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Course Descriptions: Intelligence and National Security Studies

Below are the catalog descriptions for core courses in the program:


POLI 350 Introduction to Intelligence Studies (3) (POLI 201 or permission of the instructor). This course is an introduction to the field of intelligence and its impact on policy areas related to security. Specifically, it will examine the role of strategic intelligence and intelligence agencies as a tool of United States foreign policy since 1945.


POLI 351 Intelligence Communications (3) (POLI 350 or permission of the instructor).  This course is an examination of how intelligence information is communicated on both the organizational and individual levels. At the level of the organization, the course examines how intelligence is shared with various governmental and non-governmental actors. At the individual level, the course emphasizes the practical delivery of intelligence information in oral and written formats.


POLI 354 Introduction to National Security(3) (POLI 201 or permission of the instructor). A survey of U.S. national security issues, organizations, roles and processes at the international, national, state, and local levels. It includes an examination of the roles of the executive and legislative branches and other elected officials, as well as legal and ethical issues associated with national security.


POLI 356 Intelligence Analysis (3) (POLI 201 or permission of the instructor). An in-depth exploration of various intelligence issues with a focus on building analysis skills for the purpose of intelligence analysis.


POLI 357 Homeland Security (3) (POLI 201 or permission of the instructor). This course is a survey of the actors, issues and processes involved in areas that support homeland security, including anti-terrorism, emergency management, and all-hazards analysis. It will also consider the benefits and problems of intelligence support to homeland security policy in the United States.


POLI 358 Intelligence Operations (3) (POLI 350 or permission of the instructor).  This course is a survey of the limits, possibilities, and ethical dilemmas for the conduct of operations in support of the intelligence community. The course examines operations related to the collection of intelligence information including espionage, interrogation, imagery analysis, communications intelligence, and counterintelligence. Operations that are designed to have a direct policy effect – covert operations, direct action, and information operations are also considered.


POLI 359 National Security Strategy (3) (POLI 201 or permission of the instructor).  This course is an examination of classic and modern strategic theory and its applicability on the use of modern warfare by democratic societies. Topics for the course will include counter-insurgency warfare, the role of non-state actors, and the impact of the global context on strategic decision-making.


POLI 494 Intelligence and National Security Studies Capstone (3).  This course is designed to be a “culminating experience” for the intelligence and national security studies major.  The course will center on two key objectives: 1) Understanding and evaluating the current research on intelligence and national security policy; and 2) The production and presentation of a research project.