Like massive open online courses (MOOCs), the courses will involve students watching recorded video lectures from professors. Unlike MOOCs, however, Semester Online’s courses will be limited to students in the partner universities, and the number of participants will be capped at 20.

2U’s partnership with Berkeley will take a similar approach, incorporating live video and small class sizes into an online program to allow students to earn a Master of Information and Data Science degree. The program will consist of 27 units and focus on machine learning, data storage, privacy, and ethics.

“This new degree program is in response to a dramatically growing need for well-trained big data professionals who can organize, analyze and interpret the deluge of often messy and unorganized data available from the web, sensor networks, mobile devices, and elsewhere,” said AnnaLee Saxenian, the dean of Berkeley’s School of Information.

The program will begin in January 2014. The Semester Online courses will start this fall.

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