Online Finance Degrees

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Interested in learning the ins and outs of managing money? Consider yourself an excellent problem-solver with strong interpersonal skills? If so, an online finance degree can take you to new heights in your career. Pursuing finance education online will give you a foundational knowledge of stocks, bonds, marketing trends, and managing funds for individuals, organizations, institutions, and other entities.

Graduates holding finance degrees will be prepared to work in business-oriented professions, performing tasks including — but not limited to — underwriting, investment banking, and portfolio management. The field of finance is both highly lucrative and growing every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs openings in areas such as personal financial advising are growing at a rate of 30%. Median salaries in finance range from around $80,310 for financial analysts to $117,990 for financial managers.

Many projects require teamwork, and advanced positions involve managing subordinates. Self-motivation and time management are other skills needed to succeed in the field. If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, hone your collaboration and leadership skills while you earn your degree through an online finance program. Read on to learn about online finance programs and get started on your new career today.

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Online Finance Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $11,664 13.8% 2 years $40,700 $50,000 6.9%
Bachelor's $17,175 10% 4 years $47,000 $83,000 4.4%
Master's $18,673 7.8% 1+ years $75,000 $107,000 3.5%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

While online finance degrees are available at the associate level, the majority of financial professions require more comprehensive education. A bachelor's in finance online qualifies students for a number of careers, such as budget analyst, financial services sales agent, and financial advisor. In addition to a bachelor's in finance online, students can also pursue a master's in business administration (MBA), which often leads to higher level positions, hefty signing bonuses, and larger overall compensation.

Online Finance Degrees


Online Associate’s Degree in Finance

An associate degree in finance offers a concise overview of the field. Most online finance programs at this level take about two years to complete, with the average cost around $11,500. Course topics cover a broad range of financial concepts, and graduates who earn this degree will be prepared for a number of entry-level jobs. You may also use credits from this degree to transfer to a four-year college and earn a bachelor's in finance online.

    Business orientation, financial accounting, principles of management, financial management, business statistics


    Finance, banking & finance, financial services


    Claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner, or investigator




    N/A – 3% growth

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Finance

As the most common prerequisite for jobs in the field, a bachelor's in finance online is practically a necessity for professionals working in finance. The degree can take around four years to complete. Graduates from this program will have a comprehensive understanding of both basic and advanced financial topics.

    Financial modeling, statement analysis, investments, international applications


    Finance, business administration, finance & accounting


    Accountant, budget analyst, financial analyst


    Accountant: $75,280; budget analyst: $75,150; financial analyst: $95,320


    N/A – Accountant: 11% growth; budget analyst: 3% growth; financial analyst: 12% growth

Online Master’s Degree in Finance

Master's in finance degrees are essential for professionals looking to bolster their resume and qualify for senior positions. Whereas bachelor's in finance online programs tend to cover a wide range of topics, these degrees provide a concentrated and in-depth analysis of specific study areas. Program duration varies at this level, but students can expect to spend between one and two years earning this degree, with a total cost of around $18,700.

    Portfolio management, accounting, risk management, quantitative trading strategies


    Finance, business-finance, financial management, business administration


    Chief financial officer, financial manager, insurance manager




    7% growth

Get Seal
For the 2016 rankings, has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

Finance Master’s Degree Rankings

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Harvard UniversityCambridge$$$$$Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1000

To graduate from Harvard with an online master’s in finance, students must complete 12 courses (48 credits) and maintain a 3.0 GPA. At least 16 credits must be taken on campus. Accelerated on-campus courses can be taken in three- or seven-week formats, or as an intensive weekend combined with online meetings. The different options are designed to help online students fulfill the on-campus requirement. Before applying to the program, applicants must complete three admission courses. Students apply to the program while they are taking the third admission course. Courses begin four times a year, in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Students can also earn a graduate certificate in accounting, corporate finance, principles of finance, business economics, or real estate investment. Financial aid is available to distance learners.

2Georgetown UniversityWashington$$$$$37th and O St NW
Washington, DC 20057-0001
(202) 687-0100

Georgetown University’s online master’s in finance program is offered by the McDonough School of Business. The master’s in finance online program takes 21 months to complete and consists of 32 credits. The curriculum includes six core courses, an orientation residency in July, a weeklong on-campus residency in October of the first year, and a capstone project in May during the second year. For the capstone project, students complete a consulting project for a real-world business.

