The requirements to become a licensed mortgage broker are different between States. Whichever State you are interested in becoming a broker I recommend you contact their department of real estate to discover their requirements to achieve licensing. I good place to start your research is online. Your State’s department of real estate’s website is going to tell you everything you will need to become a broker. If you do not know the website simply search it out. California’s DRE website is found at the following link, http://www.dre.ca.gov/ - you will find each State is different.
As to specific classes or college degrees, it depends what you plan on doing with your broker’s license. Commercial real estate, selling oil and mineral rights, property management, financing, etc (all services a licensed broker can offer in CA) these are all very different areas of focus.
As for general classes, economics macro and micro are incredibly important, along with finance courses. A law course on contracts would be beneficial as well. If your school offers it (some do) take the real estate law class. Also do not dismiss marketing and psychology, finding clients, identifying their true goals, and making them a reality is what keeps a broker in business. You should have an idea how to market yourself and your service, and how to handle different types of people.
The only requirement to become a licensed mortgage broker is 24 hours of class instruction with an approved school, follow-up with 14 hours of continuing education, fingerprint card and the application for the license.
As far a degree, a two or four year degree in finance would be beneficial; however you still would need to go to an approved school and get the license. As a mortgage broker, I suggest getting your license first and get hired with a company prior to committing yourself to a degree; see what the job is all about. Talk to other mortgage brokers in the field and ask questions about their daily activities.
Being a mortgage broker is not for everyone. We mainly work on commission. I suggest having other income or savings to support you while you build your business. Rarely will you find a salary job as a loan officer or base plus commission these days. I’m not saying you can’t find one, but it’s rare. If you’re certain this is what you want to do, then absolutely go for it. I’ve seen many people leave the business because they didn’t understand what it entails. I love the business. I enjoy analying credit reports, underwriting guidelines and figuring out what programs they qualify for. I learned on my own by doing the job. It’s a good business Scott. I wish you all the best of luck!