Online M.A. in Intelligence and Security Studies


Program Description

The Citadel’s Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) prepares students to enhance national security through intelligence and homeland security leadership. Best practices for intelligence collection and analysis and national security combined with current theory, research, and experience give students the background necessary to cultivate critical thinking, concise writing, and effective briefing. By introducing applicable management principles and policy analysis, the program fosters the leadership skills to successfully address security and intelligence challenges facing the United States.

What makes The Citadel's ISS program unique?

Unlike traditional graduate programs that take a theoretical and conceptual track in preparing students for further academic research, The Citadel's ISS program combines theory and practice to provide the real-world skills necessary to enter and advance in the public and private intelligence arenas.

This program is entirely online to provide maximum flexibility for students, and at the same time allow the ISS program to attract instruction from intelligence professionals located around the world.

Students accepted for the MA degree program in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) may simultaneously enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis. The certificate involves a separate application and acceptance.

In addition, the master's program offers two concentrations, both of which lead to a certificate in addition to the MA degree. The courses in both of these concentrations count as electives for the MA degree in Intelligence and Security Studies:

  • Cybersecurity concentration
  • Leadership concentration

security, protection, anti virus pixelcreatures / Pixabay


The program’s curriculum includes 12 courses (four core courses and eight electives). An optional cybersecurity concentration consists of four designated courses, which count toward the electives requirement. Students who complete the cybersecurity concentration also receive a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity.

All courses are taught online. Admitted students can be enrolled part-time or full-time. Students are required to complete the program within six years of the admission term.

Awards and Recognition

The Citadel has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the United States Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency.


“Pursuing an M.A. in Intelligence & Security Studies at The Citadel has provided me with an invaluable experience. The level of knowledge, diversity, and real-world experience of the professors has given me in-depth insight and unparalleled access to working professionals in the intelligence community, that has proven critical to my success in the private sector."

Oscar L. Douglas, '16
Founder & CEO
Omega Security Solutions, LLC

"Our online Intelligence and Security Studies MA attracts students currently working in the intelligence community who are stationed all over the world—this leads to amazing discussions, where students can combine theory with their own real-world experiences. If we weren’t online, this couldn’t happen. Everyone, from the entry-level student to the seasoned professional, to the professor, benefits from this extraordinary interaction."

Dr. Carl Jensen
Professor and Director of the Intelligence and Security Studies program


About The Citadel:

For nine consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named The Citadel the #1 Public College in the South for institutions offering up to a master’s degree. The report has also named The Citadel the #1 College for Veterans in the South. The Citadel is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and specialist in education degrees.

Last updated Aug 2020

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About the School

The Citadel is best known nationally for its Corps of Cadets, which draws students from about 45 states and a dozen countries. The men and women in the Corps live and study under a classical military ... Read More

The Citadel is best known nationally for its Corps of Cadets, which draws students from about 45 states and a dozen countries. The men and women in the Corps live and study under a classical military system that makes leadership and character development an essential part of the educational experience. Read less