MS in Intelligence Studies

How To Apply

Admission Requirements for the MS in Intelligence Studies


General Admissions

In order to qualify for admission into the master's degree program, you must have one of the following:

A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a B (3.00) average or better in all work attempted while registered as an undergraduate student working towards a degree in all degree programs; OR

A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a previous graduate degree with a B (3.00) average or better from a regionally accredited institution; OR

The equivalent bachelors and/or graduate degrees from a foreign institution.

Domestic Application Deadline

Fall Admission: June 1
Spring Admission: October 15
Summer Admission: February 15

International Application Deadline

Fall Admission: June 1
Spring Admission: September 15
Summer Admission: February 15

Additional Application Documentation

  • A 250-500 word essay describing the student's academic and professional background, reasons for pursuing this degree, and professional goals pertaining to intelligence studies.
  • A professional resume
  • Two letters of recommendation -While not required, letters of recommendation are highly suggested.  At least one letter should come from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's academic performance and potential. If the applicant is unable to provide the letter from a former professor, with approval from the program's admission coordinator, letters from other professional sources will be accepted.

Graduates of USF are not required to upload USF transcripts. The School of Information will pull USF transcripts from the USF system.

If granted admission you must send all official documents (transcripts, test scores) to the USF Graduate Admissions Office at the following address:

4202 E Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036 Tampa, Florida 33620
Phone: (813) 974-3350
Fax: (813) 974-7343

For graduate program related questions, please contact Academic Program Specialist Alexis Shinawongse at (813) 974-8022 or via email at


Cyber Intelligence Concentration

Applicants to the Cyber Intelligence Concentration are not required to have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or Information Technology, but they should be able to demonstrate a basic foundation of technical/computing knowledge.  That foundation is not provided in the MSIS program curriculum, so students should acquire the fundamentals before starting the program, and complete the foundation--through additional study outside the MSIS curriculum--by the end of their first semester in the program. 

The fundamentals that should be acquired before starting the program include basic programming skills (to include an understanding of variables, operators, loops, conditionals, functions, error handling, and advanced data structures) in C or in a commonly used, object-oriented programming language such as Java, Python, or C++.

Either before beginning the program, or at least by the end of their first semester in the program, students in the Cyber Intelligence Concentration should also have accomplished the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate the ability to perform algorithmic analysis;
  • Demonstrate the ability to sort and search algorithms;
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply and appropriately use data structures, including linked lists, stacks, queues;
  • Understand computer components, their functions and interconnection, computer memory, cache memory, I/O and operating system support;
  • Explain basic operating system concepts, including process management, memory management, storage management, protection & security, distributed systems, and special purpose systems;
  • Understand network fundamentals and terminology;
  • Describe and analyze the hardware, software, components of a network and the interrelations;
  • Explain networking protocols and their hierarchical relationship;
  • Explain the concepts and theories of networking; and
  • Understand network industry standards such as the OSI model, Routing Protocols, Address Resolution and Reverse Address Resolution Protocols, IP Addresses and Subnetting, MAC Addressing.

For students who do not have a formal technical/computing foundation, one pathway to meet the minimum requirements would be to complete the following courses through edX ( and to acquire a "Verified Certificate" for each, to document successful completion. 

If an applicant reviews one or more of these edX courses and believes that she/he already possess the level of proficiency that the course would provide, then the applicant may petition to demonstrate those learning objectives through an alternative mechanism (e.g., transcripts or certificates from other courses completed or demonstration of proficiency through work products). The burden of persuasion rests with the applicant to demonstrate that the level of proficiency is equivalent to what would be achieved by successfully completing the pertinent edX course.

 English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not earned degrees from countries where English is not the official language, must also demonstrate proficiency in English in one of the following ways:

  • By providing scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • By providing a score of 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • By providing a score of 53 or higher on the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE-A)
  • By earning a score of 500 (153 or equivalent) on the GRE Verbal exam
  • By earning a baccalaureate or higher degree at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
  • By earning a baccalaureate or equivalent degree at a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction (must be documented on the transcript or on an official Certificate of Medium of Instruction from the Institution)

International students who do not hold the required degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution must submit translated transcripts along with a letter from a qualified foreign transcript evaluation service certifying equivalency to the U.S. degree.