Applied Intelligence - MS

Program Code: MSINTEL
Master of Science

Availability: online, campus

The Master of Science in Applied Intelligence, part of the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, is a 34- or 36-credit program designed to provide a theoretical and practical framework for the study of intelligence and its application in a wide variety of contexts. This is accomplished through a rigorous curriculum whose basic core exposes students to the fundamental and advanced concepts related to intelligence and analytic techniques through a set of elective courses that allows students to pursue study in areas of law enforcement, national security and competitive intelligence.

The Mercyhurst University Certificate in Applied Intelligence is a four-course, 12-credit-hour graduate certificate program. Its goals are to introduce current intelligence theories and applications, improve competence in writing and briefing, and build skill in various analytic techniques. The certificate also provides the opportunity for specialized study in several areas of expanding importance in competitive business intelligence, law enforcement intelligence, financial crime analysis, cyber threat analysis, geospatial intelligence, nuclear nonproliferation intelligence, and intelligence support to targeting or terrorism. The 12 graduate credits earned through the certificate may be applied to satisfy degree requirements for the Master of Science degree in Applied Intelligence. An internship may not take the place of the intelligence elective.

The Mercyhurst University in Business Analytics and Intelligence is a four-course, 12-credit-hour graduate certificate program. It meets the increasing demand of employers for business professionals to expand their understanding of critical analysis, communication for decision-makers, and analysis of big data. Applicants should have an undergraduate or graduate degree in a business-related field or two years’ work experience as a business professional.

Please note that we encourage those who are just completing their undergraduate studies and/or do not possess professional work experience to apply to the resident MS in Applied Intelligence degree program at Mercyhurst’s Erie campus. However, recent graduates will be considered for the online program, depending on their circumstances.

The department shall conduct an annual review of the academic progress of all students enrolled in the program. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 or who might otherwise exhibit behavior that is not conducive to ensuring employment in this field will be placed on probation or dismissed from the program, depending on the outcome of the review.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Applied Intelligence program at Mercyhurst University is to produce graduates – through a variety of delivery modalities – who are skilled in the use of a variety of sources of data and analytic techniques to lead the collaborative development of high quality written and oral intelligence analysis products that, in service toward a just world, inform decision-makers, thereby fostering an appreciation for the dignity of work and commitment to serving others.

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the requirements for the master of science degree in Applied Intelligence, the graduate will possess knowledge, skills and abilities in the following competencies:

  • 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.
Program Requirements:

Master’s Degree Program Application Requirements
The master’s degree in Applied Intelligence is open only to persons who have completed their undergraduate degree. It is not necessary for that degree to be in an intelligence-related discipline.

  • An application form, which can be found online at
  • All official transcripts from accredited higher education institutions. (All documents and credentials submitted must be translated into English; Mercyhurst recommends that international students contact World Education Services at, the foremost organization specializing in transcript and credential evaluation, to provide such translations.)
  • An essay of 300-500 words outlining the student’s personal, professional and educational goals.
  • Three recommendations from supervisors or faculty.
  • A resume or curriculum vitae.
  • International students from countries where English is not a native language must submit an official score report from the TOEFL or IELTS examination.

Students completing a thesis take 3 electives
Students completing a research-based project take 4 electives

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Capstone Experience Requirement



Note: Students who elect the thesis option take three intelligence electives, in addition to the Intelligence Thesis Seminar (INTL 679) and Thesis in Applied Intelligence (INTL 680) courses. Students who elect to take the research-based project, take four intelligence electives, in addition to the Research-based Project (INTL 676). The Research-based Project is only available to working professionals in the online degree program.