Intelligence Analysis (MSA)


Meeting U.S. Government Demand

The Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis is designed to help meet U.S. government demand for more specialists in the area of intelligence analysis to assist in the tasks of homeland security in the face of threats from global terrorism.

Border City Location

As a major border city, one that has the highest volume of commercial traffic with a foreign country of any U.S. city, the Detroit-Windsor area is uniquely located to provide corporate, local law enforcement and national government opportunities, issues and situations relevant to intelligence analysis.

Forecasting Risk

The field of intelligence analysis uses "open intelligence" information to provide forecasts of risks and benefits to guide governmental, law enforcement and private industry decision making. These forecasts involve the use of available data and news sources to analyze crime patterns, security threats, possible terrorist targets and other relevant societal trends.

Intelligence analysis builds on traditional courses in the areas of criminal justice and security administration, where the topics of crime foreseeability, threat analysis, crime prevention through environmental design and offender behavior are central. The degree is a 33-credit-hour graduate program.

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    Why get a Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis at University of Detroit Mercy?

    Mapping Lab

    Students enrolled in the program will be afforded state-of-the-art learning resources, such as the Crime Mapping Software, available through the department's mapping lab located in Briggs Building Room 223 and its designation as a special Center for Crime Analysis and Geographic Profiling.


    A key component of coursework in this program is an emphasis on the ethical issues involved in intelligence analysis. There are essentially two:

    • What is the information being used for—is the organization that one is assisting (be it governmental or private) engaged in proper activity?
    • Is the organization seeking information that can be gained through appropriate methods and is it seeking an honest assessment of that information?

    A professional degree in intelligence analysis is a critical step for ensuring that intelligence analysts understand the possible political misuse that an analysis can be applied to and thus that they recognize the larger societal constituency to whom they are also responsible.

    Job Market

    Given that both national agencies and global companies are seeking competent graduates to fill positions in this area, there is currently a lack of supply on both the national and local level. Currently, police departments and global companies must train their own personnel for intelligence analysis tasks.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced a grant program for students who want to develop skills that will prepare them for analyst jobs in that agency. There is currently a lack of such programs.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for these analysts will be high as they will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

    Critical Need

    The employment opportunities noted are driven by government's assessment of intelligence as a national "critical need" and by government funding. There are several Federal scholarship programs available to fund graduate students who desire to study and work in the intelligence area. Two of these programs are the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRISP Program), which provides scholarships up to $25,000/year, and the Intelligence Community Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to students to prepare them for civilian careers in the intelligence community.



    • The Intelligence Analysis courses have been designed to meet the knowledge, skills and abilities (K.S.A.s) that have been promulgated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for those involved in intelligence analysis.
    • These K.S.As are also appropriate for police agency ("crime analyst") positions and analyst positions in private security.
    • Besides maintaining satisfactory progress in various Intelligence Analysis courses, the student's capstone project (thesis) is the key element in his or her portfolio that demonstrates satisfactory acquisition of the relevant K.S.A.s.

    Program Structure

    The Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis (MSA) is designed as a two-academic-year, four-semester program. To complete all coursework in two academic years, the student would either take three courses per semester (except two in the final semester) or take up to three courses during the summer semester(s) while taking two per semester during fall and winter.

    The MSA is a 33-credit program designed to train the student to gather information from a wide variety of sources, including:

    • open sources, such as published databases and newspapers and journals
    • and also through interviewing of various human assets
    • and to analyze that information and prepare reports and recommendations focusing on the implications and applications of that information to various security and crime control situations.

    The program is designed as a rigorous sequence of courses that includes a basic core of required courses and a series of supporting elective courses. The six required courses expose the students to both fundamental and advanced concepts and analytical techniques related to intelligence and crime and threat-related information; the elective courses are designed to help the student prepare for more specific applications in the fields of

    • law enforcement
    • geo-political conflict
    • national security
    • private security (counter-terrorism)
    • competitive intelligence.

    Degree Requirements

    Curriculum and Courses

    The curriculum has the following five components:

    • Methodological courses in research and crime mapping;
    • Background courses in the nature of conflict and terrorism;
    • Courses in interviewing and threat assessment;
    • A specialized concentration (in either profiling, physical and personnel security or policy analysis); and
    • A thesis or capstone project in which the student applies what has been learned in the program to the analysis of a problem of his or her choosing.

    Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis (33 credits)

    Required Courses (21 credits)

    • INT 5000* Research Methods in Intelligence (3 credits)
    • INT 5010 Spatial Analysis and Mapping (3 credits)
    • INT 5020 Terrorism: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
    • INT 5030 Homeland Security and Threat Assessment (3 credits)
    • INT 5040 Roots of 21st Century Conflict (3 credits)
    • INT 5050 Intelligence Acquisition (3 credits)
    • INT 5980* Capstone In Intelligence Analysis (3 credits)

    Required Elective (Must choose one as an area of focus) (3 credits)

    • INT 5100 Policy Analysis and Strategy Creation (Federal Enforcement) (3 credits)
    • INT 5110 Intelligence for Private Security: Critical Infrastructure Protection (3 credits)
    • INT 5120 Profiling and Behavioral Forecasting (Crime Analysis) (3 credits)
    • INT 5420 Leadership and Behavior in Organizational Intelligence (3 credits)
    • INT 5770 Intelligence Led Policing (3 credits)

    Recommended Electives - choose two courses (6 credits)

    • CJS 5520 Transnational Criminal Networks (3 credits)
    • INT 5190 Literature and Crime (3 credits)
    • INT 5200 Data Mining and Reporting in Intelligence (3 credits)
    • INT 5420 Leadership and Behavior in Organizational Intelligence (3 credits)
    • INT 5500 Topics in Intelligence (3 credits)
    • INT 5550 Contemporary Issues in Intelligence Analysis (3 credits)
    • SEC 5990 Seminar in Security Issues (3 credits)

    Additional Elective (3 credits)


    A capstone project is required for degree completion. The project begins with INT 5000 Research Methods in Intelligence and concludes with INT 5980 Capstone In Intelligence Analysis, which is taken in your final semester. Your project MUST be completed at the end of INT 5980.

Program Contact Information

Program Director and Interim Department Chair: Erick Barnes
Briggs Building, Room 221
McNichols Campus

Telephone: 313-578-0363

Fax: 313-993-1166

Department Website