Intelligence Studies

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Studies is designed to enhance your ability to research, analyze, and convert data into clear and coherent intelligence. This online bachelor’s degree focuses on national and international intelligence operations, analysis, ethics, collection methods, research, and counterintelligence. This degree program is helpful if you are currently employed in the intelligence field, or wish to pursue positions as military, civilian, or corporate intelligence specialists. Core courses in this program impart substantive knowledge and analytic skills required by all professionals in the intelligence community, while the concentration choices enable you to focus on a functional area or intelligence sub-field.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online bachelor’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Depending on the concentration chosen, course topics include:

  • Research, analytics, and written communication
  • Introduction to strategic intelligence
  • Intelligence analysis and collection
  • Intelligence techniques, including espionage and counterespionage
  • Threat analysis
  • Homeland security
  • The U.S. and foreign intelligence communities
  • Criminal intelligence, terrorism, and cyberwarfare
  • Area studies for Asian, Latin American, or the Middle East

Courses in this degree program are taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or other intelligence organizations. View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Describe the evolution, structures, functions, capabilities, and activities of the U.S. national intelligence community.
  • Detail the structures, functions, capabilities, and contributions of national intelligence consumers to include the national command authority, executive departments, Congress, military services, joint/unified commands, and law enforcement agencies.
  • Specify the intelligence cycle including intelligence planning, data collection, data exploitation, analysis, production, and dissemination phases.
  • Differentiate among the fundamental capabilities and limitations and means of tasking human, geographic/imagery, signals, measurement and technical and open intelligence data sources.
  • Detail the current permissions and restrictions on U.S. national intelligence community activities as prescribed by federal law, executive and agency directives, and the intelligence oversight system.
  • Conduct basic research and compose professional and academic analyses on issues critical to intelligence consumers.

Degree at a Glance

Concentrations

Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.

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Asian Area Studies

Takes an in-depth look at Asia, including its security issues and the role of intelligence within the region. Topics include analysis techniques, including hypothesis generation, red-teaming, and adversarial collaboration; and the conflict between traditional norms and modern institutions.

Sample Courses

  • HIST370 - Asia and the Modern World
  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • IRLS409 - Environmental Security
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • IRLS430 - U.S. National Security and the Pacific Basin
  • IRLS331 - Asian Politics
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • RELS350 - Hinduism
  • RELS351 - Buddhism
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Counterintelligence

Demonstrates U.S. intelligence agencies use of counterintelligence and covert action to guard America's global interests and protect national security. Examines the counterintelligence professional’s role in overt and covert operations, and delves into research methods and tools used in counterintelligence.

Sample Courses

  • INTL408 - Counterintelligence Operations
  • INTL409 - Counterintelligence Analysis
  • INTL410 - Counterintelligence
  • INTL412 - Espionage/Counterespionage
  • INTL413 - Denial and Deception
  • INTL422 - Open Source Collection
  • INTL423 - Human Intelligence
  • INTL424 - Interrogation
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
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Criminal Intelligence

Addresses intelligence processes and procedures in criminal justice, various techniques used to understand violence, and the differences between crime, war, and terrorism. Covers criminal intelligence analysis and strategic organized crime; cyber warfare’s use in military, terrorist, and, criminal organizations; and the illegal drug trade’s impact on national security and intelligence gathering.

Sample Courses

  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • CMRJ320 - Law Enforcement Intelligence Applications
  • INTL431 - Criminal Intelligence Analysis
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
  • INTL446 - Intelligence and Narcotics
  • INTL453 - Illicit Finance
  • CMRJ303 - Criminology
  • CMRJ329 - Criminal Profiling
  • CMRJ335 - Crime Analysis
  • INTL411 - International Criminal Organizations
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Cyber

Offers an overview of cyber warfare and the potential impact of its use by military, terrorist, and criminal organizations, as well as the various methods of collection and analysis. Looks at the use of strategic and operational level communications (COMINT) and electronics (ELINT) intelligence. Topics also include the change in laws to account for crimes in the digital age.

Sample Courses

  • INTL422 - Open Source Collection
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
  • CMRJ201 - Criminal Justice Administration
  • INTL421 - Signals Intelligence and Security
  • ITMG381 - Cyberlaw and Privacy in a Digital Age
  • ISSC351 - Computer Forensics
  • ISSC421 - Computer and Network Security
  • ISSC422 - Information Security
  • ISSC451 - Cybercrime
  • ISSC452 - Cybersecurity
  • ISSC341 - Introduction to Networking
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General

This general concentration allows you to select from all concentration  courses offered within this program, enabling you to create your own focused area of study. View course catalog for details.

View other concentrations in this program to see sample courses.

  • HLSS320 - Intelligence and Homeland Security
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Intelligence Analysis

Provides an understanding of how to interpret information generated from a variety of different organizations and sources into a highly cogent and professional intelligence product. Explores using existing knowledge to find meaning behind what is not immediately apparent to forecast events or consequences and draw conclusions with a high degree of reliability and precision.

