Intel education on the cutting edge.

Mercyhurst has pioneered intelligence education since launching the nation’s first Intelligence Studies program in 1992. Today, our program is the largest and among the most prestigious. We graduate in-demand, entry-level analysts who are skilled in preparing assessments based on the collection, correlation and analysis of intelligence data for employers both in government and private sectors, especially those in business, law enforcement, national security and the military.

This unique and academically challenging multidisciplinary program combines a liberal arts core with a foreign language or computer requirement, as well as national and international studies, an internship experience, and intelligence courses. As the worldwide demand for skilled analysts continues to grow — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for analysts will grow by as much as 19 percent in the next decade — you’ll stand out with a degree from our internationally recognized intelligence program.

Fast Facts

  • Annually, more than 200 Intelligence Studies students receive contracts to conduct work for U.S. intelligence agencies and private companies.

  • The Ridge College is named after Erie native Tom Ridge, 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and first Secretary of Homeland Security.

  • The newly created Anti-Money Laundering Minor provides students with the theoretical foundations and the practical skills of detecting, preventing, investigating, and reporting money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

  • With support from the Center for Intelligence, Research, Analysis, and Training (CIRAT) and Innovation Entente Lab Beehive, 100% of our Intelligence Studies students who seek an internship are succesfully placed in one.

1,800+ Intel alumni across all 17 federal intelligence agencies

100% job or graduate school placement within one year

25% of Intel students compete in varsity athletics 

Introducing Lindy Smart, Executive Director of Intelligence Studies

As the nation's leader for Intelligence Studies, Mercyhurst has continued to grow and evolve as a home for not only intelligence, but cyber security, data science, business and competitive intelligence, and many other related majors and minors. To continue our tradition of excellence, Lindy Smart, one of the most prominent and gifted experts in the intelligence industry, will be serving as the Executive Director of Intelligence Studies. As a Mercyhurst alumnus, Lindy is returning to her alma mater to lead strategic initiatives and promote the future success of our students. Most recently, Lindy has served as Director of Competitive Intelligence at Fortune 500 retailer Target Corporation, and will be bringing her real-world experience to the role.

Center for Intelligence, Research, Analysis, and Training (CIRAT)

Our CIRAT program works to hone and professionalize the skills of students in Intelligence Studies and Computer Information Science programs. As a nonprofit arm of Mercyhurst University, CIRAT develops opportunities with business and government entities through contracts, grants, and academic partnerships. Students of all academic levels can participate in CIRAT to apply their skills in a variety of collaborative intelligence and data-driven projects. By participating in CIRAT, Mercyhurst students gain a competitive edge; upon graduation, they already have applicable, hands-on experience working with national security organizations, U.S. government agencies, private sector businesses, and more.
students in computer lab


Graduates of the program have accepted employment in the following types of positions, to name a few: Intelligence Analysts, Intelligence Officers, Special Agents, and Social Media Analysts.

mercyhurst veteran celebration


Mercyhurst University is a participant of the Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows veterans to attend graduate programs which cost more than the state tuition cap.

intelligence studies student


Graduates have accepted employment with a diverse set of federal agencies, global corporations, and international NGOs. A small sample includes: Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Wells Fargo.

There are a variety of clubs in which our students and faculty are active members which creates opportunities for students and professors to nurture and enrich their passion for intelligence work and come together outside of the classroom setting.

Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) Club

Established in 1986, today the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) organization has over 50 chapters around the world, with individual members in more than 50 nations. SCIP is a global nonprofit membership organization for everyone involved in creating and managing business knowledge. Their mission is to enhance the skills of knowledge professionals in order to help their members' companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. Specifically, SCIP provides education and networking opportunities for business professionals working in the rapidly growing field of competitive intelligence (the legal and ethical collection and analysis of information regarding the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of business competitors). Many SCIP members have backgrounds in market research, strategic analysis, or science and technology.

The Mercyhurst College SCIP chapter became the first SCIP student chapter in the world in 1997. Since then they've managed to provide numerous speakers to their members as well as send twenty-five students to annual conferences. Please visit SCIP's website for more information.

Law Enforcement Intelligence Club

The Law Enforcement Intelligence Club was the earliest student club to exist within the Intelligence Studies programs at Mercyhurst University.  Building on its long tradition, the club regularly meets for special events, speakers, and seminars on the field.  

Cyber Threat Research Analysis Club (CTRAC)

Cyber Threat Research Analysis Club (CTRAC) was founded in early 2012 by a small group of students which recognized the growing demand for analysts in cyber practices. With an objective of assisting students in getting internships and jobs, CTRAC provides its members with the knowledge, skills, and tools sought by employers in the public and private sector. Members participate in analysis projects for businesses and organizations, contributions to Cyberpedia, club led discussions, and guest speakers from around the country working in different practices of cyber. 

Mercyhurst University National Security Club

The National Security Club (NSC) is an umbrella organization that brings together several national security related organizations/associations on the Mercyhurst campus. The NSC will promote the development of its members through organized events and functions that will educate and inform about national security issues.

Anti-Money Laundering Club

The purpose of Anti-Money Laundering Club shall be to raise awareness in the Mercyhurst community about money laundering and its social and economic impact, as well as to generate interest in the national and global efforts to combat this crime. The club aims to introduce students to potential career opportunities in the field of Anti-Money Laundering through the conduction of research, the competition of products, and the participation in various networking opportunities.

Contact Us

Lindy Smart, M.S.
Executive Director, Intelligence Studies
Office: CAE 305
Phone: 814-824-3024