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Getting a degree in real estate offers an opportunity to gain specialized skills you can apply to your career. Depending on your plans for a career, you may consider a real estate business degree that emphasizes the commercial aspects of real estate. Alternatively, you can focus on residential real estate and develop skills designed to help with your long-term goals. “What can I do with a real estate degree” is a common question associated with undergraduate and graduate degree programs. What you can do with a degree in real estate depends on your personal interests. In general, a real estate degree offers opportunities to work in a brokerage, apartment management, property appraisement, and other careers related to the real estate industry. 

Determining what to do with a real estate degree varies based on the area of the industry that interests you as a professional. You can work in the legal field under a lawyer with a specialization in real estate law. You can also work in a real estate company and act as a broker for properties. The opportunities vary based on the interests of the individuals working in the real estate industry. The degree gives you a strong foundation in different skills and areas of the industry, which provides an opportunity to determine the best options for your goals.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Real Estate Programs 

Choosing a degree program for real estate can be difficult, but Great Business Schools is primarily concerned with helping prospective students find the program that will help them make their career what they want. To that end GBS editors focus on accredited, reputable institutions that we rank according to solid facts, including cost, student reviews, and potential salary. Data comes from IPEDs, College Scorecard, and Niche. 

1. University of Pennsylvania

u pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania’s Real Estate Department in the Wharton School of Business offers a BBA degree – Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Real Estate that is recognized among the best degrees for real estate in the nation. Penn’s best real estate programs include coursework like Real Estate Investments, Real Estate Entrepreneurship, Global Real Estate Risk and Politics, Housing Markets, Advanced Real Estate Investment Analysis, and Financing, plus an Independent Study for one credit unit. This best degree for real estate careers can also be earned with a dual concentration in finance.

Benjamin Franklin established the University of Pennsylvania in 1740. Penn operates four undergraduate colleges/schools, plus another twelve graduate colleges/schools. The school’s enrollment nears 22,000.

Highlight: The University of Pennsylvania is considered a member school of the colonial colleges (nine) that were established before the American Revolution.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

2. University of California, Berkeley

uc berkeley

The University of California’s Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics offers one of the best real estate programs through its Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate degree program. US News recognizes UC Berkeley’s best degrees for real estate among the top three programs in the country. Students enrolled in UC Berkeley’s best degree for real estate have the opportunity to participate in the URAP – the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. Students also have summer internships that often lead to future full-time employment.

UC Berkely – the University of California at Berkeley was chartered as a land grant university in 1868.  UC Berkeley holds the distinction of being the oldest member school in the University of California system. UC Berkeley is home to more than 43,000 students. 

Highlight: UC Berkeley is often ranked among the top institutions of higher education across the globe.  

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

3. Virginia Tech

virginia tech

Virginia Tech’s (VT) Pamplin College of Business offers a top 5 best degree for real estate programs in the country. Virginia Tech’s Bachelor of Science degree in Real Estate, as one of the best real estate programs available, includes coursework from the field of law, management, real estate, and finance. Students enrolled in VT’s best degrees for real estate programs receive mentorship experiences and internship opportunities to provide real-world applications to theoretical knowledge. Graduates enter the professional business workforce with the skills necessary to become real estate leaders of tomorrow. 

Virginia Tech is a senior military college that was established in 1872. VT is also a space-grant, sea-grant, and land grant institution of higher learning that operates six regional satellite facilities in Virginia and one international one in Switzerland. 

Highlight: Virginia Tech offers more than 275 baccalaureate and graduate degree programs through its eight colleges/schools.

Degree: BS in Real Estate

4. University of Texas at Austin

u texas austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in Finance with a Real Estate Track that is considered among the best degrees for real estate available. UT Austin’s best degree for real estate program gives students the opportunity to join the Undergraduate Real Estate Society. Coursework for one of the best real estate programs in the country includes Money & Banking, Capital Markets, Financial Analysis, and Intro to Urban Land Development.

UT Austin is a space-grant university that was established in 1883 by an act of the Texas Congress. UT Austin’s 425+-acre campus is home to approximately 52,000 students. TUT Austin operates the JJ Pickle Research Campus, which is situated in North Austin. 

Highlight: UT Austin’s football team has won four national championships.  

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

5. University of Wisconsin-Madison

u wisconsin madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics that is considered among the best real estate programs available in the marketplace. UW Madison’s best degree for real estate programs is ranked second in the nation by US News (2016). Required coursework for UW Madison’s best degrees for real estate includes Real Estate Law, Valuation of Real Estate, Real Estate Finance, and Residential Property Development, among others

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was established under the Morrill Land Grand Act in 1848. UW Madison also holds the distinction of being the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin system. The school’s campus is situated along the banks of Lake Mendota and is home to more than 30,000 students. 

