How to Become a Real Estate Agent Without a Degree

We understand why there may be confusion about whether you need a college degree to become a real estate agent in California. After all, the California Department of Real Estate website states that applicants must have proof that they “completed at least three college-level courses in specific subject matter.” We’ll answer the question, “Do you need college for real estate?” and provide guidance on how to earn your license.

Key Takeaways:

  • While the California Department of Real Estate requires completion of three college-level courses, a degree is not mandatory.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a Social Security number or an ITIN.
  • Complete a 135-hour pre-licensing course from an accredited institution or approved real estate school.

Do You Need College for Real Estate?

You do not have to have a college degree to become a real estate agent in California. However, you do need to submit documentation proving the successful completion of three college-level courses to sit for the real estate salesperson exam.

The three courses include:

  • Real Estate Principles
  • Real Estate Practice

And one course from the following list:

  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • General Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Escrows
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate
  • Common Interest Developments

According to the California Department of Real Estate, the courses must be three semester units or four quarter units. In addition, licensees must complete their coursework at one of the following:

  • an institution of higher learning accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or a comparable regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education
  • a private real estate school that has had its courses approved by the California Real Estate Commissioner

The courses must have a minimum total length of 135 hours. Please note these are not college hours but instead classroom hours. Again, you do not need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to become a real estate agent in California.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent Without a Degree

You may be surprised to learn that you don’t need a degree to become a real estate agent in California. After all, a real estate agent oversees significant financial transactions. The good news is that your real estate school will ensure you know everything you need to know to serve your clients well.

Here are the steps you need to take to become a California real estate agent without a degree.

Step 1: Ensure you are eligible.

To become a real estate salesperson, you must be at least 18 years old and have a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

Step 2: Complete your real estate coursework.

The next step is to complete your 135-hour pre-licensing course. Carefully choose your education provider. Of course, you want to align yourself with a company that provides top-tier training, but also look for one that provides career resources to help you get started in the industry.

Step 3: Submit your license/exam application.

Completed applications must include the appropriate fees, evidence you completed the education requirements, and LiveScan fingerprints for your background check.

Step 4: Pass the licensing exam.

After your application is approved, you must pass a multiple-choice exam.

Step 5: Choose a brokerage.

Real estate salespeople must work under the supervision of a broker.

Are you ready to embark on your real estate career? Whether you have a college degree, a few college hours, or a high school diploma, Allied Real Estate Schools can help you with your pre-licensing process. We offer self-paced or livestream classes and Career Expos to help you find hiring brokerages in your area. Contact an education advisor today to learn more about Allied Real Estate Schools.

More than 350,000 real estate professionals got their start with Allied Schools. See what they are achieving.

Hear what they have to say.

See More Reviews