefit from the discounted packages.

Students can create custom packages based on their needs.

The cost of continuing education courses varies depending on the state, course, type of license held, and whether an individual course or package is purchased. However, most courses start at $15.

You can save on your real estate education by taking advantage of discounts and promotions that may be available. You can also get a free exam assessment to help you prepare for your licensing exams.

Best Runner Up: Real Estate Express

Real Estate Express is a great option for those looking for comprehensive and affordable real estate courses. The courses offered include exam prep, accredited pre-licensing, and career path information, making it a great choice for anyone seeking guidance before or after taking their exams.

  • Wide range of real estate courses
  • Certified by ARELLO and IDECC
  • Live Q&A via chat for some courses
  • Access to courses expires after six months
  • No hard copies of study materials for most tiers
  • License upgrade courses are not available in all states

Founded in 1996, Real Estate Express offers both in-person and online courses.

The courses are accredited by ARELLO and IDCEC, and adhere to the association’s educational standards.

They offer licensing courses for 40 different states, as well as offer CE and upgrade options for all 50 states and 9 other states. You can take your pick of a course that meets your needs, from just starting out to renewing your license.

The courses are offered in four levels, from basic to ultimate, starting at $129.

All of the tiers on Real Estate Express have expert instructors who are approved by each state. This means that you can be confident in the quality of the instruction you will receive.

The company offers a full refund of your purchase if you do not pass the exam—except in Florida, where you must wait 30 days, and in Tennessee, where there are no refunds.

Best Value: Aceable

Aceable is a great choice for those looking for an affordable and easy-to-use online real estate education app. However, it’s important to note that Aceable’s courses are only available in certain states and that their accreditations are typically limited to those states as well.

  • Highly affordable courses
  • Offers a variety of classes for different stages of your career
  • Mobile app available
  • Limited state availability

If you’re looking for a great online real estate school, Aceable is a great option. Prices start at just $116 in Florida but vary by state. You may not find your state listed among the course offerings, but it’s worth checking out!

If you want to be fully prepared for your real estate exam, you’ll need to sign up for a deluxe package that includes additional features to help you study. While the basic package includes exam prep, it’s worth paying a little extra to make sure you ace the test.

With a variety of licensing and certification prep course options, as well as CE, PD, and Post Licensing, Aceable has what you need to ace your exams.

But only 14 states have a pre-licensure course, and only a few other states offer the other classes.

Your instructors will vary by state and by course but will include industry professionals.

Aceable’s real estate courses are certified by ARELLO and IDECC in the states that require them. All courses are accredited by state agencies like the California Department of Real Estate and the New York State Department.

If you’re not satisfied with your class, you can get a refund within 30 days. If you don’t pass the exam after three tries, you can also get your money back.

Best Interactive Courses: Kaplan

If you’re looking for an online real estate school, Kaplan is a great option. They offer a variety of courses at different price points, so you can find one that fits your budget. And while they don’t have accreditation, they do offer a pass guarantee on their exams.

  • Instructors are practicing real estate agents
  • Access and interact with instructors
  • Continuing education classes are competitively priced
  • Pricing is higher compared to other schools
  • Web interface is slightly outdated and not as user-friendly
  • Shipping of learning materials not included in course prices

Established in 1938, the online learning company Kaplan has 28 global locations. Its courses are primarily taught through both in-person and virtual classrooms.

It’s perfect for people who like to study in a traditional classroom setting but need the flexibility that online classes offer.

Prices for Kaplan’s licensing courses are different depending on your state. For instance, the Georgia course costs $299, whereas the New York course is $379.

Home-study options, such as online, on-demand, and in-person, are available.

All courses include a discussion group where you can interact with students, as well as an instructor, in real-time. This interactive learning platform covers everything there is to know about the national and state laws, so you can rest assured you’re receiving the best training available.

The online live course includes an interactive exam prep module to help you prepare for your real estate exams.

The 68.04% overall success rate for Kaplan’s July 2018 exam takers in Texas is quite impressive.

Best on a Budget: RealEstateU

If you’re looking for an affordable real estate education, RealEstateU is a great option. Although it’s only available in 14 states, prices start as low as $69 in Florida.

  • Lowest course pricing
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Real estate investing classes are available
  • Limited state availability
  • Few continuing education or post-licensing courses
  • Not accredited by IDECC

Classes are available in California, New York, and Michigan for only $99 while the highest price is $249.

If you’re not happy with the course, you can get your money back within 30 days in North Carolina and Texas.

Although prices are low, RealEstateU may not be the best option for everyone. It only offers classes in 14 states, there’s only one post-licensing course (for Florida residents), and there’s only one continuing education course (for New York residents).

There is no pass guarantee for any online real estate school. This means that if you fail the exam, you will not be refunded.

If you’re looking for an online real estate school that’s affordable and offers a variety of courses, RealEstateU is a great option. Just keep in mind that not all of their courses are accredited by ARELLO.

Some real estate schools are fully accredited by the state, while others are only partly so. Some also offer courses on real estate investing, such as how to invest in multi-unit properties.

What College Major Should I Choose?

No one college major will guarantee success as a real estate agent, but some majors may give you a better foundation for the job. Real estate agents need to be good at marketing, sales, and customer service, so majors like business, communications, and psychology can be helpful.

You also need to be well-organized and detail-oriented, so majors like accounting or finance might give you an edge. Ultimately, the best college major for a real estate agent is the one that interests you the most and that you feel will give you the skills you need to succeed in the field.

Studying real estate can provide students with a strong foundation in business principles, property law, and market analysis, which can be beneficial for those seeking careers in sales, development, or management. Additionally, many real estate programs offer internship opportunities that can give students first-hand experience in the industry.

Is Real Estate Worth Going to College?

For those interested in a career in real estate, going to college can offer many benefits. A college education can provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the industry, as well as networking opportunities that can lead to jobs or internships.

Additionally, many colleges offer programs specifically designed for students interested in pursuing a career in real estate.


There’s no doubt that a career in real estate can be incredibly rewarding. And if you’re looking to get started in the industry, these are the best colleges for doing just that. From top-ranked programs to incredible career opportunities, these schools offer everything you need to get ahead in the field. So whether you’re just starting or ready to take your career to the next level, check out this list of the best colleges for real estate and find the perfect fit for you.

Justin McGill