What Courses Are Required for the California Real Estate License?

Let’s delve into what California real estate courses cover and other stipulations that must be met to get approved for a license.
Learn more about real estate licensing and get exclusive offers

Like other states, California requires that applicants take certain courses before getting a real estate license. You only have to take three real estate courses, but it’s a total of 135 hours. Let’s delve into what those courses cover and other stipulations that must be met to get approved for a license.

Real Estate Principles

The Real Estate Principles course is one of two classes that must be taken by all applicants. It’s a 45-hour course that covers what goes into providing real estate services. Topics include real estate law, ethics, contracts, escrow procedures, financing, listing a property, closing a sale, fair housing, and more.

Real Estate Practice

The other required course is Real Estate Practice. It’s also a 45-hour course and teaches students the business of being a successful agent. You’ll learn things like how to price a property, counseling buyers, working with sellers, and advertising.

One Elective Real Estate Course

In addition to the two courses above, you also have to take a third course of your choosing. But you can’t take just any course. You must select an elective from the following options:

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

Where You Can Take DRE-Approved Real Estate Courses

There’s another consideration for your real estate education - where you take the courses. The California DRE dictates which providers are approved to administer courses. To qualify for a license you have to take approved courses, so choose your provider wisely.

You can take courses at:

Institutions of Higher Learning

Are you enrolled in college? Accredited colleges are approved to provide real estate courses. The college must be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or by a similar accrediting agency that’s recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Private Vocational Schools

You don’t have to enroll in college and pay high-priced tuition to qualify for a California real estate license. Instead, take your courses at a more affordable private school. Private schools must get formal approval from the Real Estate Commissioner for their courses to count towards a license.

You can (and should) check for approved courses and find out if there’s a formal or pending action against a provider before signing up.

Time Requirements for Course Completion

Unlike other states, California does have time requirements when it comes to completing real estate courses:

  • Single correspondence courses can’t be completed in less than 2.5 weeks.
  • Two correspondence courses can’t be completed in less than five weeks.
  • Courses at a college must be three-semester units or four quarter units.

If you decide to take real estate courses at a private school or by correspondence it will take a few months, but it’s a lot quicker than taking college classes.