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2021 Real Estate Development Degree Guide

Do you want to create and redevelop housing, offices, and business buildings? As a real estate development major you get to prepare for a career of creating new buildings and rebuilding existing structures. You find undeveloped or improperly developed property and convert it into something new and useful. This is a fast-paced and exciting career that rarely has down time.

The courses that are required are very broad and include many architectural topics such as landscape architect, design, and historic preservation. Other classes could include engineering, urban planning, public policy, real estate, finance, accounting, and business.

A Recent Jump in Real Estate Development Degrees

#280 Most Popular Major
452 Degrees Awarded
18.1% Increase in Graduates

Real Estate Development was the 280th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 452 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 18.1% increase in real estate dev degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 370.

Approximately 2 colleges in the U.S. offer a real estate development degree of some kind. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of real estate dev programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Real Estate Development

Working with undeveloped property takes creativity. As a real estate manager you must be imaginative and ready to create something new and fresh. It is also important that you are able to multi-task and can handle a fast-paced day. There are rarely two days where the same thing will happen. You must be confident and be ready to make bold decisions in order to be successful. This is not a job with constant stability.

As real estate developer you become the manger of physically built environment. It is imperative to manage many people while balancing the needs and interests of the clients involved. As the developer you envision the landscape that will turn into homes, civic areas, places of recreation and employment. You need to discover how we want to live and work and plan accordingly.

Real Estate Dev Degree Program Entry Requirements

real estate development degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic real estate development program qualifications, to serve in some real estate dev careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Real Estate Development Degrees

There are various different levels of real estate dev degrees. Real Estate Development programs offered by schools range from a bachelor's to a master's, which is the highest real estate dev degree you can get. Different real estate development degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to real estate dev, with approximately 27.2% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for real estate dev workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 25.6%
Master’s Degree 21.3%
High School Diploma 16.4%
Some College Courses 11.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.5%

About 59.3% of workers in careers related to real estate dev obtain at least associate's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in real estate development have received.


The education level required is different depending on the real estate dev career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Real Estate Dev Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$82.2k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are many different career paths you can take as a developer. The most traditional is to become a real estate developer. You could also work as a planner, developer, broker, or contractor worldwide. However, some people decide that real estate development is not for them because of the irregular income and potential risks associated with the lack of dependability. Other options include banking, construction financing, or even real estate sales. These professions tend to not be as profitable, but do offer more stability.

In order to be a leader and truly take the reigns as a developer, most students will go on to get their master's degree.

Solid Growth Projected for Real Estate Dev Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your real estate dev degree? Real Estate Development careers are expected to grow 8.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to real estate development.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Real Estate Sales Agents 369,000 5.8%
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers 349,900 10.3%
Real Estate Brokers 100,000 4.9%
Real Estate Appraisers 92,400 14.4%
Urban and Regional Planners 40,600 12.8%

How Much Money Do People With a Real Estate Dev Degree Make?

Real Estate Development graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $82,200 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $56,500 to as high as $109,300. As you might expect, salaries for real estate dev graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Real Estate Dev Careers

Salaries for real estate development graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers real estate dev grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Social Sciences Professors $87,950
Real Estate Brokers $78,940
Urban and Regional Planners $76,240
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers $71,730
Real Estate Appraisers $61,870

Getting Your Real Estate Development Degree

With over 18 different real estate dev degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased real estate dev school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Real Estate Development

One of 8 majors within the Architecture & Related Services area of study, Real Estate Development has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Architecture 6,145
Architectural Sciences & Technology 5,448
Urban & Regional Planning 2,729
Landscape Architecture 1,177
Environmental Design 717

View All Real Estate Dev Related Majors >


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