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Master of Arts in Strategic Intelligence Studies

Two years to complete with full-time student status

This degree is designed for students who seek careers in the intelligence or counterintelligence field, as well as professionals whose agencies or clientele are charged with the acquisition and interpretation of intelligence. It features courses in fundamental intelligence disciplines, such as:

  • Intelligence collection
  • Analysis and epistemology
  • Counterintelligence and deception
  • Covert action

The program equips the student with all of the requisite tools and knowledge necessary for professional success in the field.

Preparation for a Career in Intelligence

Students learn the art of intelligence and gain practical experience from faculty who have served or are serving in the intelligence community.

Graduates from this Master’s program have gone into careers with a variety of agencies in the Intelligence Community, including: the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Department of the Treasury (USDT), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

The Institute of World Politics maintains a well-connected alumni networking program for students to meet alumni working in a variety of these fields and offers some practical experience through an extracurricular crisis simulation.

Contact an Admissions Officer

Apply Online

[At IWP,] we were instilled with the importance of applying a realistic and clearly defined strategy when approaching the challenges of the world.

CPT (P) Gregory J. Abide USA, Valedictorian of the Class of 2018
Please note: These are Greg’s personal views and do not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Army.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the terms, concepts, history, and theories, related to international affairs, national security, and strategic intelligence and its role in the U.S. policy process.
  2. Make an informed assessment of foreign threats and opportunities as well as their impact on U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence.
  3. Integrate the various instruments of statecraft, with special consideration of geopolitical and economic factors, as they apply to U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence.
  4. Understand the legal structure on which the Intelligence Community (IC) is founded and within which it operates.
  5. Appreciate the principles of the American founding and the Western moral tradition as applied to U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence in the context of overall national security policy.


Core Courses

(all required)

NOTE: All MA students admitted prior to Fall 2020 are exempted and may follow the previous curriculum. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs if you have any questions (

Courses in Intelligence and Statecraft

(all required)

*This course is required for new students effective Fall 2020. Returning students may follow the previous curriculum.

Note: For the following two specializations, students must take a total of 16 credits, including at least 4 credits in each specialization.

Specialization in The Art of Intelligence

Specialization in Counterintelligence and Foreign Intelligence

Additional Requirements

Candidates for this degree are not required to pass a language proficiency examination; however, foreign language training is highly encouraged.

Students in this program may be enrolled full-time (9 or more credit hours per semester) or part-time (less than 9 credit hours per semester), but must complete the degree in five calendar years or less. After successful completion of all coursework, each student will be required to pass a one-hour oral examination and a three-hour written comprehensive examination.

Perspectives from Alumni of this M.A. Program

Major Andrew Harris

“It is one of the best educational experiences available if you are (or aspire to be) a national security professional in either a civil or military capacity.  What I got from IWP continues to pay dividends in my career.”
MAJ Andrew Harris, U.S. Army (’17)
Read Andrew’s valedictory remarks
Please note: These are Andrew’s personal views and do not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Army. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) or Military-themed visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

IWP Class of 2019

“I learned more about myself at IWP than I was expecting to. I thought I wanted to do counterterrorism, but I am now on a counterintelligence track because of IWP.”
A Member of the Class of 2019

Alex AhumadaPuente

“I was used to a tactical-level type of thinking. This program taught me to think strategically.”
Alex AhumadaPuente (’19)

C.W. Walker (center) with diploma

“I sat in on a class by Dr. Dave Thomas and found exactly what I was missing in my current graduate program: classes taught by patriot practitioners instead of academic apologists. I dropped out of the other school and applied to join IWP as soon as I could!”
C.W. Walker, (’15)
Cyber Intelligence Professional
Meet C.W.

Contact an Admissions Officer

Apply Online