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Intelligence Studies

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies provides you with advanced-level understanding of strategic intelligence analysis, collection, and operations. Core courses in this graduate program impart substantive knowledge and analytic skills required by all professionals seeking leadership positions in the intelligence community. Additional concentration choices enable you to focus on a functional area or intelligence sub-field. This degree program is designed for students seeking advancement in the intelligence field, or for those who wish to build upon undergraduate knowledge as entry into the field.

This degree program is taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors, many who hold key positions in government agencies or other intelligence organizations.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online master’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:

  • Strategic intelligence analysis, collection, management, and operations
  • Interagency operations, counterintelligence, and homeland security
  • The history, theories, and practices of assassination
  • Ethical challenges in the intelligence community
  • Signals, open source, human, cyber, and geospatial intelligence
  • National security and its effect on intelligence
  • Criminal intelligence, and transnational crimes and narcotics
  • Terrorism, counterterrorism, and deception techniques
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Research, analysis, and communication skills

View all courses.

Program Objectives

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

  • Examine the evolution, structures, functions, capabilities, and activities of the national intelligence community, both from the pre- and- post-9/11 perspectives.
  • Explain 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.
  • Appraise the intelligence cycle, including intelligence planning, data collection, data exploitation, analysis, production, and dissemination phases.
  • Investigate the fundamental capabilities, limitations, and means of tasking human, geographic/imagery, signals, measurement, and technical and open intelligence data sources.
  • Assess and predict traditional and non-traditional threats to national and international security.
  • Conduct advanced research and compose professional and academic analyses on issues critical to intelligence consumers.
  • Evaluate the latest techniques and procedures for improving interagency cooperation and intelligence sharing.

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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Criminal Intelligence

Examines the historical roots of organized crime and its current role within the American criminal justice system. Provides an overview on U.S. counter-drug efforts and basic information on illicit drugs, with a focus on world regions where drugs are typically manufactured and transported. Teaches counterintelligence principles and criminal intelligence analysis for predicting trends, weaknesses, capabilities, intentions, changes, and warnings needed to dismantle criminal organizations.

Sample Courses

  • LSTD517 - Law, Ethics and Cybersecurity
  • INTL610 - Counterintelligence
  • INTL647 - Cyber Intelligence
  • CMRJ524 - Organized Crime
  • CMRJ526 - Drug Cartels and the Narcotics Threat
  • INTL631 - Criminal Intelligence Analysis
  • INTL646 - Transnational Crime and Narcotics
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Cyber

Addresses the cyber discipline from a multidisciplinary perspective. Topics include current and historical structure, functions, and capabilities of private and governmental agencies comprising the cyber community; laws related to intellectual property, civil litigation, criminal prosecutions, and privacy; cybercrime investigation and prevention; and the ethical, economic, and societal issues that face today’s information-entrenched society.

Sample Courses

  • LSTD517 - Law, Ethics and Cybersecurity
  • INTL621 - Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
  • NSEC506 - Cyber Policy and Practice in National Security
  • ISSC630 - Advanced Cybercrime Analysis
  • ISSC631 - Cyber Ethics: Privacy and Intellectual Property
  • INTL622 - OSINT
  • INTL647 - Cyber Intelligence
  • INTL649 - Case Studies in Foreign Cyber Threats
  • INTL644 - Cyber and the Intelligence Cycle
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General

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

View other concentrations in this program to see sample courses.

  • INTL644 - Cyber and the Intelligence Cycle
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Homeland Security

Traces intelligence and homeland security processes in defending the U.S., such as the efforts to prevent, prepare, and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction. Looks at: terrorist groups from different political psychological perspectives; threats to U.S. borders, such as illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, and money laundering; and risk management in loss prevention.

Sample Courses

  • NSEC614 - Political Psychology of Terror Groups
  • HLSS502 - Homeland Security and Defense
  • HLSS505 - Security Risk Management
  • HLSS522 - Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism
  • HLSS523 - Domestic Terrorism and Extremist Groups
  • INTL613 - Intelligence and Homeland Security
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Intelligence Analysis

Studies advanced intelligence analysis methods in composing professional and academic analyses on issues critical to intelligence community consumers. Topics include: an analysis of political leaders; an overview of transnational crime and narcotics and the effects on the political, social, and economic development of countries around the world; and the challenges and benefits of cyber intelligence operations.

Sample Courses

  • INTL635 - Indications and Warnings
  • INTL637 - Intelligence Profiling
  • INTL652 - Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
  • INTL653 - Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation
  • INTL647 - Cyber Intelligence
  • NSEC614 - Political Psychology of Terror Groups
  • INTL646 - Transnational Crime and Narcotics
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Intelligence Collection

Studies advanced intelligence data collection methods in supporting analyses on issues critical to intelligence community consumers. Analyzes the phases, processes, and challenges of cybercrime investigations, as well as U.S. and foreign aspects of counterintelligence and the technical, legal, and social issues relating to the search and seizure of digital evidence and computer forensics.

Sample Courses

  • INTL610 - Counterintelligence
  • INTL621 - Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
  • INTL622 - OSINT
  • INTL623 - Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
  • INTL627 - Advanced Geospatial Intelligence
  • ISSC630 - Advanced Cybercrime Analysis
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Intelligence Management

Lays the groundwork to understanding management principles in the intelligence community environment. Topics include: ethical dilemmas and conflicts in organizational settings; strategic planning techniques used by industrial companies; the evolution and philosophical foundation of the human resource field; methods of managing an organization; and human behavior principles in individual, group, team, and organizational settings.

Sample Courses

  • MGMT600 - Organizational Management
  • HRMT600 - Human Resource Management
  • MGMT601 - Organizational Behavior
  • MGMT615 - Strategic Planning
  • MGMT618 - Ethics in Leadership
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Intelligence Operations

Explores intelligence management skills required for leadership within the intelligence community. Examines covert action in the context of national security, including the political and executive aspects of the presidential powers involved. Addresses core elements of information operations, including the disciplines of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), and operations security (OPSEC).

Sample Courses

  • INTL604 - Interagency Operations
  • INTL610 - Counterintelligence
  • INTL637 - Intelligence Profiling
  • INTL653 - Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation
  • NSEC611 - Covert Action and National Security
  • INTL647 - Cyber Intelligence
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Terrorism Studies

Studies the causes and threats of domestic and international terrorism, including the threat of weapons of mass destruction as a unique phenomenon within the homeland security landscape. Also includes terrorist and extremist groups within the U.S., policies for combating terrorism and terrorist tactics worldwide, and various counterterrorism intelligence methodologies and analytic tools.

Sample Courses

  • INTL650 - Counterterrorism
  • INTL652 - Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
  • MILS671 - The Non-State Soldier
  • NSEC614 - Political Psychology of Terror Groups
  • HLSS522 - Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism
  • HLSS523 - Domestic Terrorism and Extremist Groups

Admission Requirements

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An AMU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation after you complete the enrollment application.

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 AMU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, AMU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. 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

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

AMU 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.

School of Security & Global Studies


School of Security & Global Studies

This program resides in the American Military University School of Security & Global Studies where many of the university’s flagship programs were created by experts from the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and private businesses throughout the world. The programs taught in the School of Security & Global Studies truly embody our Educating Those Who Serve motto because many of our students come from active-duty military and federal, state, and local government agencies.

The AMU faculty is committed to helping you apply educational theories to real-world challenges in preparation for leadership opportunities in criminal justice, public safety, public administration, national security, and more. Many of our professors are highly credentialed and respected leaders in their fields and currently work in the U.S. government.

At AMU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and service commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with classmates and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect – a strong benefit for deployed personnel.

We encourage you to browse the School of Security & Global Studies webpage to learn more about our what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you