Courses in the finance program are primarily asynchronous, but each course includes a weekly 90-minute synchronous session where students debate a real world case study with their professor and classmates. Students have the option to participate in the weekly synchronous session either online or on campus. Courses available include financial markets, financial accounting, corporate finance, financial econometrics, advanced corporate valuation and modeling, and principled financial leadership.

3Northeastern UniversityBoston$$$$$360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115-5005
(617) 373-2000

Northeastern University offers a globally-focused master’s of finance online through its D’Amore-McKim School of Business. There are no in-person requirements, and it’s offered completely online. The 30-credit degree consists of six core courses and four electives; it can be earned in 16 months. Electives include mergers and acquisitions and business turnarounds.

Students choose from two tracks: investment finance or corporate finance. The investment finance track allows students to more closely analyze financial instruments, while the corporate finance track focuses on financial management. Students can also pursue a dual degree, obtaining an MBA at the same time they earn their master’s of finance. Northeastern’s master’s of finance program is designed for professionals already working in finance who are looking to advance their careers.

4Webster UniversitySaint Louis$$$$$470 E Lockwood Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194
(314) 961-2660

The online master’s in finance program at Webster University gives students a broad understanding of the field, including experience in the related fields of accounting and economics. After completing core courses, students choose electives that will help them further their career goals or pursue certifications such as the certified financial analyst or certified financial planner. At the end of their studies, students take a capstone course that focuses on mergers and acquisitions.

The program requires students to complete 37 credits, including 28 required credits and 9 electives. The program also requires three prerequisite courses: accounting theory and practice, current economic analysis, and applied business statistics. Webster’s finance program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. A dual-degree option is available which allows students to earn an MBA along with their finance degree.

5University of Houston - Clear LakeHouston$$$$$2700 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058-1002
(281) 283-7600

The University of Houston-Clear Lake offers a master’s in finance online. It’s taught as an MBA with a concentration in finance. Students must earn 36 credits. The program is taught in a completely online or hybrid format. Classes are taught in an accelerated eight-week format; full-time students can complete the program in 14 months, part-timers in 28 months. Applicants who meet certain requirements do not have to take the GMAT. The program is offered year round with start dates at the beginning of each semester. Online courses are taught through Blackboard. The school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. Graduates are prepared for an array of business careers and are taught practical financial expertise and leadership skills. Some students may be required to complete a prerequisite course.

6Mississippi CollegeClinton$$$$$200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000

Mississippi College offers a master’s of finance online. Applicants need to pass nine prerequisites to enter the program. Students must complete 30 credit hours. The master’s in finance is offered as an MBA with a focus on finance. Courses include law and ethics in the business environment, advanced investments, and policy formulation & administration. Students have 10 concentrations to choose from, including advanced investments, financial statement analysis, and financial management.

The program can be completed entirely online, with no in-person requirements. Mississippi College is a Christian school, and the School of Business offers students a network of Christian business leaders and faculty devoted to Christian values. Each year MC organizes a Faith & Business Ethics Week, where Christian business leaders visit with students and share their experiences. MC’s network of alumni and other Christian business professionals frequently hire MC business graduates.

7California Lutheran UniversityThousand Oaks$$$$$60 W Olsen Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787
(805) 492-2411

California Lutheran University’s MBA in financial planning offers students a degree that can be completed entirely online with no in-person requirements. Students must take 16 courses (48 credits). Most students take 12 to 36 months to earn the degree. Classes are held year-round, with five start times, and each online course lasts eight weeks. Class sizes are capped at 20 students. Learners can transfer up to nine credits of graduate work into the program.

The degree is available in two tracks: one is for students looking to earn their CFP and the other for those who already have it. Students who already have their CFP certificate take more advanced and interdisciplinary courses, whereas students without it will gain foundational knowledge needed to obtain the CFP. The program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

8Golden Gate University - San FranciscoSan Francisco$$$$$536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800

Golden Gate University offers a master’s in finance online. The school’s two master’s degrees in the finance field include an MBA with a finance concentration and a master’s of science in finance. The MBA with a finance concentration gives students who want to work in finance a broad overview of the business world. The master’s of science in finance provides an in-depth view of corporate finance and instructs students in the technical side of the field. Students who complete the master’s of science in finance will find jobs as financial managers, security analysts, portfolio managers, and corporate bankers.

The program begins with four foundational courses that focus on practical skills. A 15-credit core follows this, along with 18 concentration credits. Forty-five credits and a 3.0 GPA are required to graduate. Courses include corporate finance, investments, and capital markets. Concentrations available include general finance, corporate finance, and investment management.

9Suffolk UniversityBoston$$$$$8 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108-2770
(617) 573-8000

Suffolk University’s master’s of finance online is offered as an MBA with a finance focus and is designed for working professionals. Other MBA concentrations include accounting, entrepreneurship, international business, marketing, and strategic management. Between 34 and 49 credits are required to graduate, depending on if the student can waive any required courses.

Students in the MBA - finance focus program can choose to attend either part-time or full-time. The online program has students interact with their peers and faculty through Blackboard. Students engage with each other and their professors by working on group projects and participating in synchronous chat sessions. Learners also have the opportunity to enroll in a 3-credit global travel seminar, which includes visiting a foreign country for 7-10 days to experience international business. Graduates are prepared for careers in corporate finance, asset management, commercial banking, and more.

10University of Saint MaryLeavenworth$$$$$4100 S 4th St Trafficway
Leavenworth, KS 66048-5082
(913) 682-5151

The online master’s in finance offered at the University of Saint Mary is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The university of Saint Mary, located in Leavenworth, Kansas, is a Catholic school and was founded in 1923. Saint Mary combines a liberal arts education with career preparation in order to give students exposure to different ideas and help them succeed in their careers.

The finance program emphasizes ethics in business and teaches students how to participate in business in a way that gives back to society. The master of business administration - finance concentration gives students an understanding of capital and financial issues, mergers and acquisitions, and other advanced topics in finance. The program also offers five other concentrations: leadership and organizational health, general management, healthcare management, human resource management, and marketing and advertising management.

11Concordia University - WisconsinMequon$$$$$12800 N Lake Shore Dr
Mequon, WI 53097-2402
(262) 243-5700

Concordia University’s online master’s in finance is taught by industry professionals and can be customized to fit the individual needs of each student. Applicants are not required to take the GMAT or GRE. Students take a capstone course at the end of the program to demonstrate what they have learned. Students can begin classes at any time. Concordia’s MBA in finance includes a core MBA curriculum. The core courses provide students with a broad overview of business. After the core requirement is completed, students take 15 credits of finance courses with options ranging from securities analysis and fraud management to portfolio mathematics and corporate risk finance. An optional three-credit internship gives students real-world experience and requires 120 hours of work at the site of the internship. Students must complete at least 39 credits to graduate.

12Upper Iowa UniversityFayette$$$$$605 Washington St
Fayette, IA 52142-1857
(563) 425-5200

Upper Iowa University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers a master’s of finance online. Courses start six times per year and are taught in an eight-week format. Classes are taught asynchronously.

The MBA with an emphasis in corporate financial management program has core classes that give students a broad overview of business. Teamwork with peers is required in many courses to prepare students for the collaborative environment of the corporate business world. Corporate financial management is one of five concentrations available to students. Courses offered include financial markets and financial strategy, financial data analysis, and investment management. Students must complete 36 credits and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher to graduate. A research seminar capstone course is also required. Distance learners can begin the program during any term, and there are no on-campus requirements.

13University of Maryland - University CollegeAdelphi$$$$$3501 University Blvd East
Adelphi, MD 20783-8010
(301) 985-7000

The University of Maryland-University College has a master’s of science in accounting and financial management degree that can be completed entirely online. The 36-credit program costs about $16,488 ($284 per credit) for Maryland residents; tuition is higher for out-of-state students at $499 per credit. This program does not accept transfer credits.

The master’s in finance online is designed for professionals seeking career advancement. The program focuses on showing students how to solve real-world problems, and students work on projects for real companies. The curriculum stays up to date because industry leaders regularly consult with the faculty about emerging issues. The program helps students prepare for a variety of certifications, including certified financial examiner, certified financial planner, chartered asset manager, and more. Students finish the program by taking an accounting and financial management capstone course.

14Pennsylvania State University - Main CampusUniversity Park$$$$$201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-4700

The online master’s of finance program at Pennsylvania State University requires students to earn 30 credits. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is designed for students interested in working as financial professionals who have previously taken some courses in financial management. The program uses a cohort model, which has a group and students proceed through the program at the same pace. The cohort model allows student to get to know their classmates and work with each other effectively, even at a distance.

Penn State keeps up with best practices in online education, including using instructors with online teaching experience. Graduates are proficient in financial modeling, budgeting, statistics, and forecasting. Classes are taught asynchronously. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the program as one of the best online graduate business programs.

15National UniversityLa Jolla$$$$$11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
(800) 628-8648

National University’s online master’s in finance is offered as a specialization within the MBA program. The program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. National University’s accelerated programs feature one-month-long courses; a semester can be completed in four weeks. Students are admitted year-round, and courses start every month. Online courses feature real-time chat sessions, e-textbooks, video lectures, and multimedia presentations.

Students gain an understanding of the theoretical and practical issues facing financial managers. Issues of particular focus include growth and diversification, investment banking, and reduction of foreign exchange risk. The financial management specialization requires MBA students to take five specialized courses, including international finance, security analysis and portfolio, managing finance institutions, and a finance research project course. Graduates are able to evaluate the financial conditions of companies, appraise securities portfolios, and evaluate methods of payments for international trade.

16Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Florida Institute of Technology offers an MBA in accounting & finance completely online. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The program is designed for students looking to reach a management position in the accounting and finance fields.

The master’s of finance online can be completed in two years. Each class lasts eight weeks, and to graduate, students must complete 12 courses. Classes start six times per year, and students can enroll in the program at any time. Veterans and military spouses may qualify for a tuition discount. Students are invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus in Melbourne, Florida. The program can be completed in two years. Graduates are prepared for careers as directors of accounting, chief financial officers, senior financial analysts, and finance operations directors.

17Colorado State University-Global CampusGreenwood Village$$$$$7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111-0000
(800) 920-6723

The master’s of finance degree at Colorado State University-Global Campus can be completed entirely online. Students choose between 15 subjects to specialize in, including criminal justice leadership, project management, strategic innovation and change management, and information technology. Specializations allow students to focus on the subjects most relevant to their career goals. Students must earn 36 credits to graduate. Courses include bank management, derivatives and asset pricing, human resource performance, and a capstone course.

Once students are accepted into the program, their tuition rate is locked in for the duration of the program. Military personnel, veterans, and their families may qualify for tuition discounts. Technical support through phone or real-time chat is available 24/7. Graduates demonstrate proficiency in ethical standards, financial decision making, formulation of financial strategies, and more. Distance learners can combine their studies with a certificate in project management.

18Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

Southern New Hampshire University, first established as an accounting school in 1932, offers a master’s in finance with concentrations in corporate finance and investment and securities. The online finance master’s degrees can be earned in 15 months. Graduates can take a test prep course that will prepare them for the chartered financial analyst level-1 exam. Distance learners take two courses during each 10-week term. Graduates benefit from networking opportunities with SNHU’s extensive alumni network.

Students can apply for the program throughout the year, and they can begin the program during one of the five yearly start dates. Applicants are not required to take the GRE or GMAT. Admission decisions are usually made within a few days of application. Each graduate course costs $1,881, with a 25 percent discount available for active duty military and their spouses.

19University of the SouthwestHobbs$$$$$6610 North Lovington Hwy
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 392-6561

The online master’s in finance from University of the Southwest can be completed in 12 months depending on past professional and military experience. The program is taught as an MBA with a specialization in finance. The 36-credit program includes seven core business classes and five finance courses, including small business finance, financial reporting, and a capstone project.

The program is taught completely online with no in-person requirements and is designed for anyone seeking a career in finance or a CFP certification. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree to apply, but it doesn’t have to be in business, and there are no prerequisites required. The cost for the degree is less than $22,000, and includes textbooks, technology fees, and even a laptop computer. The University of the Southwest is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

20Charleston Southern UniversityCharleston$$$$$9200 University Blvd
Charleston, SC 29406-9121
(843) 863-7000

Charleston Southern University’s MBA in finance program can be completed entirely online. The school is a Christian liberal arts university affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 33-credit MBA program with a finance emphasis includes a business core, general electives, and finance electives. Students who enter the program without a background in business may be required to take up to six prerequisite courses. Once prerequisites have been completed, it’s possible to complete the program in two years.

The online program, designed for working professionals, does not require students to be online at specific times. Students take three finance courses, such as advanced investments and international business and trade. All students must complete an MBA exit assessment in their final semester.

Online Doctorate Degree in Finance

Doctorates are the most advanced finance degrees available. These programs are ideal for students looking to enter academia, with courses and projects concentrating on ethical theory, global perspectives, and contemporary financial technology. Curricula typically consist of a blend of theoretical research and practical applications, such as scholarly writing.

