25 Great Open Courseware Resources for Real Estate Education

Open courseware offers phenomenal opportunities for self-motivated learners to pick up on an impressive array of subjects, and real estate isn’t any exception. Although not nearly as popular as engineering, math, science, and business, it still boasts a modest amount of courses for anyone wanting to soak up more about the buying, selling, and development of land. While they won’t take the place of certification classes, nobody will deny that these open courses serve as fantastic supplements and head starts for when the time comes.

  1. Real Estate Capital Markets

    For self-educators wanting a graduate-level challenge, this MIT class might prove a stimulating option “” especially if you’re into the financial and investment elements. Anyone can try to take it and learn a little bit about assets and portfolios, of course, but MSRED students actually form the target audience.

  2. Real Estate Economics

    Another MIT graduate-level open course class, this time dedicated to macroeconomics and its impact on real estate markets. In addition, Real Estate Economics dissects how other elements, like local government decisions, cause housing prices to shift up and down.

  3. Tools for Analysis: Design for Real Estate and Infrastructure Development

    Engineering, architecture, and design students with a particular penchant for real estate should think about this MIT course all about development. Do keep in mind, however, that it is available at the graduate level and specifically targets participants from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds.

  4. Real Estate Finance and Investment

    When it comes to real estate open courseware, MIT seriously leads the pack, particularly on the graduate level. This one, as the title probably gives away, delves into the very basics of wheeling and dealing with the financial minutiae of investing in land and buildings.

  5. Advanced Topics in Real Estate Finance

    Seeing as how a good chunk (if not the entirety) of the real estate industry revolves around finances, it makes perfect sense that MIT would offer open courseware about that particular facet. It’s advisable to know a little something before jumping into the graduate class, of course, but some might find a swan dive intellectually exhilarating.

  6. New Century Cities: Real Estate, Digital Technology, and Design

    Explore some unorthodox and innovative approaches to real estate possible through today’s technological marvels, with excellent examples from around the world. Even individuals largely disinterested in the financial components of buying and trading land and buildings might very well find this graduate-level open course creatively inspiring.

  7. E-Commerce and the Internet in Real Estate and Construction

    Yet another highly informative MIT offering targeting self-motivators wanting to teach themselves a little something about the real estate industry and its relationship with e-commerce. Keep up with the latest Internet trading trends by exploring this graduate course about how heading online can make real estate transactions easier and faster.

  8. Law 270.7, Renewable Energy & Alternative Fuels, Fall 2008

    University of California at Berkeley made its Renewable Energy & Alternative Fuels class available for anyone wanting to learn everything they can about going green. With eco-friendliness quite a real estate perk these days, anyone looking into entering the industry might want to start exploring the matter in depth.

  9. Property and Liberty

    Fire up iTunes and download this UC Berkeley course focusing on issues involving the philosophies behind property ownership and personal freedoms. Aspirant real estate and construction professionals “” or, at the very least, super savvy buyers and potential buyers “” might find the information contained herein extremely useful on micro and macro levels alike.

  10. Financial Markets

    Get an Ivy League-quality education in anything and everything related to financial markets courtesy of this Yale-based open course. Although, obviously, the materials cover far more than just real estate, it is involved because it does (surprise, surprise) play quite a significant role in the way money moves.

  11. Family Finance

    Regardless of whether one wants to work in real estate or simply buy a home, understanding basic money management skills is integral to a stable family or individual household. Because of this necessity, Utah State University’s Family Finance open course acts as an excellent resource for future buyers as well as agents helping them make the safest, most fiscally prudent decisions.

  12. Environmental Health

    Money, money, money might be the motivating factor in most things real estate, but safety, safety, safety ought to be considered the highest priority. Whether buying or selling, making the effort to understand a region’s own unique public health issues could help save lives and even inspire campaigns for improvement.

  13. Introduction to Demographic Methods

    Like the Environmental Health course listed above, Introduction to Demographic Methods is offered through Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Agents and other real estate professionals or investors must understand how the phenomenon works if they hope to make the best decisions possible, not to mention assist others in doing so as well.

  14. An Exploratory Data Analysis of the US Housing Crisis

    Let Rice University’s Connexions shed some light on what happened when the American housing market collapsed, because knowing means preventing it from all going down again. This open course serves as more of a seriously amazing collection of data rather than a more traditional online class, but nevertheless remains an absolute essential for any real estate professional.

  15. ARCH 50611, Nature and the Built Environment, Spring 2007

    University of Notre Dame takes a broad look at mankind’s relationship with its habitable (and sometimes uninhabitable) spaces, blending humanistic philosophy, economics, sociology, geopolitics, and other subjects. History buffs will greatly appreciate the way the course arches its way through all the various eras, chronicling how things change and how they stay the same.

  1. Technology and Global Development

    Anyone looking into real estate as it pertains to developing nations should check out Delft University of Technology’s inquiry into how the latest innovations can help them move forward. While the course covers a wide variety of subjects pertaining to the emerging world, it certainly helps those wanting to do their part to make the world a healthier place.

  2. Environmental Engineering

    Real estate doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so anyone wanting to work in selling, investing, designing, or building should at least grasp the basics of environmental engineering. And University of Nottingham’s Unow hosts the resources relaying some of the most fundamental components, although quite a bit of attention gets paid toward chemistry here, too.

  3. Real Estate at Knowledge@Wharton

    While it structures itself differently than some of the other open courseware initiatives here, Knowledge@Wharton (presented by UPenn) still provides a pretty valuable real estate selection. It covers a fair amount of relevant information, particularly when it comes to the financial facet.

  4. Real Estate at Boston College Front Row

    Drink up this lecture series when hoping to learn more about the recent economic downturn, its effect on the housing market, and whether or not it might be ending. Multiple experts submit their opinions, making the videos a quick and easy way to survey some of the different mindsets out there right now.

  5. Real Estate at Gresham College

    Plug “real estate” into the search bar here and receive a treasure trove of eclectic lectures in direct response. Many of them involve business, but self-motivated learners looking for some history and architecture information won’t leave disappointed, either.

  6. Web-Based Learning Environment at University of Hong Kong

    Wannabe real estate pros (or anyone else interested in the subject for that matter) who love or need to know more about the construction side will benefit from University of Hong Kong’s architecture-related open courseware. Most of these classes, however, involve eco-friendly, sustainable initiatives “” a positive, considering how many consumers demand a bit o’ green these days.

  7. Growth of Cities

    Although these open course materials focus largely on urban shifts in California “” most notably, at the time of the Gold Rush “” what it says about development does apply to other regions as well. Targeted largely at the earliest of beginners (even elementary school students can grasp much of what it says), learners pick up on the very fundamentals of how cities start and grow.

  8. An Introduction to Development Politics

    Nagoya University offers up a highly informative glimpse at the political systems in place behind Japanese development, making it essential reading for anyone interested in international real estate. Do keep in mind that this open course class is graduate level, but on the plus side it leads into some similar resources for anyone wanting to move forward …

  9. Japan’s Development Experience

    … Like this one, for example. Even those uninterested in building or investing in Japan might still be able to eke out some lessons in what to do and not do back home or abroad. Taking a broader look at the world may mean the difference in a positive or negative real estate experience later.

  10. Real Estate at Open Library

    Catch up on some classic (and maybe some not-so-classic) real estate reads and even update them wiki-style here at Open Library. Even the ones with comparatively outdated information still make for highly informative history lessons about the industry’s past successes, failures, and challenges.

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