The best colleges with Intelligence and National Security major programs offer undergraduate degrees in foreign intelligence studies. Individuals who are interested in pursuing an intelligence analysis career need to find a degree program that will offer them the skills they need to perform at the highest possible level. National security depends on how well the intelligence analysts do their job. With that being said, intelligence analysis career opportunities are available to those who meet or exceed the expectations that have been set for them. Being able to work in this highly stressful environment requires dedication to detail and a firm resolve to protect our country from any type of threat.
A career in intelligence analysis can lead to opportunities with employment opportunities with private security agencies as well. These private security agencies formulate risk analysis strategies that are beneficial to American companies that have vested financial interests in overseas markets.
Ranking the Best Intelligence Analysis Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Students who are considering a career in intelligence analysis want to know if their degree will pay off. That’s why Security Degree Hub editors focus their rankings on accredited, reputable colleges and universities. All programs are ranked according to their cost, potential salary, and student satisfaction, using current information from IPEDS and Niche.
1. Texas A&M University
The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University offers a practitioner-based learning methodology with its bachelor’s degree in Intelligence as an Instrument of Statecraft. Texas A&M University’s best degrees for intelligence analysis include classes in the art of counterintelligence, national security law, terrorism in today’s world, human intelligence, and advanced analytical tradecraft, to name a few. More than 275 students have graduated from Texas A&M’s intelligence studies degree programs.
Texas A&M University (A&M) was established in 1876 as a land grant school. The university is also a sea-grant and space-grant university with a student enrollment that nears 70,000 students the largest student body in the nation. It also holds the distinction of being the only institution of higher education in Texas that has three grant designations – Sea, Space, and Land.
Program: Intelligence Studies
2. James Madison University
The BS in Intelligence Analysis (IA) at James Madison University is among Virginia’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. JMU’s undergraduate degree in intelligence analysis requires the completion of 120 semester units to graduate. The IA curriculum includes 48 semester hours of foundational and core classes that offer the exploration of interdisciplinary topics in the fields of philosophy, business, technology, political science, and technology, among others. Students graduate from James Madison University’s s intelligence analysis degrees to find rewarding careers as security analysis, political analysis, economic analysis, and diplomatic analysis, among others.
James Madison University (Madison) was established as an all-women’s teacher’s school in 1908 and named to honor to honor the fourth United States president. The school’s campus in the Shenandoah Valley is home to approximately 22,550 students. James Madison University became a coeducational school in the mid-1960s.
Program: BS in Intelligence Analysis
3. Bellevue University
The BS in Intelligence and Security Studies at Bellevue University requires students to complete a total of 127 semester units to graduate, of which the major in intelligence requires 36 major classes plus 54 credits of electives. Bellevue University’s best degrees for intelligence analysis include classes in ethical controversies in security & intelligence, introduction to geostrategy, essentials in strategic thought, and radical religion and political extremism, to name a few. Students can opt for a sub=specialization in comparative politics and international relations.
Bellevue University (BU) was founded in 1966 but withdrew rapid growth to become the state’s fourth-largest school in about a decade. Currently, Bellevue University’s suburban campus (and online platform) is home to about 10,250 students. Bellevue University also operates a professional center in nearby Omaha.
Program: BS in Intelligence and Security Studies
4. Arizona State University
One of Arizona’s best degrees for intelligence analysis is the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Intelligence & Information Operations at ASU. The Arizona State University baccalaureate degree in intelligence analysis has three academic emphases in information warfare, law enforcement intelligence, and also operational intelligence. Classes for ASU’s undergraduate degree in intelligence include counterintelligence, cyberwar and terror, advanced analytics for security operations, and cyber investigations & forensics, among others. Arizona State University is a designated Defense Intelligence Agency center of Excellence (IC-CAE).
Arizona State University was established in 1885 as a research institution of higher education. The multiple campuses operated by Arizona State University are home to 89,750 students. Arizona State University offers more than 700-degree options for undergraduate and graduate students through the university’s seventeen schools.
Program: Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Intelligence & Information Operations
5. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers one of the best degrees for intelligence analysis with its BS in Global Security & Intelligence Studies (GSIS). Students enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s baccalaureate degree in intelligence offer three academic tracks from which to select – the security operations management track, the integrated security & intelligence track, and the Chinese Track where students spend a summer in China during their sophomore and junior years. This undergraduate intelligence degree program requires students to complete 122-semester credits to graduate.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a multi-campus institution of higher education that specializes in aerospace and aviation studies. Founded in 1926, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campuses in Arizona and Florida serve approximately 33,550 students. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University holds the distinction of being the largest accredited school that specializes in aerospace and aviation education.
