CISS Courses

The Intelligence and Security Studies Minor consists of 6 mandatory courses (18 hours). The minor takes 2 years to complete.

ISS 125 Introduction to Intelligence Studies

ISS 125 is the only course open to all students at the University. Topics to be studied include:

  • The definition of intelligence
  • How intelligence assists in maintaining national security
  • The history of intelligence
  • The IC as it exists today (both US and international agencies)
  • Introduction to the intelligence process
  • Laws, guidelines, executive directives and oversight relating to intelligence
  • Intelligence and privacy: maintaining the balance
  • Ethical considerations
  • The future of intelligence

ISS 351 Advanced Analytics I

This course introduces students to advanced analytic methodologies used by the IC as well as skills related to writing and briefing for policymakers. By the conclusion of the course, students will demonstrate their ability to analyze information and communicate it effectively.

  • The intelligence cycle
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Overcoming cognitive, cultural and bureaucratic biases
  • Sources of information
  • Structuring analytical problems
  • Developing and testing hypotheses
  • Analytical tools and methodologies of the IC
  • Crime analysis
  • Social networking
  • Cultural impediments to collaboration: Developing the “need to share”
  • Using analytical software
  • Practical project

ISS 352 Advanced Analytics II

This course follows ISS 351 and continues developing students’ advanced analytic, writing, and briefing skills. This course concentrates on “learning by doing” with students completing numerous case studies and writing and briefing assignments.

  • Writing succinctly and clearly
  • A survey of written products of the IC
  • IC writing practicum
  • Introduction to public speaking
  • Preparing briefings
  • Briefing in an adversarial environment
  • IC briefing practicum (students will utilize the results of the project they completed in CJ250 to prepare the written and oral practicum portions of this course)

ISS 480 National Security Issues of the 21st Century

This course, which will rely heavily on fundamentals of strategic intelligence and futures research, will introduce students to challenges they will likely face over the course of a career in the IC.  Topics to be studied include:

  • The meaning of “homeland security,” today and tomorrow
  • Fundamentals of futures research
  • Alternative futures of science and technology
  • Alternative futures of demographics, economics, culture and politics
  • Security challenges of the 21st century
  • Confronting future challenges

ISS 490 Internship

With the assistance of the DNI, students will complete an internship involving intelligence analysis.  Qualified students will be strongly encouraged, through stipends and scholarships, to complete the internship in an IC agency.  Graded on a pass / fail basis.

ISS 499 Senior Project

The equivalent of a senior thesis, students will apply the skills they learned in all previous courses to complete a project of practical benefit to the IC.  The format of the project will be as follows:

  • Problem / topic selection (to be decided in consultation with NCISS & IC personnel)
  • Information gathering and analysis
  • Production of written product
  • Policymaker briefing (to be delivered to a senior member of the IC & to follow the format of an actual briefing)