INTL699 - Master's Capstone in Strategic Intelligence
The Master’s Capstone Seminar option in Intelligence Studies includes a thesis or a major research paper in lieu of the final comprehensive examination, which has no credit hours. Those who elect this graduation option may reduce their electives by three semester hours to accommodate the seminar option credit. The thesis or major research paper options are recommended for those students who wish to apply their advanced research and analytic skills to a topic of U.S .or international security interest. The thesis option is recommended for those students planning professional writing careers or those planning to continue their education at higher levels.
In addition to the institutional and degree level outcome objectives, the Master of Intelligence Studies seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. Graduates in this degree program will be able to:
- Examine the evolution, structures, functions, capabilities, and activities of the national intelligence community, both pre-and post 9/11.
- Explain the structures, functions, capabilities, and contributions of national intelligence consumers to include the national command authority, executive, departments, Congress, military services, joint/unified commands, and law enforcement agencies.
- Appraise the intelligence cycle, including intelligence planning, data collection, data exploitation, analysis, production, and dissemination phases.
- Investigate the fundamental capabilities, limitations, and means of tasking human, geographic/imagery, signals, measurement and technical and open intelligence data sources.
- Assess and predict traditional and non-traditional threats to national and international security.
- Conduct advanced research and compose professional and academic analyses on issues critical to intelligence consumers.
- Evaluate the latest techniques and procedures for improving interagency cooperation and intelligence sharing.
American Public University is part of American Public University System, a regionally accredited university offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.
Students come to our university from across the globe with varying educational backgrounds and diverse educational and career goals. Choose the category below that best describes you:
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Total Credits - 36 Hours
Research Methods in Security and Intelligence Studies-Intel Majors
Learn basic research methods skills for addressing security and intelligence studies problems and issues. You focus on the detailed procedures for conducting qualitative case studies, which is the foundation for most basic security and intelligence research conducted in academic, government, and business circles. You become well versed in research planning, secondary data collection, and qualitative data analysis methods and how these methods relate to the larger field of social science research. You will also learn the analysis of competing hypotheses approach to research design. You are also introduced to basic social theory which supports security and intelligence research. The course prepares you for later learning intermediate and advanced security and intelligence methods. This course is required as the first course in the MA in Intelligence Program.
RECOMMENDED AS SECOND PROGRAM COURSE.
This course examines the current structure, function, capabilities, and contributions of individual U.S. national intelligence community members. Students appraise the intelligence cycle by an overview of the intelligence planning, collection, exploitation, analysis, production, and dissemination phases. The course also evaluates the intelligence oversight system, the restrictions on national intelligence community activities prescribed by federal law, executive and agency directives.
This course is a study of intelligence collection and information gathering. It focuses on a variety of aspects related to how both the United States and foreign nations gather and process intelligence. The student will develop a comprehensive understanding of the role collection plays in the intelligence community, how various policies affect collection, and how different intelligence agencies monitor and collect intelligence.
This course provides an overview of intelligence analysis. It first explores the nature of human thought processes: why we think the way we do, and the many analytical, perceptual, and cognitive errors we frequently make in conducting our own analysis. The student is also provided a foundation from which to understand and conduct critical analysis. With this foundation, students are then given a series of historical case studies to examine and analyze.
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of intelligence operations. The course will focus on the intelligence resources necessary to carry out the full range of intelligence operations using the tools, techniques, and resources available to intelligence agencies.
This course is a study and analysis of international threats to security. It focuses on a variety of aspects related to both U.S. and foreign threat analysis and action, including the evolution of responses to threats, perspectives on threat action since World War II, principles of threat analysis and response, and assessments of successes and failures of such actions. The student will develop a comprehensive knowledge of threat analysis, how intelligence agencies in the U.S. assess and counter international threats in order to guard U.S. global interests and protect U.S. national security from adversaries, and how various threats affect national security policy and decision-making.
This course provides insight on how to improve interagency relationships among security, defense, and intelligence agencies. This course introduces the student to theoretical and practical material for understanding the behavior of individual organizations and what can be done to make organizations work more closely together at the federal, state, and local levels. Emphasis is placed on explaining why organizations act the way they do and how to improve interagency coordination.
The course focuses on both U.S. and foreign aspects of counterintelligence, including the history and evolution of counterintelligence, the differences between passive and active CI measures, principles and processes of counterintelligence and its relationship to covert action, the ethics of counterintelligence, and the evaluation of CI successes and an estimate of the damage caused by failures. The student will develop a comprehensive knowledge of the use and practices of counterintelligence, especially in protecting homeland security and national security interests against foreign adversaries. Additionally, the collection process and the changes for the future in the infusion of CI technology will be discussed.
Intelligence and Homeland Security
This course examines intelligence community responses to threats to the U.S. homeland from transnational and domestic actors. Threats to the U.S. borders, including illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, money laundering, commercial smuggling, and other organized crime activities are also covered.
Assassination: History, Theory, and Practice
This course is a study of the historical, theoretical, political, moral, and legal dynamics and implications associated with assassination, targeted killing, and related topics in modern warfare and intelligence operations. Through case studies, public law, and historical example, students will explore the reasons behind, the objectives sought, and implications of assassination, targeted killing, and other ethical dilemmas in intelligence and modern warfare.
Ethical Challenges in the Intelligence Community
This course examines issues of ethics, morality, and legal principles in the context of Intelligence through an in-depth critical analysis of the primary ethical philosophies and legal doctrines as they apply to contemporary U.S. Intelligence. Students will research the moral, psychological, and legal issues pertaining to a variety of topics. The course concludes with an evaluation of an issue within the intelligence community related ethical-moral and legal choices.
