Intelligence and Security Studies - Coastal Carolina University
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Department of Intelligence and Security Studies

We are thrilled to announce the creation of a new Department of Intelligence and Security Studies in Fall 2021. This exciting development reflects the continued growth of CCU’s Intelligence and National Security Studies major and minor since 2011. This new department will facilitate the future growth of intelligence and security courses and programming, by bringing together dedicated faculty, staff, and resources.

Coming in Fall 2021 – The Department of Intelligence and Security Studies will celebrate the opening of its new Intelligence Analysis and Operations Center. Designed with reference to operations centers that are in existence at agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, the Intelligence Analysis and Operations Center will be equipped with cutting-edge technology. This facility will simulate the day-to-day activities that take place within intelligence agencies, with activities that focus on intelligence collection, analysis and decision-making. Students in the Intelligence and Security Studies program will be able to use this resource as a physical space in which to experience first-hand the critical and timely functions of intelligence operations in a volatile and unpredictable world.

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 Unique Experiential Opportunities

The Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB) is an experiential, peer-mentoring activity that immerses students into the activities of a simulated intelligence agency, with a functional chain of command, a mission, as well as a scope that changes every semester in light of domestic and worldwide developments. It also publishes weekly and a semi-annual publications, hosts a television and podcast show, and facilitates the CIB Tactical Analysis Group, which facilitates “deep-dives” into pressing matters in domestic and international affairs.  Learn more about the CIB at

The Coastal Law Enforcement Analysis and Research (CLEAR) group is an experiential activity that allows students to provide direct intelligence support to local law enforcement organizations. 

National Intelligence Studies (NIS) in Washington, D.C. is a three-week “study away” program in Washington, D.C. conducted in the summer to allow students to engage with Intelligence Community organizations, think tanks, and universities. Past trips have featured site visits to elements of the Intelligence Community, the Pentagon, Policy Think Tanks, and the U.S. Congress. 

STRATCOM Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance (DAAA) is an initiative designed to promote interaction between U.S. Strategic Command and academia in order to glean insights from academic research and to promote interest in the field of deterrence among undergraduates.  

Study-abroad program in Cyprus and Greece This highly-successful month-long trip enables undergraduate students to examine, on location, the geopolitical complexities of the Balkans and the Middle East, while simultaneously broadening their cultural horizons and engaging with very different cultures, such as the majority-Muslim population of northern Cyprus.

Student Organizations

Women in Intelligence and National Security (WINS) was founded at CCU in 2016 as the first undergraduate student-led group of its kind in the nation. The purpose of WINS is to educate men and women about the importance of inclusion and diversity in the US Intelligence, National Security, Military and Law Enforcement Communities through constructive dialogue.   Learn more about this organization at

The National Security Club (NSC) is a professional development organization that provides opportunities for students to prepare for careers in security-related fields.  The organization hosts a speakers series that connects practitioners and students to discuss opportunities and strategies for career advancement. 

The Order of the Sword and Shield (OSS) is a national honor fraternity for high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of intelligence, homeland security, and emergency management. Learn more about this organization at

Select Course Descriptions

INTEL 312 Intelligence Operations.  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.

INTEL 337 Law Enforcement Intelligence.  This course provides a comprehensive overview of the issues, functions, methods, and theories attendant to law enforcement intelligence operations, with an emphasis on the current law enforcement intelligence apparatuses in use in the United States. Topics include a review of basic intelligence processes, including collection, assessment, analysis, evaluation of source and data, dissemination, tasking, and management. The course will detail the history of the law enforcement community’s adoption of intelligence processes, the application of basic intelligence techniques in the law enforcement context, and review basic intelligence methodology. Other topics will include the examination of national intelligence models and the emergence of intelligence-led policing initiatives in the U.S.

INTEL 344 Weapons of Mass Destruction.  This course examines the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as ballistic missiles. These systems taken together are commonly referred to as weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. Students learn what nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missiles are, and who has or might have such weapons. Students also study the actual and theoretical use of WMD by states and terrorists, consider their strategic value as instruments of national security, and grapple with problems of arms control, disarmament, and intelligence.


The Intelligence and Security functions of government require highly-skilled personnel with access to documents of a sensitive, confidential or classified nature. The intelligence program at CCU, with its cutting-edge courses and programs, has seen significant success in placing graduates in government posts that require these skills. Graduates from our program now work at numerous national and state-level intelligence and security organizations, such as the FBI, the State Department, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Secret Service. 


  • “Spies and the Virus” - CCU Intelligence and National Security Studies students Ana Maria Lankford and Derrick Storzieri collaborated with Professor Joseph Fitsanakis to write a peer-reviewed journal article on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the U.S. Intelligence Community for Frontiers in Communication. Read more about this work at here


  • Led by Professor Jon Acuff, the Intelligence program has recently published the textbook Introduction to Intelligence with Sage/CQ publishing.  The book offers a strategic, international, and comparative approach to covering intelligence organizations and domestic security issues. Written by multiple authors, each chapter draws on the author's professional and scholarly expertise in the subject matter. As a core text for an introductory survey course in intelligence, this text provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to intelligence, including institutions and processes, collection, communications, and common analytic methods.  More information can be found here
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Jonathan Smith 
Chair Designate
Intelligence and Security Studies Program


Student and Alumni Work

  • Students Publish Peer-Reviewed Article on COVID-19

    Students Publish Research in Peer-Reviewed Journal

    While many college students were struggling to adapt to the new normal during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Intel majors Junior Ana Maria Lankford and senior Derrick Storzieri published their research.

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  • CIB students recruit others to their table.

    Chanticleer Intelligence Brief

    Intelligence and National Security students have the opportunity to practice generating professional-level intelligence briefs for their local communities and the globe.

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  • Inside the FBI

    Agency Insiders

    CCU students are fortunate to have a program that allows them to see, hear, and interact with those doing the work and hiring new employees in national security agencies.

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  • Shannon Brophy, Intelligence and National Security Major.

    Shannon Brophy

    an intelligence and national securities studies major at CCU, interned with the Sultanate of Oman as an intern with the United States Department of State.