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INTL421 - Signals Intelligence and Security

Course Details

Course Code: INTL421 Course ID: 3182 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course examines the history of signals intelligence, also known by the acronym SIGINT. It covers the various methods and modes of intelligence collection by electronic means for the use of strategic and operational level communications (COMINT), and electronics (ELINT) intelligence. The course also discusses encryption and protection of electronic capabilities and countermeasures (EECM).

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/26/18 - 05/03/19 05/06/19 - 06/30/19 Spring 2019 Session I 8 Week session
01/28/19 - 06/28/19 07/01/19 - 08/25/19 Summer 2019 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/19 - 08/30/19 09/02/19 - 10/27/19 Summer 2019 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1 Analyze the history of signals intelligence in the United States and its role in national security and defense situations.

CO-2 Evaluate the collections platforms within Signals Intelligence.

CO-3 Interpret the doctrinal employment of SIGINT in Europe during the Cold War.

CO-4 Explain the role of Communications Security in protecting US communications from foreign exploitations.

CO-5 Examine the application of Signals Intelligence against current and future threats: state and sub-state terrorists, economic challenges, traditional nation-state threats.

Forum discussions – 25 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Lab Assignment: - 25 percent

This lab we’ll look at a typical SIGINT collection setup. You’ll access a receiver remotely via the web and listen to signals typical of the HF spectrum. This assignment addresses CO 1 and 2

Midterm assignment - 25 percent

A six-page essay. Specific instructions found in Assignments tab of the classroom. This midterm essay is a paper that addresses CO 1 and 2.The essay instruction is: In this 6 page essay you are to analyze and evaluate the collections platforms used in SIGINT and it past, current, and future role in national security.

Progress assignment - 25 percent

Specialized Exercise. 8-10 pages including research and analysis. This essay assignment addresses the issues in CO 1-5

Final assignment – 25 percent

A six-page essay. Specific instructions found in Assignments tab of the classroom. The six page essay assignment is actually two questions answered in 3 to 4 pages each and each addresses the issue in CO 3,4,and 5, respectively.

  • Required Course Textbook
    • There are no text books for this course. You can find a detailed list of all required reading and turn-ins for each week by clicking on Lessons, the Weekly Lesson module, and then the Assignment tab.
  • External websites and other assigned reading found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #. You must be logged in to eCampus first to access the links.
Author: No Author Specified
Book Title:Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency - E-book available in the APUS Online Library
Author:James Bamford
Unit Cost:$12.53
Book Title:The Most Secret War - link provided in the classroom
Publication Info:Government Printing Office
Author:James Gilbert

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.