Tom Ridge School
of Intelligence Studies and Information Science
Mercyhurst University
Why Choose Intel at Mercyhurst?
Why Choose Intel at Mercyhurst?
The Ridge School focuses its intelligence programs on the knowledge, theory, skills, and technology that intelligence professionals must understand to be successful in the 21st century. Learn More »
Fall 2015 Deadline Extended!
Fall 2015 Deadline Extended!
We are extending our 2015 application deadlines for the Master of Science in Applied Intelligence & the Master of Science in Data Science. Apply Now »
Offering Graduate Certificates Online!
Offering Graduate Certificates Online!
Receive a Graduate Certificate in Applied Intelligence or in Business Analytics and Intelligence without stepping foot in a classroom! List of Certificate »
Innovative Techniques to Take Your CI Practice to the Next Level: A Full Day Symposium
Innovative Techniques to Take Your CI Practice to the Next Level: A Full Day Symposium
Join regionally based CI Professionals at Mercyhurst's Inaugural Symposium - the first of its kind in this region. Our featured keynote speakers, Michelle Settecase of Ernst & Young, Patrick Daly from Parker-Hannifin and Michael Finnegan of Target will present at the symposium. Learn More »


We are currently accepting applications for an online Master of Science Applied Intelligence degree with classes beginning on Monday, September 7, 2015.

Priority Application deadline is June 1, 2015


Program Overview

The Online Master of Science in Applied Intelligence emphasizes the application of intelligence theory across the disciplines of national security, military, law enforcement, and competitive intelligence. The Mercyhurst program focuses on intelligence as a process, using (primarily unstructured) information from all sources and focused externally, that is designed to reduce the level of uncertainty for a decision-maker.

Given this focus, the coursework concentrates on developing deep researching abilities, proficient use of analytic techniques and methodologies, concise analytic writing, and effective briefing. The advancement of these analytic skills, in addition to an appreciation of the theory and history of the intelligence field, produce program graduates capable of leading in the knowledge-centric work environments of the future.

Lively discussion, informative presentations, scholarly study material, engaging activities, carefully crafted assessments, and course outcomes focused on real-world application concepts are the hallmarks learning within the Applied Intelligence Program at Mercyhurst University.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Science in Applied Intelligence graduate program will be able to:

  • Interpret the theory and history of the discipline of intelligence.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to ‘real world’ issues.
  • Appraise collected data/information using a variety of analytic techniques and methodologies.
  • Prepare analytic products in written, oral, visual, and/or multimedia formats.
  • Devise open source research and collection management practices.
  • Facilitate and manage intelligence processes and practices.
  • Produce research in the intelligence field.


Who Should Apply

To apply to the program you must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, preferably with a GPA above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The Department of Intelligence Studies accepts students from a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs -- from political science and international relations to biology and mathematics.

Preference in admissions will be given to working professionals who will benefit from further study in the application of intelligence analysis. Please note that those who are just completing their undergraduate studies and/or do not possess professional work experience should apply to the resident MS in Applied Intelligence degree program in Erie, PA.

Online Course Information

Mercyhurst’s online courses are delivered through the Blackboard Learning Management System. The classes are asynchronous, so students can access the course material 24/7, without having to be "there" at a specific time. However, the courses are not “independent or self-study.”  You may be required to brief or "meet" with your instructor or group members in an online format.

Courses are designed with 10 weekly learning units, with due dates and times each week for assignments, including required readings, postings to the discussion board, written products, presentations and other projects. Students generally log into the course at least three times per week and can expect to spend an average of 10 hours per week working on assignments.

Class sizes are limited to approximately 20 students, so that individual attention is assured. In addition to communication through Blackboard, instructors are accessible by phone and email.

Program Requirements

Core Courses

  • INTL 501 Research Methods in Intelligence
  • INTL 510 Intelligence Theory and Applications
  • INTL 540 Competitive Intelligence
  • INTL 576 Law Enforcement Intelligence
  • INTL 580 Intelligence Communications
  • INTL 615 Contemporary Leadership for Intelligence
    INTL 655 Managing Strategic Intelligence

Elective Courses

(select 3 for thesis option or 4 for research-based project option)

  • INTL 520 Advanced Analytic Techniques
  • INTL 560 Cyber Threat Analysis
  • INTL 590 Intelligence Support to Targeting
  • INTL 595 Geospatial Intelligence
  • INTL 620 Nonproliferation Analysis
  • INTL 626 Financial Intelligence Analysis
  • INTL 627 Graduate Seminar: National Security
  • INTL 633 Studies in Terrorism
  • INTL 640 Intelligence, the Military, and Warfare
  • INTL 650 Topics in Intelligence
  • INTL 675 Internship (3 credits)

Capstone Courses

  • INTL 676 Research-based Project
  • INTL 679 Intelligence Thesis Seminar (1 credit) AND INTL 680 Thesis in Applied Intelligence

Tuition and Fees

Students in the online MS in Applied Intelligence Program have their choice between two capstone experiences to their graduate studies at Mercyhurst University. Credits vary according to capstone selection:

  • Thesis Option - students graduate with 34 credits
  • Research-based Project Option - students graduate with 36 credits

2014-2015 Tuition

  • 3 Credit Course: $2,319.00 USD

2014-2015 Required Fees

  • Registration Fee (per term) $45.00
  • Technology Fee (per term) $65.00
  • Applied Intelligence Fee (per term when a student is enrolled full-time at 2 classes/6 credits) $165.00
    NOTE: This fee will be pro-rated at $82 per 3 credit course.

Approximate Total Cost for Attendance for the Degree

(please note that these are based on 2015-2016 tuition/fee rates and do not include housing and vary based on how many courses a student takes per term and over how many terms; tuition and fees may be increased each academic year)

Research-based Project Option (36 credits)

  • Full-time (2 courses per term): $29,478.00 USD
  • Part-time (1 course per term): $ 30,132.00 USD

Thesis Option (34 credits)

  • Full-time (2 courses per term): $25,338.00 USD
  • Part-time (1 course per term): $ 28,394.00 USD

Mercyhurst University has a payment plan system to assist those who will not be using loans to cover the cost of their education. You can find out more about the payment plan option here:   Mercyhurst Payment Plan Information

Schedule Information

Mercyhurst operates on the term system, with four terms in each academic year: Fall, Winter, Spring. and Summer. Each term is 10 1/2 weeks long.

2014 – 2015 Term Schedule for Online Classes:

FALL TERM:  September 8, 2014 - November 18, 2014
WINTER TERM: December 1, 2014 - February 22, 2015 (Break December 22 - January 5)
SPRING TERM: March 9, 2015 - May 18, 2015

2015 – 2016 Term Schedule for Online Classes:

SUMMER TERM: June 1, 2015 - August 11, 2015
FALL TERM:  September 7, 2015 - November 17, 2015
WINTER TERM: November 30, 2015 - February 23, 2016 (Break December 21 - January 4)
SPRING TERM: March 7, 2016 - May 17. 2016

Apply Now

Online MS Applied Intelligence Button

For More Information

Ms. Linda Bremmer, Director of Online and Offsite Graduate Intelligence Programs
Institute for Intelligence Studies
Mercyhurst University
501 E 38th St
Erie, PA 16546-0001 USA
814-824-2170 (EST)


Degree Requirements and Course Descriptions for the M.S. in Applied Intelligence

Graduate Course Catalog

Information Sheet on the M.S. in Applied Intelligence Program

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