Highlight: The University of Wisconsin-Madison operates a 1,000+ acre arboretum established nearly 100 years ago.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics

6. University of Georgia

u georgia

The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business offers one of the nation’s best degree for real estate programs. UGA’s best real estate programs include a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Real Estate with a curriculum that includes Real Estate Investments, Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Valuation, and Real Estate Law, to name a few. Graduates from UGA’s best degrees for real estate programs enter the workforce as financial analysts, risk analysts, real estate apprentices/appraisers, or real estate agents, among others.

The University of Georgia holds the distinction of being a sun-grant, space-grant, land-grant, and sea-grant institution of higher education that was established in 1785. UGA operates a main campus in Athens, Atlanta, and Lawrenceville, plus two smaller facilities in Griffin and Tifton and several centers internationally. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 38,000. 

Highlight: UGA is recognized among the oldest of universities in the United States and one of only several schools that hold four grants as a university.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

7. Indiana University

indiana university

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business offers one of the best degrees for real estate programs in the country. The best real estate programs offered by Indiana University include a Bachelor of Science in Business with an emphasis in Real Estate. IU’s best degree for real estate includes coursework as follows – Corporate Finance, Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Appraisal, Financial Accounting, and Investment Analysis, to name a few.  Students enrolled in IU’s real estate program must also choose three credit hours of electives that include Behavioral Finance, Derivative Securities, Working Capital Management, or Corporate Financial Strategy, among others.

Indiana University was charted in 1820. IU operates several campuses with two main campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis and an additional seven academic facilities situated through the state of Indiana. 

Highlight: Indiana University’s main campus is home to approximately 45,000 students, nearly half of the university’s total student enrollment of more than 110,000.

Degree: BSB in Real Estate

8. University of Connecticut

u connecticut uconn

The University of Connecticut’s School of Business offers one of the best real estate programs for undergraduates in the country. UConn offers a Bachelor in Business Administration degree program in Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies that is recognized among the best degrees for real estate majors. Students enrolled in UConn’s best degree for real estate programs can opt to study abroad in the United Kingdom, China, or Australia. Graduates of UConn’s undergraduate real estate program find rewarding work as financial analysts, asset managers, securities analysts, or informational analysts, to name a few.

The University of Connecticut is a research institution of higher learning that was established in 1881. In addition, UC is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant school that is also the flagship university for the Nutmeg State of Connecticut. The school’s campus is home to approximately 32,000 students. 

Highlight: UC’s campus is only 1.5 hours from Boston and about ½ hour from downtown Hartford.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

9. University of Southern California

u southern california

The University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Real Estate Development that is recognized among the best real estate programs in the nation. USC’s best degrees for real estate majors include the following coursework –  Real Estate Fundamentals, Urban Context, Statistics, Designing Livable Communities, Public Policy & Management, Business Finance, and Planning and Development. Additionally, USC’s best degree for real estate majors requires the completion of an internship experience and capstone laboratory/senior thesis.

The University of Southern California was charted as a sea-grant and space-grant university that was chartered in 1880. USC’s urban campus is home to more than 45,000 students. The school boasts that it is the birthplace of the Internet’s Domain Name System. 

Highlight: The University of Southern California holds the distinction of being the oldest private institution of higher learning dedicated to research in the state of California.

Degree: BS in Real Estate Development

10. Florida State University

florida state u 1

Florida State University offers a BS in Real Estate that is considered among the best real estate programs for those interested in a real estate career. FSU’s best degree for real estate programs includes classes like Business Statistics, Organizational Behavior, Business Analytics, Risk Management, Marketing Concepts, and Financial Management, to name a few. Students enrolled in FSU’s best degrees for real estate have the opportunity to study abroad through the school’s Global Learning Initiative in places like the Netherlands, Germany, China, France, Finland, and South Korea.

Florida State University was chartered in 1851 and holds the distinction of being the senior member school of the Florida State University system. US News recognizes FSU among the top 20 public national universities. 

Highlight: Florida State University is home to the only national-level laboratory in Florida and home of Taxol – an anti-cancer drug.

