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Undergraduate Online Program: Intelligence,
Security Studies and Analysis (B.I.S.S.A.)

  • Introduction

    The Bachelor of Intelligence, Security Studies and Analysis (B.I.S.S.A.) program addresses the growing need for an undergraduate level of study in the intelligence discipline and its relationships to national security issues, such as:

    • Policy making
    • Military strategy, planning and operations
    • Constitutional issues and the rule of law in a democracy

    The program will improve your cognitive, analytical, decision-making, advising and leadership skills within the intelligence profession. 

    This program is designed for students who have completed their Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). Other students who do not have a degree from the CCAF will follow the B.S.S. in Intelligence, Security Studies and Analysis degree plan.

    Degrees in the AU-ABC program allow students to transfer all 64 credit hours of their A.A.S. from CCAF into the course requirements. Students are only required to complete 60 additional credit hours at ASU to complete the B.I.S.S.A. degree.

  • Applying

    1. Complete and submit the Undergraduate Admission Application and pay the $35 application fee online.

    Note: If you pay the $35 fee before you submit your application through the website, you will not have to mail in your payment or make a payment in person. Students are advised to pay their application fee through Apply Texas before they submit their application.

    When applying online through ApplyTexas, you will need to fill out your profile information first:

        • Under My Applications, select “Create a New Application Now.” 
        • Click on “Create a New 4-Year University Admissions Application.”  
        • Select Angelo State University as your Target University.
        • Under Application Type, select “Transfer, U.S.”
        • Choose the semester that you want to start.
        • Under First School Choice, select “AU-ABC program.” You can leave the second school choice blank.

    2. Mail official transcripts from all colleges attended to the Admissions Office. Transcripts should be mailed to:

    Angelo State University
    Office of Admissions
    ASU Station #11014
    San Angelo, TX 76909-1014

    For more information regarding admission procedures, please visit the ASU Office of Admissions website.

    Once admitted, please follow the steps for admitted students to set up your access accounts, sign up for courses, apply for financial aid, etc.

  • Degree Plan
    Academic Major
    Courses Hours
    Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis 3300, 3301, 3302, 3303, 3310, 3320, 4103 19
    Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis Elective Courses Choose any 12 hours of Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis courses 12
    Major Support Courses
    Courses Hours
    Cultural Competence 2323 3
    Mathematics 1332, 1342 3
    Core Curriculum
    Courses Hours
    Core Curriculum. Students should be aware that some majors specify particular courses to meet core-curriculum requirements when options are available. 42
    Courses Hours
    Electives 51

    * Undergraduate ISSA students may take BOR undergraduate courses as advanced electives with the Department Chair’s permission.

  • Courses
    • ISSA 4381 Special Topics (3-0). A course in selected intelligence topics. May be repeated once for credit when topics vary.

    • ISSA 4303 Case Studies in Intelligence (3-0). Case Studies in WWII, Korea, Cold War, Algeria, Vietnam, Cuba, Desert Storm I & II, Post 911, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, WMD Proliferation, and Terrorism. Includes practical exercise. This course is a seminar and takes a case study ap­proach to highlighting challenges and lessons learned for successes and failure on intelligence policy, operations, organization, and reform. Students must be in senior status and it is preferable to take this course in the final semester. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Intelligence, Secu­rity Studies, and Analysis 4103.)

    • ISSA 4301 Advanced Intelligence Analysis: How to Think In Complex Operating Environments (3-0). This course focuses the analyst on how to think, not what to think, in order to foster critical thoughts and enhance the stu­dent’s cognitive performance. It is modeled on the Socratic method of in­struction and offers concepts on advanced thinking that are applicable to all work environments, but particularly to the intelligence analysis enterprise. Students discover how to decompose an analytical problem into its funda­mental elements. The output of this process includes five principal kinds of observables for collection and analysis: technical, functional, cultural, situational, and biometric. Students also learn how to write effective require­ments and observables. They further learn how to re-aggregate data into information and to synthesize information into knowledge, thereby creating actionable intelligence. 