Program: BS in Global Security & Intelligence Studies
6. George Washington University
GWU offers one of the best degrees for intelligence analysis with its Homeland Security bachelor’s completion program. This George Washington University baccalaureate degree in intelligence analysis offers unique learning experiences using cutting-edge technology and training methods. Students explore the logical flow between the receipt of threats, the analysis, and the formulation of an appropriate response. Students graduate from GWU’s degree program with the skills and abilities required to successfully negotiate a career in intelligence working domestically or abroad. More than 60 percent of undergraduate students complete internships while studying at George Washington University.
George Washington University was established as Columbian College in 1821 by a congressional act. More than 27,050 students (from all fifty states and more than 125 countries) attend classes vying for degrees provided by the university’s ten colleges/schools. George Washington University has been recognized among the top schools for internship opportunities.
Program: Homeland Security Bachelor’s Completion
7. The Citadel
A BA in Intelligence and Security Studies (ISS) at the Citadel is among the best degrees for intelligence analysis. Students who have already completed at least 24-semester credits may apply for this completion degree program, which can be completed entirely online. Students explore the many aspects of global and national threats presented to US security forces while employing tactical and strategic analysis.
The Citadel (full name The Military College of South Carolina)l was established as a senior military college in 1842 by the state’s legislative body. Citadel’s campus in Charleston is home to approximately 3,550 students. The Citadel is ranked among the best colleges for veterans. The student body at the Citadel is recognized as one of the biggest uniformed bodies in the nation.
Program: BA in Intelligence and Security Studies
8. American Military University
AMU offers one of the best degrees for intelligence analysis that can be completed entirely online. American Military University’s BA in Intelligence Studies requires degree candidates to complete 120-semester credits, of which American Military University accepts up to 90 eligible transfer credits. AMU offers students a variety of concentrations in this undergraduate degree program in Asian Studies, Terrorism Studies, Counter and criminal Intelligence, Middle East Studies, Cyber studies, Latin America, General, Geospatial Intelligence, and Intelligence analysis, Collection and Operations. Students complete the degree with a senior seminar in intelligence studies. Students can enroll in this degree program throughout the year with available dates each month.
American Military University is a for-profit distance learning school that is owned by American Public Education Inc. The university serves approximately 46,350 students. American Military University offers online degree programs but maintains administrative offices in Charles Town, WV.
Program: BA in Intelligence Studies
9. Saint Louis University
The BS in Security & Strategic Intelligence at Saint Louis University is among the Midwest’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Saint Louis University’s undergraduate degree in intelligence analysis offers students three academic emphases – global Corporate Security, Business Continuity, and Strategic Intelligence. Saint Louis University offers reduced tuition rates for veterans and active-duty military members. Classes for this degree from Saint Louis University include cybersecurity principles, workplace ethics, database analysis, analytics in security and intelligence, cyber threats & defense, threat, and risk assessment, and fundamentals of computer forensics.
Saint Louis University was established as a private academy in 1818. The school maintains two campuses, one in Saint Louis and another in Madrid. Saint Louis University is recognized as the oldest higher learning institution that is situated to the west of the Mississippi River.
Program: BS in Security & Strategic Intelligence
10. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University (Sam Houston) was established to train teachers in 1879. The college-town campus in Huntsville is home to approximate 21,150 students. Sam Houston State University is considered the third oldest of all public universities and colleges in Texas.
Sam Houston State University offers two of the best degrees for intelligence analysis in Texas, offering both a BA or a BS in Security Studies. The primary difference between the two intelligence analysis degrees is the BA’s requirement to complete additional credit hours in a foreign language of their choice. Classes for this major in security studies include border security, introduction to cybersecurity, global terrorism, transportation security, homeland security, public health in homeland security, and water security, to name a few. This undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University can be completed as a hybrid program or on-campus.
Program: BA or a BS in Security Studies
11. University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso offers one of the best degrees for intelligence analysis with its BA in Security Studies. This 120-semester credit undergraduate degree can be completed entirely online. Students graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso’s undergraduate degree in security studies to find rewarding work as intelligence collectors, federal special agents, risk analysts, or intelligence analysts, among others. Classes for this undergraduate degree include modern strategy, geography & security, statistics for security studies, and a seminar in intelligence and national security studies, among others.
