Boston University, which has been educating advisors in its classrooms for more than two decades, is now joining the ranks of institutions offering online course programs designed to prepare advisors for the Certified Financial Planner certification exam.

Scheduled to launch in September, the Boston University Online Program for Financial Planners will be derived from the school’s classroom-based financial planning education program that started in 1981. The program won approval from the Certified Financial Planner board of standards in 1987.

The new online program was developed with Acadient Inc., a Boston-based developer of interactive multimedia financial education programs. The BU online program will cost early enrollees $2,400, a 25% discount off the list price, plus a $100 enrollment fee. Books for the program will run another $450.

The program is composed of six courses, including Introduction to Financial Planning, Risk Management, Investments, Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, and Estate Planning. Acadient Managing Director Robert J. Powell III says the entire program should take 18 months to three years to complete. BU and Acadient, he adds, are also planning to offer “live office hours” that will permit students to chat among themselves and instructors via the World Wide Web. “This will be next-generation interactivity,” Powell says.

Among advisors to the online program are Bud Elsea of the Financial Planning Association and Roy Diliberto, a New Jersey-based planner and former FPA chairman. More information on the program is available at www.bu.edu/finplanners.