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Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies

For a complete list of admission and program requirements,
please refer to The Citadel Graduate College's website or The Citadel Graduate College Course Catalog.

An Online Program Offering Real-World Skills

The Master of Arts (MA) degree program in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) prepares students to enhance national security through intelligence and homeland security leadership. Best practices for intelligence collection and analysis and national security combined with current theory, research, and experience give students the background necessary to cultivate critical thinking, concise writing, and effective briefing. By introducing applicable management principles and policy analysis, the program fosters the leadership skills to successfully address security and intelligence challenges facing the United States.

What Makes The Citadel's ISS Program Unique?

Unlike traditional graduate programs that take a theoretical and conceptual track in preparing students for further academic research, The Citadel's ISS program combines theory and practice to provide the real-world skills necessary to enter and advance in the public and private intelligence arenas.

This program is entirely online to provide maximum flexibility for students, and at the same time allow the ISS program to attract instruction from intelligence professionals located around the world. Our program is taught by internationally recognized experts, with real-world experience at agencies like the FBI, CIA, DHS and at the White House.

By combining current theory, research, and experience, the program offers an intellectually rigorous course of study that emphasizes key skills related to analytical writing and research, critical thinking, and general international and domestic subject matter expertise. In addition, the master's program offers two concentrations, both of which lead to a certificate in addition to the MA degree. The courses in both of these concentrations count as electives for the MA degree in Intelligence and Security Studies:

    • The Cybersecurity concentration is offered jointly by The Citadel’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Department of Computer Science at the College of Charleston (Please note, for consideration for admission, prospective students must be able to demonstrate program competency through coursework, approved work experience, or a program administered exam, in the areas of basic Computer Architecture, Object-oriented Programming, Discrete Mathematics, and Data Structures);
    • The Leadership concentration is offered by The Citadel’s Department of Leadership Studies.


ISS students are invited to attend The Citadel's Intelligence and Cybersecurity Conference in Charleston South Carolina. 

dni coats seated with dr. carl jensenPictured is The Honorable Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence, seated with Dr. Carl Jensen during the questions and answers of his keynote address at The Citadel's 2018 Intelligence and Cybersecurity Conference. 

“Pursuing the M.A. in Intelligence & Security Studies at The Citadel has provided me with an invaluable experience. The level of knowledge, diversity, and real-world experience of the professors has given me in depth insight and unparalleled access to working professionals in the intelligence community, that has proven critical to my success in the private sector."

Oscar L. Douglas, '16
Founder & CEO
Omega Security Solutions, LLC

Seal-of-the-United-States-Department-of-Homeland-SecuritySeal-of-the-United-States-National-Security-AgencyThe Citadel has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the United States Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency. [ Learn More ]


Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of the online graduate application along with the non-refundable application fee, to The Citadel Graduate College (CGC).
  2. Submission of all official transcripts (bachelor’s degree earned and higher). Students must be able to demonstrate an earned undergraduate degree from an accredit institution with a competitive grade point average. (We no longer can restrict accreditation to regionally accredited only. We no longer require all undergraduate official transcripts, only where the bachelor’s degree was earned and any graduate coursework).
  3. All students who are residents of the United States must submit official scores from a valid (within five years) Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students who are non-residents of the United States must provide at least two academic letters of recommendation that address their ability to undertake course work at the graduate level. A waiver may be considered for applicants who already hold a graduate degree. The minimum for the GRE is a verbal and quantitative combination of 290. The minimum for the MAT is a score of 396. Students who fail to meet the minimum score requirement may be provisionally accepted into the MA degree program provided all other admission requirements have been met. Students who score between 283-289 on the GRE or 380-395 on the MAT may apply for provisional status. Upon completion of the first six hours of degree coursework, with a minimum GPA of 3.50, the student is considered fully admitted. Official scores are to be sent directly to the CGC office at the request of the student.
  4. Submission of a writing sample that demonstrates strong critical thinking and communication skills. Typically this can be met by submitting a research paper prepared for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course.
  5. Submission of a resume/vita documenting professional and educational accomplishments.
  6. Admission to the Master of Arts in the Intelligence and Security Studies program is a competitive process in which only a certain number of seats are available. The college has a right and responsibility to accept the best-qualified persons, taking into account candidates’ scholastic and professional achievement along with their aptitude for graduate study and experience.

