Clarion University of Pennsylvania recently announced their Master of Science in accounting program was approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors.

The new program will be offered completely online with classes beginning in January.

The approval comes after 18 months of work by a Clarion University committee to make the program a reality, stated associate dean of the College of Business Administration & Information Science David Hartley, Ph.D.

The interest in this program derives from accounting professionals who need 150 credit hours in order to receive the CPA certification. A typical bachelor's degree is earned after 120 credit hours.

In order to meet those credit requirements, many students believe it's beneficial to achieve a master's degree while earning the extra credit hours, stated Clarion University accounting professor Anthony Grenci, Ph.D.

Classes in the program will prepare students to sit for the CPA exam, which consists of four segments including auditing, financial accounting and reporting, regulation, and business environment.

"We're excited about the opportunity to become the leading accounting education provider in the region," Hartley said in a statement.

For more on Clarion University, head to their site here.