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Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice

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Master of Security Studies (M.S.S.) in
Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis

The Master of Security Studies (M.S.S.) in Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis is a distinctive degree addressing the growing need for graduate-level study of the intelligence discipline and its relationships to national security issues such as policy making; military strategy, planning, and operations; and Constitutional issues and the rule of law in a democracy.  The degree is ideal for those with bachelor’s degrees in security issues or related fields who want to improve their cognitive, analytical, decision-making, advising, and leadership skills within the intelligence profession. To increase flexibility, the program has both a thesis and non-thesis option.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.75 or better, including all grades on repeated courses, or hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Required GPA may be waived on a case-by-case basis by the department head.
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • An essay of no more than 750 words discussing an intelligence-related topic affecting our nation’s security

The GRE test is not required for admittance to the program.

Delivery Method

This degree is offered completely online only. Graduate ISSA courses are delivered in an 8-week format.

Time Frame

The program can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Degree Requirements

Courses Hours
ISSA 6300 Seminar in Intelligence Analysis and National Security Perspectives 3
ISSA 6301 Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis, and Rationality 3
ISSA 6302 The Transformational Imperative: Reorganizing in a Multi-polar World 3
ISSA 6303 Advanced Intelligence Analysis: Operating in Complex Environments 3
ISSA 6304 The Practice of US Intelligence and National Security 3
ISSA 6305 Introduction to Research Methods 3
ISSA 6306 Applied Statistics 3
     Thesis Option  
ISSA Elective Courses 9
ISSA 6399 or 6699 Thesis 6
     Non-Thesis Option  
ISSA Elective Courses 12
ISSA 6380 Capstone Course 3

Thesis Option

Students wishing to take the thesis option will be required to take nine hours of ISSA electives and a course(s) for writing the thesis (ISSA 6399 or 6699). Students taking ISSA 6399 to satisfy this requirement must take the course twice.

Non-Thesis Option

Students wishing to take the non-thesis option will be required to take the 12 semester credit hours of ISSA Electives and a three hour capstone course. Students in the non-thesis option will be required to pass an oral comprehensive examination. This does not need to take place on the ASU campus and can be done via teleconference or other appropriate methods. Please see the section on Advisory Committees for oral comprehensive exams in the Graduate Catalog under Academic Guidelines and Graduate Studies Policies.

Elective Options

ISSA 6309 Intelligence Support to Policy Making: The Impact of 9/11
ISSA 6310 Military Intelligence: Strategic, Operational and Tactical
ISSA 6311 Special Operations: Creating Strategic Intelligence Effects
ISSA 6312 Cyber Arms Race and the Intelligence Policy Nexus
ISSA 6313 Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism
ISSA 6381 Special Topics
ISSA 6391 Independent Research

Transfer Credit

A maximum of nine semester credit hours of graduate course work completed in a regionally accredited institution may be transferred toward the master’s degree in border security and security studies. Transfer credits cannot be applied to graduate certificates in border security or security studies. Official transcripts showing the successful completion of the courses petitioned to be transferred must be on file in the College of Graduate Studies. No graduate work for which the student received a grade lower than B will be accepted for transfer credit. No graduate work which was part of a degree awarded at another institution will be accepted for transfer credit. All transferred course work must have been completed no more than six years prior to the awarding of the master’s degree at Angelo State University. Approved transfer credit will be awarded after the student has successfully completed one semester or term of graduate enrollment. Department head Dr. Robert Ehlers can provide a recommendation for transfer credit to the graduate dean at the student’s request. For more information, please contact the department head.