The University of Texas at El Paso (UT El Paso) is a member school of the state’s university system that was established in 1914. UTEP’s campus overlooks the Rio Grande Rivers and the US-Mexico Border and serves more than 25,050 students. The University of Texas at El Paso is one of the largest schools in the nation to have a majority of Mexican American students.
Program: BA in Security Studies
12. University of Maryland Global Campus
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a BS in Homeland Security that is considered among Maryland’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Students are mandated to complete 120-semester credits, of which 90 eligible credits may be transferred. Classes for the University of Maryland’s online degree in homeland security include homeland security and intelligence, strategic planning, public safety policies & leadership, legal & political issues, and public safety research, to name a few. Degree candidates have the option to complete coursework that may reduce their master’s degree requirements in homeland security.
The University of Maryland was originally established as the University College in 1947. The University of Maryland Global Campus primarily offers online distance education to its more than 89,000 students. The University of Maryland Global Campus is recognized among the largest of all distance learning schools across the globe.
Program: BS in Homeland Security
13. Liberty University
The Helms School of Government at Liberty University offers a BS in Strategic intelligence that is among Virginia’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Students enrolled in Liberty University’s strategic intelligence degree can complete the program, on average, in only 3.5 years. This program from Liberty University requires the completion of 120 credit units, of which up to 90 eligible credits may be transferred. Students explore the many ways to protect freedom and to carry out relevant justice as required. Classes for this degree include intelligence analysis, counter-terrorism, and introduction to intelligence and national security, to name a few.
Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell, Sr. in 1971. Liberty University’s campus in Lynchburg and distance platform is home to nearly 80,000 students. Liberty University operates as a private Baptist institution of higher education.
Program: BS in Strategic intelligence
14. Angelo State University
Angelo State University offers two of Arizona’s best degrees for intelligence analysis with its Bachelor of Security Studies (BSS) in Intelligence and Analysis and its Bachelor of Intelligence and Analysis (BIA). Angelo State University’s BSS degree requires the completion of 120-semester units, whereas the BIA degree requires the completion of 124-semester units. Students explore the existing relationship between national security and intelligence, researching policy making, planning, Constitutional issues, and the rule of law, among others.
Angelo State University was first established in 1938 as a college. Angelo State University became a full-fledged university in 1967. The university’s urban campus is home to approximately 10,650 students. Angelo State University is a member school of the Texas Tech University System and the second-largest campus in the system.
Program: Bachelor of Security Studies (BSS) in Intelligence and Analysis and its Bachelor of Intelligence and Analysis (BIA)
15. Indiana State University
Indiana State University offers a BS in Intelligence Analysis which is among Indiana’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Indiana State University’s baccalaureate degree in intelligence analysis is the first and currently the only program available of its kind. Degree candidates can select from three academic concentrations in intelligence operations, counterintelligence, intelligence collection, and criminal intelligence. Students graduate from Indiana State University’s bachelor’s degree in intelligence analysis to enter the workforce as FBI agents, border patrol agents, criminal investigators, and criminal justice offers, to name a few. Core classes include ethics in criminal justice, strategic intelligence, and introduction to research methods in criminal justice, to name a few.
Indiana State University (Indiana State University) was established in 1865 as a teacher’s training school by the state’s general assembly. The school’s Terre Haute 200-acre campus is home to approximately 12,450 students. Indiana State University is organized into six colleges/schools.
Program: BS in Intelligence Analysis
16. York College of Pennsylvania
York College of Pennsylvania offers a BA in Intelligence Analysis: Regional & Global Studies that is among Pennsylvania’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. York College’s baccalaureate degree program requires students to complete a minimum of 120-semester units to graduate. The core curriculum for York College’s bachelor’s degree in intelligence analysis includes classes in intelligence analysis methods, advanced intelligence analysis, quantitative analysis, and the history of intelligence, plus a senior seminar in intelligence analysis, to name a few.
York College of Pennsylvania was established as an academy in 1787. York College’s campus is home to approximately 5,450 students. York College has an impressive career placement rate of 90%. Highlight -Barron’s recognizes York College as the best buy school on the eastern US coast.
Program: BA in Intelligence Analysis: Regional & Global Studies
17. Norwich University
Norwich University offers a BS in National Security Studies that can be completed entirely online. Norwich University’s best degrees for intelligence analysis allow students to transfer up to 90 eligible semester credits. This program in national security studies requires students to enter the program with a minimum of 30 credits. The typical student completes this program in about 1.5 years. Students explore their studies in traditional classrooms, field studies, and a culminating capstone project. Field Studies options include infrastructure studies, geographic studies, and cultural and anthropological studies.
