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CISS named as a Center for Academic Excellence

National recognition places the University of Mississippi among select prestigious universities

2012—The Director of National Intelligence recently designated the CISS as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence. Along with the recognition that comes with such an honor, CAE schools receive several years of funding from the federal government to develop courses, fund student study abroad opportunities, and run conferences and workshops. As a legacy IC CAE institution, students enrolled in our minor are recognized as IC CAE scholars when applying for Intelligence Community student opportunities.

Founded in 2008, the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies (CISS) prepares students for careers in national security. The Center offers two minors—Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) and Global Security Studies (GSS)—to help students prepare for careers in the national security sector. The Center’s curriculum emphasizes the professional and practical skills needed to succeed in careers in national security such as writing and briefing for policy-making and working in collaborative teams. The underlying objective of these minors is to prepare students to enter the national security workforce ready to contribute to the mission.

In 2014, renewed in 2023, the ISS minor became an internationally certified program, the first program of its kind to receive certification from the International Association for Intelligence Education, or IAFIE. IAFIE certification required meeting 32 standards, including intelligence history, organizations, planning, collection, analysis, counterintelligence and security. The organization has more than 230 member institutions and agencies. The endorsement helps CISS remain a leader at the forefront of intelligence education.

CISS offers many opportunities for students admitted to the cohort, including participation in international intelligence and national security conferences, and visits to agencies in Washington, D.C. Bringing security experts to campus, the Center regularly hosts visits from senior speakers from across the U.S. Government as well as recruiters from the IC. Finally, in our annual Days of Intrigue, a weekend-long simulated national security crisis, students apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom.