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Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch Marshall Lewis College of Business Dean Avi Mukherjee speaks during the WV Innovation & Business Model Competition (WVIBMC) Finals event on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center in Huntington.

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HUNTINGTON - The Marshall University Brad D. Smith Graduate School of Business is now offering an online Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program that mirrors the full-time, on-campus option, the school announced Friday.

Avi Mukherjee, dean of the Lewis College of Business, said in a news release this option will allow for more accounting students and professionals to obtain the required credits to sit for the CPA exam, while gaining knowledge of accounting theory and application of that knowledge to specific accounting practices in a global economy.

The MSA degree program is a 30 credit hour, graduate, AACSB-accredited program that can be completed in three or four semesters and will prepare students to successfully enter the accounting profession and satisfy the educational requirements to become a Certified Public Accountant.

According to the release, the program features professional accounting research methods using electronic databases as well as computer auditing techniques. Ethics and professional services are stressed throughout the program. This program is essential to helping meet the demand for public accountants in West Virginia.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for accountants and auditors - both of which prepare and analyze financial records - is expected to rise by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026. The median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $70,500 in 2018.

"We are extremely excited to offer this graduate degree option online to serve our working professional students who want to expand their business education and accounting skills," Mukherjee said.

The online MSA program is the latest in a series of new offerings being rolled out by the School of Business.

Marshall already offers an online MBA degree, and it is adding an online undergraduate business degree to accommodate students who prefer that option.

Last month, Marshall's Board of Governors approved a proposal to offer a doctor of business administration degree - a DBA, which will be a high-demand program that helps fill holes in the consulting sector as well as faculty positions at a business school, Mukherjee previously told The Herald-Dispatch. That program will be a hybrid, meaning it will be mostly online with five in-face meetings a year. It will be the second doctoral program at the College of Business.

The MSA program is accepting applications now until Aug. 1 for the fall semester, and thereafter on a rolling basis. To apply, visit www.marshall.edu/apply. For more information about admission requirements for the MSA online degree program, contact Wes Spradlin, associate director of graduate programs, by email at spradlin2@marshall.edu or by calling 304-746-8964.

For more information any other business academic programs, visit www.marshall.edu/cob.

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