Norwich University (Norwich) was established in 1819. The school’s rural campus in Northfield is home to approximately 3,250 students. Norwich University holds the distinction of being the oldest of the six military colleges in the nation as well as the birthplace of the Reserve Officers Training Corps.
Program: BS in National Security Studies
18. Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University’s Intelligence Studies, Geospatial Science, Political Science, and History Department offers a BA in Intelligence Studies that is considered among North Carolina’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Students graduating from FSU’s intelligence analysis degree program enter the workforce working for the CIA, the Defense Department, the FBI, or the Department of Homeland Security, to name a few. Classes for this degree include intelligence operations, quantitative reasoning, statistics for analytics, global literacy, ethics of civic engagement, plus a senior seminar in intelligence studies, to name a few.
Fayetteville State University is a recognized HBCU school that was established in 1867. The university’s Fayetteville campus is home to approximately 5,950 students. Fayetteville State University is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the state’s university system.
Program: BA in Intelligence Studies
19. King University
King University offers a bachelor’s degree in Security and Intelligence Studies (SIS) that is recognized among Tennessee’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Students enrolled in King University’s intelligence analysis degree program will take classes in international terrorism, intelligence ethics, espionage and intelligence, cold war history & politics, advanced topics in geopolitics, security challenges in the 21st century, and advanced intelligence analysis, to name a few. Additionally, all undergraduate students must demonstrate competency in their chosen major by completing a research project in the academic concentration area chosen by the student.
King University is an evangelical higher learning institution that was established in 1867. The school’s wooded-acre campus just outside of Bristol covers more than 120 acres and serves more than 2,850 students. King University operates several campuses in Knoxville and Kingsport, plus additional satellite facilities in Tennessee and Virginia.
Program: Security and Intelligence Studies
20. Delta State University
Delta State University offers one of Mississippi’s best degrees for intelligence analysis with its Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Geospatial Analysis and Intelligence. This undergraduate program is the first to receive accreditation from the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. Degree candidates enrolled in Delta State University’s bachelor’s degree in intelligence analysis are required to complete 120-semester credits, of which 68-semester credits will be of the core GIS credits. Classes for this program from Delta State University include cartography, Intro to GIS, remote sensing, GEOINT case studies, internet, GIS, and spat databases, to name a few.
Delta State University is one of Mississippi’s eight schools that are state-funded. Established in 1924, Delta State University is home to nearly 3,000 students. Delta State University was developed initially to serve as a teacher’s training college.
Program: Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Geospatial Analysis and Intelligence
21. National American University
National American University offers a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Management that is available entirely online. Students enrolled in National American University’s best degrees for intelligence analysis will complete a total of 180 quarter credits to meet graduation requirements. Classes for this undergraduate degree in intelligence analysis include advanced critical thinking/logic, open-source research, fundamental so analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and ethics of security and counterterrorism, to name a few. National American University has been offering distance learning for more than two decades.
National American University operates as a for-profit school offering distance learning degrees exclusively. The school was originally established in 1949, is now organized into three academic divisions. The school serves about 2,000 students. National American University offers students an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1.
Program: Intelligence Management
22. Utica College
Utica College offers a BS in Criminal Justice with an academic concentration in Homeland Security that is ranked as one of the Empire State’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Students enrolled in Utica College’s intelligence analysis degree program will take classes in homeland security and counter-terrorism, and emergency management, among others. Most degree candidates complete Utica College’s bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in about 3.5 years (120 credits) by taking one class as a full-time or a part-time student. The specialization in homeland security requires the completion of 12 credit units from that curriculum.
Utica College is a private school located in upstate New York. Founded in 1946, Utica College is home to approximately 5,150 students. Utica College offers about 60 academic degree programs available for graduate and undergraduate students.
Program: BS in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security
23. University of Akron
The University of Akron offers a BS in Criminal Intelligence Analysis that is ranked as one of Ohio’s best degrees for intelligence analysis. Degree candidates must finish a minimum of 120-semester units to graduate, including an internship. Classes for Akron’s baccalaureate degree in intelligence analysis include policing theory & strategy, methods of social research, geographic information systems, GIS Database design, crime analysis applications, advanced topics in research, foundations of crime analysis, and spatial analysis, among others.
The University of Akron (Akron) is a STEM-focused institution of higher education that was established in 1870 as Buchtel College. The university’s campus in Akron is home to about 17,900 students. The University of Akron operates, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute, the Archives of the History of American Psychology.