    Empirical asset pricing, agency theory, capital structure, executive compensation


    Finance, financial economics, financial & retirement planning


    Post-Secondary Professor, Economist, Mathematician


    Post-secondary professor: $92,220; economist: $109,230; mathematician: $112,560


    Post-secondary professor: 13% growth; economist: 6% growth; mathematician: 21% growth

Online Finance Choose Your Career

Average Finance Salaries


Financial Services Sales Agent

Salary: $71,550
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
10% 341,500 Bachelor's N/A

Financial services sales agents sell their company's services to prospective clients. They are responsible for making sales pitches, determining a customer's financial needs, and maintaining contact with clients. Agents will need superb customer service skills as well as knowledge of their company's policies and services. Undergraduate finance degrees will be extremely helpful in finding employment.

Budget Analyst

Salary: $71,590
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
3% 60,800 Bachelor's N/A

Budget analysts provide financial assistance to both public and private institutions, focusing exclusively on budgets. Common job duties include developing concise budget reports and tracking spending within an organization. Given that budget balancing requires knowledge of complex financial concepts, undergraduate finance degrees such as an online bachelor's in finance are mandatory, and some positions may require a master's degree.

Financial Manager

Salary: $117,990
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
7% 555,900 Bachelor's

Financial managers are tasked with managing the financial strength of entire organizations, as opposed to individuals. These professionals generate reports, lead investment activities, and direct initiatives to support the organization's financial goals. A bachelor's degree in finance online or a related field is required, although many positions now require a master's degree, typically in business administration. Financial managers must manage multiple projects simultaneously, calling for superior organizational skills.

Financial Advisor

Salary: $89,160
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
30% 249,400 Bachelor's Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Personal financial advisors analyze the financial needs of their clients and offer advice about insurance, tax law, and investments. Advisors also develop short- and long-term plans, which can include saving for retirement or education. Some advisors also sell insurance. Aspiring advisors will need finance degrees, such as an online bachelor's in finance. In addition to standard financial knowledge, these professionals will also need excellent interpersonal skills in order to communicate with clients.

Financial Analyst

Salary: $80,310
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
12% 227,600 Bachelor's N/A

Financial analysts provide guidance to those making investments. Common job duties include monitoring and assessing stock and bond performance. Financial analysts generally concentrate on a specific industry, but as investment continues to globalize, some professionals choose to specialize in a certain country or geographic area. Degrees from online finance programs can help students find employment, as most positions require formal education. Prospective analysts should also be detail-oriented and proficient in the latest software programs.

Online Finance Professional Requirements

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is one of the most prestigious and universally recognized certifications for investment management. This is required for those looking to enter a number of finance-oriented professions, such as consultant, research analyst, or risk manager.Candidates must pass three exams sequentially. Level I tests comprehension of professional and ethical standards, while Level 2 focuses on the application of said standards in real-world situations. Level 3 tests a candidate's knowledge of compliance context and portfolio management. To enroll in the CFA program, applicants will need a working passport along with either an undergraduate degree, four years of professional experience, or a combination of the two.

Is it required?


How long will it take?


Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

The CFP certification serves as proof of a professional's extensive financial planning knowledge. It is required for those who want to become certified financial planners.
Those wishing to take the exam must hold a degree (such as an online bachelor's in finance) from an accredited university, though students without a degree may be qualified if they complete university-level coursework through a CFP Board-certified program. The exam consists of three five-day testing windows, with one each in March, July, and November.

Is it required?


How long will it take?

8 months

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

Individuals working in risk management can pursue the FRM credential. The exam has no prerequisites; candidates do not need academic or professional experience to register. In order to obtain this certification, candidates must sit for a pair of multiple-choice exams and complete two years of relevant work experience. Though not required, it is highly recommended that certified FRMs earn at least 40 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every two years to remain current on risk management practices.

Is it required?


How long will it take?



Used as a primary consideration in the admissions process of online finance programs, the GMAT exam tests a student's reasoning capabilities, with sections devoted to verbal, quantitative, and integrated reasoning. The GMAT has no mandatory prerequisites outside of a scheduling fee, but the exam does assume knowledge of business concepts, and students are strongly encouraged to complete a preparatory program before taking the exam.

Is it required?


How long will it take?

3.5 hours