The Master of Arts in Intelligence consists of 9 courses of 3 credit hours each and a written thesis worth 3 credit hours for a total of 30 credit hours. Four courses may be chosen from elements of intelligence; the other five may be selected from elements of national security strategy and elements of information operations, though one of the electives may be a regional studies course, contingent on approval from the professor and the academic advisor.
All MA students are required to write a thesis on a topic selected from one of the three elements: Security and Leadership, Intelligence, or Information Operations. The thesis is to be written under the supervision of a faculty member who is the official thesis advisor. Each thesis candidate will then be assigned two additional professors who will also be available to mentor the student. Together they constitute the student’s thesis committee. Each professor will represent one of the three elements.
After the final draft of the thesis has been accepted by the three-member thesis committee, the student undergoes a two-hour oral examination. This involves answering questions about the thesis topic that are posed by each of the committee members, as well as questions related but not limited strictly to that topic. Accordingly, this examination doubles as a final comprehensive examination that tests the student’s overall understanding of national security topics.