Sample Courses

  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • INTL409 - Counterintelligence Analysis
  • INTL413 - Denial and Deception
  • INTL419 - Applied Geospatial Intelligence
  • INTL422 - Open Source Collection
  • INTL432 - Geographic Information Systems I
  • INTL433 - Geographic Information Systems II
  • INTL446 - Intelligence and Narcotics
  • INTL450 - Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • INTL453 - Illicit Finance
  • INTL454 - Forecasting Terrorism
  • INTL431 - Criminal Intelligence Analysis
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Intelligence Collection

Considers collective methods used to fill gaps in intelligence, as well as the potential impacts of future collection systems and their ability to satisfy intelligence requirements. Also covers: the full spectrum of the intelligence collection cycle; intelligence needs in future collection planning; and advanced methods of collecting data to support intelligence community consumers.

Sample Courses

  • INTL410 - Counterintelligence
  • INTL413 - Denial and Deception
  • INTL419 - Applied Geospatial Intelligence
  • INTL422 - Open Source Collection
  • INTL423 - Human Intelligence
  • INTL424 - Interrogation
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
  • INTL442 - Tactical Intelligence
  • INTL421 - Signals Intelligence and Security
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Intelligence Operations

Surveys the nature and challenges to military planning of operations other than war, such as peacekeeping operations, low-intensity conflicts, and humanitarian relief efforts. Looks into ways to facilitate cooperation with others across the intelligence community, as well as intelligence management skills necessary for planning, management, and leadership positions.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS409 - Environmental Security
  • IRLS415 - Peacekeeping Logistics
  • INTL408 - Counterintelligence Operations
  • INTL410 - Counterintelligence
  • INTL412 - Espionage/Counterespionage
  • INTL413 - Denial and Deception
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
  • INTL442 - Tactical Intelligence
  • INTL446 - Intelligence and Narcotics
  • INTL453 - Illicit Finance
  • HLSS320 - Intelligence and Homeland Security
  • IRLS414 - Principles of Peacekeeping
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Latin America Area Studies

Explores the politics, cultures, history, and predominant language of Latin America, as well as U.S. intelligence operations there to guard America's global interests and protect national security. Topics include security issues in the region and the part intelligence plays in the war on drugs.

Sample Courses

  • HIST360 - History of Latin America
  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • IRLS300 - Comparative Political Systems
  • IRLS310 - Introduction to Human Security
  • IRLS355 - Latin American Politics
  • IRLS409 - Environmental Security
  • IRLS412 - Comparative Foreign Policy
  • INTL446 - Intelligence and Narcotics
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • LITR355 - Latin American Literature
  • SPAN100 - Spanish I
  • SPAN101 - Spanish II
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Middle East Area Studies

Delves into the intelligence community and its relationship to the Middle East through the region’s language, politics, history, and culture. Topics include a study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; major Middle Eastern literary works dating back to ancient times; the origins and evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and past and present U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world.

Sample Courses

  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • ARAB100 - Arabic I
  • HIST350 - History of the Middle East
  • IRLS360 - Global Politics of Islam
  • IRLS460 - Government & Security in the Middle East
  • IRLS463 - Arab-Israeli Conflict: Contemp. Politics & Dipl.
  • IRLS468 - Politics and Security in the Persian Gulf
  • IRLS213 - Political Geography
  • LITR365 - Middle Eastern Literature
  • RELS330 - Religions of the Middle East
  • RELS353 - Islam
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Terrorism Studies

Evaluates leading terrorist organizations and their agendas, as well as the causes of and threats from domestic and international terrorism. Explores information sharing limits under the PATRIOT Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. Teaches how to identify the leading terrorist organizations, understand their agendas, and develop the critical thinking skills and methodological techniques to defeat them.

Sample Courses

  • INTL451 - Terrorism and U.S. National Security
  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
  • INTL446 - Intelligence and Narcotics
  • INTL450 - Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • INTL453 - Illicit Finance
  • INTL431 - Criminal Intelligence Analysis
  • SCMT319 - Global Terrorism
  • PSYC360 - Psychology of Terrorism
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Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT)

Offers foundational knowledge on the use and application of geospatial intelligence, including the specialzed tools used to collect and analyze geospatial data.

Sample Courses

  • INTL402 - Intelligence Analysis
  • INTL419 - Applied Geospatial Intelligence
  • INTL422 - Open Source Collection
  • INTL432 - Geographic Information Systems I
  • INTL440 - Cyber Warfare
  • INTL442 - Tactical Intelligence
  • GEOG200 - Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems I
  • INTL433 - Geographic Information Systems II
  • GEOG201 - Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems II

Admission Requirements

  • All undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • New undergraduate students may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment (ADMN100). If you have successfully completed 9 or more hours of college credit, you may reach out to your admission representative to inquire about waiving this requirement.
  • If you have previous college experience, you will be asked to submit your transcripts from previous schools where you earned academic credit.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates  

Military-Affiliated Students* = $250/credit hour

All Other Students = $270/credit hour

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

The university has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.