Program: BS in Criminal Intelligence Analysis
24. Mercyhurst University
Mercyhurst University’s Ridge College of Intelligence Studies & Applied Sciences offers a BA in Intelligence Studies which is considered one of the best degrees for intelligence analysis in Pennsylvania. Classes for this bachelor’s degree in intelligence studies include nonproliferation analysis, climate change, and national security, financial intelligence analysis, market research & primary intelligence, law & ethics for law enforcement intelligence, social media intelligence and analysis, and data visualization, plus an internship, among others. The capstone course for this degree involves working with real-world decision-makers.
Mercyhurst University was established in 1926 as a college founded by the Erie Diocese. Mercyhurst University’s main campus in Erie covers more than 60 acres and serves approximately 2,650 students. The average student-to-faculty ratio at Mercyhurst University is 20 to 1. Mercyhurst University operates five satellite education facilities in Pennsylvania.
Program: BA in Intelligence Studies
25. ECPI University
ECPI offers one of Virginia’s best degrees for intelligence analysis with its BS in Intelligence Analysis. ECPI’s bachelor’s degree in intelligence analysis is available entirely online or on the campus in Newport News, VA. Classes for East Coast Polytechnic’s intelligence analysis degree include an introduction to geo-technologies, crime intelligence analysis, crime mapping, mobile device forensics, and fraud examination, among others. Students graduate from East Coast Polytechnic’s degree program and enter the workforce as risk analysts, policy analysts, fraud data analysts, counterintelligence analysts, federal agents, asset protection specialists, and insurance investigators, to name a few.
East Coast Polytechnic University was established in 1966 as a for-profit institution of higher education. ECPI University maintains a campus in four states – Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. East Coast Polytechnic (ECPI )University offers students accelerated coursework on the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Program: BS in Intelligence Analysis
Why Should I Get a Degree in Intelligence Analysis?
Getting a degree in intelligence analysis is a great way to secure your future if you like working with data systems that evaluate information that involves security, law enforcement, and the protection of our country from both external and internal threats. Individuals who are interested in this line of work should have a passion for investigating and uncover hidden information that may lead to security breaches or threats. Protecting national security involves using the highest technology and advanced skills that allow analysts to identify and track any type of potential threat.
Degrees in intelligence analysis allow graduates to pursue employment with the federal government or private security agencies. They are able to take the skills they have learned and work with several government agencies to uncover potential threats to national security as well as create new protocols and guidelines that can be used to tighten security in government offices and in high-profile areas where attacks are possible. Intelligence analysis is a highly-complex career that is driven by the need to protect our country. Individuals who have a passion for this kind of work can find themselves open to new opportunities on many levels.
What Does an Intelligence Analyst Do?
An intelligence analyst performs several tasks when it comes to securing information and protecting our country. Identifying potential threats take many forms. Not only must physical threats be monitored, digital ones as well are becoming more dangerous as well. Cyberattacks can be much harder to detect and require a level of technology that was unheard of even ten or twenty years ago. Having the skills and knowledge that is needed to navigate these types of cyber activities is a must. Experience earned through actually working with these systems will make an intelligence analyst an invaluable asset to both our federal government as well as private security companies.
Another job of an intelligence analyst involves creating powerful strategies that can be used if a threat is detected or a breach actually occurs. Once a graduate has the knowledge to identify potential threats and security risks, they must also learn how to create effective strategies that can be used to neutralize that threat and maintain the highest possible security protocols. As an intelligence analyst, one of the most important aspects of their job is to not only identify any threat but find viable protection mechanisms that can be used to minimize that threat and reduce any possible risk it may cause.
Intelligence analysts can work between both the public and private sectors sharing important information that enhances national security and prevents our country from being attacked. Attacks take many forms and are not always military in nature. Understanding the different types of threats that can compromise national security is extremely important when it comes to securing our borders and protecting our interests both domestically and abroad.
How Much Can I Make with a Degree in Intelligence Analysis?
Depending on where a graduate chooses to work, an intelligence analyst can make anywhere from $55,000 to $75,000 per year. The overall salary will also depend on how much experience they have had and the type of degree program they have completed. Their overall skill level may also be a factor, especially if they have received advanced training in cybersecurity protocols and how much experience they have in working with digital systems.
We live in a digital age where much of the information we use is now in a digital format. Being able to identify potential threats, either in the cyber world or the physical world requires a level of skill that takes years to attain. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree is the best way to ensure that a graduate has the skills and talents they need to make a lucrative career in the intelligence field. The more experience and education an intelligence analyst has, the higher their earning potential will be. They will also be offered more responsibilities as they continue to gain experience.
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