    • ISSA 4300 Advanced Problems in National Security and Intelligence Policy (3-0). This course provides a strategic overview of the complex challenges surrounding the creation, application, and administration of national se­curity and intelligence policy. Students will examine the most compelling national security and intelligence issues of our time and their interrelation­ships with U.S., foreign, military, economic, diplomatic, and domestic poli­cy. Students will learn the formal/informal structure of the national security establishment and the intelligence community and the processes involved in how policy makers and analysts integrate national security policy and intelligence to form national strategy. Students will examine the changing nature of external threats in a multi-polar world and identify U.S. defense and intelligence policy issues for the remainder of this century and into the next. The course gives students awareness of the U.S. position in the inter­national military, diplomatic, economic, and intelligence community and the effects of the current U.S. and global economic situation on U.S. national security and how the roles and organizations within the Intelligence Com­munity support the national security process. 

    • ISSA 4191, 4291, 4391 Research. Individual research problems for superior students majoring in intelligence, security studies, and analysis. (May be repeated for a total of six semester hours credit.)
      Prerequisites: Junior standing. Approval from the Chair of the Depart­ment is required prior to enrollment. 

    • ISSA 4103 Case Studies in Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis (1-0). This course is a seminar and takes a case study approach to highlighting challenges and lessons learned for successes and failures on intelligence policy, operations, organization, and reform. Topics covered include WWII, Korea, Cold War, Algeria, Vietnam, Cuba, Desert Storm I & II, Post 911, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, WMD Proliferation, Terrorism. Includes practical exercise. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis 4303.)

    • ISSA 4071 Internship (1-6 SCH). This course is designed to familiarize students with the application of knowledge gained in course work and with opera­tions and problems in the field of intelligence, security studies, and analysis. Students must be pursuing a degree in Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis. Approval of instructor is required. 

    • ISSA 3320 Intelligence and Democracy: Issues and Conflicts (3-0). This course examines the conduct of intelligence activities by democratic states, focusing on the inherent conflict between the secret nature of intelligence and “open society.” Using a case study approach, students will review the intelligence organizations in the U.S. and other democracies as well as cases where there has been a clash between democratic values and intelligence activities. The course analyzes the requirements for effective intelligence operations and the impact of oversight and control of those operations. Students will examine Government “control” of intelligence op­erations; Judicial and Congressional oversight, management, and interven­tion; and the role and influence of media and public opinion on intelligence activities. Moreover, as a result of 9/11 and the war on terror, students will explore the conundrum of determining whether and to what degree a neces­sary balance exists between secrecy of intelligence operations at home and abroad and democracy.

    • ISSA 3310 Introduction to the Discipline of Intelligence (3-0). This course focuses on the theory and practice of the disciplines of intelligence to in­clude the intelligence process, the key functions of the intelligence cycle, intelligence technology, analysis, collection capabilities, covert action, and policy support. Students will examine the role of intelligence in national security, policy formation, diplomacy, homeland security, and other national priorities. Students will do a comparative review of the Cold War intelligence community and post-9/11 period of the emergence of the current national Intelligence Community (IC). Students will examine partnerships between the IC and the military services, academic, and scientific communities in developing intelligence practices and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Re­connaissance (ISR) systems and capabilities to address the intelligence challenges of the past 60 years. Finally, the course emphasizes the im­portance of preparing and providing intelligence to both policy makers and our nation’s warfighters in a manner that result in information sharing and underscores a post-9/11 commitment to conduct intelligence activities in a manner that fully respects and protects American civil liberties and privacy. 

    • ISSA 3305 Intelligence Collection: Sources and Challenges (3-0). This course provides a multidisciplinary survey of Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT). The background, capabilities, and limita­tions of each intelligence collection method are covered. The course fo­cuses on the intelligence process, specific intelligence challenges of the global war on terrorism and specific collection challenges facing planning activities which enable an integrated approach to intelligence analysis and collection.

