The Security and Intelligence Studies major offers a comprehensive education in issues including terrorism and counterterrorism, ethics, national security, and geopolitics. The major is designed to provide students with the substantive knowledge and critical thinking skills they will need to succeed in a graduate program or in a position with a local, state, or federal government agency. The course of study offers classes including:
- Intelligence Analysis
- Chinese History and Politics
- American Foreign Policy
- International Terrorism
- Intelligence Ethics
- Espionage and Intelligence
- Covert Action
- Advanced Topics in Geopolitics
- Cold War History and Politics
- 21st Century Security Challenges
Political instability, cycles of violence in the Middle East, terrorism, an antagonistic Russia, nuclear proliferation, and civil war are familiar to all of us. These concerns are pressing and unlikely to abate in the near term, and will only be exacerbated by issues such as climate change and economic instability, which may pose challenges in their own right. Employers are looking for college graduates who possess excellent written and oral communication skills and can demonstrate an understanding of contemporary security threats and challenges as well as US policy in regard to these issues.
- Learn about the security challenges facing the United States.
- Prepare yourself for jobs with local, state, or national government agencies.
- Emphasize analytic skills to help you prepare for graduate school.
- Present your research at academic conferences.
- Your final project showcases your knowledge and critical thinking skills, and looks great on your resume or graduate school application!
What can I do with an SIS Major (or Minor)?
The Security and Intelligence major will benefit you if you are interested in careers in government, including but not limited to military, diplomacy, or intelligence. The U.S. intelligence community consists of 17 agencies, all of which are seeking qualified individuals. The SIS degree is also beneficial if you are interested in a career in Law, especially international or national security law.
The SIS minor can complement degrees in Political Science, History, and Business—particularly in the areas of Accounting, Finance, Economics, Management, or Administration. Business graduates who can document awareness of security issues and international affairs will stand out when applying for positions in management, investing, consulting, and financial intelligence.
The SIS minor will also help enhance majors in the physical and social sciences such as Neuroscience, Forensic Science, Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology, particularly if you intend to work in government-funded research (classified or unclassified).
Security and Intelligence Studies Course Descriptions
This course serves as an introduction to the institutional
structure and evolving mission of the United States Intelligence Community and examines the complex political interface between intelligence policy and democratic citizenship in contemporary America – 4 s.h
Since the end of the Cold War, direct threats to America’s security have not come from Soviet-style conventional armies, but rather from underground transnational groups,
such as computer hackers, nuclear weapons smugglers, or militant Islamists. This course serves as an introduction to the constantly changing landscape of contemporary unconventional security threats, and examines the complex geopolitical identities of America’s non-state adversaries – 4 s.h
This introductory that trains students in the methodologies of analyzing intelligence for the purpose of informing policy decisions. Course participants are instructed to use techniques of crafting factual analyses, reducing ambiguity, avoiding cognitive traps and employing incremental analysis.
Students are evaluated in accordance to their dedication to the scientific method, objectivity, and display of intellectual precision – 4 s.h.
State-sanctioned covert actions are secret operations
that may become known to an adversary, or to the world at large, but the responsible parties cannot always be traced or conclusively proven. This midlevel course examines selected case studies of covert actions and assesses their strategic and political impact, as well as their value as a policy option for government – 4 s.h. Prerequisite: PSCI 2310 or 2330
This upper-level course requires participants to use the
technical knowledge they acquired in Introduction to
Intelligence Analysis in order to perfect their analytical tradecraft. Emphasis is given to analytical forecasting and analytical reasoning, exercised through group work and peer review – 4 s.h. Prerequisite: PSCI 2350
An introductory course that outlines the strategies, tactics and techniques that government agencies adopt in response to unconventional security threats in the post-9/11 period. Particular attention is given to tactical partnerships between
intelligence and security agencies, and multinational organizations, non-state actors, as well as the private sector, in order to advance counterterrorist objectives – 4 s.h.
This multidisciplinary course explores the normative aspects that inform both clandestine operations and intelligence
collection. Students are prompted to examine a variety of real-life case studies that illustrate the theoretical, empirical, or historical aspects of intelligence ethics. Known intelligence controversies serve as the basis for a series of broader discussions on the beliefs and values that inform American
national security – 4 s.h.
This course is designed to familiarize the student with American Foreign Policy (AFP), with an emphasis on contemporary issues. The primary goal is to equip students with the conceptual and analytical tools to understand and interrupt connections between contemporary U.S. foreign policies and international relations theory. The course examines the role of power and specific foreign policy issues in the international system. We begin with an overview
international relations theory that underlies U.S. foreign policy, move on to investigate the influence of domestic politics, and ultimately students will utilize the knowledge gained to critically analyze a major foreign policy area – 4 s.h.
Advanced readings and research for Juniors and Seniors majoring in Security and Intelligence Studies – 2-4 s.h.
An upper-level course that analyzes the worldwide interplay between geographical settings, security perspectives, and political processes. The focus is on the manner in which these varied parameters influence the international behavior of state actors, and their significance for American national security. Case studies examined in the course change to reflect current events – 4 s.h. Prerequisite: PSCI 2330 or HIST 2710, or PSCI 3310 or HIST 3710
This course focuses on pressing security issues facing the United States. Multiple challenges will be addressed, with attention given to the history, context, and implications of these issues. Particular attention will be devoted to the relationships and strategies required to address these challenges, as well as what success and failure might look like. The role of the intelligence community will be specifically discussed – 4 s.h.
Undergraduate level. All candidates for a degree from King are required to demonstrate competency in their major field. Students with more than one major must demonstrate competency in each of their major fields. For a B.A. in Security and Intelligence Studies, degree candidates will be required to submit the conclusions of a research project in their area of specialization in the form of a publishable academic paper to an appropriate journal, or present the topic of their research to a panel of experts – 0 s.h.
The Security and Intelligence Studies program requires a laptop with Microsoft Office 2010 or later, and wireless and webcam capability.