Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Intelligence Studies, M.S.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: School of Information 


  • Cyber Intelligence
  • Strategic Intelligence

This major shares a core with the Cybersecurity Intelligence and Information Security, M.S.  


The Master of Science (M.S.) in Intelligence Studies is an applied graduate major designed to train a “next generation” of information and intelligence professionals for the private and public sectors. The Cyber Intelligence Concentration is designed to develop intelligence professionals who specialize the cyber domain USF’s Intelligence Studies major is built around an innovative STEM-based model for professional analytic education. The curriculum focuses primarily on developing analytic competencies, and subsequently allows students to focus on specialized subject-matter areas. The principal aim is to train problem-solvers who understand strategic concepts and analytic methodologies and can apply that knowledge to advance an organization’s interests and objectives.

Graduates will be capable of developing and evaluating new knowledge; generating and analyzing courses of action; expressing clearly reasoned opinions; and communicating effectively in writing, oral presentation, and visual display.

Major Research Areas: Strategic Intelligence, Cyber Intelligence, Intelligence Analysis, Information Studies, Information Analytics, Cybersecurity, National Security

Admissions Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • GRE is not required
  • 250-500 word essay describing academic and professional background, reasons for pursuing the degree, and professional goals pertaining to intelligence, analytics, and/or information
  • Current professional resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which should come from a faculty member familiar with the applicant’s academic performance and potential. If the applicant is unable to provide the letter from a former professor, with approval from the program’s admission coordinator, letters from other professional sources will be accepted.
  • The graduate admissions committee may request a video or phone admission interview or additional documentation, if necessary.
  • Successful students in this program (particularly for LIS 5802) have completed undergraduate coursework in statistics or have otherwise acquired a strong foundation in the fundamentals of exploratory data analysis, sampling techniques, probability theory, hypothesis testing, and applying statistical concepts to derive insights from data and effectively communicate findings

Curriculum Requirements

Minimum Hours - 33 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements – 9 Credit Hours
  • Concentrations - 21 Credit Hours
  • Practicum - 3 Credit Hours

Core Requirements (9 Credit Hours)


Students select from the following Concentrations:

Strategic Intelligence (21 Credit Hours)

Cyber Intelligence (21 Credit Hours)


No thesis is required.

Comprehensive Exam

During the semester in which the student is scheduled to graduate, the student will be required to submit an electronic portfolio demonstrating completion of core major competencies in intelligence studies and in the area of concentration. This competency-based portfolio will substitute for the written comprehensive exam because the portfolio permits the capstone assessment to align exactly with the degree program’s objectives. Each objective in the portfolio is reviewed and rated by graduate faculty for Content (demonstrating knowledge of accepted practices, procedures, and trends in the field) and Critical Thinking (ability the student’s ability to analyze a problem, organize a response, synthesize perspectives, and draw practical, testable conclusions). For Cyber Intelligence students, student competency in the major area may also be assessed through successful completion of practical/applied exercises (e.g., security operations analyses and/or cyber intelligence analytic scenarios) using knowledge and skills that correspond to the content of the major.

Practicum (3 Credit Hours)