MS in Intelligence Studies



Curriculum Structure and Composition

The MS in Intelligence Studies degree requires 36 credit hours

Five Core Knowledge Areas

  • Core Area 1 - Analytic Strategy - 3 CH
    • LIS 6700 Information, Strategy, and Decision Making
  • Core Area 2 - Analytic Methods - 6 CH
    • LIS 5802 Information Analytics
    • LIS 6702 Advanced Intelligence Analytic Methods
  • Core Area 3 - Applied Informatics - 9 CH
    • LIS 6260 Introduction to Information Science & Technology
    • LIS 5937 Advanced Information Retrieval OR Open Source Intelligence
    • LIS 6703 Core Concepts in Intelligence
  • Core Area 4 - Communication - 3 CH
    • LIS 6107 Professional and Technical Communication for Analysts
  • Core Area 5 - Project Management - 3 CH
    • LIS 5937 Project Management OR
    • ISM 6316 Project Management
    • PAD 6134 Project Management

Experiential Learning Requirement – 3 credit hours

    • LIS 6946 Supervised Fieldwork - Internship or Equivalent Required

Capstone Requirement – 3 credit hours

    • LIS 6906 Independent Study - Integrated Portfolio of Competencies Required

Strategic Intelligence Concentration Requirements

These are selected in consultation with the program advisor. Although the entire program can be completed online, students are permitted to take sections of approved program courses on campus with the permission of the instructor.

Cyber Intelligence Concentration Requirements

In addition to the core requirements list above, students in the Cyber Intelligence Concentration are required to complete the following courses:

  • LIS 6709 Cyber Intelligence
  • LIS 6670 Advanced Cyber Intelligence

Course Descriptions

LIS 6700 Information, Strategy, and Decision Making

This course explores definitions, theories and applied frameworks for understanding information, knowledge, and strategy. It reviews the history of strategic thought and strategy assessment in security and business contexts. Students learn to evaluate possible courses of action, and project and explain actions by assessing an agent's (or organization's) strategic interests and circumstances.

LIS 6107 Professional and Technical Communication for Analysts

This course will introduce students to a specific writing style, the one preferred in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and by other U.S. Government agencies. Students will learn techniques for conducting research and identifying credible sources, organizing large amounts of information, proofreading, and writing clearly, concisely, and correctly. Fundamentals of English grammar such as good sentence structure, correct punctuation, and the development of coherent arguments are topics highlighted in this course. Written exercises will focus on writing concise and focused information reports and other types of documents commonly used in the IC . This "problem-based learning" course will enhance students' ability to effectively communicate -- in written products and oral briefings -- the results of detailed intelligence/information analytic work.

LIS 6702 Advanced Intelligence Analytic Methods

This course will provide a foundation for analytic and quantitative reasoning. It focuses on advanced, applied skills for problems analysis, problem-solving and decision-making. It is designed to help the student apply the rigor of the scientific method to strategy and information analysis. The course will draw on the decision sciences to teach students about the strengths and limitations of human judgment and decision-making and in algorithmic models and simulations, and how to mitigate the impact of bias in each. Students will also be introduced to several structured analytic techniques commonly used in intelligence analysis.

LIS 6703 Core Concepts in Intelligence

This course introduces intelligence theories and application, beginning with a review of how intelligence and counterintelligence have been used over the centuries. It will describe the structure, responsibilities, and capabilities of agencies and institutions in the US Intelligence Community and introduce general characteristics of foreign intelligence services. It will explore the different disciplines of intelligence and review the processes of intelligence planning, collection, and analysis.

LIS 6709 Cyber Intelligence

This course builds a foundation for understanding how cyber intelligence and counterintelligence can support cybersecurity and contribute more broadly to an enterprise or national security mission. It traces the history of cyber threats; evaluates the different forms of cyber conflict from hacktivism to cyber warfare; identifies and describes some of the key states and non-state actors posing a threat to cybersecurity; describe what is currently known about "insider threats" to information systems; examines how espionage (national and corporate) is evolving in the cyber realm; reviews research on cyber behavior and its implications for the "human dimension" of cybersecurity; and explores how to integrate technical, social and strategic data in cyber threat analysis.

LIS 5937 Advanced Information Retrieval

This course will introduce the student to the fundamentals of Information Storage and Retrieval Systems (ISRS). It will focus on the theory and core concepts of information retrieval systems, introduce the basic principles of information representation, storage formats and different processing, and retrieval techniques and query representation.

LIS 6260 Information Science Foundations

This course covers the fundamental issues in information science and technology, with appropriate historical background and theoretical grounding. Topics covered include information needs, seeking, and use; representation and organization of information; computers and networks; structured information systems; information systems applications; users perspectives in information systems; social informatics; communication using information technologies; information policy; and the information profession.

LIS 5937 Project Management

This course focuses on key issues in managing the development and implementation of strategic projects within and organization. Students will learn the fundamentals of project management and the system development life cycle and how to apply what they learn in specific project environments. Topics include project planning, cost estimation, project quality management, risk management, project control and project close out.

LIS 6670 Advanced Cyber Intelligence

This course builds on the foundations of Cyber Intelligence and focuses on applying intelligence analytic methods to plan, collect, process, analyze, produce and disseminate cyber intelligence products. Students will learn to apply intelligence analytic methods to create actionable intelligence products that support a cybersecurity mission.

LIS 5802 Information Analytics

In this course, students will learn to formulate analyzable questions, to locate and search available databases and information retrieval systems more effectively; to identify and evaluate credible sources, and to analyze existing data to generate new knowledge.