Students accepted for the MA degree program in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) may simultaneously enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis. The certificate involves a separate application and acceptance.

valero photoOur online Intelligence and Security Studies MA attracts students currently working in the intelligence community who are stationed all over the world—this leads to amazing discussions, where students can combine theory with their own real-world experiences. If we weren’t online, this couldn’t happen. Everyone, from the entry-level student, to the seasoned professional, to the professor, benefits from this extraordinary interaction.

Dr. Larry Valero
Department Head and Professor of the Intelligence & Security Studies Program

GRADUATION REQUIREMENT (non-credit bearing)

Program Requirements
Required Core Courses (12 credit hours):
CRMJ-568/INTL-568/PSCI-568– International and Domestic Terrorism
INTL-570 – Homeland Security
INTL-580 – Introduction to Intelligence
INTL-581 - Intelligence and Research and Analysis

Degree Electives: Foundation Courses (8 electives/24 credit hours required from this list -OR- 4 electives/12 credit hours required from this list for Cybersecurity concentration students-OR- 3 electives/9 credit hours required from this list for Leadership concentration students):
BADM-722 – Leadership in Organizations
CRMJ-501/PSCI-501--Research Methods in Social Science
CRMJ-510 – Topics in Criminal Justice
CRMJ-515/INTL-515/PSCI-515 – Topics in Homeland Security
CRMJ-555/PSCI-555 - Leadership Application Course in Criminal Justice
CRMJ-562 - Comparative Criminal Justice Systems 
CRMJ-583 - Transnational Organized Crime
HIST-591 Special Topics in European History
INTL-560 - Intelligence and Homeland Security Administration 
INTL-569/PSCI-569 - National Security Policy 
INTL-572 - Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Intelligence and Homeland Security  
INTL-582 - Intelligence Theory Application 
INTL-585 - Topics in Intelligence 
INTL-600 - Intelligence Internship 
INTL-601 - Homeland Security Internship
LDRS-750 - Evolution of Military Leadership Thought
LDR-751 - Survey of US Military Leaders
LDRS-752 - Survey of World Military Leaders
LDRS-753 - Strategic & Contemporary Military Leadership Issues 
PSCI-564 - US Foreign Relations
PSCI-565 - International Politics 
PSCI-566 - International Political Economy 
PSCI-571 - Comparative Politics 
PSCI-572 - International Organization 
PSCI-573 - International Political Theory 
PSCI-575 - US Foreign Policy Leadership
PSCI-576 - International Law 


Cybersecurity Concentration Computer Science Courses (12 credit hours):
CSCI-614 – Advanced Operating Systems
CSCI-631 – Privacy and Security Issues
CSCI-632 – Data Communications and Network
CSCI-641 – Advanced Cybersecurity

Leadership Concentration (5 required courses/15 credit hours required for Leadership concentration students only)

Leadership Concentration Required Courses (6 Credit hours):
LDRS-722/BADM-722—Leadership in Organizations
PSYC-570 — Social and Cognitive Foundations of Interpersonal Behavior

Leadership Concentration Electives (6 Credit hours), choose two (2) of the following:
LDRS 710 – Ethics, Values, & Principled Leadership*
LDRS 711 – Leading Change: Organization Development and Transformation*
LDRS 712 – Leading Teams: Coaching, Culture, Diversity, and Globalization*
LDRS 723 or BADM 713 – Communication for Leadership
PSYC 500 – Human Growth and Development

Leadership Concentration Application of Leadership (3 Credit hours), choose one (1) of the following:
LDRS-710—Ethics, Values, & Principled Leadership
LDRS-711—Leading Change: Organization Development and Transformation
LDRS-714—Strategic Leadership, Vision, Mission and Contemporary Issues
LDRS-723—Communications for Leadership

* LDRS 722/BADM 722 is a prerequisite for these courses.

Total Required Courses: 36 credit hours
Descriptions of courses are listed in the last section of The Citadel Graduate College Catalog.

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