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

  • Introduction

    The Bachelor of Security Studies (B.S.S.) in intelligence, security studies and analysis is a distinctive degree addressing 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

    This degree is ideal for those currently employed or interested in the intelligence community, including the Department of Defense. The program will improve your cognitive, analytical, decision-making, advising and leadership skills within the intelligence profession. 

  • Prerequisites

    Intelligence, Security Studies and Analysis Requirements and Prerequisites


    • All college and university transcripts
    • Essay
    • Test Scores are not required unless requested by advisor


    • 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
    • At least two letters of recommendation
    • An essay of no more than 750 words discussing an intelligence-related topic affecting our nation’s security
  • Degree Plan
    Academic Major
    Courses Hours

    Cultural Competence 3310, 3312

    Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis 3300, 3301, 3302, 3303, 3310, 3320, 4303 21
    Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis Elective Courses
    Choose any 15 hours of Intelligence, Security Studies, and Analysis courses
    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


    Courses Hours
    Electives 18

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

  • Courses
    • CUL 3312 Cultural Competence: Making Sense of the World II (3-0).  This course is a continuation of Cultural Competence 3310 that extends its anal­ysis of cultural constructs to include specific issues related to international relations, solutions to global problems, and national security.

    • CUL 3310 Introduction to Cultural Competence: Making Sense of the World I (3-0). This course serves as an introduction to various analytical ap­proaches for understanding the dynamics of cross-cultural interaction. Students will explore the variety of “worlds” made visible through the lens of theory. The course aims to foster critical thinking about how cultural constructs shape our understanding of the world and attempted solutions to global problems.

    • 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 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 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. 

    • BOR 3340 Legal Issues in International Relations (3-0). Students receive an in-depth overview of laws, policy, strategy, organization, and plans for deal­ing with various natural, accidental and premeditated threats to homeland security. Students review the respective and relative roles and responsibili­ties of government agencies, non-government organizations, and individual citizens for U.S. national security. Students discuss various policy and strat­egy issues, including balancing security and civil liberties and information sharing and protection and the USA Patriot Act. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Criminal Justice 3340.)

    • BOR 3301 Studies in Homeland Security (3-0). This course introduces the student to the field of Border Security Studies. Students focus on a com­prehensive, up-to-date overview of border security from an all-hazards per­spective. Border security is viewed as a fundamental component of Home­land Security, and as such students examine a wide variety of threats to the homeland. This course incorporates the concepts of critical infrastructure, gathering and analysis of strategic intelligence, and develops the student’s technical writing skills. Students review the roles and responsibilities of government agencies, non-government organizations, and individual citi­zens in homeland security. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 3101 or Criminal Justice 3301.)

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