Degree: BS in Real Estate

11. University of Houston

u houston

The  University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business offers one of the country’s best real estate programs for students who are intent on a real estate career. The University of Houston’s best degree for real estate majors includes a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program in Real Estate. Coursework for one of the best degrees for real estate major includes Essentials of Real Estate, Real Estate Investments, Residential Real Estate and the Real Estate Market Analysis, to name a few. UH partners with many companies to offer great internships to its business/real estate majors.

The  University of Houston was charted in 1927 and is now the 3rd largest university in the Lone Star State of Texas. The school’s 650+ acre campus is home to approximately 43,000 students studying for degrees offered by the university’s fourteen schools/campus.

Highlight: The approximate financial impact of the school on the state exceeds $3 billion.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

12. Texas Tech University

texas tech u

Texas Tech University offers a BBA in Finance and Real Estate that is recognized among the best real estate programs for students who wish to enter the real estate industry as a career. The coursework for TCU’s best degree for real estate majors includes Business Professionalism, Math Analysis I, Real Estate Fundamentals, Business Law, Statistics and Business, and Professional Communication, to name a few. Students enrolled in TCU’s best degrees for real estate must complete a total of 120 credit units to graduate.

Texas Tech University was chartered in 1923. The school’s campus is home to approximately 38,000 students studying for academic degrees offered through the university’s thirteen colleges/schools. TCU’s campus is also recognized among the most beautiful that is located to the west of the Mississippi River. 

Highlight: Texas Tech University’s student enrollment is considered the 7th largest in the Lone Star State.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

13. Florida International University

florida international

Florida International University’s College of Business offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in Real Estate recognized by many among the best degrees for real estate majors. Students enrolled in FIU’s best degree for real estate careers must complete 120 credit units with a grade of ‘C’ or higher to graduate. Graduates of FIU’s best real estate programs enter the workforce as a sales associate, broker, realtor, analyst, or office manager, to name just a few. Classes for this degree include Real Estate Principles, Finance, Real Estate Law, and International Real Estate, among others. 

Florida International University is a space-grant institution of higher education that was established in 1965. FIU is a member school of the Florida State University System and the only school designated by the state legislature as an emerging presence. 

Highlight: Florida International University is now recognized as the 2nd largest university within the greater metropolitan area of Miami.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

14. University of Colorado, Boulder

colorado cu boulder

The University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program in Real Estate that is ranked among the best degrees for real estate students with a keen interest in a career in real estate. Required core classes for one of UC Boulder’s best real estate programs include Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Technology, Investment Analysis, and Real Estate Development, among others. Students enrolled in UC Boulder’s best degree in real estate program can opt to participate in the LEED Green Associate test.

The University of Colorado, Boulder, was chartered as a public institution of higher learning in 1876. UC Boulder’s 750+-acre campus is home to approximately 36,000 students studying for degrees offered by UC Boulder’s nine schools/colleges. 

Highlight: The University of Colorado was established about ½ year prior to the state becoming a part of the union.

Degree: BSBA in Real Estate

15. Villanova University

villanova u

Villanova University offers a BBA in Finance/Real Estate that is recognized among the best real estate programs for students interested in a real estate or finance career. Students attending Villanova’s best degree for real estate majors will complete coursework in Fixed Income Markets, Intermediate Corporate Finance, and Equity Markets, to name a few. Graduates of Villanova’s best degrees for real estate find rewarding careers as consultants, wealth managers, financial analysts, and equity traders, among other careers.

Villanova University was chartered in 1842. Villanova University is affiliated with the Augustinian Roman Catholic Church. Villanova University’s 250+ acre campus is home to more approximately 11,000 students and about 1,500 trees, which is the reason the campus was once referred to as Arboretum Villanova. 

Highlight: Villanova University’s roots can be traced back to Philadelphia’s Old Augustine Church.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

16. Colorado State University

colorado state

Colorado State University’s College of Business offers a best degree in real estate program through its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program in Real Estate. Degree candidates of the CSU’s best real estate programs must complete coursework for a total of 120 credit units to graduate, of which 24 credit units must be dedicated real estate courses. Classes for Colorado State University’s best degrees for real estate programs include Strategic Management, Real Estate Investment, Supply Chain Management, Market Analysis, plus a real estate internship.

Colorado State University (CSU) was established under the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1870.  CSU’s urban campus in Fort Collins is home to approximately 34,000 students. CSU is organized into eight colleges/schools that offer degrees from more than 50 academic departments. 

Highlight: Two former governors of the state of Colorado are CSU alumni.

Degree: BSBA in Real Estate

17. Temple University

temple u

Temple University’s Fox School of Business offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program that is ranked among the best degrees for real estate majors. Temple University’s best degree for real estate majors requires the completion of 124 credit units to graduate. Coursework for Temple’s best real estate programs includes Real Estate Financial Modeling, Mortgage Markets, Real Estate Practice, Property Management, Real Estate Assets, and International Finance, among others. Additionally, students in this real estate program will complete their culminating capstone project senior year.

Temple University was chartered in 1884 as a private school but is now a public institution of higher learning.   Temple University’s downtown Philadelphia campus is home to approximately 39,000 students. Temple University operates international academic facilities in Tokyo, Japan, and Rome, Italy. 

Highlight: The police force on the Temple University campus is the largest of its kind in the country.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

18. University of Central Florida

u central florida

The University of Central Florida’s School of Real Estate offers a BSBA degree program – the  Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program – that is considered among the best degrees for real estate majors. Kiplinger & The Princeton Review recognize UCF’s best real estate programs available in the country. Classes provided through UCF’s best degrees for real estate include Finance, Quantitative Business Tools I, II, Supply Chain Management, Financial Planning, plus a capstone project completed during the student’s senior year. The AACSB accredits UCF’s business/real estate degree programs.

UCF – The University of Central Florida was established as a space-grant institution of higher education in 1963 by an act of the Florida Legislature. UCF’s 1,400+ urban campus is home to nearly 70,000 students. 

Highlight: The University of Central Florida holds the distinction of having the largest student population of any solitary campus in the country.

Degree: BSBA in Real Estate

19. University of Mississippi

u mississippi

The University of Mississippi offers one of the best degrees for real estate programs for candidates with a strong interest in a career in the real estate industry. Ole Miss’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program in Real Estate requires the completion of 120 credit units to graduate. Coursework for the University of Mississippi’s best real estate programs includes Finance, Investments, Economic Statistics, Business Calculus, and Management Strategies, to name a few. In addition, the best degree for real estate program offers degree candidates ample networking opportunities through the school’s Real Estate Advisory Board.

The University of Mississippi was established in 1848. Ole Miss’s rural campus is home to approximately 24,000 students.  Ole Miss operates satellite campuses in Grenada, Southaven, Tupelo and Booneville, MS. 

Highlight: The University of Mississippi holds the distinction of having the largest student enrollment in the state of Mississippi.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

20. New York University

new york university

New York University’s School of Professional Studies offers a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate that is ranked among the best degrees for real estate majors interested in a real estate career. The best real estate programs offered by NYU require students to complete 128 credit units to graduate from the program. NYU’s best degree for real estate majors requires a graduation project as either an independent study, internship, or seminar. Classes include Critical Thinking, Mathematical Reasoning, Statistical Methods, Real Estate Law, and Real Estate Finance, to name just a few.

New York University was chartered in 1831 as a private university. NYU is a recognized global school with campuses in Brazil, Italy, England, Spain, France, Australia, and Israel, to name a few. The school’s campus in iconic Greenwich Village is home to nearly 52,000 students. 

Highlight: NYU is recognized by many authorities among the top twenty universities in the world.

Degree: BS in Real Estate

21. Emory University

emory u

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School offers one of the country’s best real estate programs for students who want to establish a real estate career. Emory University’s best degrees for real estate majors include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance & Real Estate degree program. Emory University offers the students enrolled in its best degree for real estate programs the opportunity to study abroad internationally South Korea, Linz, Austria, or Stockholm, Sweden. Graduates from Emory’s undergraduate real estate program find rewarding work in finance, consulting, education, technology, accounting, and construction, among other industries.

Emory University was chartered as a private school in 1836. Emory University remains affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school’s suburban campus covers more than 600 acres and serves more than 15,400 students.

Highlight: Emory University operates with nine academic colleges/schools that include a school of nursing, law, graduate, medicine, and Oxford College, to name a few.

Degree: BBA in Finance/Real Estate

22. University of Missouri – Kansas City

u missouri kansas city

The Henry W. Bloch School of Management offers the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s BBA in Real Estate that is recognized among the best real estate programs available in the education marketplace. The best real estate degree program offered by UMKC covers the topics of finance, health administration, marketing, nonprofit management, and real estate, among others. Real estate degree candidates enrolled in UMKC’s best degrees for real estate majors must complete real estate related classes like Real Estate Property Management, Entrepreneurial Finance, Real Estate Finance, and Real Estate Principles, among others.

The University of Missouri is a public institution of higher education that was chartered in 1933. UM, Kansas City UM Kansas City’s urban campus serves approximately 17,000 students. The school is organized twelve colleges and schools. 

