Southern Methodist University has joined the ranks of educational institutions offering data science programs, announcing it will offer a Master of Science in Data Science program designed to meet the growing demand for professionals in this area across many industries.

DataScience@SMU is being delivered in partnership with 2U Inc., a provider of online education services for nonprofit colleges and universities. It features an interdisciplinary curriculum that draws from three SMU schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, and Meadows School of the Arts.

Classes and content will be designed and delivered by SMU faculty, and DataScience@SMU will include coursework in computer science, statistics, strategic behavior and data visualization. The first classes for the online degree program are scheduled to begin in January 2015.

“We look forward to building an innovative online data science program that will prepare students to effectively manage and analyze data as well as communicate and visualize findings,” Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement. “Our partnership with 2U will allow SMU to offer our top-tier academics to professionals working around the world.”

DataScience@SMU will feature faculty-designed coursework, including hands-on, project-based assignments and recorded lectures. Classes will be held weekly in a virtual classroom and will be kept small to facilitate group work and collaborative discussion, SMU says. Coursework and lectures will be available continuously and accessible to enrolled students regardless of their location.