Real Estate MBA Programs


Housing is a basic necessity, and the real estate industry, even after slumps and the Great Recession, continues to flourish. Considering the vast number of opportunities that the industry offers, many universities are now offering dedicated MBA programs with a concentration in real estate.

While there are not too many online MBA in real estate programs, students can explore other options such as a master of science in real estate. Courses in both types of graduate programs are taught by seasoned real estate professionals, with a top-notch record in research. Students learn the fundamentals of urban planning, real estate valuation, and finance. Additionally, they gain an insight into sustainable development, finance and investment banking, design, deal structuring, and international real estate.

Since relationships are a vital aspect of a career in real estate, these programs also offer students the opportunity to build a community of national and local professionals. Students are encouraged to participate in conferences, learn from industry experts, and apply their knowledge with capstone projects.

An MBA with a real estate concentration can open up doors in the public and private sectors. From the development and sale of residential properties to managing large-scale investment portfolios, graduates have a vast range of careers to choose from. They can take up jobs in market analysis, real estate brokerage, property management, real estate investment consulting, and development.

This guide examines standout MBA in real estate programs offered online, including detailed profiles of two exceptional faculty members.

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Featured Online MBA in Real Estate Programs

Florida State University offers an online, part-time MBA with a specialization in real estate. As part of the program, students benefit from the school’s Center for Real Estate Education and Research. The organization holds several events such as Real Estate Trends Conference, Kislak Real Estate Market Strategies for senior executives, and research symposiums. The MBA program is enriched by the wide variety of practical opportunities such as real estate internships and real estate licensing opportunities. Taught by faculty members well-known for their research, the program ranks number 16 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs in 2017, as per U.S. News and World Report.

Admission requirements include submission of GMAT or GRE scores as well as proof of prior work experience. Comprising 39 credit-hours, the program dedicates 27 to the core curriculum. It is designed to make students knowledgeable in business fundamentals such as financial reporting and managerial control, legal and ethical environment of business, marketing strategy, and business policy.

Students pursuing the real estate specialization need to take nine hours of elective courses. They can choose from real estate valuation, real estate investment, fundamentals of risk and insurance, investment management and analysis, and real estate finance. Students learn how to inspect a real estate valuation, mortgage instruments, market operations, and evaluating real estate investment opportunities. They develop competencies such as decision making and analysis.

At the end of the program, graduates can pursue several opportunities in commercial real estate. They can take up roles such as real estate broker, real estate investor, and real estate consultant.

Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Expected Time to Completion: 42 months
Estimated Tuition: $810.24 per credit-hour
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online MBA program with real estate as one of its concentrations. This practical degree is the perfect option for working professionals who wish to take their knowledge and skills to another level. Students are free to start the program in spring, summer, or fall. In order to get accepted, they are required to have at least two years of work experience.

The program is made up of 45 credits, divided into 26 credits of core curriculum and 28 credits of electives. The core courses take a deep dive into essential business concepts like financial accounting, corporate finance, microeconomics, marketing, organizational behavior, and operations management. The capstone project focuses on enterprise strategy.

The real estate concentration provides students with an understanding of urban planning, and the economics and finance of real estate. It emphasizes urban real estate markets, using the city of Chicago as an example. Students study urban real estate and land economics, urban economics, investments, and real estate finance. The curriculum leans heavily on research and prepares students for a career in the burgeoning real estate industry.

On completion of the program, students have a strong grasp of the operation of real estate markets, methods of real estate finance, and systems for planning and regulating urban real estate. They can pursue myriad opportunities in the public or private sectors, doing real estate development.

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Expected Time to Completion: 18 months
Estimated Tuition: $757 per credit-hour
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

The Longwood College online MBA program ranks third in Virginia, according to U.S. News and World Report. While the program is available online, students are required to complete an extended weekend on-campus residency, usually in the summer. This is an opportunity for students to work face-to-face with professors, build a community with fellow classmates, and learn from industry experts and guest speakers. All in all, the residency enriches their knowledge and skills further.

Admission to the program is based on GMAT/GRE scores, GPA (of at least 2.75), recommendations, and a personal essay, among other requirements. Students who do not have a major or minor in business at the undergraduate level must take foundation courses prior to starting the MBA coursework.

The core MBA courses build essential business competencies, while the real estate concentration gives students a complete overview of the industry. Students are trained to tackle challenges in real estate, as they learn real estate economics and development, lifestyle and real estate law, and real estate finance and investment. The courses have a strong emphasis on practical application that helps students in their future jobs.

Graduates from this MBA program may take up management-level roles in real estate development, commercial and corporate real estate, and investment management and finance.

Location: Farmville, Virginia
Expected Time to Completion: 15-24 months
Estimated Tuition: $973 per credit-hour
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Professors to Know in Online MBA in Real Estate Programs

  • Ozgur Arslan-Ayaydin, PhD University of Illinois at Chicago

    Dr. Ozgur Arslan-Ayaydin is an associate professor of finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to teaching at UIC, she was on the faculty of Hacettepe University in Turkey. She teaches international finance, international financial markets, corporate finance, and investments. The Journal of Banking and Finance, the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, and the European Research Studies Journal have all published her articles. She has won several laurels, including the UIC Silver Circle Teaching Award in 2016 and the “Docent” degree from the Inter University Council in Turkey in 2010. Dr. Arslan-Ayaydin earned her PhD and BSc in economics from Hacettepe University and her MBA in finance from University of Leicester.

  • Cassandra Cole, PhD - Florida State University

    Dr. Cassandra Cole teaches classes on retirement plans, corporate governance, and insurance regulation. An active member of the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA) and Southern Risk and Insurance Association (SRIA), she also serves as the director and department chair of the risk management and insurance program at Florida State University. She teaches courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Her research has appeared in acclaimed journals such as the Journal of Risk and Insurance, the Journal of Insurance Regulation, and the North American Actuarial Journal. Additionally, her work has earned her grants from Florida State University, the State of Florida, the Department of Labor, and the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. Dr. Cole completed her PhD from University of Georgia and BBA from Howard University.

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