Highlight: The Princeton Review recognizes UM Kansas City as a best value public university.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

23. Southern Methodist University

southern methodist u

Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business offers one of the nation’s best degrees for real estate majors through the school’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program in Real Estate. The core coursework required by degree candidates enrolled in SMU’s best real estate programs includes Business Statistics, Operations Management, Marketing, Business Law, and Strategic Management of a Global Economy, among others. Students attending SMU’s best degree in real estate program must also complete another 6-8 classes in the student’s real estate dedicated major.

Southern Methodist University is a private institution of higher education that was established in 1911. SMU was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and remains affiliated by the United Methodist Church. 

Highlight: Southern Methodist University operates campuses in University Park and Plano, Texas, as well as Taos, NM. 

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

24. University of Northern Iowa

u northern iowa

The University of Northern Iowa’s Bachelor’s in Real Estate degree program is ranked as one of the best degrees for real estate majors in the nation. The best degree for real estate majors includes classes like Corporation Finance, Decision Analytics, Intro to Information Systems, Real Estate Appraising, Real Estate Law & Finance, and Advanced Financial Management, to name a few. UNI’s best real estate programs prepare graduates for rewarding careers in commercial real estate or residential real estate in the areas of lending, sales, finance, servicing, and property management.

The University of Northern Iowa is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1876 as a state teacher’s college. UNI’s Cedar Falls’ urban campus covers more than 850 acres and serves approximately 10,400 students. 

Highlight: The majority of students enrolled in UNI are from the state of Iowa.

Degree: Bachelor’s in Real Estate

25. Georgia State University

georgia state

Georgia State University’s Department of Real Estate offers one of the country’s best real estate programs for students with a strong interest in a real estate career. GSU’s best degrees for real estate majors include the Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate degree program. US News recognizes GSU’s best degree for real estate programs among the top ten in the nation. Students enrolled in GSU’s undergraduate real estate program must complete 122 credit units to graduate.

Georgia State University was chartered in 1913. GSU’s campuses serve nearly 53,000 students. Georgia State University is organized into 11 schools/colleges. The school’s student body is considered ethnically diverse. 

Highlight: Georgia State University holds the distinction of being one of the four research universities that are a part of the University System of Georgia.

Degree: BBA in Real Estate

How Do I Choose a College for Real Estate?

The process of choosing a college for a real estate degree depends on the needs of the individual and personal preferences. The best college for real estate is the option that fits your budget, offers quality education, and meets high standards for students. 

Good colleges for real estate will have accreditation to show that the school meets or exceeds educational standards for students. The accreditation may vary based on the school, so you want to focus on the top universities for real estate with accreditation from well-known organizations. 

While the best undergraduate real estate programs will have accreditation, you also want to focus on your personal priorities for the degree. The top real estate programs may offer specialized education for students in specific areas of real estate. If you are looking for the top college for real estate that applies to commercial or business properties, then you want to focus on schools that offer a concentration in commercial real estate or business real estate.

Good schools for real estate give you a strong foundation in the skills that you need for your career. When looking into different schools and options, you need to focus on the programs that fit your personal objectives for your career. Opt for a school that allows you to gain specialized skills or that offers concentrations in different areas of real estate. You can also focus on general real estate studies if you are not sure about your goals and need an overview to determine the options that fit your needs.

Are There College Majors in Real Estate?

When you are looking for a college major for real estate, you may have options that focus on real estate or you may need to focus on alternative degrees that offer specialized training in real estate. College real estate programs come in two variations: business degrees with a specialization in real estate or specialized real estate degrees. Universities that offer real estate degrees may also offer specialized concentrations in specific areas of real estate to further enhance your skills and give you specialized training.

When you are looking at undergraduate real estate programs, you want to pay attention to the details of the program name. Real estate majors in college may fall under a business degree or a related degree. If you notice that the degree is in business administration with a concentration in real estate, then the focus on the degree is the business side of real estate. 

Look for colleges that have real estate majors rather than concentrations in real estate under a different major. By focusing on schools with a major in real estate, you are able to get specialized training that applies specifically to the real estate industry. It gives you an overview of different areas of real estate and provides in-depth insights into the topics. Schools that do not have a specialized major in real estate may not offer the same level of education in the topic and may limit the amount of information related to the industry by focusing on other areas of business, finance, or related fields. You want to obtain a degree that gives you a strong foundation in real estate as an industry and helps you determine the appropriate career path based on your interests and your goals. Many colleges and universities offer programs in real estate at the undergraduate level to help you reach your career objectives.

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