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CISS Courses

ISS-125: Introduction to Intelligence Studies

ISS-125 introduces students to the history, structure, and current focus areas of the IC; the strengths and weaknesses of the various collection disciplines; the challenges associated with covert action; the tradecraft practiced by all-source analysts; and issues related to Congressional oversight and reform of the IC.

ISS-135: Introduction to Global and National Security Studies

ISS-135 provides a broad overview of national security institutions, institutional players, decision-making processes, policies, ethics, and laws. It examines the U.S. National Security Strategy as well as perennial and emerging threats to global security.

ISS-301: Survey of U.S. National Security Policy

ISS-301 surveys the key issues and ideas associated with U.S. national security policy from the Cold War to the present. The course is designed to enhance students’ capacity to evaluate competing theories and arguments surrounding debates about U.S. national security policy.

ISS-351: Advanced Analytics I

ISS-351 introduces analytic methods and techniques used for effectively informing decision-making. Students will apply analytic concepts to a real-world national security topic, examine cognitive biases that impede good analysis, and develop an intelligence product that addresses the needs of policymakers.  Students will gain practical skills in writing and briefing national security policymakers.

ISS-352: Advanced Analytics II

ISS-352 introduces students to additional SATs used in the IC and examines historical case studies of both intelligence failures and successes.  The course also introduces research methodologies used outside of the IC and provides additional opportunities for students to hone their analytic tradecraft in written and oral products on subjects of their choosing.

ISS-360: Overview of Cybersecurity and Policy

ISS-360 provides an overview of cybersecurity with a focus on its relationship to broad national and global security issues. The course examines cybersecurity institutions, strategies, policies, and laws. The course also explores the concepts of cyber espionage, cyberattack, and cyberwarfare.

ISS-398: Study Abroad in Intelligence and Security Studies

ISS-398 provides 3 credit hours for students in an approved study abroad program centered on the study of intelligence and security studies.

ISS-399: Independent Study

ISS-399 provides 3 credit hours for students working towards a research project of extensive reading or engagement in field research under the direction of a full-time intelligence and security studies faculty member..

ISS-420: Special Topics in Intelligence and National Security

ISS-420 introduces students to special topics related to intelligence or national security.

ISS-480: National Security Issues of the 21st Century

ISS-480 examines contemporary global security topics and issues challenging national security policymakers such as great power competition, regional security threats, transnational threats, and climate change.

ISS-490: Internship

ISS-490 provides 3 credit hours for students completing an approved intelligence or national security-related internship.  Students admitted into the ISS minor must complete an internship that involves intelligence/national security issues and that provides opportunities to practice the critical thinking and analytic skills that are the core of the ISS curriculum. CISS faculty will work with students to identify internship opportunities that are appropriate for their academic circumstances.  Students are encouraged to consider internships at IC agencies, as these frequently lead to full-time employment after graduation.  A limited number of scholarships and stipends may be available for internships at select IC agencies.  ISS-490 is an elective option for students in the GSS minor.

ISS-499: Capstone

ISS-499 is the capstone course to the ISS minor. The capstone project gives students in the ISS minor an opportunity to develop collaborative analytic skills by requiring them to work as members of an “intelligence team” that is tasked with producing an original analysis of a pressing national security challenge. Analysis in the IC increasingly is a collaborative endeavor between units within and across agencies, requiring analysts to overcome bureaucratic hurdles, maximize diverse organizational resources, and function as a team.