California Real Estate License Courses and Classes

California has more than 50 colleges that offer real estate license classes and courses. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential information

In California, real estate programs are offered primarily by 2-year colleges. Associate's degree and certificate programs are the most common, with some graduate programs also available. Some programs require students to have previous real estate degrees or experience before admittance, and concentrations are included in some degree programs. In some cases, students have the opportunity to gain work experience before graduation.

Career Requirements

Individuals seeking real estate licensure in California must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. resident, in addition to obtaining a certificate or degree in real estate from an accredited institution of higher learning. There are over 50 colleges and universities in California offering real estate licensing courses. Ten of the largest are profiled below, with degree programs and tuition prices offered in a school comparison table at the bottom of the page.


American River College

Hosting over 31,000 students at its location in the state capital of Sacramento, American River College offers an associate's degree and certificate in real estate. Both programs require students to complete courses in California real estate principles, real estate practice, real estate finance, legal aspects of real estate and real estate appraisal. The associate's program then requires enrolled students to take further education in business and marketing and consists of 34-35 total credit hours; the certificate program consists of 24.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
    Certificate in Real Estate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,104 (in-state); $7,200 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; suburb

City College of San Francisco

Founded in 1935, the City College of San Francisco system has courses in over 100 different academic disciplines throughout its campuses in the San Francisco area. One of those academic disciplines is real estate, with both associate's and certificate programs available. Both programs consist of core courses in real estate law, finance, economics and appraisal; the associate's program contains more intensive general education courses, while the certificate program focuses solely on real estate courses.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Real Estate,
    California Real Estate Certificate of Achievement
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,238 (in-state); $6,270 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

East Los Angeles College

East Los Angeles College offers certificate and associate's programs to over 37,000 students at its suburban Monterey Park campus, including real estate. The most intensive of these real estate programs is the school's Associate of Arts in Real Estate degree, which consists of 60-62 credit hours and requires students take courses in accounting, business law and marketing in addition to traditional real estate courses. Certificate programs designed to give students the academic requirements they need for state licensure are also available in real estate brokerage, sales, appraisal and escrow.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
    Real Estate Broker Certificate,
    Real Estate Agent Skills Certificate,
    Real Estate Sales Skills Certificate,
    Real Estate Appraisal Skills Certificate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,220 (in-state); $6,160 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

El Camino Community College

Situated southwest of Los Angeles in the suburb of Torrance, El Camino Community College offers associate's degrees and certificates in real estate, real estate appraisal and mortgage brokerage. Common courses found among all three disciplines are principles of real estate, real estate practice and real estate economics. Students interested in the real estate appraisal certificate program should note that only students possessing an associate's degree or concurrently working towards an associate's degree can complete the program.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
    Associate of Arts in Real Estate Appraisal,
    Associate of Arts in Mortgage Brokerage,
    Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate,
    Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate Appraisal,
    Certificate of Achievement in Mortgage Brokerage
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,142 (in-state); $6,204 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; suburb

Long Beach City College

An associate's degree in real estate along with certificate programs in real estate appraisal, lending, property management and sales are available at Long Beach City College, located on the northeast side of Long Beach. In addition to standard real estate courses found in many other programs, the associate's program at LBCC requires students to take courses in sales, accounting, entrepreneurship, escrows and marketing communications. The certificate programs all consist of 12 credit hours and train students for the specific state exam relevant to their discipline.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
    Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Appraisal,
    Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Lending,
    Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Property Management,
    Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Salesperson
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,336 (in-state); $7,218 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Mt. San Antonio College

Mt. San Antonio College offers several different real estate associate's degrees and certificates of achievement from its Walnut campus in suburban Los Angeles. Academic concentrations are available in general real estate, real estate appraisal and escrow management. The real estate and appraisal programs give students the academic requirements they need to take the state licensure exams, while students who complete either the escrow management associate's or certificate programs may step into employment immediately.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Real Estate,
    Associate of Science in Real Estate Appraisal,
    Associate of Science in Escrow Management,
    Certificate in Real Estate,
    Certificate in Real Estate Appraisal,
    Certificate in Escrow Management
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,164 (in-state); $6,060 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; suburb