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
This course examines Signals Intelligence focusing on the underlying technology of SIGINT and its application to various military and civilian intelligence questions. This course will also address contemporary issues related to the Cyber-SIGINT nexus as well as the lesser-known disciplines of MASINT, FISINT, etc. Collection platforms will be studied in relation to their inherent capabilities and application against various intelligence targets. The course is held at the unclassified, open-source level.
Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
This course provides an overview of HUMINT operations include mission-target analysis, operational planning, execution and evaluation, cover, security and communications, collection and reporting, and financial management. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to assess, articulate and defend the soundness of operational concepts, plans and budgets.
Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis
This course will provide the student with a solid foundation in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), powerful tools used for the collection, analysis and display of spatial data. The true link between GIS and intelligence studies is the ability to make informed decisions based on the data available, by assigning weight in terms of importance to the various datasets, and finally creating associative analyses to determine a course of action pertaining to a person, group, nation or region. This course will help the student to achieve this important objective. (Prerequisite: INTL500). Note: The ESRI course software will not run on computers using Macintosh [3 Semester Hours]
Criminal Intelligence Analysis
This course provides the student with an introduction to the methods and techniques of criminal intelligence analysis and strategic organized crime. The rapid increase in multinational analysis and transnational organized crime, corporate drug trafficking organizations, and the impact of crime on national and international policy has created a critical need for law enforcement intelligence experts in the relatively new field of criminal intelligence. The course shows how to use criminal intelligence analysis to predict trends, weaknesses, capabilities, intentions, changes, and warnings needed to dismantle criminal organizations. This course provides knowledge needed by law enforcement professionals at the federal, state, and local level, by criminal intelligence analysts working in private industry, and by military intelligence personnel making a transition from a military to a law enforcement career. The course provides a background of the use of intelligence to dismantle criminal organizations and businesses. This course emphasizes criminal/law enforcement intelligence, as opposed to criminal investigation.
Indications and Warnings
The purpose of this course is to teach the student how the current I&W system is organized, how it is supposed to work in theory, and how it has actually worked in practice. In addition, students will examine the traditional and alternative approaches to the I&W process. Students will learn about the various types of intelligence indicators and how they fit into the process of intelligence prediction, which is an implied function of I&W. Students will also examine various historical case studies to learn about the four basic "sources of error" in I&W.
This course provides an overview of the analysis of political leaders. It explores various political psychological approaches to studying leaders to include biographies, psychoanalysis, traits, characteristics and motivations. Examples of specific political leaders are discussed throughout the course to offer the student a broad knowledge of world leaders. The course also provides students with a solid foundation from which to conduct their independent analysis of political leaders.
Intelligence and National Security
Students review the relationships between intelligence and national security strategy using an historical case study approach, analyzing both past and contemporary national security issues from an intelligence perspective. Students also analyze the evolving relationship between intelligence and national security strategy from the beginning of World War I to the present.
THIS COURSE NOT OFFERED AT APUS, BUT MAY BE FULFILLED THROUGH TRANSFER AGREEMENTS OR A SUBSTITUTION COURSE. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ACADEMIC ADVISOR FOR DETAILS.
This course addresses the core elements of Information Operations (IO). Students will be introduced to the core IO disciplines referred to as Electronic Warfare (EW), Computer Network Operations (CNO), Psychological Operations (PSYOP), Military Deception (MILDEC), and Operations Security (OPSEC). Students will also be introduced to supporting IO disciplines of Information Assurance (IA), support to Civil-Military Operations (CMO), support to Public Affairs (PAO) and support to Public Diplomacy (PD).
Transnational Crime and Narcotics
This course will provide an overview of transnational crime and narcotics and its effects on national security, political, social, and economic development of countries around the world. The focus of this class will be the proliferation and expanding influence of organized crime groups, the increasing links among crime groups, corruption, and links to terrorism from transnational crime and narcotics. This class will examine the diverse dimensions of transnational crime and narcotics in the context of increasing globalization and the exponential impact of technology advances
This course is a study of the evolution of intelligence and counterterrorism while analyzing U.S. and international policies for combating terrorism, terrorist tactics worldwide, and the scope of terrorism in the twenty-first century. The course focuses on the problems presented by terrorism to U.S. national security, suggested political solutions, and alternatives to the current counterterrorism policy.
Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
This course will expose the students to a variety of counter-terrorism intelligence methodologies and analytic tools, and extensive academic, government, policy literature on the challenges, opportunities, and assumptions related to forecasting terrorism. The course will provide students with the analytic capability to understand the types of terrorist threats that are most likely to confront the U.S. and its allies, in addition to challenging students to evaluate the efficacy and impact of prediction-based efforts in counter-terrorism intelligence.
Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation
This course provides an overview of deceptive techniques. These techniques are often referred to as deception, propaganda, disinformation and dirty tricks. Throughout the course, students will be exposed and will analyze the use of deception in various contexts. These deceptive techniques are illustrated with a series of historical and current case studies.
Intelligence and Weapons of Mass Destruction
This course focuses on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Students will evaluate this national security threat from a variety of perspectives and will analyze various agencies response capabilities to a WMD attack within the United States. Competing definitions of WMD will be scrutinized and students will evaluate current US intelligence strategies used to prevent a WMD attack. Finally, students will explore how intelligence can be used in a post-attack situation.
Master's Capstone in Strategic Intelligence
The Master’s Capstone Seminar option in Intelligence Studies is a 16 week course that must be taken after all other courses in your program are complete and it cannot be taken concurrently with other courses. Capstone courses are NOT included in the university retake policy. All grades for any capstone attempts will appear on transcript and will be calculated in GPA
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.