Master of Arts in Strategic Intelligence Studies

52 Credit Hours
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.

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Core Courses

(all required)

Courses in Intelligence and Statecraft

(all required)

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

Specialization in The Art of Intelligence

Specialization in Counterintelligence and Foreign Intelligence

Mastering Strategic Intelligence

To complete this M.A., students must achieve the following learning objectives.


  1. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the various aspects of statecraft (military strategy; intelligence; counterintelligence; defense against foreign propaganda; deception; influence operations; psychological strategy; and terrorism), and the role of protective security in our democracy.
  2. Students must demonstrate the ability to address intelligence, counterintelligence, protective security, and influence operations by integrating these into a coherent whole.
  3. Students must demonstrate the ability to think strategically and integrate tactical work with strategic goals.


  1. Students must demonstrate knowledge of basic terms, concepts, historic facts, theories, economics, and geography related to the strategic intelligence field.
  2. Student must demonstrate knowledge of the chosen field of specialization (national security, intelligence, statecraft, counterintelligence, etc.)
  3. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the role of intelligence to the other instruments of statecraft of foreign powers.
  4. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the main ideological currents of the modern era and the role of ideas and values in strategic intelligence.
  5. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the principles of the American founding and the American political economy and their relevance to U.S. foreign policy.

Values and Principles

  1. Students must demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of the Western moral tradition (particularly the natural law and the dialog between reason and revelation) and its application to foreign policy and strategy.
  2. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the building blocks of statesmanship and moral leadership, including various personal and civic virtues as: honesty; integrity; the ability to see the truth and tell it to power; courage; perseverance’ independence of thought and the capacity to resist peer pressure and the “conventional wisdom”; respect for the rule of law; prudence; justice; discernment of the national interest; respect of the dignity of the individual human person regardless of their background or condition.
  3. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between policy and how American constitutional and cultural values affect the role of intelligence and protective security in American statecraft.

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.

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