Palomar College

Offering over 200 different associate's and certificate programs from seven different campuses in the San Diego suburbs (including its main campus in San Marcos), Palomar College is one of the leading community colleges in the state of California, with over 25,000 attendees. Associate's degrees and certificates of achievement are both available in escrow and real estate broker license preparation at the school; the escrow concentration is intended for students more interested in the accounting side of the profession while the broker license preparation track is intended for students who have already completed at least 2 years of real estate sales work or have a 4-year degree. Certificates of proficiency are also available in real estate appraisal and sales.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Escrow,
    Associate of Arts in Real Estate Broker License Preparation,
    Certificate of Achievement in Escrow,
    Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate Broker License Preparation,
    Certificate of Proficiency in Real Estate Appraisal License Preparation,
    Certificate of Proficiency in Real Estate Salesperson License Preparation
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,328 (in-state); $5,224 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Riverside City College

This 2-year, public school is located in the large city of Riverside and has a student population of more than 18,300 individuals. Individuals interested in studying the principles and practices of real estate with the aim of eventually gaining licensure in that field should consider the A.S. in business administration program with a real estate concentration. The program is divided into 30 required courses related to business administration and a variety of electives related to real estate. These real estate courses include real estate principles, real estate practices, real estate finance, legal aspects of real estate, real estate approval, real estate economics and escrow procedures. The program also features a 4-unit real estate work experience that allows students to gain exposure in the real world of buying and selling commercial and residential properties.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,413 (in-state); $6,813 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

San Diego Mesa College

Over 25,000 students currently attend courses at San Diego Mesa College, a 2-year public college located in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego. The school's Associate in Science degree in real estate requires students to take courses in real estate finance, legal aspects of real estate, real estate economics and business communications. Students may also be required to take further courses in accounting or business law.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Science in Real Estate
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,140 (in-state); $5,532 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

University of Southern California

Located in the University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is a private not-for-profit university attended by over 38,000 students. The college's Master of Real Estate Development program trains students in the advanced aspects of real estate law, urban history and project management. Coursework includes design history and criticism, building typologies and economics for planning, policy and development.

  • Program Offered: Master of Real Estate Development
  • Graduate Tuition & Fees (2013-14): $75,600*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Real Estate Programs Offered Tuition & Fees
American River College 2-year, public; suburb Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
Certificate in Real Estate
$1,104 (in-state)*,
$7,200 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
City College of San Francisco 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Real Estate,
California Real Estate Certificate of Achievement
$1,238 (in-state)*,
$6,270 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
East Los Angeles College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
Real Estate Broker Certificate,
Real Estate Agent Skills Certificate,
Real Estate Sales Skills Certificate,
Real Estate Appraisal Skills Certificate
$1,220 (in-state)*,
$6,160 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
El Camino Community College 2-year, public; suburb Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
Associate of Arts in Real Estate Appraisal,
Associate of Arts in Mortgage Brokerage,
Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate,
Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate Appraisal,
Certificate of Achievement in Mortgage Brokerage
$1,142 (in-state)*,
$6,204 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
Long Beach City College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Arts in Real Estate,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Appraisal,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Lending,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Property Management,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Real Estate Salesperson
$1,336 (in-state)*,
$7,218 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
Mt. San Antonio College 2-year, public; suburb Associate of Science in Real Estate,
Associate of Science in Real Estate Appraisal,
Associate of Science in Escrow Management,
Certificate in Real Estate,
Certificate in Real Estate Appraisal,
Certificate in Escrow Management
$1,164 (in-state)*,
$6,060 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
Palomar College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Arts in Escrow,
Associate of Arts in Real Estate Broker License Preparation,
Certificate of Achievement in Escrow,
Certificate of Achievement in Real Estate Broker License Preparation,
Certificate of Proficiency in Real Estate Appraisal License Preparation,
Certificate of Proficiency in Real Estate Salesperson License Preparation
$1,328 (in-state)*,
$5,224 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
Riverside City College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Business Administration $1,413 (in-state)*,
$6,813 (out-of-state)*
San Diego Mesa College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Real Estate $1,140 (in-state)*,
$5,532 (out-of-state)* (2012-2013)
University of Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Master of Real Estate Development $75,600** (2013-2014)

Source: *NCES College Navigator, **USC website.

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