What is the REALTOR® Institute?

The Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) is an education program and designation sponsored by the Virginia REALTORS®. GRI is recognized by the National Association of REALTORS® and is one of the most popular designations for REALTOR® members nationwide. The program focuses on developing and increasing participants’ professionalism and skill set in order to strengthen both the value to consumers and the member’s bottom line.

While licensing courses and most post license education teach you how to manage risk in your business and complete transactions, GRI offers you enhanced skills for ultimate success in a real estate career.

I am interested in the GRI program. How do I get started?

The education team at Virginia REALTORS® is delighted that you’re interested in the GRI program! The REALTOR® Institute, also known as the GRI, is the premier designation offered in partnership with the state and National Association of REALTORS®. This FAQ page includes all of the information that you will need to complete the GRI program in Virginia.

There is no application needed in order to begin the program. Just pick your first class from our calendar and start learning! You can take them in any order that works best for your schedule. Once you’ve taken a class, the Virginia REALTORS® membership system will start tracking your progress. After each class, the education team will send out completion certificates, updates on your progress, and exam grades. Once you’ve completed the program, we will notify you so you can apply to graduate. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to becoming a graduate of the REALTOR® Institute.

Continue reading through the FAQs to learn more.

How is the program offered in Virginia?

Brief Overview

How many classes are in the program? The Virginia GRI program consists of 10 courses, totaling 60 hours of class time.  You must complete all 10 courses to graduate with the GRI designation.

Where are the classes located? Eight out of 10 classes (RI 510-508) are offered in the classroom at a local association or virtual environment such as Zoom. The other two (RI 509 & RI 510) are offered online ONLY.

Do you offer post license or continuing education credit too? As an added bonus, each of our classes has post license and/or continuing education credits included. Completion of the GRI designation also fulfills all Post Licensure CE requirements.

We’ll track your progress for you: As soon as you start taking classes (in any order that works best for you), our membership system will keep up with your progress.


Courses are available  in-person or virtually. Classes are hosted by local REALTOR® associations in Virginia.

Two online courses are available and open for member enrollment at anytime (RI 509 and RI 510).


What are the GRI Designation requirements?

To earn the GRI designation in Virginia, you must:

  1. complete the required coursework within five (5) years.
  2. receive a passing grade for each course and not miss more than 15 minutes of any one module session.
  3. hold membership in the National Association of REALTORS®.
  4. complete the GRI designation application and pay the one-time application fee.

Once you have completed all steps listed above, you may make use of the GRI designation on business cards, stationary, and other professional material. You can access the GRI marketing materials on NAR’s GRI graduate webpage.

I am a current GRI student. How can I find out which classes I have left to take?

Click here to see the courses you need, or contact us with specific questions.

I am a new licensee and have just completed my pre-license requirements. Can I count any of those classes towards the GRI?

Although the topics may seem the same as those discussed in pre-license courses, we do not accept equivalencies from pre-license classes.

The GRI program dives deep into risk management and business-based real estate topics to give members an advanced level of education. As a reminder, the GRI is a National Association of REALTORS® designation and completion of all coursework is a prestigious achievement.

Where is the GRI course calendar?

The GRI course calendar is updated frequently on the Virginia REALTORS® website calendar. A monthly newsletter is also sent to GRI students with new classes and program information.

Will any of my other designations count towards my GRI?

The Virginia REALTOR® Institute Program accepts the ABR and SRS designations as equivalencies towards the RI 504: Working with Buyers and the RI 505: Working with Sellers courses. These two designations correlate directly with the content covered in the GRI classes. There are no equivalencies for other designations or license types.

If you already have the SRS or ABR designations, you can apply for equivalent credit towards the above 2 GRI courses via our online form.

Click here to access the RI 504 and RI 505 Equivalency Form.

Where can I go to attend GRI courses?

Virginia’s GRI program was designed to give members an opportunity to attend classroom and online courses.

  1. The classroom courses (in-person and virtual) include RI 501 – 508 and they are  hosted by local associations, in partnership with the Virginia REALTORS®. They are offered multiple times throughout the year. The cost of the each course is determined by the association that is hosting the class but the average price is around $100/per class. You will register with the association offering the course. Their contact information is provided on the event links of our web calendar. Click here to see available courses on the GRI web calendar.
  2. The online courses, RI 509 – 510, are available for you to access 24/7. Once you purchase an online class, you must complete it within 45 days. Click here to access the online courses.

NOTE: VAR’s virtual class policies can be found here.

Is there CE/PL credit available in the curriculum?

Yes, each course is approved for either continuing education and/or post license education credit.  The REALTOR® Institute program satisfies the 16 hours of continuing education or the 30 hours of post license education.  A full list of the courses and what each one has been approved for is available on the course overview page.

Do I have to pay any renewal dues after I receive my GRI designation and certificate?

Once you have paid your graduation fee and received your designation certificate, there are NO additional fees to pay for the GRI. The GRI is the only designation offered by the National Association of REALTORS® that does not have annual fees or dues.

I'm a new GRI graduate. Where can I go to find marketing materials for my business cards and email signature?

The National Association of REALTORS® has designed a whole webpage specifically for graduates of the REALTOR® Institute (GRI). There are marketing materials, a list of GRI alumnus, and other resources available to members.

Check out NAR’s GRI graduate website to see more.

Where can I find more information about the GRI?

For additional detail or specific questions, contact Cailin Richardson, Learning and Development Director.

What is the cancellation policy? How can I cancel my class registration?


Cancellation requests for Virginia REALTORS® GRI classes will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. up to three business days preceding each class. All paid tuition with the exception of a $25 non-refundable/non-transferable deposit will be refunded. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after the close of business three business days prior to the class. Requests for special refund consideration due to extenuating circumstances must be received by Virginia REALTORS® in writing within 7 business days after the class’s start date. Please send all cancellation and/or refund requests to education@virginiarealtors.org.


If you are registered for a class hosted by a local association, please contact them directly to cancel your registration. Their policies may be different than the state association’s policy listed above.