    • ISSA 3304 The Intelligence Process: Consumers-Producer Relationships (3-0). This course examines the policymaker and intelligence relationships and how they function to serve national security demands. Policymakers receive their support from a variety of sources. There is an established intelligence process designed to provide intelligence judgments and as­sessments. Students will learn how that process works and how it can be influenced. The CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and the National Intel­ligence Officers who comprise the National Intelligence Council are respon­sible for providing all-source intelligence analysis to the Government as a whole, with the President, the National Security Advisor, and the Secretaries of Defense and State being the foremost customers. Students will compre­hend customers’ intelligence requirements and how those requirements are serviced to contribute to national security needs. Students will also examine intelligence failures through case studies, evaluate why these failures oc­curred, and how such failures can be eliminated in the future.

    • ISSA 3303 Critical Thinking and Intelligence Analytical Methods (3-0). Think­ing critically, analyzing and synthesizing effectively, and solving difficult problems are crucial skills in the intelligence arena. Additionally, rapid changes in technology, information sourcing, and information availability, coupled with fundamental changes in the Intelligence Community and its customers’ expectations, have had a significant impact on the intelligence process and the way in which analysis is conducted and disseminated. This course provides methodology and techniques in critical thinking and analysis skills meant to overcome cultural and self-imposed biases that can impact the objectivity of intelligence analysis and decision-making. Critical thinking and analysis skills are covered, to include analysis of competing hypotheses, matrix analyses, decision/event trees, weighted rankings, and utility analysis, which are designed to improve the objectivity of intelligence analysis and decision making. The course ends with a review of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and analyst-policymaker relationships. 

    • ISSA 3302 Fundamentals of Intelligence Analysis (3-0). This course is de­signed for students with no experience with the intelligence discipline. It presents the organization and fundamentals of intelligence, defining the dis­cipline, providing an overview of basic intelligence sources, and tracing the history of intelligence organization in the U.S. from the revolution through the modern day. This course introduces students who are interested in pur­suing the profession of intelligence to the business of intelligence analy­sis. Students will develop a broad understanding of strategic intelligence and all phases of the intelligence cycle from requirements to reporting with an emphasis on supporting leadership decision making. It presents mate­rial describing the process of intelligence analysis; the role of the analyst; and analysis tools for preparation of assessments based on the collection, correlation, and analysis of intelligence data. The course concludes with a discussion of ethical dilemmas posed by the ongoing war on terrorism and resulting from modern high-tech collection capabilities.

    • ISSA 3301 Context, Culture, and Intelligence: The International Dimension (3-0). The intelligence profession is particularly complex because it focuses by definition on foreign threats. Unfortunately for intelligence analysts, this requires that they understand not just other cultures and how their norms and values affect their approach to resolving policy issues or conflicts, but also how historical and other kinds of contextual factors influence how they might respond to American engagement and pressure in a given situation. This course gets at the heart of these complexities through the use of his­torical case studies and a careful focus on the ways in which context and culture drive the intelligence analysis process and make it a very complex and uncertain endeavor. 

    • ISSA 3300 U.S. Intelligence and Global Security Challenges (3-0). This course’s ultimate objective is to place the student in the role of a senior leader and have him/her face the global security challenges facing our deci­sion makers. 9/11 and the global war on terror has placed the world in a position where friends and allies must work together to defeat terrorism at home and abroad. To be effective our national leaders must reach out and partner with foreign allies. Students will be placed in these roles to help determine and form national security policy. Students will assume the roles of the national security advisor, SECSTATE, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), and Director for the CIA and of DNI, among others, and will attempt to advise and influence head of a foreign nation, international organization, or internationally-active NGO, with the tasks of (1) explaining the role of the United States in the international system (from a non-US perspective), and (2) designing a national security strategy for your na­tion or organization that could either affect, neutralize, or capitalize on the hegemonic position of the U.S., (3) and form intelligence partnerships and sharing agreements. 

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