Smeal real estate degree approved for appraiser licensing education requirements

May 19, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Smeal College of Business students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in risk management with the real estate option will now have a significant head start in pursuing a career as a real estate appraiser.

The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) Appraisal Qualification Board (AQB), which is authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications, recently approved Smeal’s bachelor’s of risk management, real estate option, to count toward the education component associated with the appraisal licensing requirements. Smeal graduates will have earned 86% of qualifying education toward the minimum licensing criteria for a commercial real estate appraiser license.

“This saves them substantial time, effort, and money," said Penn State alumnus and certified appraiser Larry Colorito, chair of the national board of directors and senior managing director of Valbridge Property Advisors. "It also provides them a significant advantage in the job market over prospective candidates who have not graduated from approved programs."

Colorito also serves on the executive committee of Smeal’s Institute for Real Estate Studies Advisory Board.

“Prospective employers know they obtain their licenses faster, placing less burden on the company," added Colorito. "In fact, several larger appraisal firms prefer to hire from TAF-approved programs. Some hire from these programs exclusively.”

Penn State is one of only 15 universities nationwide that offers an approved degree in real estate.

“The AQB requires mastery of a comprehensive set of information to qualify for a real estate appraisal license. This includes both basic real estate and specific appraisal knowledge. Penn State’s program has been approved as the equivalent of 258 hours out of 300,” Colorito said.

“This is near the maximum possible because there are certain appraisal-specific courses that are not practical to teach at the university level because of their narrow scope. This is high praise from the federal government’s industry oversight body charged with maintaining the quality of industry practitioners. Further, this is a huge advantage for our students interested in an appraisal career," said Colorito.

To gain approval, Smeal was required to submit details of every course offering in the major to the AQB. The board reviewed the content and made recommendations as to how many equivalent hours to the required core curriculum in the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria.

The AQB’s decision is binding on the individual states who issue the licenses based on the AQB’s minimal criteria, Colorito said.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 19, 2020